You’re Doing It Wrong: Applying Bronzer


While in the early phase of summer, our not-quite tanned skin needs a little boost from good, old reliable bronzer. Although bronzer is one of the most common makeup bag essentials, it’s also one of the most common to be used incorrectly. Turns out women make the mistake of using bronzer like an allover cover-up, as opposed to a targeted highlighter.

“The bronzer is just there to complement your color, not to make you look like an entirely different shade,” says Janice Daoud, NARS lead makeup stylist. “The key is to apply bronzer to areas where the sun would naturally hit.”

Daoud suggests building color gradually. “It is the best way to avoid the mistake of over-applying and creates the depth that you desire while still looking natural.” For the best results, invest in a good brush that makes the blending and diffusing of product simple, like NARS #11 Bronzing Brush ($52, “This medium-sized brush with shorter bristles allows for greater control over the application and helps the product to go on more evenly and appear more blended—there won’t be any streaking or harsh lines.”

And of course, target the correct parts of the face. “Using your brush in a circular swirling motion, focus on the natural contours of the face, like the outer perimeter—along the hairline and forehead, on cheekbones and bridge of the nose.”

Read more: How to Apply Bronzer the Right Way