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Bronzer basics

Feeling like your skin looks as grey as the winter sky? Steer clear of tanning beds (unless it’s wrinkles, fine lines and raising your melanoma risk that you want) and go for a bronzer instead.

Applying bronzer

If you’ve always been interested in trying a bronzer but haven’t known where to start, here’s a primer to get you bronzing like a pro. Breana Powell, a freelance makeup artist based in Toronto, shares her top tips on getting that natural golden glow.

How to pick the right shade

Try a few shades of matte bronzer and choose one that is two shades darker than your skin, says Powell, who’s part of the L’Oreal Paris makeup team. “Stay away from shimmer bronzers — they can look tacky and contrived,” she says. If you’re really keen on some shimmer, she recommends applying a matte bronzer and later adding some highlighting with another product to get the dewy look you’re after.

Make sure to test a few different shades of a variety of brands in daylight (if possible). What you are looking for is a shade with no orange tone to it at all. Powell recommends powder bronzers over cream bronzers, especially if you’re a newbie. “Cream bronzer can be heavy and [it’s] harder to blend well.”

If you want to ease into using bronzer, perhaps try using a powder foundation in a shade two colours darker than your skin to add subtle colour to your skin in the same way.

How and where to apply bronzer

Before you even pick up your bronzer, make sure your skin is not oily — “oil can make bronzer look patchy and dirty,” says Powell. Also, to help absorb oil, be sure to powder your face before you apply the bronzer.

Once your skin is prepped, grab your bronzer brush. For applying bronzer, Powell recommends a medium-sized brush with soft bristles with a rounded tip, as it’ll give the most even application.

As for where to apply it, you want to be placing bronzer where the sun would hit you naturally and tan your skin. “Blend around the hairline on the forehead and down the temples to the cheekbones,” says Powell. “Think of it as drawing a ‘C’ on your face.” Next, dust a little across your nose, but not too much (“this can make the nose appear bigger,” she says). Softly brush your chin, and to finish it off sweep bronzer onto your neck and decollete as well.

More beauty tips

10 ways to change your winter skin care routine
The truth about tanning: Indoor and outdoor tanning dangers
Blackheads be gone

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