The spring and summer seasons are all about looking like a beach (or poolside) goddess, so it only makes sense that these months are prime time for bronzer. But as with anything, unless you’ve got your bronzing technique on lock, it’s pretty easy for things to get off track (sorry, Lindsay Lohan, but we’re looking at you). These five bronzer mistakes are some of the most common and, fortunately, the most easily fixed. We’ve all been there.
1. The color is too warm. A shade of bronzer that’s too warm for your skin tone is the direct cause of the dreaded Oompa Loompa look that we see all too frequently. While skin tones that skew warm can make warm shades of bronzer work, it’s always safest to opt for a neutral shade that doesn’t lean red or orange. The idea is to look sunkissed and, well,bronzed, not orange. Look for true beiges and browns rather than warm and ruddy—after all, nobody tans orange naturally.
2. Your bronzer has too much shimmer. Shimmer overload is the enemy of a believable glow by way of bronzer, so skip anything that looks even remotely disco ball-esque. You don’t have to go fully matte if that’s not your thing, but look for finely milled, subtle illumination instead of outright sparkle for a more natural finish. Save the shimmer for highlighting your cheekbones, rather than dusting it over your entire face.
3. You’re applying too much. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing, and bronzer certainly falls under that category. There’s a fine line between too much and not enough, but you can always add more. If you’re fair-skinned, overdoing it on bronzer won’t get you any closer to looking like you just hopped off the beach. You should be using it to accent your face and add natural definition, not change your skin color. A little goes a long way.
4. You’re using the wrong brush. Don’t underestimate the importance of brushes in makeup application, especially when it comes to applying color. Our bronzer method of choice is to use a large, fluffy brush to swirl a powder formula lightly over the entire face—it’s basically foolproof, which makes it a winner all-around. Avoid brushes that are too small, and unless you’re using a cream bronzer with a skilled hand, always choose a soft natural brushfor the most flawless finish.
5. You aren’t blending well enough. Blending is the key to any good makeup application, and that commandment has never been more true than in the case of bronzer, which is all about blending. Keep in mind that what looks fine and well-blended in your bathroom mirror can totally change gears once you get outside in natural light, so do your makeup in a well-lit room as often as possible.