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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Makeup. Article: The Power of Bronzer!

The weather is finally getting warmer and you want your skin to glow.  Or, maybe where you are the weather is still cool and your skin is paler than you'd like, so you want to warm up your skin and make it look sun-kissed.  Well ladies, if you've noticed, bronzer is probably one of the most popular beauty products out there!  Most women can't live with out it regardless of their age, skin tone, or skin type.  It's that one product that can make or break your look.  When done wrong, women can look baked and overdone rather than sun-kissed, but when done right, watch out world!  Bronzer really didn't hit the masses until Jennifer Lopez became the infamous J.Lo.  It was J.Lo's bronzed look in all her videos and magazine shoots that began the Bronze Madness!

There's something about the Power of Bronzer!  Even more fun.  There's something about linking bronzer with blush that will transcend any skin tone.  So if you are blond with blues eyes, a red-head with freckles, olive toned, light, medium, or dark brown, you cannot go wrong with the bronzer/blush combination.  It can give just the right amount of color to warm any and all skin tones.  Just enough color to give you that sun-kissed look and that beautiful healthy glow that everyone wants.  What's even better and healthier?  You can now get that glow without laying out in those harsh sun rays.

So how do you achieve this look?  Below you will find tips for a flawless, sun-kissed glow using a bronzer, blush, and highlighter.  A list of suggested bronzer and blush colors for various skin tones will follow.  These tips, if followed correctly, will give you that perfect look every time.  But before we start, it is very important to mention the most common mistake of using too much!  Please use it in moderation.  When using too much, you will come off looking over baked, and in some cases, like you placed your face in the dirt.  So again, using your bronzer in moderation is key.  Are you ready to achieve that beautiful glow?  Here are the items you'll need - powder brush, blush brush, moisturizer, foundation (if you use), powder, bronzer, blush, and highlighter.  Now that you have your tools, here are your steps:
  1. Prep your skin.  You can do this either by using a moisturizer, a primer, or both.  If you are using both, moisturize your skin first before priming.  After you place your moisturizer on, you will want it to sit for about 15 minutes before beginning.  This will give enough time for your moisturizer to set into your skin.
  2. Apply your foundation.  If you don't wear foundation, you can skip this step.
  3. Apply your powder.  This is a very important step for everyone (even for you non makeup wearers).  If you wear a cream or liquid foundation, you will need to set it with a powder.  If you have a bare face, you will need a mineral, pressed or translucent powder to minimize your shine and oils.  The goal here is to have a powder finish so your bronzer will not look streaked.  In terms of powder application, you will want to dab and buff by using a powder brush or the MAC Buff Brush #182 brush (which is great).  If you don't have this, any powder brush will be fine.  If you have a pressed powder, what comes in your compact will be okay as well.  If you wear foundation, the dab technique will not disturb your foundation.
  4. The best applicator brush bronzer is the MAC Powder/Blush Brush #129.  If you have a Buff Brush that was mentioned earlier, you will not want to use it as it holds too much color.  As an alternative, a powder or blush brush will be fine.
  5. Now for your Bronzer. To achieve a natural look, apply your bronzer onto all the areas the sun would naturally hit on your face.  Since the the weather's getting warmer, step outside and look up towards the sun.  Wherever you feel the sun hit on your face, this is where you will be applying your bronzer.  The four key areas will be along your hairline (forehead), your cheekbones, bridge of nose, and chin.
  6. Swirl your brush into the bronzer and tap to get rid of the excess and begin at the hairline.  Swirl and tap your brush and continue along the cheekbone and blend towards the hairline.  Swirl and tap again and apply on your chin.  Sweep up and down the nose a couple times and you're done.
  7. Don't add more bronzer here, but tap your brush again and from your cheekbone, blend down.  This will ensure that the bronzer blends into the skin and looks natural.
  8. Adding your blush is easy.  Simply take your same brush and smile.  This will be where you apply the blush.  The apples of the cheeks.  Then blend upward.
  9. Highlighting will give you that EXTRA glow!  This is an added step.  Great for an evening bronzed look.  To highlight, you will want to take a small fan brush or a smaller blush brush.  The key to highlighting is placement.  You will want to place it right above your blush (not underneath your eye) and follow upward (just like you did with your blush).  The highlighter is beautiful and will give the illusion of your cheeks being lifted.  The light will hit your cheekbones and you will have a beautiful, healthy glow.
Listed below are the best bronzers, blushes, and highlighters for every skin tone.  MAC has some amazing colors for all skin colors.  Other brands included are Nars, Bobbi Brown, and Laura Mercier.  There are two types of bronzers when you're deciding on which one to get.  MAC has three Bronzers that all contain a little bit of shimmer which is beautiful.  However, if you would like a matte bronzed look, which will give you more of a natural finish, then the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Powders (in the darker shades) are amazing for that matte finish.  Below you will find the suggestions based on each skin tone.  Scroll down to find where you fit best:
  • For fair, tan, to medium tan tones - For bronzer, the MAC Bronzer in Golden or MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Powders in Dark or Deep Dark.  For blush, more pink tones.  Nars has a beautiful color called Orgasm which is a mix of pink and golden tones or MAC Mineralize Blush (Duo) in Rhapsody in Two. For a highlighter, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle.
  • For medium brown tones - For bronzer, MAC Bronzer in Deeper Bronze or MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Comfort or Warmed (both shimmer) and for a more matte bronzer, Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Basic Brown. For blush, pinks and goldens are beautiful.  MAC Plum Foolery (pink), Laura Mercier Blushing Apple, MAC Gingerly (golden), MAC Coppertone (golden), and Nars Orgasm. For a highlighter, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne.
  • For darker brown tones - For bronzer, MAC Bronzer in Bronze.  For blush, coppers and oranges are beautiful like MAC Raisen and for pinks, Nars Crazed is a good choice. For a highlighter, MAC Shimpagne.
Try these shades and you will have a fool proof, sun-kissed finish.  Here's to you and your beautiful glow!

Copyright 2010 Lori Moore.  All Rights Reserved.


  1. I love my Bronzer Lori!! You provided great tips in regards to the application of the Bronzer. I didn't know up until a few months ago that you need to apply powder first on your skin prior to the bronzer.

  2. That's great Akilah! I'm so glad these tips have helped you.