The glitter-free guide to bronzer

As we’ve (somewhat begrudgingly) accepted that there’s no such thing as a safe suntan, we’ve bumped bronzer up to one of the most essential beauty products for summer—and, arguably, for every season thereafter. (There’s no expiration date on donning a believable glow, after all!) But just as with self-tanners, snagging a bronzer that doesn’t exude a telltale orange, sparkly, or otherwise unnatural hue isn’t always as breezy as a day at the beach.

To ensure a believable glow, makeup artist Daniel Martin advises choosing a bronzer that’s three to four shades deeper than your natural skin tone. “Look for something that warms the skin rather than lays shimmer on it,” he suggests. For deeper complexions, Martin loves luminous formulas, which can create contrast and enhance natural tone.

First step: Find your bronzer BFF below. Then, grab a brush (Martin suggests a large powder brush) and swirl in a C shape from the temple to the cheeks for the most natural shading. And don’t worry—these picks won’t leave a trail of glitter in your wake.

—Sophie Wirt. Collage by Chin-Chin Hao.

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  1. isabella

    I always had that doubt with sunscreens. How could I put it on my skin and stay with the natural look. I have this feeling with blush too, because I never know if it got natural or if it got too artificial. But it’s good to have these tips.

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