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Question: How should I be applying blush and bronzer?

Answer: Whether you’re working, taking classes or traveling—summer is full of busy adventures, making it difficult to get consistent sun time. This summer, using bronzer and blush is the perfect solution to getting that sun-kissed glow without ever having to go outside.

Before applying bronzer, use a liquid foundation, powder foundation, or a tinted moisturizer to get an even skin tone. If you’re worried about breakouts from makeup in the summer heat, opt for an oil-free product such as Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. Although it’s a bit pricey, I’ve found that you only need a small dab to cover the face.

One of the biggest mistakes women make when applying bronzer is caking on as much as possible to every inch of their faces. If you’re going for a natural glow, apply bronzer (lightly!) to your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the apples of your cheeks and your chin. These areas are where the sun will naturally hit your face, and therefore where you’d most likely get the most color. If you want to apply bronzer to your entire face, go for a very light layer and be sure to blend onto your jawline, chin and neck as well. Add a slightly heavier layer to those four facial points.

Many makeup artists recommend applying bronzer by creating the number 3 on one side of your face (as well as a backwards 3 for the other side). To do this, start at the top of your forehead, glide the brush down to your cheeks and then along your jawline to your chin. This will hit all of the important points, but be sure to blend carefully afterward to ensure this look stays natural.

For an affordable, long-lasting bronzer, try e.l.f Mineral Glow.

When you’re ready for blush, you’ll have many options to choose from. Whether you vouch for cream or a powder blush is completely up to you, as it all depends on your own personal preference. If you have oily skin, opt for a powder blush to absorb grease.

If you’re using a powder (I personally love the powder blush from NARS!), start with less than you think you’ll want to use (you can always add more later!), and be sure to tap any excess powder off of your brush before applying it to your face. Apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks in an upward, circular motion, blending it into your cheekbones using a blending brush.

Many people tend to apply in a straight, diagonal line, which can lead to a look that’s unnatural. To get even coverage, apply powder by turning your brush in a circular motion along the apples of your cheeks. Don’t be afraid to lightly dab your forehead and nose as well!

If you’re using a cream blush, use your fingers to dab the apples of your cheeks lightly, and blend upward along your cheekbones. Before blending, pat the cream from the apple of your cheek in an upward motion along your cheekbone. Because cream blush is more defined, you shouldn’t be able to see where you started and finished blending—the blush should blend naturally into your skin. Whether you’re new to cream blush or have been using it for years, try Ceramide Cream Blush from Elizabeth Arden.

Who says you need the sun to have a perfect summer glow? Use these tips to achieve a natural summer look all year round!