How to find the best bronzer

Buffed seamlessly onto skin, bronzer can make you look like you have just had a holiday in the sun. Trudi Brewer shares the secrets to getting that believable faux-glow.

A patchy application, and the words 'muddy and streaky', spring to mind, when attempting to bronze skin. According to legendary makeup artist Dick Page. "It shouldn't change your skin colour or look like you have had a spray tan." So with that in mind, here are the best tips on finding the prefect finish. 

Hit the high points
Buff bronzer only where the sun naturally hits your face. The apples of the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, and around the hairline. Otherwise, it can end up looking like a bronze mask. Then add a highlighter. Remember, anything you highlight you bring forward. So place shimmer on the tops of the cheekbones, just under the brow bone, and along the top of the Cupid's bow. Creams are easy to work into skin with your fingertips, and then blend any visible lines with a fluffy brush
Pick the right finish
Getting the right finish is how to avoid bronzer looking fake. Use a matte powder as a base, and then highlight with a shimmer cream. These are easier to apply than tints or gels, especially if you prefer a subtle look. Lay down the matte bronzer with a large, fluffy brush. Tap it onto the pressed powder, and then tap it on a tissue first, to remove excess. Otherwise, you'll end up with a concentrated blob on your face. With creams, pat them on with your fingers, by tapping the colour onto skin, this helps blend the highlighter with the bronzer.  
Check your lighting
Always apply bronzer in natural light, near a window. Or the brightest indoor lighting you have. And don't use a compact mirror, you need to stand back after applying bronzer to view the application, it should be seamless, a full mirror will show up any mistakes. 
Build-up colour in light layers
Aim to build-up colour gradually, you can always apply an extra layer. If you've applied too much, use a clean brush by buff off the excess.

Powder Bronzers we love:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer $88. Eve Lom Golden Radiance Bronzing Powder $84. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder in Medium  $74. Yves Saint Laurent Les Sahariennes Bronzing Stones, $105. 

Cream bronzers we love:

Nars The Multiple Stick in South Beach $68. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Bold Illuminating Liquid Highlighter in Golden Kiss   $49. Revlon Inst-Fix Highlighting Stick in Gold Light, $35. Nude By Nature Touch of Glow Highlighter Stick in Bronze $30. 

What's your favourite bronzer and best tip?