• Fair skin: Look for a bronzer that's tan or honeycolored. Mally Roncal Believable Bronzer in Sexy Golden Tan is a palette that also includes blush and shimmering powder. Jane Bronzing Powder in Sahara is oil-free; the ultra-sheer Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder (1) adds just a hint of color (;;
  • Medium skin: A medium brown or terra-cotta bronzer is ideal. Try Clinique True Bronze Powder in Sunblushed (2) or Rimmel London Natural Bronzer in Sun Bronze. If you prefer a loose powder, go with Guerlain Terracotta Mineral Flawless Bronzing Powder in No. 02 (;;
  • Dark skin: Roncal likes to sweep a deep, coppery shade under the cheekbones for contour, then dust a bright magenta blush on the apples of the cheeks. Try Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Minerals Bronzer in Ebony Bronze (3) (
  • Tinted moisturizer: For deeper color on any skin tone, pick a tinted moisturizer that's a shade darker than your natural color and smooth it all over your face and neck before applying bronzer. We like Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer and Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 (;


  • A blush brush, such as the one by Estée Lauder, is the perfect size for applying bronzer(
  • Powder blush is easier to blend over powder bronzer than a cream formula. Try Mally Beauty Blush in Mally's Baby or Revlon Powder Blush in Everything's Rosy (;
  • A light gold or bronze shadow adds just enough color to look fresh. Try Wet n Wild Crème Eye Shadow Pencil in Pixie or Urban Decay Cream Shadow in Suburbia (Wet n Wild,;
  • Black eyeliner can look harsh with bronzed skin, so go with a brown pencil instead, such as Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee (
  • A sheer nude or soft pink lip color works on all skin tones. We like Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Trenchcoat Beige and Max Factor Vivid Impact Pure Pigment Lipcolor in Pink Pearl (;
  • Choose a highlighter that's close to your natural skin tone. A champagne shade, such as The Body Shop Brush On Radiance Powder (on reverse), works well on pale skin. For medium skin, go with a golden hue, such as Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow; on dark skin, use a coppery color, such as Black Radiance Velvet & Glow in Urban Chic (;;

Tricks of the Trade

  • To ensure that you don't go overboard with bronzer, apply it while standing in natural light. An effective (though slightly obsessive) way to check your work is to take a digital picture of your face. The photo will show where you've applied too much color.
  • If the shade of bronze looks too dark or heavy on your skin, dip a clean powder brush in loose translucent powder, tap most of it off, and lightly swirl the brush over the bronzer to soften it.
  • Do not use peach blush with bronzer -- it can make the golden tones in the bronzer look orange.
  • Adding a little highlighter looks pretty for evening. Blend a powder or cream highlighter along your cheekbones, then dab just the tiniest bit on your brow bones and the tip of your nose.
  • If you want deeper color, don't sweep bronzer all over your face -- the result looks unnaturally flat. Instead, use a tinted moisturizer or gel first. Smooth it on your face and neck, and blend away any obvious lines near your ears and on your jawline and hairline with a damp makeup sponge. Apply your powder bronzer as usual.

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