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How To Apply Bronzer: 4 Beginner-Friendly Ways For Different Results

Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
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When it comes to leveling up your makeup, bronzer (or cream contour, what have you) is a bit intimidating—perhaps right up there with liquid liner, which I'm wholeheartedly convinced can smell fear. You can, of course, sweep it on with a big fluffy brush for an allover glow, but as far as placement goes, that's where things get dicey: A few strategic strokes can quite literally change the shape of your face, which, if you're a beginner, may have you avoiding the product altogether. 

Allow us to say: You do not have to be a contour devotee to master the art of bronzer. In fact, makeup artist Asta Jurksaite demonstrates four beginner-friendly ways to apply the versatile product in a recent TikTok video. Your Bronzer 101, below. 

4 beginner-friendly ways to use bronzer to your advantage.

You can use whichever bronzer you have in your makeup bag, but Jurksaite uses a cream stick (this one from Milk Makeup, to be exact), which may make it easier to carve with precision. You'll also need a fluffy brush to blend, like Alima Pure's Sculpting Brush. Other than that, you're golden.


1. For lift. 

For some subtle lift, Jurksaite applies a short stroke of product on the top half of her cheekbones, ending right under her temples. Make sure to blend outward and upward, as diffusing the product inward creates more of a soft fullness (which is a look in its own right, but we're focusing on lift here).

2. To enhance your cheekbones. 

To sculpt those cheekbones razor-sharp, drag a line just under your cheekbones—for Jurksaite, she starts from the top of her ear and ends at the hollow of her cheek. Make the line precise and sharp: Perhaps wield your bronzer stick at an angle and use the edge of the product to draw a defined line. When blending, buff the bronzer upward. 

3. To elongate the face. 

Focusing bronzer on the perimeters of your face can create a lengthening effect, so Jurksaite glides her stick along the sides of her hairline and along the angles of her jaw. She also applies right under her cheekbones for definition and adds a spot on her temples, right where her brows end—this can create the illusion of a higher, diamond-shaped hairline.


4. To shorten the face. 

As a general rule: If you want to create fullness and shorten the face, use rounded strokes and blend inward. Jurksaite swipes bronzer along the top of her hairline (think of an upside-down "U" shape) and on the bottom of her chin to create shadow on the lengthiest parts of her face and focus the attention center. She also pops some product on her cheekbones (closer to the apples of her cheeks) and buffs upward. 

The takeaway. 

This is your sign to break out the bronzer—a few short strokes can truly elevate your makeup game. Beginner-friendly, makeup-artist-approved.

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