Are bronzers made for everyone? Here's why it deserves a spot in your makeup bag
Here's a thought: bronzers aren't that scary once you get a hang of how to apply it and how useful it can be to breathe life to your visage. Blushers are great too, don't get me wrong, but there are times when I feel like my mostly pale/yellow-toned complexion could do with some warmth—and I'm not talking about exposing my face under the sun (it's just not worth it, even with sunscreen).
I admit, I never used to understand the necessity of bronzers; mainly because I didn't see the point of it—words of a true sucker for blushers of all formulations. But recently, I came across a bunch of new bronzer sticks that also work as allover colour sticks (blusher, bronzer and lip colour in one, how about that?)
After discovering the relative ease of swiping both colour and depth on my face, it was only then that I realise that bronzers could work to my favour. Ahead, a couple of lessons I learnt along the way as this summer staple becomes a permanent addition in my makeup bag:
It's actually not that difficult
Before you snort at the idea of actually using bronzers, hear me out—all you need is a good makeup brush and powder formula (leave cream and liquid bronzers to the seasoned makeup lovers).
Coming from someone with untouched bronzer palettes lying idle at the bottom of my makeup bag, trust me when I say that it's pretty straightforward once you get a hang of it. Not to mention, once you get over your fear of muddy (unblended) dark patches all over your face.
The trick here is to blend, blend and blend. At a risk of sounding like a broken record, having a good hand when it comes to blending, along with using the right products really can do you a favour.
In case you need some help, catch this straightforward tutorial by makeup artist Alexandra Anele:
You can get a sun-kissed glow... without getting sun damage
Want your face to look like it's got a smidgen of colour but not quite willing to go out in the sun? Or perhaps a more sculpted #lewk for your selfies (without resorting to Facetune)? That bronzer palette is your five-minute lifesaver. Also, it's especially useful for fair-skin individuals (like yours truly) who are more likely to suffer a burn than getting a few shades tanner.
While highlighters offer a high-beam finish and blushers impart a natural flush, bronzers sculpt your features and add a warm glow for a three-dimensional look—especially handy for the camera.
If you find that your visage looks ‘flat’ (read: little to no dimension) in past pictures, try using a bronzer to give it more depth.
It won't make you look like Cheetos
... unless you intend for it to!
If you're on the pale side and don't see the point of using a bronzer, here's a reason to consider adding it to your beauty bag—it's not going to give you an unnatural-looking tan (or an unhealthy orange undertone), but more about evening out your skin tone and enhancing your natural colour.
Just make sure to pick the right undertone
For those with lighter skin tones, go with a bronzer that's no more than two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone—you don't want to have complexion in a completely different shade than the rest of your limbs. If you're apprehensive about going in with a darker shade, try one shade darker at the very least. Also, when you're testing out a new bronzer, try it on under natural light—and always on the inside of your wrist or forearm.
Those with light to medium skin tones can try a neutral shade with no red/brown undertones, while medium to dark skin tones can opt for bronzers with red undertones and plenty of shimmer to bring out your natural complexion.
Finish wise, a shimmery bronzer is perfectly fine if you're looking for a hint of sparkle. But if your skin is textured and falls under the oily/combination category, matte bronzers may work better without adding on the shine factor.
Fun fact: it's much easier to use a bronzer than to pick up contouring
If you find that contouring doesn't work as well to flatter your face shape (read: those with rounder, youthful-looking cheeks, I feel you) or you tend to shy away from looking completely made up, bronzers could be a great alternative.
On a personal note, I'm all for contouring—but I don't always want to look stage-ready on the daily. Not to mention, the amount of time that goes into blending dark stripes on my face to make it look natural? Let's just say that the luxury of time is one thing I do not have in the mornings.
I do love using a peach-toned bronzer in place of a blusher if my skin is looking on the sallow side. A swathe of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light usually does the trick, plus it's buildable and really light and easy on the skin.
But another important thing to note is where you plonk your bronzer—use a bronzer brush to impart a light wash of bronzer on top of your cheekbones instead of under (remember, you're not contouring here) will give your complexion a diffused warmth.
For more makeup tips and tricks, click here.