bronzers This Makeup Bag Staple Gets a Serious Upgrade

For years, bronzer has been the makeup bag go-to for faking a sun-kissed glow. A few swipes across the face adds a wash of color, and in some formulas, a shimmery glisten, without the health risks of a suntan. Now, bronzers are no longer your standard baked powders and solid pigments that you swipe on with a kabuki brush.

With natural or “no-makeup” makeup stealing the beauty spotlight these days, there’s been a stronger emphasis on clear, fresh skin. And bronzers, like many foundations, have started to become more skin-friendly to better fuse skincare and makeup into one.

The importance of healthy skin is more recognized now than ever before, says celebrity makeup artist Celeste Duquesne. “Which makes me happy because as a makeup artist, my philosophy is that skin comes first, then color. So now more brands are adding peptides, firmers, etc., to add that healthy glow.”

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Besides containing skin-enhancing ingredients that claim to hydrate, fight damage and even anti-age, the new liquid and serum formulas are more versatile than ever.

“I love them,” says Duquesne. “Mainly because they look more natural, they give this illuminescent glow to the face.” Her favorite way to use them is by adding a drop or two to foundation to lighten it up a bit and create a soft, baby-skin look.

For highlighting, she suggests using a flat foundation brush to lightly press on an illuminating bronzer to the high points of the face: the tops of the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and a touch on the top lip line. “The foundation brush will help avoid moving your foundation.” You can also use your fingers, but make sure to press on instead of rubbing.

Check out our favorite new and innovative bronzing pigments, serums and illuminators, plus application tips to get the perfect glow.