How to Apply Bronzer – Make-up tips by Tracey Gray Mann

Article by Roberta Lister – Published in Women’s Health Magazine, June 2018

First things first, what is bronzer used for?

“Bronzer should be used to imitate the appearance of skin that has been exposed to the sun” explains Mann. So, for the most believable finish, you need to get strategic with your placement, applying your bronzer only in areas that the sun naturally hits the skin.

How should you choose the right shade?

According to Mann, bronzers with different undertones suit different skin types – when it comes to faking sun-kissed skin, one shade does not suit all. “Fair skin tones should choose a honey-coloured bronzer, while medium skin tones can wear bronzers flecked with rose or gold tones” she explains. “Tawny and amber bronzers look beautiful on darker skin tones.”

What about finishes?

Where shimmering finishes highlight the skin, matte finishes create depth, so the two can be used together to strategically enhance your bone structure.
“Shimmering finishes can be used alone with a big fluffy brush on the highlights of the face where the sun hits,” says Mann. She applies a light-reflecting bronzer to the top of the forehead, high points of the cheekbones and the top of the nose. Her top tip for a natural result? “Always blend down under your chin so your face doesn’t look darker than your neck.”
“Matte finishes are great for creating more of a contoured finish” she says. “Use a tapered brush to apply your bronzer to the top of the forehead, temples, sides of the nose, under the cheekbones, and even beneath the jawline to create a well-defined effect – just remember to blend!”

The big debate – cream or powder?

“Cream-based bronzers are perfect for dry skin and can be applied with fingertips, while powder bronzers are ideal for normal-oily skin types. Use these with a big fluffy powder brush, and if you find you’ve overdone it, grab a clean brush and blend well.”
So, which bronzer does an expert make-up artist really use? Read on to discover the three that never leave Tracey’s kit.


“My favourite cream formula is by Kjaer Weis” reveals Mann. “It’s packed with natural ingredients, so it leaves the skin feeling replenished, and comes in a weighty metal compact that you can refill to reduce waste. I always apply a facial oil first, then pat the bronzer on using fingertips.”

Kjaer Weis Lustrous Bronzer, £41, Cult Beauty.

When it comes to powder, Mann snaps up this French pharmacy staple whenever she spots it. “As well as making great moisturisers, Embryolisse have this brilliant compact bronzer that gives a really natural finish, or ‘bonne mine’ as they say in France! Bronzer can be really hard to get right on pale skin tones – too-dark shades end up looking dirty – but this one is just right.”

Embryolisse Artist Secret Bronzing Powder, £18.90, Cocooncenter.

“For medium to dark skin tones, Dior’s Diorskin Mineral Nude Bronze Powder is perfect, and comes in six different shade palettes,” says Tracey.

Dior Diorskin Mineral Nude Bronze Powder, £34, House of Fraser.

Read the full article at Women’s Health.