This is part 2 of a two-part blog post featuring the nuances
of contouring and bronzing the face.
Read part 1 here.
So, the first post of this series is a lot longer than this post and that is simply because there are so many little details to contour that I think are important to share. At least, the details I shared are details I wish were shared with me when I was first starting out. Bronzing the skin is a lot more flexible! It’s hard to screw up, and it’s open to interpretation by the artist (aka you).
I have a confession to make. Towards the end of my high school years and into my college years I used to – *gasp*- go tanning! Ah! Just remembering back to those days gives me chills. I was literally putting my skin in the worst possible position and taking a big health risk. It gets worse. In addition to using a tanning bed, I used to take a big ol’ makeup brush and bronzer from the pharmacy and cover my face with it. Now, just for fun, add in the image of my super thin eyebrows. Are you ready to leave this blog now after that brief nightmare of a vision you’ve had? Hold on a little longer! I promise – I’VE CHANGED! Outside of the fact that you couldn’t pay me to sit NEAR a tanning bed/booth, I don’t cover my face in bronzer anymore. Instead, I use it to achieve a subtle, sun-kissed complexion.
You could search Pinterest or Google and find a million and one ways to bronze your face. Today, I’m sharing the technique that I like to use and have been using on a more frequent basis now that the depths of winter are (hopefully) mostly behind us here in Philly and we are sailing into temps in the 40s/50s.
The Basics of Bronzing
Bronzing the face, just like contour, is still a great way to add depth to your facial features as well as to control the focal points on your face by emphasizing different areas. However, whereas contour is a precise method of sculpting, bronzing can go in different directions. Using a very pigmented, matte bronzer will add definition to different facial features. As I mentioned in the first post of this series, you can use a matte bronzer to contour. Using a bronzer with a shimmer to it is better used for looking like you’ve spent some time in the sun. I don’t have a long list of tips or “makeup etiquette rules” to lay out for you on what kind of bronzer you have to use. I think the only thing that’s made bronzing so complicated is the fact that a lot of people use their matte bronzers to contour, so if you’re new to the makeup world bronzing and contouring seem like one in the same. Hence, this series I decided to write!
My favorite bronzer right now is the NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer in Laguna. There are a couple of reasons I’m favoring this product right now:
- It’s February and I am still extremely pale. This bronzer gives my skin a great boost, without looking like I’m walking around with a tan face and white limbs. Not cute.
- The product goes on so beautifully. In fact, I don’t even think the photos do it justice. It just gives my skin this incredibly natural warmth.
- While the product looks like it has a shimmer to it, it doesn’t transfer that shimmer to my face. It has the combined power of shimmer and matte in one, allowing it to lay beautifully on the skin and not too dramatic looking for everyday use.
Bronzing Using a Brush
I do not use a beauty blender to apply this bronzer. A pigmented bronzer might require more blending depending on where it’s applied, but as I already said this product lays so nicely on the skin. I use the SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Precision Brush #59. No, I did not figure to use this brush on my own. When I first purchased this bronzer I asked one of the sales floor folks in Sephora to apply it on my skin so I could test it out. They used the same brush and I really liked how versatile the tool is – it can be used for any powders on the face and I often use it for blush in addition to bronzer.
I start out with my foundation as my base, and here i just have some lower-lash eyeliner and mascara on. I also have a lip color on.
To start bronzing, I take my brush and roll the stem of it between my fingers, rolling the sides of the brush itself in the bronzer. I do not take the tip of the bristles and dab them into the product. I could do this, but this may create a more intense pigment, which I am not going for in this look. After my brush has product on it, I apply it liberally right under my cheekbones, the upper corners of my forehead, and my jaw. Some people add to the tops of their cheekbones, the top of their forehead, etc. I am looking to keep it a bit conservative for now since, again, it’s technically winter and I’m technically super pale.
Once I’ve hit the big 3, I apply the bronzer in a sweeping motion from one cheek to the other, touching my nose with some product in the process. This helps to bring the entire look together and to balance the glow across the face.
Finally, I take an eye-shadow sized brush and I apply the bronzer to the crease of my upper lash, as well as along the outer edge of my lower lash. Again, to bring the focus to the center of my face and to balance out the look across my complexion.
I like blush so I add a dab of blush (using Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk) and the look is complete. It’s very subtle, and I don’t think the photos do a great job of showing the full effect of before and after, but I love the warm glow it gives. P.S. Please excuse my horrendous nails. Mama needs a mani stat.