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Bobbi Brown’s 8 Tips for Applying Bronzer and Blush

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: May 29, 2020 • 4 min read

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Bobbi Brown Teaches Makeup and Beauty

World-class makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s favorite makeup products are blush and bronzer. The dynamic duo can give your skin a healthy and natural glow on the days when you don’t have time to put on a full face of makeup.

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Bobbi Brown Teaches Makeup and BeautyBobbi Brown Teaches Makeup and Beauty

Bobbi Brown teaches you the tips, tricks, and techniques for applying simple, natural makeup that makes you feel beautiful in your own skin.

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Bobbi Brown’s 8 Tips for Applying Bronzer and Blush

According to Bobbi, perfecting your bronzer and blush will give a more polished and professional look. Here are Bobbi’s tips for applying bronzer and blush:

  1. Don’t change—enhance. According to Bobbi, bronzer should enhance your skin, adding a tint, or evening out your color—not change your facial shape or your skin’s natural color. “You don’t need to contour [with bronzer],” she says. If you have fair skin, for example, avoid using bronzer to give yourself a deep tan. It’s all about bringing out your natural beauty and making your skin look great.
  2. Find the formula you love. Bronzer and blush come in many formulas—from powders to creams to gels. Each of these products will have a slightly different look, but no one formula is better than the others. Powder formulas will look slightly drier on your face and can help with oily skin, while creams and gels can give dry skin more of a dewy look. Bobbi likes liquid bronzers and blush formulas because you can mix them with moisturizers or even apply excess cream blush to your lips for quick color. Try a few formulas to see which works best with your skin type. There’s just one thing Bobbi says to keep in mind: “If you put powder blush on top of a cream bronzer, it’s not going to be easy to blend. So if you start with a cream, stick to a cream. And same thing with powder.”
  3. For powder formulas, use wide brushes. For powder bronzers and blushes, you need to pick the right makeup brushes for the task. Since you should use bronzer to add tint instead of contouring, use a wide, soft powder brush for an even application. For blush brushes, you’ll still want to use a wide, soft brush, but not as wide as your bronzer brush. When using a powder product, Bobbi recommends you dip the brush in, tap it, and blow on it before you apply the brush to your skin—“That way you don’t make a mess on the skin” or apply too much.
  4. Choose the right blush color. Bobbi loves to find the most natural look for makeup. To pick the best blush color for your skin tone, Bobbi recommends gently pinching your cheek to match the color or noting the hue of your cheeks after exercising. Once you’ve found the right shade, you can also experiment with other colors. “If you’re wearing a peach lipstick,” Bobbi says, try “a little bit of a peachy blush.” If you have dark skin, don’t go with light blush—“It’ll look ashy,” says Bobbi. Instead, pick a bright or deep color that complements your skin.
  5. Start with the apples of the cheeks. For both bronzer and blush, Bobbi says to “start where the sun naturally hits—on the apple of the cheek.” To find that perfect spot, just smile into the mirror—the apples of your cheeks will be a circle on each cheekbone that looks raised when you smile. When bronzing, start on your cheeks and use a heavier hand there. Lighten up your touch as you move to the rest of your face, like your hairline and jaw. For blush, just apply a small amount to the apples of your cheeks.
  6. When using bronzer, don’t forget your neck. Bronzer is a great way to make your skin tone look smooth and even—not just on your face but below your jawline as well. “Everybody is lighter under their neck,” Bobbi says. She recommends using bronzer to warm up your neck and make your skin tone look nice and blended.
  7. If you have to blend, you've put too much on. Since blush and bronzer are meant to enhance your skin tone rather than change it completely, Bobbi recommends applying each of the products very lightly. Her rule of thumb is this: if you have to spend a lot of effort to blend your bronzer or your blush, you’ve put too much on. Start with a light dusting, and apply additional product in light layers to avoid making it too thick.
  8. Use shimmer sparingly. In addition to matte bronzers and blushes, there are also shimmery products, which have a shine to them. “Shimmer is really nice just as a little bit of highlight to the skin,” Bobbi says. “You never want to put shimmer all over your face.” All-over shimmer can start to look very unnatural, and can even look like you’re covered in sweat. Instead, use shimmer as a gentle highlighter.
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