How to Find and Apply the Right Bronzer for You

Getting your best summertime glow year round doesn't have to mean spending hours in the tanning booth or lying on a tropical beach. Bronzers are the newest trend to get sun-kissed skin without the risk of cancer; this highly-coveted beauty item is even available for any skin color.

The Different Types of Bronzers
Most bronzers come in a compact or powder form, but other versions are also becoming popular, including sprays, gels or lotions. Moisturizers now have tints and bronzers in them to give you a more natural bronze color, and you can even try bronzers that last longer than a single application. These self-tanners typically fade within five days or less, but can look very natural and are easy to apply.

Don't know which kind is right for you? You can go to a beauty specialty store and ask an expert there who can assess your skin type and go from there. Or try them all - you'll never know what your preferences are if you don't know all your options.

The Different Colors of Bronze
Bronzers are more than just a fake tan. Many use the natural tones in your skin to help you look your best. Look for bronzers that have different undertones - such as pink versus yellow - and match to your skin's natural coloring. Don't ever go much darker than your natural skin color, however, as you will risk looking like an Oompa Loompa. If you have fair skin, you can get lighter bronzers; or you can buy true bronzers to touch up already tanned skin.

Applying Bronzer
Gel, spray or lotion bronzers look best when applied all over. Apply to your neck, chest and face to make sure that the bronze looks natural. Do not spot-apply gel or lotion bronzers, or you could look blotchy and uneven, even if you have great skin.

Powder bronzers work well when placed in strategic areas on your face. Think of the places that tan the most when you are out in the sun. Typically it is the top of your forehead, your nose, high on your cheeks and your chin that gets the best rosy glow, so mimic this look when applying bronzer. Don't use powder bronzers all over or you could have a result that looks simply like caked-on makeup.

If you try using a self-tanner, follow the directions on the packaging very carefully. Exfoliate your whole face and body before using, and make sure to apply it evenly and rub it in fully. Wash your hands and fingernails thoroughly after application to avoid orange stains that will be a dead giveaway for your fake bronze.

Don't be afraid to try out different products and methods. You'll be glad you did when your friends compliment you on your fresh-from-vacation glowing skin.

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