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It’s great to rock a golden glow in the summer months without increasing your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. Bronzer is a beauty product that can make you look as if you’re sun-kissed without any awkward tan lines, but if not applied properly, can make you resemble an Oompa-Loompa. Here’s how to use bronzer to make it look as if you spent the perfect amount of time in the sun, even if you haven’t left your basement since the temperatures rose.
Bronzer has come to mean a variety of things. Tanning lotions now come with “bronzer” to help darken tans faster, some self-tanning lotions are mistakenly called bronzers, and the term may be generally used to mean anything that will make you appear more tanned. However, the most widely accepted version of the term bronzer is a tinted makeup that comes in liquid or powder form that will temporarily make you appear more tanned. Unlike sunless or self-tanning products, makeup bronzers are water-soluble, meaning they wash off.
Depending on your preference, you can choose a liquid or powder bronzer. Powders like Covergirl TruBlend Minerals Bronzer or M.A.C. Bronzing Powder are readily available. Charlotte Ronson makes a liquid bronzer called A Summer’s Kiss Face and Body Glow. Use a tester before buying a new bronzer to check how much shimmer is in the powder. There is a wide range of sparkle in different bronzers, so if you’re looking for something more matte, you’d better test out how much glow each one has. Choosing your color is important too. Try to choose a bronzer that is not too far from your skin tone and will complement it. Anything too orange and you’ll look like you’re the next housemate on Jersey Shore, and anything too brown could look ashy on darker skin tones and dirty on pale ones, according to The Guardian.
To apply the powder, use a large makeup brush to pick up some powder, then stroke it against a tissue to remove excess (less is more, you still need to look natural). To apply a liquid bronzer, apply a small amount of the product to the back of your hand and dip a makeup sponge into it, or you can apply a small amount onto your fingers. With both types (and in real estate), the key is location, location, location. You may want a tan all over your face, but in an effort to look natural, it is best to apply bronzer to the places the sun would naturally hit first (think of the first places you get sunburned.) These include the forehead, cheeks, chin, and the bridge of your nose. Some makeup artists advise applying bronzer to the whole nose, but The Guardian suggests skipping that unless you already have an olive or darker skin tone.
While the effects are only temporary, these bronzers will save you from the streaks of an uneven sunless tan or from the risks of sun exposure. Fool everyone around you into thinking you had the time to lie out on the beach, but the good sense to apply just enough sunscreen. Not only will you be gorgeous, you’ll inspire envy in all of the pale people you pass.