Yes, it's summer and yes, the desire for a "healthy" glow is stronger now than, say, in December. But bronzing your skin isn't just about creating a healthy complexion without the sun. Bronzer is also essential for one of Hollywood's favorite and oft used makeup tricks: contouring. How to do it right? It's easer than you think. Below are seven dos and don'ts that will have your facial structure on display and your skin looking luminous, dewy and kissed by the sun.
Do Stick to Your Shade
The desire for deep dark color you could never get on your own can be strong, resist. Don't go more than three shades darker than your natural skin tone when you're picking out your bronzer palette. Check out the underside of your wrists. If the veins are green, you're warm-toned. If your veins look purple or blue, you're cool toned. Pick warm and cool bronzers accordingly. Comparing two or three side-by-side will make their cool or warm qualities easier to determine. Warm will have a tera cotta (touch of red or orange) look. Cool bronzers won't.
Don't Forget to Account for Skin Type
There are so many bronzers on the market these days, you'll have more to consider than just the color. For example, there are cream bronzers and powder, as well as shimmery (those with sparkle) and matte (those without). If your skin is dry, a cream bronzer will give you a dewy glow. If your skin is oily, best to stick with a mineral powder. If you want some shimmer, best to use it at night, on special occasions, and leave it off your forehead, no matter when you wear it.
Do Count on the Recession
When it comes to application, realize that whatever part of your face you apply bronzer with is going to recede visually, making the area next to it pop out. So you want to apply under your cheekbone (never on top), around your hairline and the outermost edge of your face, on either side of your nose (never the bridge), just under your nose (above the center of your top lip) and just under the center of your bottom lip. Do not veer from these areas of application and you'll be contouring just right.
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Start with a light touch, tapping the brush to remove excess bronzer if you're using powder, and build up from there. Too little and you've wasted your time. Be patient. With practice you'll be able to get it right in no time.
Don't Forget Bared Shoulders and Chest
A bronzed, face might look amazing, until you get down to a pasty shoulder and decolletage. Lightly brush or tap bronzer on the outside of your shoulders, in between your breasts, and on the inside of your clavicle bones. Think of where the sun would naturally hit.
Do Be Careful About Your Brush Size
There's no perfect set of brushes to do this with, and you can certainly use your fingers to tap and blend if you wish. Just be aware that you want to use a medium to large brush for your cheek bones and facial perimeter and then switch to a small brush for the nose and mouth area. Use your bigger brush for any bronzer that goes below your jawline.
Don't Cake on Extras
By applying primer and/or foundation and then bronzer, you run the risk of a cakey Real Housewives look by applying much more on top of it. So keep it light. If you feel the need to use blush, a light cream or mineral tap will do ya. A little swipe of liquid illuminator on top of your cheekbones will add to your glow, but skip it if you've gone with that shimmery bronzer for an occasion.