How To Make Bronzer Look More Natural

Alas, summer is finally here and we are almost living in our world of pineapple-printed swimsuits, adorable sandals, and (hopefully) glowing, tan skin. However, with the contour craze, bronzer has taken a backseat in the makeup world and its an injustice I just can't sit silent on anymore. Not only does it give you a sun-kissed glow and warms the skin, with a bit of practice, you can learn how to make bronzer look natural and summertime-appropriate. Grab your kabuki brushes, ladies. Let's do this.

First, let me clarify that any personal style, skin tone, or skill level can accomplish a beautiful bronze on the skin. Whereas contouring can be maturing and intense, bronzing is youthful and light. Contouring can also be intimidating — luckily, bronzer is easier to work with, harder to mess up, and a lot more universal.

Of course, you want to accomplish a natural looking bronze to your skin, as if you've been out in the sun or just back from a beach vacation. You don't want to look like you're entering a clown competition, have fallen face first into a clay tennis court, or like you didn't have a mirror on you when you put your makeup on for the day.

Here are three easy steps that'll help you achieve a totally natural, totally wonderful summer glow.

1. Choose a matte bronzer

Matte bronzers look much more natural and seamless on the skin in comparison to sparkly or glittery bronzing products. Basically, you don't want to look like you rolled on glitter like you're Ke$ha circa "Tik Tok".

If you are unsure about your shade, grab your go-to foundation and take it to a makeup counter. Ask for the corresponding face powder, and get it in two to three shades darker than your foundation color. It's a no-fail mathematical solution! Just make sure the powder is 100 percent matte and smooth for maximum blend-ability.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Medium Deep, $27, Nordstrom

2. Choose cream

If you are trying bronzer for the first time, you might want to start out with a cream bronzer. Creams blend a little bit easier than powders, and most brands — high to low end — have easy-to-use cream bronzing or contour sticks. The trick is to choose a product with red or warm brown undertones, opposed to the more contour-appropriate gray or cool brown undertones.

The trick here? Make sure your skin is well hydrated to prevent streaking. Use a kabuki or flat tapered brush to tap, not swipe the product into your skin for a super natural look.

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, $50, Nordstrom

3. Apply

You want to apply bronzer in the shape of a 3: starting at the hairline at the top of your forehead, blend the bronzer down the hairline to your temple and then broadly across the cheekbones. Finally, blend across and under the jawline. These three target areas: your forehead, cheeks, and jaw, are where the sun hits naturally on your face.

Kabuki brushes are a safe bet for applying bronzer, whether you're using a powder or cream product.

Sigma F84 Angled Kabuki Brush, $25, Amazon

There you have it! With the right product, shade, and tool you can look like a golden, summer goddess. Want to see the magic in action? Check you Jaclyn Hill's YouTube tutorial below.

Image: @JaclynHill/Instagram