Bronzer: to whom, why, which one? Makeup Artist Tips

Bronzer is one of the coolest makeup products out there. And one of the most obscure and underestimated. Together with make-up artist Lena Igradi we figure out how to choose it, apply it and what effect you can get.

Usually bronzers are included in summer makeup collections, and this is somewhat confusing. Why do I need a tanning powder if I already (presumably 🙂 have a tan in the summer? And in the rest of the year, it turns out to be inappropriate to use it? Well, if there are no means of this format in the autumn / winter collections? Or is it possible, but as a sculptor?

For those who still did not understand why a bronzer is needed, and did not appreciate why it is cool, Lena Igradi and I have compiled a guide.

Elena Igradi

Makeup artist, author of the blog My face but better and our columnist

“If I have bronzer, concealer and bright lipstick in my travel cosmetic bag, I can assume that I have everything I need with me.”

What is a bronzer and what is it for?

The bronzer gives the skin a tanned color. But not necessarily as vigorous as after two weeks on a Turkish beach. It could be the tan … the gentle tan you get after a summer walk. Consider that bronzer replaces it. Removes dullness and gives the impression that you are not sitting at a laptop monitor from 09:00 to 18:00. Should I use bronzer in autumn and winter? Hmm, let me think ?

When I say that bronzer is one of the most versatile cosmetics, I am not kidding. If you choose the right shade and texture, you can a) master light daytime smoky; b) expand the palette of blush and lipstick; c) learn to get by with one shade of foundation in winter and summer; d) enhance the brightness of freckles or hide age spots, because they will become less contrasting against the background of a bronzer.


How does a bronzer differ from a sculptor?

The sculptor’s task is to make the face more embossed and bring its shape closer to oval. It mimics the natural shade, and for this it needs to have a dirty gray shade. This is why red cheekbones (when bronzer is applied to them) seem so weird and unnatural.

Tan (and bronzer) can be golden or chocolate, more yellow or pink – but either way it is warmer and brighter than the original skin color.

In theory it is understandable, but in practice confusion occurs. Some sculptors have a warm undertone and look like bronzers. Some bronzers can simulate shadows on dark and warm skin (if you have one, keep in mind). In general, it is better to focus on the color of the product, and not just on its name.

I have very light skin and all bronzers appear red on my skin. Search further or accept that I don’t need it?

There are options here. First, it is possible that your products are still of the wrong shade, or you are applying them in the wrong place / with the wrong brush. Read this text to the end and test yourself. Secondly, there is a chance – and quite a lot – that you just don’t like warm shades in your makeup. Just as some are convinced that red lipstick absolutely does not suit them. Such a purely psychological barrier. When you are ready for a bronzer – he will find you, do not hesitate 🙂

Perhaps, a separate case – girls with extremely fair skin. Milky white. If you only apply bronzer to your face, it may seem like your head is separate from your body. In this case, you need to apply it on the neck, hands, legs – all areas not covered by clothing. It seems that this is long and confusing, and it is easier to score on a bronzer. Not worth it! Moreover, 3-4 extra strokes of the brush are not such a terrible mess. In addition, it is on girls with this type – fair skin and irises of eyes – that bronze smoky look awesome. Try using tanned powders for your eyeshadow.

Do dark-skinned girls need bronzer? What for?

Dark skin can also be dull and earthy. It is never superfluous to make the complexion a little brighter. And secondly, maybe a tan suits you, but you always wear a cream with a high SPF – why not use a bronzer?

How to choose a shade?

August is the perfect time to buy bronzer. Look at the outside and back of the forearm: usually the former tan evenly by the end of summer, while the latter remains light. Apply a thin layer of bronzer to the back and compare to a natural tan. If they almost match in shade, you’ve found the right one.

You can also focus on the color of age spots, if you have them. Take a closer look at their shade. How warm is it? Maybe reddish, reddish, brown? It is not necessary to apply bronzer nearby: melanin has a rich color. Therefore, if we compare, then with an undimmed drop of bronzer or a shade of powder in the package.

For freckled girls, it is better to apply bronzer on the face. Where the maximum concentration of freckles is. If they pale against its background, this is your product.

And – it is important for everyone, both dark-skinned, and light, and those who have freckles! – before making a purchase decision, test (always on the face) 2-3 shades. You have no idea how striking contrast can be. In appearance, everything seems to be similar, and the effect is from “n-n-well, poh-a-a-alui” and – “Yes! This is it!”.

Maybe it’s easier to take a palette with three shades, from light to dark?

Not the most practical solution. Most likely, you will still use one. And if the least suitable sector for you (too pink or shining) is in the center, you will inevitably climb into it with a brush. Moreover, a large brush is needed. But more on that below.

With or without glitter-shimmer-shine?

Glitter bronzer is more difficult to control: you want to add more color, but you get more sparkles. For a party – approx. For application to the body – yes. But for a business lunch on the terrace, a bronzer with a matte or satin finish is better suited.

Powdery or creamy?

The most versatile is powdery, but certainly silky in texture. It can also be used for eye makeup.

But if you’re a complete beginner, go for cream. The chances of getting a stain on your face will be zero. Light gel textures are never fixed tightly. Go too far – blend. Seems like it’s too much anyway? Blend some more.

How and where to apply it?

It is difficult to tan through the keyhole-) Therefore, in order for the bronzer to look natural, it must be applied generously. A large brush and determination will help you to apply it all over your face. Well, almost everything 🙂

It is necessary to cover all protruding areas: forehead, temples, nose, chin, cheekbones. (NB: the bronzer is not a sculptor and its place is on the cheekbone, not under the cheekbone). Don’t forget about ears and collarbones.

Brush movements can be either S-shaped (you continuously move the brush along the cheekbone, move to the temporal zone and go down to the lower jaw), or you expressively brush the lateral parts of the face with a brush, as if removing the remaining hair immediately after cutting. And do not press on the brush: the pile should barely touch the skin. Have you ever been touched by the tail of a cat walking by on his cat’s business? Here, that very feeling.

So what kind of brush should you use?

A natural effect can be achieved only with a large and soft brush (it’s better not to rely on the flat one that comes with the bronzer).

But not kabuki: it is easy to teach random spots with it. To make the movements easy, without pressure, the brush must have a long handle. I like duofibers and large synthetic brushes.

Oops, I think I’ve put on too much bronzer and my “tan” looks like a pigmented spot. What to do?

The same as doing with a pigment spot: take a brush with the remains of foundation and try to mask it slightly. Especially carefully (but with smooth light movements) go over the borders of the shading.

By the way, you can do it differently: first apply bronzer (thicker and denser), and then – foundation. If the tone is not the most dense, the bronzer will still shine through it. In the most natural and natural way.

I have 5 (7.10) bronzers, bought in oblivion. None is categorically suitable. Throw it out and forget? Or are there options?

Powdery can be mixed with any skincare cream or serum, even body lotion. Just run your finger across the bronzer, then scoop up the cream with the same finger and rub in your palms to blend properly. You will get a tint-effect care. (We apply body cream, of course, to the body 🙂

Try this trick with a foundation. This will create a darker shade without having to buy a separate shade for summer.

And in the same way, you can mix bronzer with boring lipstick or blush. It is possible that interesting new shades will turn out.

Do you have any difficulties using bronzer? What kind?


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