Who doesn’t love a naturally sun-kissed glow on their skin? Whether it’s from a day spent outdoors (wearing mineral-based SPF, of course) or through expert bronzing techniques, adding a dash of healthy-looking color helps shape the face, and helps skin look lively, radiant and fresh.
Luckily, bareMinerals has a collection of clean bronzing formulas — in pressed, loose and liquid formats — that create that just-vacationed, effortless look, without the need for potentially damaging sun rays. If you already have a little tan going on, you can easily skip your foundation and concealer and simply add a bit of bronzer to help smooth and perfect your glowing complexion. If you’re looking for a bit more drama, add a little lip color, mascara and a pop of pink or coral brush to amp things up.
The key to beautiful bronzing is keeping the effect as natural-looking as possible. As a rule, I favor fluffy brushes, as they allow you to apply product seamlessly, and won’t over-deposit your formula in one place. When it comes to bronzing, remember the golden rule: start with a small amount of product and build, rather than having to undo what you’ve already applied. Below are some of my favorite expert tips for your dreamiest bronzer application ever.
bareMinerals Bronzing Formulas, Explained
People tend to gravitate towards pressed powders because they are very user-friendly and great for on-the-go use. Our ENDLESS SUMMER Bronzer has a blurring effect to make skin look smoother, plus a gradual glow complex to build healthy-looking color over time. I also love using pressed bronzer as an eyeshadow to enhance the eye bone structure, or adding it to the lower lash line using the Expert Shadow & Liner Brush to bring out natural eye shape without the need for too much makeup.
bareMinerals began with loose mineral products, so loose bronzers are a staple for us. Loose bronzers are pretty much the same idea as a pressed powder, but you have a little more control because you can decide the amount of product to place onto skin. Simply shake the desired amount into the cap, swirl the minerals into the brush, tap off excess product into the cap and sweep onto the face in the desired areas to create your sun-kissed skin (more on placement below!). I recommend fluffier brushes like The Seamless Shaping & Finish Brush or the Supreme Finisher Brush.
Liquid bronzer is extremely versatile as it can be mixed with liquid foundations, skincare formulas or liquid highlighters for a luminous, glistening effect. (When it comes to mixing and matching, best to stay “like for like,” meaning always pair the same type of formulas with each other, to avoid compromising the textures). Liquid bronzer gives you plenty of control, as you can apply it directly to the spots on the face where you want it. You can also use your liquid bronzer to “underpaint”, creating depth and dimension under foundation, creating a more subtle, “glow from within” look. I love our BAREPRO Glow Bronzer, which offers sheer, natural-looking color with light-reflecting mineral pearls.
Finding Your Bronzing Shade
If you are new to bronzer and looking for your perfect shade, it’s best to start with your undertone. If you have a cooler undertone, our Faux Tan shade is for you. If you are warmer, go for Warmth. These shades are available across all of our bronzer formulas, so once you’ve picked your shade, you can choose the format that works for you. This is not to say you can’t mix and match a cooler bronzer with a warmer one — you can certainly layer them for a more dimensional effect (more on this next).
Looking Sculpted vs. Sun-Kissed
You can use your bronzer to sculpt your skin and create structure, or for a more sun-kissed effect. To sculpt and shape, place your bronzer in the hollows of the face, as deeper shades give the illusion to set things backwards, or recede (deeper, matte shades work well for this). If you’re going for more of sun-kissed glowing look, place your bronzer where you naturally get sun first — on the nose, cheeks, chin, brow bone and forehead — for a natural-looking wash of bronze (luminous or soft matte finishes are best).
Sweep Upwards and Outwards
As you apply your bronzer, I recommend an “upwards and outwards” motion because it leaves behind a natural, slightly lifted effect. Always start with cheeks, then use whatever is left over to get the remaining high points (rather than picking up more product). On the nose, you can apply in an up and down motion; on the forehead, sweep gently side to side; on the brow bone, sweep side to side like you would an eyeshadow. Also, don’t forget your ears! Make sure to sweep whatever is left on the brush onto the ears.
A Little Light Reflection
For a naturally glistening look, you can add a little highlighter on top of the bronzer on the cheekbones and brow bone. This mimics the light reflection of the sun hitting your face. For example, take one of the ENDLESS GLOW Highlighters and sweep on the top of the cheek and brow bones, over where bronzer was applied. This still allows the bronzing color to come through, but it will look like you’re glistening.
Adding Bronzer to Skincare
For an all-over glow that mimics that “I’ve been at the beach” look, add half of a pump of BAREPRO GLOW Liquid Bronzer to a pump of your skincare (i.e. moisturizer or serum). You can play with the ratio here, remembering it’s always easier to add than to subtract! You can layer on top with either pressed or loose powder bronzer to intensify.
Making Sun-Kissed SPF
We all know how important SPF is. Most of our foundations have it built in, but if you’re spending a day in the sun, you definitely want even more sun protection. Add 2-3 pumps of liquid bronzer for each SPF application, mixing well in your hand before you apply. You can do this for both face and body to be both protected and glowing — a great hack for a pool or beach party!
Re-Purposing Your Fall Foundation
We all know skin changes shades throughout the seasons. One easy way to keep from having to purchase a new shade in the summer months is to simply add a little bit of bronzer to your foundation. Think “like for like” here and use a bit of loose bronzer with your loose foundation or liquid bronzer with your liquid foundation, to customize your perfect (and most importantly, adjustable) midsummer color right on the back of your hand. Feel free to play with the ratios until you get your desired match.
Your bronzed look can get a little muddy-looking for a few reasons, but it’s easy to avoid with the right technique. Dipping the brush into the powder with too much force can cause the color to read too dark — instead, opt for a fluffier brush and apply slowly using short sweeping motions. I’d recommend using the Seamless Shaping & Finish Brush or Supreme Finisher for that natural effect. Remember, where you place the color first is where you get the most pigment, so with that in mind, keep your application light and airy, rather than trying to get the bronzed look in one swipe. The goal is a seamless, traceless, sun-kissed bronze.
Carly Giglio (@carlygiglio) is a celebrated celebrity makeup artist and beauty educator with a passion for color, glowing skin and celebrating her client’s unique beauty. With almost a decade of industry experience, including red carpet and editorial photoshoots, brand creative campaigns and New York Fashion Week, Carly is all about the details when it comes to creating beauty looks.
“My makeup and artistry philosophy is about enhancing each individual’s natural features, not covering them up,” says Carly. “I love helping people to feel their best and most confident, while exploring the possibilities with makeup.”
A self-taught makeup artist, Carly first discovered her passion for color and artistry at a young age through her love of painting and a background in fine arts. One of her favorite aspects of working in the beauty space is connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves through the power of makeup – transforming a blank canvas into a work of art.
“I love creating beautiful, glowing skin with elements of color and luminosity throughout, and I’m all about seamless builds of color and structure,” Carly says. “But the best payoff is seeing how confident my clients become once they learn some simple makeup tips.