For too long, bronzers have had a bad reputation: Too orange. Too glittery. Too streaky. Too much. Those were just some of the criticisms we've thrown their way over the years. But when it's done correctly, it turns out bronzer can be pretty magical. There's no better way to get an all-over glow (the kind that makes you look like you just spent a long weekend somewhere beachy, warm, and beautiful) without stepping foot outside. And when we got a hold of the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, which recently landed in the Birchbox Shop, we knew we had to set the record straight. We spoke with Cassandra Garcia, Bobbi Brown Editorial Makeup Artist, to get her quick fixes to common bronzer mistakes you may have been making in the past. Below, find your bronzer cheat sheet:
You're using the wrong shade for your skin tone.
You want to try to mimic a natural flush, so instead of orange-based bronzers, opt for a formula with red or brown undertones (shades that exist in a true tan).
You're only concentrating on your face.
"My go-to rule is to make sure that the face, neck, and chest all matchI usually apply bronzer to the face, and then I make sure to cover the neck and chest as well. Start by applying bronzer lightly with a big, fluffy brush so you get a tint and then you can build up the color as you go," says Garcia.
You haven't discovered the best formula.
Powders are especially great for those who are new to bronzingthe versatile formula is less prone to streaking. "Powder bronzer also layers nicely on top of foundation and it's easy to build up coverage," says Garcia. Plus, during the dog days of summer, we love the way powders eliminate excess shine and oil in just a few easy swipes. If you have dry skin, cream bronzers act double duty by moisturizing skin as you apply a healthy-looking glow.
You're overdoing the shimmer.
We're all about achieving a glowand though we love a touch a shimmer to amp up our look (like for a night out), for most people a matte option looks the most natural.
You're pairing it with the wrong brush.
"Large, fluffy brushes with natural hair are my favorite. For a more sculpted, contoured look I recommend using an angled face brush, which helps hug the curves of the face. After sweeping through the powder compact, tap off excess product so that it blends in perfectly," says Garcia.
You're not blending enough.
"The right brush will do all the work for you. Sweep your bronzer where the sun hits naturally: your cheekbones, across your forehead, down the center of your nose, dcollet, and shoulders," says Garcia. If you feel like you've added too much, wipe your powder brush clean and do a little bit of buffing, which will help tone down the color without having to start from scratch.