Sun kissed skin

Here Comes the Sun

It’s finally begun. Summer. That time of year where everyone slathers on sunscreen and hopes to get a tan without getting a burn.

Some people are lucky enough to tan quickly and evenly, glowing as though they retain the sun’s energy after only a day outside. But for the rest of us, it’s just not that simple.

It can take weeks to naturally cultivate a summer tan. But for those of us who burn easily, it may be safer to never even attempt it. Instead, how about going for a bronzed look you can take on and off without the risk of getting burned or the need to spend hours in the sun? Sound good? Then it’s time to ditch the sun worship and make friends with one of the most fabulous and easily misused products in the makeup world.


The word may bring to mind visions of tanned beach bums, overzealous celebrities, and childhood makeup mishaps, but don’t freak out! Bronzer can be used tastefully and without making you look like a pumpkin. The difference between nightmare-worthy and Golden Goddess is the right color and proper technique.

The Right Color

Start with a foundation that matches your skin tone. Do not choose a shade or two darker for your overall face. If you have medium or dark tones, you might be able to get away with it, as long as you’re willing to blend far down your neck. If you’re fair skinned, going too dark will have you looking like you painted on a mask.

When choosing your bronzer shade, go with something in the color family of your skin tone. Cool toned ladies, think gold or even something with a smidgen of pink. Warm gals, you might be able to venture into the orange area without looking like an over-baked reality star. For everyone, choose a bronzer that’s a shade or two darker than your skin tone. If in doubt, choose a lighter shade over a darker one. You can always layer up the intensity of a pale shade. It’s much harder to work a dark shade down to something paler.


How you apply your bronzer will be influenced by whether you have matte or shimmer bronzer, and if you want just a standard sun-kissed look or if you want to sneak in a little contouring, too.

Matte bronzers can easily be used for contouring or the sun-kissed look. Shimmery bronzers are typically used for just sun-kissed, though a lightly shimmery bronzer can be used for contouring as well. It’s just a little trickier to get an effective contour when the product keeps catching the light.

Once you’ve chosen your bronzer, make sure you always put the tiniest amount on your brush. Dab the brush in, then tap off the excess. You can always go back for more, so start light.

Do not dust bronzer over your entire face. To get the most natural glow, you need to sweep across only the areas the sun would hit the most.

In other words, the key to proper bronzer application is to not overdo it.

For a universally flattering sun-kissed look, try this:

Here Comes the Sun image Here Comes the Sun image
Here Comes the Sun image Here Comes the Sun image

Flick gently across the center of your forehead.

Dust down the bridge of your nose, from the top to the tip.

For contouring purposes, purse your lips, and then brush bronzer into the hollows of your cheeks. If you don’t want to contour, or have very shimmery bronzer, you can also dust on top of your cheekbones.


Dust right in the middle of your chin, below your lower lip.

You could stop there if you wanted to, but if you would like to up the glow, try dusting illuminator down your nose, above your brows, and on top of your cheekbones.

To keep the look focused on your skin, keep your eye makeup simple and finish off with lip balm or gloss.

(Pro tip: Use the same bronzer you used on your face as the crease color for your eyes.)

Capturing that summer warmth is as easy as sweeping on a new product or two. So go out there and get a head start on the look of the season!

If you want to know exactly how we did the model’s eye makeup, check out the tutorial on my blog at:

Products used on the model:

  • Mineral Foundation: Pure SKN’s Mineral Foundation
  • Mineral Concealer: Lily Lolo’s Cover Up
  • Bronzer: Lily Lolo’s Waikiki
  • Illuminator: Mirabella’s Swirling Pearl
  • Mascara: ZuZu Luxe’s Onyx
  • Eyeshadow: Red Apple Lipstick’s eyeshadow in Porcelain and Emani’s Crushed Mineral Dust in Sand
  • Lip Balm: Keeki Pure and Simple

Afton Jones Article ImageABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Afton Jones discovered that the reason her eyes swelled and watered at random was due to gluten in her mascara, so she went on the hunt for gluten-free makeup. Upon finding that no accurate resources existed, she created her own. Visit Afton on the web at

Tags: Afton Jones Magazine Makeup Summer
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