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Back to School Makeup 101: Blush and bronzer

Jenna Busch is a host and writer of all things geek for SCI FI Wire, JoBlo, Huffington Post, AOL, Popeater, Newsarama, UGO, IGN, Moviefone and Geek Week. A New York transplant living in Los Angeles, Jenna has been on many sides of the en...

Get a sunkissed look

It's back to school/back to the makeup store time! It's also time for emails asking for how-to's. Today, we're bringing you a lesson on blush and bronzer.

Teen girl applying blushBlush

Ladies, no matter how many face charts you look at or models you see in magazines, the best way to do natural blush is on the apples of your cheeks. Sure, you can contour your cheeks a la 1986, but when you're just starting out, the easiest thing is to smile big and paint those cherub cheeks.

The best color you can pick is the color you naturally blush. Take a picture! Bring it with you to the store! Remember that what looks pretty in a pot may not look pretty on your face. Use a medium sized fluffy brush, get some color on there and tap the excess off so you don't look like a cartoon character.

You can also choose a liquid or gel stain. If you go with one of those, the application site is the same. But try it out on your arm first so you know how much color you're getting. Some of those stains are intense!

Bronzer

Bronzer is a different story. First of all, don't go too orange. Pick the color that you naturally tan. Look at your arms. We're betting they're a few shades darker than your face. Match the color to those and you'll be fine. Use a big, fluffy brush, tap off the excess and whisk the color over the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheekbones and across the forehead and chin. Exactly where you sunburned that one time...we won't tell your mom. Avoid the tip of your nose. If you're going to bronze, keep the rest of the makeup golden or light. One strong feature should stand out, and if you're going with a golden tan, the rest should enhance it, not fight it.

Finally, take a good look at how much color you have on by a window in natural light. If it looks weird there, it will look weird inside, too.

Now, grab those books and those makeup brushes and have a great year!

More blush & bronzer tips

Use the right blush: Cream vs. powder
How to apply blush perfectly
Bronzers 101: Look baked, not caked

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