How to Apply Bronzer in 3 Easy Steps, According to an Expert

Yes, it really is that easy.

A model wearing bronzer poses in the backstage of the Luisa Spagnoli fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week - Spring / Summer 2022 on September 26, 2021 in Milan, Italy. (
(Image credit: Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images)

So, you’ve found the best bronzer for you. You’ve tracked down your favorite formula, found the undertones that work best for your skin tone, and are ready to apply. Because buying the makeup you’re going to use is only half the battle, the editors at Marie Claire broke down precisely how to apply your bronzer so that it looks like a natural glow, not blotchy or patchy. 

While the Marie Claire beauty team are experts at trying and testing beauty products, an actual expert should really be the one who teaches makeup newbies and pros alike how to apply products correctly so that you get the most out of them. So, I turned to Nick Lujan, Director of Artistry & Education at Kevyn Aucoin, for bronzer application tips. Ahead, Lujan breaks down the basics, from what bronzer is meant to do for your skin to the powder and cream bronzers and bronzer brushes to use to achieve that fresh-from-vacation look.  

What Is Bronzer Used For?

“Bronzer is a quick and easy way to give a healthy sun kissed glow to your skin, anytime of year,” says Lujan. Bronzers are great for “warming up your complexion when you are transitioning from your summer skin to winter skin, creating a healthy glow, face or full body,” Lujan says. 

Whether that means using a cream bronzer that you love or a budget-friendly drugstore bronzer you’ve used for years, bronzer should always make your skin look healthy and glowing.

How to Apply Bronzer

Step 1: Prepare Your Brush

"Start by loading a bigger, fluffier brush with product,” says Lujan. “Work the bronzer into the brush fibers on the back of your hand before applying for a smooth, airbrush-like finish." 

Step 2: Apply Your Bronzer to The High Points of Your Face

“With the loaded brush, dust the bronzer onto the higher planes  of the face,” Lujan says. “Start with the areas that naturally receive the most sun” along with your “forehead [and] hairline.” Next up, Lujan recommends that you should “dust down the center of the face with a light pressure [and] touch.” 

Step 3: Apply Bronzer to The Rest of Your Face and Chest

“With whatever is left in the brush, dust the bronzer on along the sides of the face, from the hair/ear line inward,” says Lujan. Finally, Lujan recommends that you “reload your brush and apply bronzer to the neck, decolletage and chest” for an even glow.

Nick Lujan’s Favorite Bronzers

Nick Lujan's Favorite Bronzer Brushes

Meet The Expert

Nick Lujan
Nick Lujan

Nick Lujan is a New York based professional makeup artist, team leader, trainer and educator with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Nick is widely recognized for a unique approach to coaching & developing artistry in others, and an artistic ability to flex and blend styles within the beauty, editorial, creative and fx worlds. As a trained makeup artist and educator, Nick has worked with major cosmetics brands, providing insight encompassing team development, artistry, product development, artist relations and creation and facilitation of educational programs. Nick’s work has been shot by photographers Mike Ruiz, Ellen von Unwerth, Miguel Herrera, Warren Giddarie & Ylva Erevall.

Julia Marzovilla
Fashion E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the Fashion E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she reviews the latest launches from fashion and beauty brands, finds the best on-sale items around the internet, and interviews experts to find the best products in any category to share with her readers. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site as an expert in everything from the best laptop bags to the best laser hair removal devices.

In her near decade of experience, Julia has both written for several top outlets in the E-Commerce space and worked at major fashion labels. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and worked as the Trending Fashion and News Writer STYLECASTER. You can find her across the internet at @JuliaMarzovilla. In real life, you can find her creating shopping guides for her friends, cooking or baking in her too-small kitchen, or buying tickets for the next time Harry Styles is in town.

Julia has a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Journalism from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in New York City, her hometown.