How To Wear Bronzer

Warm Tan
Warm Tan

There’s a lot of real estate on your cheeks, and you've probably noticed that the shades meant for the hollows have no business on the apples. The success of 'perfect' cheekbones or that flush that feigns coyness very much relies on placement. But since the system failed us by not making blush application part of the standard junior-high curriculum, we asked makeup artist Suzy Gerstein to help us make a hard-and-fast guide to where to put what colors—and why. Today (in our last and final installment of our How To Wear Blush series) we're talking bronzer.

The Effect: This is really nice for giving the impression that you've been in the sun without the danger of actually going in the sun. Using a warm tan blush as a bronzer works really well when layered with a pink blush. If you do too much peach on top of a bronze, it looks too Jersey Shore, but pink looks elegant and healthy.

The Placement: You can use any technique, but the places you want to apply bronzer are where the sun would usually hit. Across the high planes of the cheeks, at the bridge of the nose, across the chin, and a little bit in the crease of the eye, under the eye, and on the forehead. After applying it in a large rectangle—across the cheek for long faces, and in a curved, upward movement for rounder faces—use what’s left on the brush to do the rest of the face, especially for under the eye. After putting on concealer, blending a tiny bit of bronzer under the eye will make the concealer look like it’s your actual skin.

The Products: You can do this with cream, but powder is usually the easiest for most women. Those new Chanel Les Beiges in the two darkest colors are great as bronzers. Clinique Stay Matte Powder comes in shades deeper than most skin tones, which can work as bronzers as well. For a cream version, I also like the Nars The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta, and RMS Buriti Bronzer—that one works great as a lipstick and eyeshadow for a full 'beach bunny' look.

—Suzy Gerstein

You can follow Suzy on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Here's her website. Illustrations by Suzy Gerstein.