While no Southerner would ever dream of replacing her beloved blush (the horror!), occasionally our “natural flush” needs a little extra oomph. For these occasions, a little bronzer goes a long way. After all, bronzer is the easiest way to give your complexion a healthy glow — or fake a fabulous beach vacation. However, you may not realize just how versatile this vanity staple truly is. To show you what we mean, we’ve rounded up eight fresh ideas about how to use bronzer to get golden. Now, there’s no excuse not to get your glow on.
1. Mix It Into Your Skincare
For an all-over radiance, mix a few drops of liquid or gel bronzer in with your primer, moisturizer or facial SPF. “You can skip foundation this way and create a smooth, bronzed face that is perfect for summer,” explains celeb makeup artist Kendra Richards. If you want to use it with primer, make sure the formula won’t separate when you’re stirring it in. A good option is the Heir Atelier Face Primer since it’s designed to be mixed with other makeup products.
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2. Use It To Enhance Your Tan…
Amp up your naturally sun-kissed skin with bronzer. “Liquid or gel bronzer is good even if you have color to help even out your skin tone and give more depth to your tan,” says Richards. To cover large areas of your body (like your arms or legs) try mixing a few drops of the bronzing formula into a body lotion and then apply.
3. … Or Cover Up Tan Lines
Funky tan lines? Use a makeup brush to apply bronzer to any paler patches of skin. It’s a simple way to disguise the aftermath of wearing a super strappy swimsuit to the beach all day.
4. Turn It Into A Highlighter
A bronzer with a hint of shimmer can double as a highlighter. For your face, sweep it anywhere the sun would naturally hit like the bridge of your nose or the tops of cheekbones. As for your body: “Try a powder formula, like Mehron Makeups’s Metallic Powder in Bronze, Copper or Gold, and apply it with a large powder brush to dust onto shoulders, legs, décolletage, into the cleavage or anywhere you’d use a highlighter to create some serious glow,” advises makeup artist Pamela Faller. Loose powders are also great to mix into body creams and facial moisturizers for more targeted application.
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5. Try Applying It Before Foundation…
If you’re fairer skinned and are worried that bronzer may make your complexion look a little too dark, try applying it before your base. “A great artist tip is to apply your bronzer first and then finish with your foundation over to create the illusion of glowing within. It will help to blend it out and mute the color a bit,” says Faller.
6. … Or After Finishing Powder“
Avoid streaks when you use powder bronzer by waiting until your makeup has dried or applying translucent powder to your face before bronzer,” says Richards. It’s important to use a fluffy brush (steer clear of stiff bristles!) and apply a few light layers for the most well-blended, natural looking finish.
7. Contour Your Cheekbones
A matte bronzer is a great alternative to contouring creams or powders. Just dust them on the hollows of your cheekbones.
8. Create A Golden Eye
Another makeup staple that bronzer can sub in for is eye shadow. Matte or shimmery formulas can add a summery glow to your lids. Sweep it on with a small shadow brush all over, on the inner corners, or below the lower lashlines for a radiant eye look.