How to Apply the Most Believable Bronzer

Ready to master the art of how to apply bronzer once and for all? Forget muddy cheeks and an orange-tinted base; here’s how to achieve a natural-looking glow that’s believably bronze. Think, a sun-kissed effect that boosts your skin’s natural luminosity. Five minutes at your dressing table will look like five days on the beach with these radiance-boosting tricks...

Matte or Shimmer?

Before you start, find the best bronzer to suit you. If you’re looking to sculpt your angles as you warm up the skin, a matte finish is your go-to. Use the cream contour shades in Miracle Contouring Palette (top) to create the illusion of a post-holiday tan. Plus, they’re great for oily types, as shimmer bronzer can highlight shiny skin.

If you’re all about that bronzed goddess glow, try a shimmer formula with radiance-boosting pigments. Crème Bronzer (bottom) is a baked mineral formula that builds luminosity in an instant – perfect for lighting up a dull, tired complexion.

Max Factor Miracle Contouring Palette and Crème Bronzer
Model wearing bronzed makeup look, created by Max Factor.

Find Your Shade

When applying bronzer, the aim is to create warmth in your complexion and enhance your skin tone rather than mask it. Opt for a bronzer that’s just a few shades darker than your natural tone to keep makeup looking natural.

If you’re fair-skinned, go for a cooler-toned shade, like Crème Bronzer in Light Gold or the bottom, second from left shade in the Miracle Contouring Palette. These will blend well with your skin and avoid the overly warm, orange effect. Deeper skin tones are better suited to a warmer shade, like Crème Bronzer in Bronze or the Miracle Contouring Palette’s top left hue.

How to Apply Bronzer

The trick to creating the most believably bronzed makeup look is to emulate where the light naturally hits your angles. For a lightly sculpted look, swirl a big, fluffy brush into your chosen powder bronzer (use fingertips or a flat-bristled brush for a cream formula) and apply to the face in a figure of ‘three’. Starting at your temples, sweep bronzer down to your cheekbones and finish underneath your jawline. Don’t forget to blend down onto the neck, décolletage and shoulders, buffing in a circular motion for a seamless finish.

Want to look like you’ve spent a full day at the beach? Try a sun-stripping technique with your bronzer. Apply high onto cheeks, sweeping in one line across the bridge of your nose, over to the other side of your face. Blend out with a clean powder brush for a fresh-faced, just-been-sunbathing tan.

Model applying Max Factor Crème Bronzer.
Max Factor Miracle Glow Pro Universal Highlighter

Dial Up Your Glow

You’ve got your skin glowing like a pro. Here’s how to step up the radiance even more...

• The easy way to faux your glow? Add a touch of Miracle Glow Pro Universal Highlighter to your foundation to create a radiant, lit-from-within glow before even sweeping on your bronzer.

• If you’re new to applying bronzer and want to tone down the tan, use a big, fluffy brush to mix together a little Crème Bronzer with Miracle Veil Loose Powder. Tap off the excess powder, then swirl onto skin for a lighter-than-light, natural-looking glow.

• For the most even bronzer coverage, use the back of your hand as a palette to tap off excess powder, ensuring all bristles on the brush are coated before applying to skin. Hello, natural-looking bronze.

The Finishing Touches

Wear a cream blush. Apply Miracle Touch Creamy Blush directly onto apples of cheeks using fingertips, tapping lightly to blend and leave a dewy, luminous finish.

Add a slick of gloss. Sweeping on lip gloss lights up your bronzed complexion instantly. Honey Lacquer in Indulgent Coral is an instant skin-brightener.

Glow for gold. Tap on a shimmering gold eyeshadow to match your newly sun-kissed skin. Buff Smokey Eye Drama Kit in Sumptuous Golds onto lids to nail beach-inspired beauty.

Max Factor Smokey Eye Drama Kit in Sumptuous Golds

Now you know how to apply bronzer, add contouring to your makeup skills. Here’s how to contour in under five minutes...