How To Apply Bronzer: A Beginners Guide

How To Apply Bronzer: A Beginners Guide

Table of Contents

Bronzer is probably the simplest way to breathe some life into your skin. And it’s not just a summer trend. When appropriately applied with the specific bronzer brush, this magical product can give you a sun-kissed glow all year round. However, applying bronzer the wrong way can make your face look orange and dirty. 

Start by preparing your skin for the makeup using moisturizer, primer, eye cream, and sunscreen. Then build an even layer of foundation and concealer. After, tap a makeup brush in the bronzer, and then sweep it along your cheekbones, upper forehead, the center of the chin, down the bridge of the nose, and temples. Blend in small, gentle circles to diffuse the harsh lines and fade the product for a smooth look.

The world of bronzers consists of shades, pigments, and textures, which can feel challenging for your skin type, complexion, and face shape. Fortunately, you can nail the most natural sun-kissed look with our pro secrets below for what to do (and what not to do) when it comes to wearing bronzer.

What Are The Uses of Bronzer?

You use bronzer to get tanned and that warm sun-kissed appearance of your face. It is also called bronze by some people and used to darken and defined areas of the skin and add warmth. It is a great technique to make your skin look fresh and radiant without looking fake. And most importantly, it gives an illusion that makes your face appear slimmer.

Step by Step Guide on Applying Bronzer:

Steps 1 - 6 (What to do before applying bronzer)

Step 1: Clean Your Face 

Wash your face with lukewarm water. And get a cleanser that works best for your skin type and massage it into your face using your fingertips in a circular motion. Rinse your face off, and then dry with a clean towel.

Step 2: Apply Moisturizer 

After washing the face, it’s time to moisturize and hydrate your skin. Use a quality moisturizer with an SPF and apply eye cream. 

Step 3: Add Primer

Using a primer is optional. Primer assists in smoothing out the surface of your face and minimizes the look of pores. We recommend you use a primer. 

Step 4: Create an Even Base with Liquid Foundation

You can apply an even coat of foundation over the entirety of your face for a more natural look. Apply your foundation on with a makeup sponge, brush, or by using your fingertips.

Step 5: Apply Concealer

Foundation does an admirable job at evening out your skin complexion, but sometimes it’s not enough. Pick a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation and blends in well with your face. 

Step 6: Set your face makeup

When you are sure, all your dark spots and under-eye circles have been covered and blended. Apply a translucent setting powder with a makeup sponge, a powder puff, or a powder brush.

Step 7 - 17 (Bronzer Application)

Step 7: How to Select the Right Shade of Bronzer to apply?

Selecting the correct shade comes down to personal preference, but the general rule is: choose a bronzer a couple of shades darker than your skin tone. Like foundations, some bronzers have warm, neutral, or cool undertones, so it’s essential to pick one that matches your skin complexion to avoid looking overdone or ashy.

Although skin tone can fluctuate depending on the weather, your undertones consistently remain the same and represent your skin’s heat level. If your undertone is not apparent, you can tell by the veins inside of your wrist. If they appear purple or blue, your skin is cool, while olive or green colors means you are warm-toned. A mixture of both colors represents a neutral undertone.

  • For fair skin complexion, choose a honey-colored bronzer
  • If you have a medium skin complexion, look for a gold-flecked or rose-bronze bronzer.
  • Deep skin complexion is best defined and enhanced with amber or tawny bronzer.

Step 8: What Type Of Brush do You Need When Applying Bronzer?

Use a large, tapered, and fluffy powder brush with a rounded top. On the off chance your brush is too little or stiff, it may cause imperfections and lines to form when applying the bronzer. There are specialized angled bronzer brushes available in the market, but any large and fluffy powder brush will work equally. For a neutral and lighter look, use a fan brush instead.

Best Bronzer Brushes

  • Royal & LANGNICKEL CHIQUETM Rose Gold Blush Brush
  • SIGMA Beauty Bronzer/Contour Brush
  • Essence Cosmetics Bronzer Brush


Step 9: Figuring Out Where To Apply Bronzer?

You have purchased a bronzer but don’t know how to use it? Simple, you can utilize your bronzer after completing your regular face makeup that includes foundation, concealer, and loose powder. 

For a sun-kissed, fresh look, areas you want to apply bronzer is the tops of your cheekbones, on the upper forehead, the center of the chin, down the bridge of the nose, and the temples. 

Step 10: How to get the Bronzer Product on My Brush? 

Swirl the brush lightly into the bronzer product. Try to add your bronzer in light and smooth coats to build up the color rather than applying a single dark layer at once. So lightly cover the end of your brush in bronzer product and tap off the excess onto the container’s lid.

