A great bronzer with a soft reflect is your best option if you’re after a glowing, bronzed complexion, according to Lisa Matson, L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics New Zealand’s make-up director. “The safest bet is to find a neutral-toned bronzer, one that isn’t too orange or red, but more golden, especially if you have fair skin,” she explains. Those with medium skin tones can try pinky-brown bronzers and olive skin tones suit copper-based shades. If you’re already wearing fake tan, Matson says it’s important to try and match your bronzer to your body shade so you don’t look uneven. “Ultimately, you want your skin to look naturally warm and sun-kissed, only a few shades darker than your natural shade.” As for whether you opt for a matte or shimmery bronzer, the finish really depends on the look you want to achieve, says Matson. “Soft shimmery bronzers look great all over, but super shimmery bronzers are better for the body or to highlight areas of the face. Matte bronzers are perfect for contouring.”
Application and the tools you use are key to ensuring you end up with just the right amount of tanning. Brush size really depends on where you are applying bronzer. “A large dense natural-haired powder or bronzer brush is perfect for the face and body, but if you’re using bronzer as a blush or contour, then use a smaller brush to suit,” says Matson. Apply bronzer where you want to enhance colour or even up tan marks. “Use a rotating motion when applying, starting with a light touch and applying more pressure as the product runs out,” she says. “When applying bronzer to your face start around the outside and work your way in, so the centre of your face doesn’t look too dark.”
Once you’ve perfected your bronzer, is it too much to wear a blush too? “Bronzer by itself is fine, especially if you’re heading to the beach,” says Matson. “But a little extra warmth on the apples of the cheek with a pink- or apricot-toned blush is definitely more flattering.” And if you’ve forgone the sun’s rays and the self-tanner, Matson recommends using a bronzer just like you would your regular blush.
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