Bronze goddesses: Faking that summertime glow

Monday, May 7, 2012
Bronzers (Fred Lynch)

Everyone wants a sun-kissed glow in summer. But between worries about skin cancer and being stuck in the office, getting it the natural way isn't always an option. But not to worry: That glow is easy to fake. Available everywhere from department store makeup counters to drugstore aisles, bronzers are a quick way to get a sun-touched look without the sun. Bonus: Bronzers can be used in a variety of ways.

We asked makeup artist Joleta Ludwig for tips on finding and applying the right bronzer:

The perfect bronzer

When searching for the perfect bronzer, the deciding factors are really all in the look you want to create. Bronzers may be used for a variety of different reasons, from adding a sun-kissed summertime glow to creating a completely new complexion.

Types of bronzers

When you consider the perfect type of bronzer, keep in mind your skin type. Is your skin dry, oily or combination? If you already have an oily skin type, you'll want to avoid bronzers with too much mica, or shimmer, as those will add shine to an already shiny canvas. However, you could use those same shimmering bronzers to create a sultry, dewy look for the eyes. Also, shimmering powder bronzers may be used to highlight the decolletage for a wedding or special event, or anytime, for that matter. Be careful of powdered products when used for this purpose, as they may be easily transferred to your dress. In that case, use a water-resistant liquid bronzer and allow it to dry completely before dressing.

Applying bronzer

When applying bronzer to your face, consider the intensity of the look you are going for. A blush brush or similar tool with loosely packed bristles will do well. Swirl your brush into the product and tap the sides of the container to remove excess product.

Next, use soft swirling motions to apply bronzer to areas where the sun naturally highlights your face, such as top of forehead, chin, nose and cheekbones. Use bronzing powders sparingly, as it is easy to over-apply. You may also use your bronzer as blush by itself or as an eye shadow.

We've featured four bronzers that cost less than $5! That's a pretty small investment for such a versatile beauty product. Pictured are bronzers by Elf, Rimmel, NYC and Maybeline, all available at Target.