Ever been intimidated by a makeup product?
You’re not alone.
Coming a close second to acing the perfect liquid eyeliner, or perhaps third after applying false eyelashes, bronzer is commonly mentioned as a product that sometimes seems just too tricky to attempt.
Get it right though, and it’s a quick way to make skin look glowing, sculpted and healthy. It can even help you look less tired, which is something many of us need a helping hand with.
In the past, bronzers have predominantly been made in a pressed powder format and applied with a large, dense natural-haired powder or bronzer brush.
Makeup artist Lisa Matson advises to look for a shade that suits your skin tone.
“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 suggests.
“Those with medium skin tones can try pinky-brown bronzers and olive skin tones suit copper-based shades. ”
This summer though, in step with the arrival of other cream-formulas like cream blush and stick foundations, there are a host of new cream bronzers.
The benefit of their cream or gel-like texture is a more believable and youthful finish on skin. They generally don’t have any, or very little shimmer, but also won’t appear matte or heavy. If you’re not adept with brushes, they’re also sheer and easy to dab on and blend with your fingers.
Given makeup trends have moved to embrace a more minimalist skin look, rather than anything to perfected or powdery, we’re not surprised by their popularity.
So how to overcome your apprehension about looking patchy, stripy or obvious? The good news is, cream bronzers are designed to ‘melt’ into skin. If anything looks to obvious, you can simply blend more with your fingers or a damp beauty blender sponge.
Three of the best cream bronzers: (L-R): Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream; Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer; NARS Laguna Bronzing Cream
How to apply cream bronzer
Achieve a dimensional sun-kissed natural glow using cream bronzers. Their emollient finish provide a texture that looks closer to a real-skin finish and never look dry or chalky.
- Prep skin by cleansing well and using a hydrating moisturiser, waiting a few minutes after application to ensure it sinks into your skin well. Skin needs to be well exfoliated and hydrated, or colour will catch on flakes and dryness
- Apply any foundation if you want to wear it, although cream bronzer also looks stunning on bare skin.
- For a soft, flattering effect, select a large long-bristled blush or face brush with medium firmness and use a sweeping motion to apply. Once most of the colour is off the brush, use light circular motions to diffuse colour so there are no obvious edges and colour looks natural and glowy.
- Alternatively, pick up a small amount of colour on your fingers and apply to skin patting and then blending well. If you’re after a sun-kissed glow, it’s best to think of where the sun would hit your face from above – the cheekbones, temples, nose and chin – and blend seamlessly. If you want more of a contoured look, apply slightly lower on cheeks, to the hollow of cheekbones. Then, add a touch to the temples and along the hairline and beneath the chin, blending well.
- For a coordinated low-key makeup look, use a dense concealer brush or eye shadow brush to also apply cream bronzer through the crease of eyelids and around the eye area to build warmth and depth.
- Remember, start tentatively with very little colour. It’s easier to add more, than it is to remove too much.