Step 11: What area of the Face to Apply Bronzer First?

Starting from your upper forehead and hairline, you apply bronzer in the shape of 3 from the forehead to your face’s chin on both sides. Don’t add too much bronzer, as this may create a massive and fake look.

Note: Complete the three shapes by adding bronzer along your jawline. This technique will help you to define your face. Focus on covering the parts of your face that sunlight tends to strike. 

Step 13: What are the Secondary Areas To apply bronzer? 

Apply your bronzer on your face’s higher points like the chin and nose. Also, apply bronzer on your neck to match your face’s coloring and complete your look’s natural glow. 

Step 14: Remember To Blend The Bronzer You Applied:

Take out another clean and fluffy brush and blend everything in softly, so no lines and imperfections are left. It is essential to blend the neck area, especially. For the most effective results, start your blending in the center and take the brush outward in small circular motions.

Step 15: How to Remove Lines Left Over after Applying Bronzer?

Remove any harsh lines with a translucent powder. If you have blended everything smoothly and still feel your complexion does not look even and subtle in color transition, swirl your brush again in a translucent powder, tap off the excess and blend well. 

Step 16: Miscellaneous Steps

If you want to add more brightness and a rosy glow, apply blush. There is liquid, stick, and powder blush available. Add the blush in the center of your cheek’s apples. Blend with a rounded brush towards the edges of your face. 

Step 17: Complete the final look with a setting spray.

When you have finished,
make sure to spray your full face with a makeup setting spray to keep your face looking new and brilliant all day.

Do You Apply Bronzer Before or After Foundation?

You apply bronzer after you have used foundation. As the name implies, the foundation is the layer that goes on after your primer. It helps your makeup (including your bronzer) stay in place for more extended periods. 

Can You Put a Bronzer On Without Foundation?

Yes, if you are satisfied with your skin tone and condition, you can skip the foundation. Applying bronzer on bare skin without using foundation or any other base product is possible and straightforward to try. It leaves your skin tone looking sun-kissed and fresh. However, make sure to hydrate and protect your skin, using a good moisturizer and sunscreen that suits your skin type and needs, before going in with a bronzer. 

Which Is the Best Bronzer To Apply on My Face: Powder, Cream, or Liquid?

Powder bronzers are always the best versatile option. It’s an excellent choice for oily skin. For oily and textured skin, we would recommend staying away from both liquid and cream bronzers as they tend to settle into pores and enhance the look of your skin texture.

Liquid bronzers are used best on average to dry skin types. Using liquid bronzer to the already moist surface of oilier skins can result in a shiny hot mess. 

Cream bronzers may be the best for dry skin. Just make sure to apply it before any other setting powders, as it may turn your makeup imperfect and patchy. 

For a makeup beginner, in particular, a cream bronzer might be tricky to start with as people tend to lose control of the product. Most cream bronzers also tend to have a shimmer to it, which you should avoid unless you have deep skin or you’re substituting your bronzer for blush. 

If you’re a beginner with dry skin, we recommend you go with a Liquid Bronzer. 

Best Liquid Bronzers

  • Benefit Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer 
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer
  • Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Hydrating Tint Bronzer

Best Cream Bronzers

  • Milk makeup matte bronzer 
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer
  • FENTY Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick

Best Powder Bronzers

  • ESTÉE Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer
  • NARS bronzing powder 
  • L’Oreal Paris True MatchTm Lumi Bronze It Bronzer

Best Bronzer For Different Skin Tones:

Bronzer for Light Skin Tone

For light skin, nailing the right bronzer could be tricky. You will have to pay attention to bronzer’s color, depth, undertone, and pigmentation.

If a bronzer is quite sheer, you can go a bit deeper with the color, but not too much; the number one thing you need to avoid is dusting your cheeks with powder that alters your face into a makeup disaster.

Best Bronzers for Light Skin

A swipe of these soft-matte formulas along the cheekbones and forehead gives your skin a warm, natural-looking flush and creates a beautiful dimension without packing on the products.

  • Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer
  • Becca Sunlit Bronzer In Bali Sands 
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting In Nude Bronze Light Bronzer

Bronzer for Medium Skin Tone

For medium skin complexion, there is less variety available in the market. And what is out, those can look unnatural or ashy on medium skin tone. The trick to testing a bronzer to ensure it will look natural on our face is to apply it on your inner wrist under good lighting. Use your opposite hand to shed a shadow over the swatch, and if you can’t spot the swatch, it’s the perfect shade. If it’s too light or dark, you’ll see it through the shadow.

