The Easiest Way To Fake A Tan This Weekend

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I think we can all agree that nothing beats a softly contoured face with a radiant glow. Giving off a naturally sculpted effect can seem fairly easy for anyone, even makeup beginners. However, it's more complicated than it seems, and when it comes to how to apply bronzer, it's easy to get a little heavy-handed, leaving your makeup looking like the result of a spray tan gone wrong.

So if you've been wanting to take contouring and bronzing for a spin, but haven't been sure where to start, allow these simple and efficient makeup tricks to lead the way a to radiant, head-turning complexion.

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How To Apply Bronzer: Where To Apply

"Think of a figure three and work it in until you have the desired payout," Niko Lopez, NARS Lead Makeup Artist, says. "I start at the ear creating a three and add a little to the nose at the end. Most importantly, I really stress not to skip the ears."

And Ta says that it's not just the ears that are often neglected during bronzer application. "I apply bronzer on the parts of the face I want to add some warmth to so your temples, cheekbones, and jawline," he says. "And please, don’t forget to blend down the neck!”

How To Apply Bronzer: How To Mix Creams And Powders

“This sounds crazy, but I actually start with contour even before I apply foundation," Ta says. "I like to use either a liquid or cream formula with a BeautyBlender so that it seamlessly blends into the skin, keeping it as natural looking as possible. Powder formulas can occasionally create a harsh, caked-on contour.”

However, Lopez has mastered the prevention of the "muddy" look that applying powder over a cream base can create. To prevent, he applies a translucent setting powder where he intends to apply his contour or bronzer, then layering with the formula for a seamless finish that doesn't tug. "By rule of thumb, if you have a cream base and you apply a powder formula over it, the powder is going to grab and it's going to be very hard to blend," Lopez says.

How To Apply Bronzer: Bronze Before Sculpting

Lopez uses two of his favorite formulas to achieve the perfect bronzed look: The NARS Matte Bronzing Powder, and the NARS Bronzing Powder. "First, dust the original Bronzing Powder with a hit of shimmer all over your face to give yourself a healthy glow," he says. "Then go in with the Matte Bronzing Powder for the areas you want to sculpt – it makes for really good selfies."

How To Apply Bronzer: The Right Brush

Ta prefers to apply bronzer with tapered brush. "This is because tapered bristles tend to be more gentle, creating a soft and blended finish,” he says. And Lopez does the same, insisting that the brush makes it easier to reach those more targeted areas of the face. However, he doesn't simply dip his brush into the powder and begin application. "I like to really work the product into the brush before applying to the face," he says. "Use a mirror or the palm of your hand to really work that product in, making sure the product is evenly distributed throughout the entire brush. If you don't, the product will be sitting on top of the bristles."

How To Apply Bronzer: Ignore The Seasons

“Wear bronzer year round!" Ta says. "Whether you have a summer glow or not, bronzer is the perfect way to trick people into thinking you're a bronzed goddess all the time. Just remember to not over do it!”

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