Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: The Best Bronzer

Dear Belle,

You reference wearing bronzer in some of your posts, and I am clueless about which bronzer to buy or how to apply it.  I want to try bronzer to get that sun-kissed look, but I don’t want to look like Speaker Boehner.  Help a fellow Montanan out!


The secret to pretty, natural-looking bronzer is threefold: choosing the right product, the right shade and applying it correctly.

For application tips, see this old post.  It’ll show you how to blend bronzer, blush and highlighter for flawless application.  Hint: You do not apply bronzer all over like foundation.  That’s how Snooki does it.  Don’t be like Snooki.

I recommend buying a bronzer without shimmer.  My top three recommendations are: Benefit Hoola, Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder and NARS Bronzing Powder.  Need a drugstore selection?  Try NYC Color Smooth Skin Bronzer.

I also recommend that you buy a highlighter (Mary Lou-Manizer from theBalm is my favorite) and a good blush (Bobbi Brown makes the one I love most).  And most importantly, you need a good brush to apply your bronzer with.

You want something with a lot of soft bristles to give you a light, ethereal application.  I own this Sephora Collection brush, but if you need something cheaper, try this studio basics brush from Ulta.  And since blending is essential to having an even, flawless finish, I recommend this blending sponge from Sephora.



  1. Julie says:

    Nice tutorial post! I never have really known how to put on brozer so I usually just splash ab it on my cheeks and forehead… this will help me to do it right.

    Also, I looooove my sephora brushes. Totally worth the cost!

    Style by Joules

    June 5, 2013/Reply
  2. B says:

    For those who are new to using bronzer, a fan brush is also a really good way to start out (they also tend to be cheaper than a larger powder brush). It keeps the application very very light so you can gradually build it up and not over do it. I also recommend Kevyn Aucoin Bronzers. They. are. the. best.

    June 5, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:


      June 5, 2013/Reply
  3. AAR says:

    I second the Mary-Loumanizer recommendation. Received it in my Birchbox and fell in love!

    June 5, 2013/Reply