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How to Use Bronzer: 4 Ways to Enhance Your Complexion With Bronzer

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*

This is a revised post on How to Put on Bronzer from the dead and buried Into the Palette blog.  The many techniques in this post are just a guide to show how bronzer can enhance the complexion.  There is nothing worse than overdoing it and looking like some pumpkin head or an Oompa Loompa!


Bronzer comes in many forms.  You don't have to use just the usual powder for it.  You can use a cream product or even a foundation like Joe Blasco Ultrabase foundations in the Tan Collection to mimic a tan glow.  If you aren't into wearing much makeup, then I suggest Skin Illustrator Glazing Gels.  The line has a couple of tan-colored stains which allow your skin to look like skin and not heavy makeup.  Ingenious product and it is great for men! 

Check out the post: What is Bronzer Used For?

Now, that you have picked your bronzer, how about application? In the following with the help of Aldona from Working Beauty, I will show four ways to apply bronzer.  From the conventional to the unconventional.  With the four different ways are brushes you can use to make application easier.  This is mainly for powders.  For creams and liquids, I suggest a sponge or synthetic brushes.

Starting off, here is Aldona with no bronzer.

No Bronzer Face

For every application of bronzer, I ALWAYS do these two procedures:

  • I apply any what little bronzer is left after application and apply onto the ears.  Why? There is nothing worse than having a gorgeous dimensional bronzed face and white ears! 

  • I also apply bronzer onto the neck and onto the chest if the outfit is a low-cut front.  Again, nothing worse than seeing a separation of the face from the rest of the body.


The first method is the Sunkissed look.  This look is applying the bronzer where the sun would hit.  In many cases people interpret this as the whole face which the sun does hit when one stands in full sunlight.  Basically, it just means applying to the parts that end up highlighted or where the sun would hit first on your face or usually concentrating the color on the front part of your face.  This would be the forehead, nose, the high points of the cheeks.  The brush used here is just a soft powder brush to give a soft application.  Just dip the brush in the bronzer and swipe a bit on a kleenex or the back of your hand.  It is always easier to add more than subtract and you also get a smooth or streak free application.

The area of application is outlined in red and the arrows show the direction of the brush. You don't have to stay within the lines but stay within that area.  The powder brush is used here because it is soft and fluffy and will apply a soft and sheer application. 

Sunkissed - Suggested Brush

Area of Application

How to Apply


The finished look on the left without any blush.  On the right, added blush.  This results in a soft healthy glow.

Bronzed and Contoured

This method is good for both men and women.  The bronzer gives that tan touch but also gives some shape to the face.  A smaller brush should be used since the application is a bit more precise but not too precise.  A blush brush can be used or even a contour brush.

Bronzer application is marked in red and the arrows show the direction of the brush.  Again no need to stay within the lines but stay within that general area.

Bronze & Contoured- Suggested Brush

Area of Application

How to Apply


You can leave the look as is without any added blush color like Aldona's on the left, or add just a touch on the apple of the cheeks like the picture on the right.

The 3 or E

Depending on which way you look at it.  This one seems to be the most common, just applying the bronzer in a 3 pattern on both sides of the face.   You can close up the forehead and leave the chin open, vice versa or just close both ends up.  Whatever you feel comfortable with. For this one I use a flat top brush.  This brush will apply a bit more color than the powder brush but will also blend the areas easily without looking like you tried so desperately to apply a bronzer.

I don't show the arrows going onto the ears in this one but don't forget them!

The 3 or E- Suggested Brush

Area of Application

How to Apply


Finish the look as is or add some blush for some color as shown on the right.

The Unconventional

This is an application I have been doing for quite some time due to my laziness in makeup application.  I usually do this before eyeshadow application because it gets rid of the brow bone bulge.  Like Thom Surprenant, the Hollywood makeup artist and the Westmores, I like to think outside the box.  Let's see if this catches on.  If it does, you know where you read about it (and where the credit goes to)!

I like to use a brush that is compact at the tip a bit.  This is a chubby blender brush.  An Artis Oval 6 also works great!

This method crisscrosses the face, therefore when it does; it is important to start right at the browbone because the concentration of bronzer powder will diminish as it crosses the nose.

The Unconventional - Suggested Brush

Area of Application

How to Apply

On the left is the look as is and on the right is some blush.  The eyes are lightly colored with the bronzer.  This is an all-around simple and fresh look.  Or just plain easy/lazy for the maturely beautiful women out there!  And you know who you are!


I hope this gave you some ideas on how to apply bronzer.  Remember, none of these are set rules, just guides to a more enhanced you.

*Special thanks to Aldona*

Read by the Intelligent! Uncredited, copied, and plagiarized by the idiots!
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