Hair & Makeup

Pro Bronzer Hacks For The Perfect Sun-Kissed Glow

Coveting a healthy-looking color for summer skin? NEWBY HANDS asks five A-list makeup artists to share their best bronzer tips – from PAT McGRATH’s beautiful ‘sun-sculpted’ look to GUCCI WESTMAN’s ultra-authentic ‘tan’ and SIR JOHN’s double-bronzer trick


Gucci Westman

“‘Real’ skin is my thing, and my makeup has always been about looking authentic, so, when I use bronzer, I like to blend it over my eyelids, forehead and cheeks, and take it right up under the eyes, where we naturally catch the sun – but I don’t use it on the lower face. You don’t apply bronzer like you do blush, as it’s about pushing the skin to a deeper tone. Don’t do that classic three-shape over the face, either – over the forehead, cheekbones and jawline – as it doesn’t work. If you’re naturally oily, I also use pressed powder around the nose and T-zone, then apply my Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick as a concealer, applying it with the Spot Check Brush to target where it’s needed so it’s much more believable.”

Pat McGrath

“It’s incredibly easy to enhance bone structure and add warmth to the face with bronzer – it’s what I like to think of as a ‘sun-sculpted’ effect. Using a fluffy brush, start with a light touch and build up gradually, sweeping it within the depth of your cheekbones, along the temples and around the perimeter of the face. Applying it where the sun would naturally add warmth gives that perfect sun-kissed look, and I also love to add touches of bronzer to the nose to create the ultimate sun-sculpted finish. Powder bronzers are extremely long-lasting and blend seamlessly with foundation, blush and highlighter, too; the Pat McGrath Labs Divine Bronze Collection is formulated with a blend of oil-absorbing powders and uses translucent, soft-focus pigments to ensure that it leaves your skin with no cast or cake-like effect. When it comes to which texture is better – cream or powder – it depends on your preference. I do, however, recommend powder bronzer even if you’re also using a cream. Powder bronzer is great for layering over cream bronzer to help make it longer wearing, and powder bronzers are also quite easy to apply and blend.”

Sir John

“I always do two bronzers: a cream and then a powder. Even when I do brows, I use a pencil, then set it with a shadow, and when I do a cream blush, I’ll set it with a little bit of powder blush. That duality when you’re using two [textures] gives you a Teflon-like base. Even if you’re using the most minimal amount, I like to set things. I like to use a cream foundation stick as a bronzer (go for a shade that’s deeper and warmer than your complexion) and buff it in with a big fluffy blush brush – it’s a beautiful way to bring in a little bit of a halo effect with a bronzed glow. Buff it in, then don’t be afraid to set it with a powder bronzer – I like the ones from Tom Ford Beauty or Nars. Where you start is where you’ll deposit the most color, so begin away from the center of the face, around the hairline, then bring everything in [by blending] a little bit across the cheekbones, underneath the jawline – this is important as we all neglect that area – and across the bridge of the nose.”

Katie Jane Hughes

“My favorite bronzer texture is a cream formula, and I always apply it after skincare but before makeup. You want to blend it down the neck and chest if they are visible, and be sure to really reinforce your application along the hairline, too, to make sure it looks as natural and ‘real’ as possible.”

Daniel Martin

“To get that natural ‘tan’, I like using two fingers – ring and middle – to apply the bronzing product on the highest parts of the face. Using your fingers this way, and not a brush, means you have more control and can build up the color little by little, rather than applying it full throttle; I use my hands a lot to build up makeup. To get that second-skin finish, you want to feel as if you’re working the bronzer into your skin – I do like Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzers, as they have that velvety, creamy finish that will hold in the heat.”


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown