These days, we're all thinking twice before baking in the sun to achieve a golden glow. There are real concerns to consider regarding the negative effects of UV rays on the skin, from premature aging to skin cancer. Fortunately, with the help of bronzer, we can get an instant sun-kissed glow that's pretty and safe for the complexion. The trick is choosing the right color and knowing how to apply it!
The purpose of a bronzer is to subtly darken the complexion, so you'll want to choose a shade that's not too dark or strong -- generally, no more than two shades deeper than your own natural skin tone. Test a little on a clean patch of facial skin: The right shade will warm your skin tone and still look natural. Fair skinned ladies should look for a honey color, medium complexions are usually flattered with a rose-bronze color or a bronzer with a tiny glimmer of gold and darker skin tones look great with a bronzer that is more tawny or amber. If you plan to wear a foundation under the bronzer, you may want to change to a slightly darker base color that makes your skin appear tanner. A darker tone foundation -- start one shade warmer -- will help keep the bronzer from looking too dark or muddy.
Have the tools you need for a flawless application! Choose a wide, fluffy powder brush with a rounded top. Bronzer brushes have more bristles and are packed more tightly -- specifically to allow you to apply more color with each stroke and avoid blotchy results. Look for a bronzer brush made of natural fibers.
Swirl your brush evenly in the bronzer and tap off excess before applying... a little is all you need. Check the look in daylight to make sure that the application isn't too heavy or streaky. You can blend it down with a gentle swipe of a cotton pad if it's a bit too much.
Think three! Create the number three on both sides of your face. Start at the top of your forehead and dust along your cheeks sweeping along the jaw line to your chin. Remember to blend well at the neck to avoid the "mask" look! Apply the bronzer to the areas of your face the sun would normally hit. Build the color gradually to get a more natural looking glow.
Matte bronzers are easiest to work with, but pretty shimmer formulas are beautiful underneath cheekbones and along the bridge of the nose as a highlighter for a fresh, glowing effect. You might also use a touch of the shimmer to enhance your cleavage... just a light dusting is subtle and lovely.
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