How To Apply Bronzer In 5 Easy Steps

Dear beauty gods: thank you for bronzer. When we stare at our lackluster complexions in the mirror, we’re much happier knowing that a few quick strokes of this magical product can instantly transform our complexions to beach goddess status.

With the belief that everyone deserves perfectly sun-kissed skin (even if your natural skintone happens to be on the paler side), we tapped celebrity makeup artist Lauren Andersen (she’s responsible for Jessica Alba’s golden glow) to show us exactly how and where to apply this makeup bag staple. Turns out, it’s a lot simpler than we thought—all it takes is some clever placement.


Click through the slideshow above for our step-by-step guide on applying bronzer like a pro!

The first step in channeling your inner golden goddess is picking the right bronzer. “In general, you want to work with a bronzer that’s a degree or two deeper than your complexion,” Andersen says. She recommends staying away from any shades with orange undertones, and to choose those with gold tones instead. “If you’re very fair, lean towards shades that are golden and more of a yellow-y color,” she says. “I love Lorac’s bronzer because it’s mineralized and flat!” (And by flat, she means not sparkly or glittery. That’s key!)

Step Two: Sweep Over Cheekbones

“You want the bronzer to hit the peaks of your face,” Andersen says. To start, use a large, angled brush to sweep the bronzer over the top of your cheekbones at a 45-degree angle. 

Step Three: Blend Out

Next, Andersen says to pull the product upwards and blend it out using soft, sweeping strokes. Apply any leftover powder down the bridge of your nose, using a light hand.

Step Four: Tap Excess Product

For the next step, Andersen suggests using a larger, fluffier brush and tapping out the excess product before you start with your hairline and jawline. “You never want a big splotch of product anywhere, so a larger brush comes in handy because it covers a larger space,” she says. 

Step Five: Apply To Hairline

Sweep the bronzer across your hairline, going from the center of your forehead and moving out towards your temples.

Step Six: Finish Under Jawline

This crucial step will help soften any harsh contrast between your newly bronze face and your neck. Start right underneath your ear, and sweep the bronzer towards your chin.

Voila—beautifully bronze!

Now that you’ve mastered bronzer, why not give contouring a go?

Related Stories