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How to Get a Sun-Kissed Glow with Bronzer

Applying bronzer can be intimidating -- one wrong brushstroke and you can look orange, streaky or fake baked. But with these easy tricks from Tim Quinn, a Giorgio Armani makeup artist, you'll get a subtle, sun-kissed glow in seconds.

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Woman applying bronzer, makeup, beauty
Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
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Step 1

Swirl the powder brush in bronzer and tap to remove excess. Start at your temple and sweep the brush down around your eye -- keeping it close to the hairline -- and just under your cheekbone (make a fish face to help find it). When you're halfway to your nose, sweep the brush back toward your ear and down along your jawline. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: Apply bronzer after foundation but before concealer.

Want a step-by-step walk-through?

Watch the video

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Step 2

Softly sweep the color down the center of your nose and along each side to blend.

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Step 3

Grab your foundation brush -- with a little leftover foundation on it -- and, starting on your cheek directly below your pupil, lightly brush to soften any lines from the bronzer. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: From your jawline, sweep bronzer down along your neck and onto your decolletage. Don't forget to apply it behind each ear.

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Bronze Winner

The key to achieving a natural-looking glow is to use the right bronzer. A powder formula is the easiest to apply. Choose a sheer version that is two shades darker than your natural skin tone and has just a hint of shimmer. For light skin, we like Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Powder ($15, drugstores).

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The Glow-Down

For dark complexions, try Giorgio Armani Sun Fabric Sheer Bronzer in 100 ($54, Skip matte finishes, which can look muddy, and sparkly ones, which appear fake.

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The Golden Rules

To ensure an even application, use a large powder brush with bristles that are medium in length and density (halfway between fluffy and stiff). Try the EcoTools Domed Bronzer Brush ($10,

Use a foundation brush, like the Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush ($40, for blending.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2014.

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