Summer Glow: Achieve a Sun-Kissed Look with These Bronzer and Highlighter Techniques

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Ah, summer! The time of year when sun-kissed, radiant skin takes center stage. And what better way to get that irresistible summer glow than with the magic of bronzer and highlighter? In this article, we’ll dive into an array of bronzer and highlighter techniques that’ll have you rocking that fresh, beach-ready look all season long. So buckle up, makeup enthusiasts, and let’s discover how to master these makeup must-haves for skin that looks effortlessly luminous.

For more info about makeup this season, check out Summer Makeup Trends: The Hottest Looks to Try This Season.

Choosing the Right Bronzer and Highlighter

Before diving into application techniques, it’s essential to choose the right bronzer and highlighter for your skin tone. Need help choosing makeup that’s ideal for the heat and summer? Check out Summer Makeup Essentials: Top 5 Must-Have Products for a Radiant Look and Best Makeup with Sunscreen: Protect and Beautify Your Skin.


Bronzers come in various shades, from light to deep, with undertones ranging from cool to warm. To find the perfect match for your skin, consider the following tips:

  • Identify your skin’s undertone: Determine whether your skin has cool, neutral, or warm undertones. Cool undertones lean towards pink or blue, while warm undertones have a yellow or golden hue. Neutral undertones are a mix of both.
  • Select a shade: Choose a bronzer shade that’s one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone. If you have a cool undertone, opt for a bronzer with a cool or neutral hue, while those with warm undertones should look for warm or golden shades.


Highlighters are available in various forms, including powder, cream, and liquid. They can range from subtle to intense, with shades that include champagne, gold, rose, and silver. To find the right highlighter for you, consider these tips:

  • Choose a formula: Select a highlighter formula based on your skin type. Powder highlighters are best for oily or combination skin, while cream and liquid highlighters work well on dry or normal skin.
  • Pick a shade: Choose a highlighter shade that complements your skin tone. For fair skin, opt for champagne or silver shades. Medium skin tones can go for gold or rose, while deep skin tones look stunning in bronze or copper shades.

Bronzer Application Techniques

Now that you have the perfect bronzer and highlighter, let’s dive into the techniques that will give you that sun-kissed glow.

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

First things first: start by giving your skin some TLC with a thorough cleanse, a dose of hydration from your favorite moisturizer, and—most importantly—slather on that sunscreen to shield your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Next, apply your foundation and concealer to create a flawless base.

Step 2: Map Your Face

To achieve a natural sun-kissed look, you’ll want to apply bronzer to the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face. This typically includes the:

  • Forehead
  • Temples
  • Cheekbones
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Jawline

Step 3: Apply the Bronzer

Using a fluffy brush, pick up a small amount of bronzer and tap off the excess. Start by applying the bronzer to your forehead, blending it into your hairline. Next, sweep the bronzer along your temples and across your cheekbones using a figure 3 motion. Finally, blend the bronzer along your jawline and down your neck for a seamless look.

Step 4: Blend and Build

Make sure to blend the bronzer well, eliminating any harsh lines or edges. If you desire a more sun-kissed look, you can build up the bronzer in layers. Just remember that less is more when it comes to bronzer—aim for a natural, subtle effect.

Highlighter Application Techniques

Now that your bronzer is in place, it’s time to add some radiance to your skin with highlighter. Follow these steps to achieve a gorgeous, glowing complexion:

Step 1: Locate the High Points of Your Face

The key to a natural-looking highlight is applying the product to the high points of your face, where light would naturally hit. These areas include the:

  • Tops of your cheekbones
  • Brow bone
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Cupid’s bow (above your upper lip)
  • Inner corners of the eyes

Step 2: Choose the Right Brush or Applicator

Select a brush or applicator that works well with your chosen highlighter formula. For powder highlighters, use a small, fluffy brush. For cream or liquid highlighters, your fingers or a damp makeup sponge will do the trick.

Step 3: Apply the Highlighter

For powder highlighters, pick up a small amount of product with your brush, tap off any excess, and gently sweep it across the high points of your face. If you’re using a cream or liquid highlighter, dab a small amount onto your fingers or sponge, and gently tap it onto your skin, blending as needed.

Step 4: Blend and Build

As with bronzer, blending is crucial for a natural-looking highlight. Ensure there are no harsh lines or edges by blending the highlighter into your skin. If you want a more intense glow, you can build up the highlighter in layers.

Finishing Touches

Once your bronzer and highlighter are in place, complete your sun-kissed look by adding a touch of blush to the apples of your cheeks, blending it towards your temples. This will add a pop of color and help tie your bronzer and highlighter together for a cohesive, radiant finish.

Finish your makeup with a setting spray or powder to ensure your summer glow lasts all day long.


Achieving a natural, sun-kissed look with bronzer and highlighter is simple when you follow the proper techniques. Remember to choose the right shades for your skin tone, apply the products to the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face, and blend well for a seamless finish. By mastering these bronzer and highlighter techniques, you’ll be ready to rock that perfect summer glow all season long.

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