Best Bronzer Makeup Artist Tips and Tricks
For highly admired makeup artist Amber D, creating the best possible complexion comes first when devising stunning looks for models, musicians or celebrities. Here she warms up to the topic of bronzers and shows you how to get glowing.
After building a highly successful career as a makeup artist in her native New Zealand and neighboring Australia, Amber D hightailed it to Los Angeles. Ten years of working backstage at international fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris at shows for designers such as Chloe, Proenza Schouler, Kenzo, Victoria Beckham, Rick Owens and Marni, overlapping with 14 years as a MAC Senior Artist, taught Amber how to work fast and how to work immaculately.
To this point she has some select observations about bronzers. “I use bronzers all the time on my clients to add a little warmth but always, always employ a light touch and careful placement. You can easily add more later on but it’s very difficult to remove without washing your face completely if you’ve been heavy handed. If you just splash the bronzer all over the place, you’ll end up looking muddy and probably a little bit strange.”
Amber’s other pieces of advice on the beauty and the bronzer:
Use bronzer as it is intended - The point of bronzers is to enhance what you have – where the sun hits your face to add definition or to deepen an existing tan, for example – rather than mask what you are by trying to turn yourself two shades darker. If you really want your skin a darker hue all over, go get a spray tan.
Do not confuse bronzer with contour - Bronzer is warm, most contouring shades contain a cool element so as to mimic shadows on the face.
Do not confuse bronzer with blush - They have two different purposes; Blush delivers brightness, bronzer brings out the warmth.
Do not overwork bronzer application - Whether you’re working atop a full-face foundation or onto bare skin, keep bronzer application fast and light.
・Delicately apply it across the top of the forehead and into the hairline top and on either side.
・Likewise, smile and lightly sweep the bronzer across the cheekbones and into the hairline above the ear on either side. If you’re doing a heavier maquillage, you can add blush atop this.
・On your décolletage, go outside into natural light with a mirror to see where the sun hits your clavicles. That’s where you’ll apply bronzer from now on for nights you go strapless.
Blend bronzer into where it’s headed - Amber reports that one of the biggest bronzer mistakes she sees is stopping just short of the hairline, leaving a pale jagged line framing the face. With bronzer, do not hesitate blend your bronzer all the way in to the hairline even as much as a half an inch. Also, if your scalp is quite pale where you hair parts, blend the bronzer in over that too.
If you’re over the age of 25, beware bronzers with shimmer - The purpose of all makeup is to make you look better, not worse. On everyone no longer in the first flush of youth, shimmer and glitter bronzer particles can cling to lines and wrinkles, which is exactly where you don’t want them.
Choose your bronzer for the season - When it comes to seasonal changes, there is no such thing as a year round color match of any cosmetic product. This is because both the quality of light and the pigment of skin may vary from month to month. Time to get out the trusty mirror and figure it out outdoors in natural light.
Choose a sheer bronzer - A sheer formula can deliver all of the warmth with very little of the color itself. Sheer bronzers also tend to let skin look like skin.
Practice with the pros - Amber notes that there can be a small bit of a learning curve on proper bronzer application. She suggests photo and video tutorials are an excellent way to polish your chops.
A huge upside to Mineral Air is that you’ll be able to incorporate all of Amber’s advice quite naturally and quickly into your perfect foundation routine. One caveat as far as bronzer pigment strength is this; the farther away you hold the AirMist device, the lighter the product will look on your skin. So those with fairer skin may have to hold it in a halfway-to-selfie position while those with a deeper pigment complexion can come in closer.
“I use bronzers all the time on my clients to add a little warmth but always, always employ a light touch and careful placement. You can always add more later on but it’s very difficult to remove without washing your face completely if you’ve been heavy handed.”
Celebrity makeup artist