How to Choose the Right Bronzer

Different Shades of Bronzers

Now that you have a good idea how to match your skin tone with the season, try matching your skin tone with a bronzer. With all of the different shades available from various makeup brands, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But knowing what shade of skin you have will help you zero in on shades that work for you.

Remember you want to choose a bronzer one or two shades darker than your skin. If you have light olive skin, look for a honey-colored bronzer. If your skin is deep tan, shoot for a true bronze. If your skin is dark, try a deep bronze with some shimmer to it and try applying it over your blush to achieve a shimmery, healthy glow [sources: Iman, Jones]. And, using a bronzer with a slight shimmer is a great way to emphasize certain features.

Bronzers, like foundations, are usually offered in light, medium and dark shades. While experimenting with shades, it's best to stay within the right category for your skin tone. Bronzers that are brown in tone are generally more natural looking. Those that are orange-toned or frosted look very artificial on the skin and should be avoided [source: Brown]. If you decide to get a bronzer with shimmer, be aware that the shimmer can collect in the creases on your face.

Once you've picked out your shade of bronzer, you should practice applying it. It's better to build color slowly using light applications. And remember, you want to make sure to brush the bronzer on places that you would naturally get sun, such as your cheekbones (of course) and the perimeter of your face [source: Hebert].

You've finally picked the right shade of bronzer. But now you have another quandary. Should you go for liquid, powder, cream or gel bronzer? Keep reading to find advantages and disadvantages of all four.