Find Your Perfect Bronzer

Bronzer can serve one of two purposes: to warm the complexion with a sun-kissed glow or to contour for a sculpted face. Finding a product that can achieve both is a tricky maneuver, as the undertones for the former should be warm like a suntan, whereas the latter should be cool to mimic shadows. The best bet is to decide the desired effect and choose from there.

For Summertime Warmth:
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

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This powder is free from shimmer to boost the complexion without looking like a disco ball. Use a fluffy brush to dust where the sun would naturally tan the face—across the forehead, down the nose and on the tops of cheeks and chin. The sheer formula blends easily and never looks muddy. Plus, it smells like chocolate! Need we say more? $30 for .35oz

Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer SPF 15


For an easy back-from-vacation glow, mix a few drops of this liquid bronzer into foundation or tinted moisturizer. This method is the most foolproof for newcomers; just remember that a little goes a long way. The lightweight, waterless formulation is a combination of oils and pigments, so it won’t water down other makeup. $64 for 1oz

For a Sculpted Visage:
BECCA Lowlight Sculpting Perfector

The cool-toned depth of this cream contour is perfectly suited to add dimension. The secret is to apply by tracing the number 3 along each side of the face—starting at the edges of the forehead, sweeping inward under the cheekbone (making a fish face can help find the sweet spot) and then along the jawline. Blend it out with a fluffy blush for a natural look. $38 for .28oz

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contouring Kit


If you’re ready to get serious about contouring, this kit from Smashbox includes all the essentials to sculpt like a professional makeup artist. The darkest powder acts as the lowlight to contour, the medium shade adds warmth and the lightest shade makes cheekbones and brow bones pop. The compact comes with easy-to-follow diagrams for application on any face shape. $45 for .40oz