3 Easy Steps to Faking a Realistic Tan with Bronzer

by Elizabeth Siegal

Roger Cabello Roger Cabello Bronzer can make you look glowy...or streaky...or, worst of all, orange and glittery. (And then you look a little like a stripper.) That's the last thing I want for you, so I asked makeup artist and bronzer guru Scott Barnes to share his technique for achieving the most realistic glow with bronzer.

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If you try to fake a tan, it'll look...fake. "One of the most common mistakes is choosing a bronzer that's too dark, and then you look muddy," says Barnes. You're better off going for a subtle glow with a pressed-powder bronzer that's just a half shade darker than your skin. But glittery does not equal glowy, so if you can see any glitter in the formula, steer clear.

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Buff--don't sweep--it on. "You get the lightest, most realistic application by making small circles with a big fluffy powder brush," says Barnes. Tap the excess off the brush first (duh) and then buff it along the perimeter of your face. It may seem weird to apply bronzer along your hairline and jawline, but it's actually slimming, Barnes adds. Skip the bridge of your nose, so you don't "accentuate undereye circles."

Give it a once-over. Without dipping your brush back into the bronzer, buff it over each area again to soften the color and blend away any noticeable streaks.

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