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Five of the best bronzers for a subtle, sun-kissed glow and how to apply them

Five of the best bronzers for a subtle, sun-kissed glow and how to apply them

It’s the time of year where a full face of makeup seems a bit labour-intensive but a touch of easygoing colour is just the ticket when you want to feel a little bit put together.

Given we all should be dedicated to wearing a full face of SPF to protect our skin from sun damage and premature lines and pigmentation, adding a touch of depth to skin with a bronzer is the healthy way to give a nod to summer colour. 

The best bronzers are predominantly matte to provide the face flattering dimension and a touch of contour, but also impart an almost imperceptible lit-from-within glow. 

But if there ever is an appropriate time for accentuating the high points of the face with an extra touch of gilt shimmer, now is surely it. 

Powder formulas will look slightly drier on your face and can help with oily skin but make sure you’ve moisturised well and let that moisture sink in before applying or it can catch on dry areas. If colour catches on moist areas try applying a touch of translucent powder before your bronzer.

Bronzing should be a lesson in restraint, with just a hint of radiance and colour so start with less and build up, reevaluating in natural light before adding more. 

For novices the best option is applying a powder version from a compact, a shade one or two tones deeper that your natural skin tone with a matte finish that’s devoid of excess shimmer.

If you’re after a more dewy, fresh look, try a cream or stick bronzer and apply by striping along cheekbones and blending into skin with your fingers, or try a sheer gel. Less is more so start with a tiny amount, blend and then add more if needed.  

Using a powder product? Use a light touch with a very fluffy blush or powder brush so you’re not left with any obvious stripes. Swirl across the surface of the compact then tap the excess off lightly so you don’t add too much colour, before applying to your skin. 

Start by dusting along the tops of cheekbones where the sun naturally hits, then use the brush without adding any more colour to give a once over lightly to temples and beneath the jawline for even definition. 

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer

With a huge pan-size that will last you long after summer’s rays have faded into autumn, Charlotte Tilbury’s bronzer is a go-to. Not shimmery but not flat-looking, it’s easily buildable so you start out with a subtle look, and it appears very natural on. What’s more, there are four shades with options that suit very pale or very deep skin tones too. Infused with hyaluronic acid, this pore-blurring formula leaves skin with a soft-focus glow.

Gucci Poudre De Beauté Éclat Soleil Powder

This has the most divine case so once you’ve applied, carry it with you in your handbag – you’ll want to whip this one out for touch ups! It also comes in five shades, meaning it will work for many more skin tones, something that’s sorely lacking when it comes to bronzer options.

Clarins Ever Bronze Compact Powder

Let’s hear it for an understated bronzer! Hard to overdo, this lightweight, silky new bronzing duo has a matte finish and two slightly different shades in the one compact, handy if you’re someone that sometimes wears fake tan on your face so your skin is occasionally a deeper tone. The two colours can also be used to gently contour. It has natural plant oils so it wont look dry or flaky but doesn’t feel greasy like cream bronzers sometimes can.

Estée Lauder Healthy Glow Bronzer

The tiny amount of peachy-pink radiance this bronzer – that also comes in a slightly deeper option – gives fair skin a natural but not overblown radiance that’s perfect for wearing without any other makeup if you please.

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder

It is very hard to go past NARS when it comes it great bronzer options. Its famous shade Laguna is iconic. The original is a winner and has a touch of shimmer but the brand has also made this option that offers a flawless matte finish. It creates a sculpted and bronze finish that looks natural, never muddy.


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