Best Bronzers for Medium Skin Tone

These bronzers genuinely need no introduction, a classic go-to for light-to-medium skin tones. Since these neutral bronzers also have a matte finish, you can also use it as a contour.

  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer In Caramel
  • Laura Mercier Viva Cuba Bronzing Powder in Soleil 2
  • Kosas Crème Cream Blush & Highlighter Duo In Tropic Equinox


Bronzer for Deep Skin Tone

When you have deep skin, you use bronzer to give your skin an attractive radiance rather than a tan. That means your first preference should be a bronzer with a shimmery finish rather than one with a matte finish. Drawing attention to your features and leave you with a radiant and healthy complexion. Deep brown tones infused with golden undertones or shimmer is always an ultra-flattering option for dark skin complexions.

Best Bronzers for Deep Skin Tone

Start with a highlighter to bring forward the high points of your face, and then add warmth along your cheekbones with a bronzing product like these items. 

  • D-Bronze Tm Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
  • Touch Highlighting Balm In Squeeze
  • Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer

Best Bronzers for mature skin

These flattering bronzers offer the benefits of anti-aging properties and antioxidants protection. If you think that your skin needs this additional care with a sun-kissed glow, your research is over right here. 

  • Tom ford bronzing powder
  • Guerlain moisturizing powder
  • Charlotte tilbury’s filmstar bronze and glow

Dos & Don'ts for Perfect Bronzer Application

  • Always Take An Angled Bronzer Brush For Best-Bronzed Results

Always use a fluffy and angled bronzer brush for flawless bronzer application. Many women use kabuki brushes for bronzer application, but dense bristles can cause you to over apply the product. For an even and lighter application, choose a brush with loosely-packed bristles such as fluffy powder or blush brush.

  • Choose a Bronzer according To Your Skin’s Undertone.

It’s good to be familiar with your skin’s undertone, especially when choosing the right bronzer shade for your complexion. You can select one with a more red-brown or a golden tone to it. But never choose a bronzer with an orange touch as it looks fake and unnatural on almost every skin complexion.

  • Avoid Shimmery Bronzers And Choose Matte Ones

Avoid sparkles for your face, and Stick to a bronzer labeled satin or matte finish instead. Add a little highlighter if you do feel the urge to use a shimmer. Highlight your neck and collarbone with the highlighter. 

  • Apply A Sheer Layer Of Bronzer Instead Of Coating Your Face

A sheer layer of your product applied with a fluffy and broad-brush can look fine if you are very light-handed. But it can quickly turn into overdone makeup and leave your face looking different from the rest of the body. Instead, stick to adding bronzer only on spots that are naturally stroked by the sun, like the top of the nose, along the cheekbones, upper forehead, and jawline. Don’t apply your bronzer all over the face; it will leave your face looking orange and dirty.

  • Avoid Caking your brush with bronzer.

Overloading your brush with the product and then swiping it directly onto the face is a formula for disaster. The bronzer’s color can go on too heavily concentrated in one place. The best practice is swirl, tap, apply, and blend. Swirl your sizable fluffy brush in the product using circular motions to cover the full brush head, and then tap it off the excess product. If you are using cream or liquid bronzer, make sure to gradually layer on the product by adding a single layer at a time, building up until you get a pretty warm and sun-kissed color. 

  • Don’t apply bronzer in a Hurry.

If you are too fast with your bronzer application, you probably could risk getting that way too heavy, which is not what you are looking for. Bronzer is like perfume. You can always add more, but it’s hard to fix if you use too much without washing it all off. 


  • Don’t Use An Overly Deep Shade.

Extra dark colors can make your skin tone look unnatural and dirty, not healthy or sun-kissed. Instead, follow the bronzing rule: choose a 1 or 2 shades shade darker than your foundation or natural skin tone.  

  • Don’t Apply a Liquid Bronzer on Dry Skin.

Using a liquid bronzer on dry skin is a terrible idea, as it will pick up on any patches or flakiness of your skin. It also gets complicated to blend out with the liquid formula. Instead, exfoliate your skin properly before using makeup, follow up with a hydrating moisturizer, and apply bronzer right away. Yes, you can use your bronzer without applying foundation or tinted moisturizer.  


Bronzer is a must-have makeup product. When you are exhausted, tired, and pale, a quick swipe of a bronzer brush can make you look bright, radiant, and awake. Nothing can add warmth, radiance, and richness to sun-starved skin like bronzer. But misapplying it can make your face look orange and dirty. 

Finally, your bronzer is all completed, and now you can continue with the rest of your makeup. \


As the head artist of Farishta Beauty I was inspired by many young individuals who were just like me passionate about makeup.
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