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Where Do You Apply Bronzer?

Face Makeup

Where Do You Apply Bronzer? Where Do You Apply Bronzer? Where Do You Apply Bronzer?

Bronzer is a beloved makeup product—we’d even go so far as to say it’s a face makeup essential all year round. But do you know the right way to apply your bronzer to create a natural-looking, sun-kissed makeup look? The trick isn’t to sweep bronzer all over your face, nor is it to focus bronzer solely on your cheekbones. That’s right, applying bronzer isn’t limited to your cheekbones. So, where do you apply bronzer? Here, we’re walking you through how and where to apply your bronzer, plus some of our best tips for faking a sun-kissed glow 365 days a year. 


Bronzer might just be one of the most misunderstood makeup products. While you may assume its purpose is to give you a tan, that isn’t quite right—that’s what self-tanner is for. Bronzer, on the other hand, can be used to give your complexion a lit-from-within glow that makes it look as if you just returned from a Caribbean vacation. When done right—and applied to the right spots—bronzer can also help you create a sculpted or even contoured visage. Here, we’re answering your queries about where to apply bronzer with five spots that could do for a bronzed glow.


You already know about this one, but the number one spot for bronzer is your cheekbones. For a sculpted and defined look, swipe bronzer onto your lower cheekbones, then swipe a little highlighter onto the tops of your cheekbones. As a general rule for sculpting and contouring with makeup, the light makeup shades (and highlighter) should be applied to the higher points of your face, while the darker ones go where shadows naturally occur. If you overdo it with the bronzer on your lower cheekbones or want a subtler look, use a makeup blender dipped in translucent powder to smooth things over.


Applying a bit of bronzer on your jawline will help create the illusion of a more chiseled face. Take a closer look the next time you’re scrolling through pictures of celebrities on the red carpet, and we bet that almost everyone you see will be using this makeup technique. To try it out for yourself, simply swipe bronzer onto both sides of your jawline running from underneath your chin to about an inch from your ears. If you want a look that’s more contoured than bronzed, choose a matte bronzer that’s about two shades darker than your skin tone. After you apply the bronzer, run a clean powder brush along your jawline to blend everything together—the goal isn’t harsh dark lines but rather to accentuate the natural shadow of your jawline.


Do you pay much attention to your forehead when you’re applying makeup? If not, you should be! Your temples are one of the best places to apply bronzer. If you wish your forehead looked a little smaller, this makeup trick can even help with that! Simply swirl a powder brush into your bronzer, tap off the excess, and apply a light dusting onto both temples.


Once you’ve applied bronzer onto your temples, you’ll also want to use some on your hairline, and then connect the dots, so to speak. Using your face powder brush again, start in the middle of your forehead and apply the bronzer along your hairline in either direction, connecting it with your bronzed temples.


That’s right—applying bronzer isn’t limited to just your face! One of the best places for a bronzy glow is your chest! If you truly want to make people think you’ve been jet-setting in tropical locales, you can’t only be bronzed on your face, now can you? To try out this technique, apply your bronzer onto the divots on either side of your collarbones. The tops of your collarbones (and even your shoulders) are also a great place to dust on a little highlighter—might as well while you’re at it!  


Does bronzing sound a bit complicated? To keep things simple, give the “3” method a shot. All you need to do is imagine the shape of the number three—or the letter “E”—on the side of your face, with your temples, cheekbones, and jawline each being one part of the number. Visualize the shape, then sweep your bronzer on in that pattern. Ta-da!


Now that you know all of the best places to apply your bronzer, you’re probably wondering which bronzer to use. We’re partial to using a bronzer that also gives off a slight shimmer effect, creating an instant sun-kissed glow. The L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer does just that and comes in three different shades.


As we mentioned, bronzer isn’t meant to go all over your face or give you a tan—that’s the job of self-tanner. So, if you’re actually looking for a long-lasting way to get an all-over just-back-from-the-beach glow, self-tanner is exactly what you need. And don’t worry, today’s self-tanners won’t leave you looking bright orange and streaky. Better still, there are plenty of different types of self-tanner—from serum to lotion to mousse—so you’re sure to find a formula that works best for you and your preferred application style. Interested in adding self-tanning to your beauty routine? Here are three of our best self-tanners for you to choose from.

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum: This quick-dry, streak-free serum can be used on your face and body for sun-kissed skin from head to toe.

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse: If a lightweight feel is what you’re after, this self-tanner mousse is just the thing. The formula is also invisible, which we know you’ll love!  

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium: Formulated with vitamin E, this gradual sunless tanning lotion nourishes skin while providing a natural-looking, streak-free tan.

We gave you a few hints about where to apply highlighter earlier, but how about getting the full scoop? Here are 7 Places on Your Face to Apply Highlighter.