What's the Best Way to Create a Natural-Looking Bronzed Face?

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Every year when summer rolls around I find myself trying to master a flawless, sun-kissed look — you know, the one you see on celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Giselle Bundchen? And, almost every year I question whether I’m really “nailing” it. That’s why I decided to consult makeup artist Sonia Kashuk (pictured below) who is known for her flawless, yet natural, application methods in addition to her perfectly-priced line of cosmetics. Here are her tips on how to pick the best bronzer for you — and apply it like a pro:


Tip 1
: Choose the right formula for your skin type.
If you have normal to oily skin, she suggests powder products that “deliver a very delicate shimmering glow.” Try: Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Bronzer, $9.99 or  Sonia Kashuk Shimmering Loose Mineral Bronzer, $8.99.

“For dry/older skin, cream bronzers are a fantastic option as they deliver a healthy glow and adhere beautifully to the skin,” says Kashuk. One to try: Josie Maran Argan Cream Bronzer in Beach No. 1, $15.

Tip 2: Select the color that will look most natural on you.
“Look for something that is two to three shades warmer for your skin,” says Kashuk, and “stay away from anything that looks too orange, you want to go for golden bronzes, not brownish oranges,” she adds.

Tip 3: Choose your tools wisely.
“I personally like to apply powder with an airy [fluffy] brush,” says Kashuk. This will give a “delicate, natural application,” she says. When applying a cream formula, “use a sponge … or a synthetic brush. … Both of these tools will break down the liquid product and beautifully blend it into skin, leaving no evidence of where the bronzer starts and your natural skin tone begins,” she says.

Tip 4: Even out your skin tone before bronzing.
“I always begin any makeup application with a rich moisturizer and my Sonia Kashuk Vitamin-Enriched Primer, $17.99 for a flawless, smooth base. Follow with foundation or tinted moisturizer because you want an even skin tone before you add warmth with bronzer,” she says.

Tip 5: Apply bronzer where the sun does shine.
“Focus application where sunlight naturally hits the face: the apples of cheek, center of the forehead, down the nose, the temples, and jawline. Finish with a quick, light dusting all over the face to ensure the color is blended with no visible lines. The key to flawless bronzing is to avoid striping. Always go back over edges to soften and blur any distinct lines,” says Kashuk.

Tip 6: Use a light hand.
“The key with bronzer is keep it sheer. You don’t want to ever mask the face, you want your skin’s natural texture to show through. Using a sheer formula and airy brush for light application ensures everything will be translucent … bronzer should enhance your skin tone without being too obvious,” she says.

Tip 7: Don’t forget your neck.
“Always remember to extend product onto the neck for [an] even tone and to avoid looking artificial,” she says.

Tip 8: Add blush.
“Once you’ve achieved the right level of intensity with your bronzer, add a pop of color to cheeks with a bit of blush. Bronzer delivers tone to your skin and brightness will come from your cheek color,” says Kashuk.

One warning: If you are extremely fair, Kashuk suggests avoiding bronzer altogether because it will likely look too artificial.

Do YOU have a beauty question? Ask it by commenting on this post or emailing me at beautyeditoroncall@gmail.com.

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