Winters may be associated with gloom, but that does not mean you store away one of the most essential products in your vanity (read: bronzer) for sunny summer months. In fact, the sun-kissed glow is exactly what is needed on chilly winter days to warm things up a bit. So if you are planning to add a bronzer to your make-up kit, or possess one that isn’t receiving much love, here lies the answer to your question — are you using the right shade?
First things first, many confuse bronzing with contouring. While contouring is all about shadow play and our relentless drive to chisel out those non-existent cheekbones and ditch that double chin, the sole purpose of a bronzer is to add warmth to the skin.
Watch out for the undertone
A thumb rule while buying most makeup products is to take note of the undertone of the product. To do this, first take a look at your skin’s undertone. If you are someone who has green veins on their wrist, you have a warm undertone. If you have blue veins, you are on the cooler side, and if you cannot figure out the blue or the green, well, you are plain lucky and can apply literally anything.
If you have a cool undertone, your skin is most likely to turn pink in the sun. Thus, go for shades which have a soft brown tone or a warm peachy tone. In fact, shades of beige and taupe will work well for you as well. If you are on the warmer side, golden-brown tones will be your new partners in crime. For those who have a neutral shade, basic brown-based bronzers should be your option.
Bronzer finishes: Types
Matte bronzer: These bronzers are double-duty and can be your on-the go contouring product. In fact, these suit all skin types since they do not highlight imperfections or texture on your skin.
Shimmer bronzer: This type, unlike the matte version, has shimmer which also highlights your face so you do not need a highlighter to top it up. However, you cannot use this to contour because of its highlighting effect. A note: this bronzer does not go down well with skin that has texture or acne scars and marks as it will end up highlighting them. However, it makes for a good everyday neutral eye shadow.
Sheer bronzer: If you are someone who is a fan of the no-makeup makeup look, this is the bronzer for you. It gives you that perfect tanned look. Apply it on the cheekbones and the temples to get the bronzed sun-kissed look.
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Bronzer formula types
While most of us just know about the powdered versions, bronzers come in three different forms:
Powder bronzers: This is the most well-known form and works best for those who have oily skin. Just swipe your brush on the product and apply it as below.
Liquid bronzers: This type has a thin consistency and can be built up as per one’s requirement. They work best when you need a glowing look, because they blend with the foundation seamlessly. However, your blending needs to be on point otherwise it will leave streaks on your face.
Cream bronzers: They offer a subtle glow to your face and work best for those who have a dry or combination skin type. These work best when the product is blended with fingers, since the warmth allows it to settle onto the skin. They also last longer than their counterparts.
The trick to perfectly applying bronzers is to check on all the areas sunlight would fall on your face when you step out. Once, you have done that with a light hand, swirl your fluffy brush on the pan of the product, tap off the excess and lightly brush the points which the sun hits. If you cannot figure this out, simple apply the bronzer in the shape of ‘3’. Begin applying at the top of your forehead, then your cheeks and merge into your side burn and then your jawline. Do this on either side of your face.