When to use blush, when to use bronzer

Blush or bronzer? It's an age-old question. They can both add a healthy glow to your face, and they're both staples in every girl's makeup arsenal, no matter what kind of look you're going for. So what's the difference between them? How do you use them? Here, we've answered *all* your blush and bronzer questions.

When do I use blush?

Blush has more pink and red tones, and it's supposed to look like the natural flush you get when you've been out in the cold or just taken a run on a summer day. You can get blush in a matte or shimmery finish, and it comes in powders, creams and gels. It creates a fresh-faced look that's great for any occasion, so use blush when you want a rosy pop of color to go with your makeup look. These are some blushes we're *obsessed* with:

Milani Baked Blush - Ulta, $10

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush - Ulta, $29

When do I use bronzer?

Bronzer is supposed to add warmth to your face and look as if you've spent a couple hours at the beach, so it comes in gold, tan and brown colors. Like blush, it comes in both matte and shimmery finishes in powders, creams, and gels. However, unlike blush, bronzer is more of a full-face color booster and isn't just for your cheeks. It's great for summertime, but feel free to use it whenever you want a sun-kissed glow. Here are some tried-and-true bronzers:

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer - Ulta, $16

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer - Ulta, $30

What do I use to apply blush and bronzer?

If you're using a powder product, use a round, fluffy brush. You can apply cream and gel products with your fingers, and you can also use a makeup sponge with gel products.

Where do I apply blush?

There are two common ways to apply blush. This first method is a classic. Apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks in swirling motions. The apples are the parts of your cheek that rise up when you smile, so smiling while applying blush can help. 

The second way to apply blush is great if you want to add some structure to your face without using something like contour. Take the blush and sweep it right along your cheekbones in upward strokes.

For a finishing touch with both methods, you can add a bit of blush on your nose, which creates a *super* cute all-around flush. And always remember that less is more. Too much blush can look unnatural or uneven.  


Where do I apply bronzer?

You want a sun-kissed look with bronzer, so apply it in places where the sun would usually hit your face. If you're using a brush, hold the end of the brush to make sure you're keeping a light hand, and apply the bronzer in a "3" shape along your hairline, down your temples, across your cheekbones and around to your jawline. You can also dust some bronzer on your nose and neck. Keep the bronzer light, since you can always layer up on it if you want.


Can I wear blush and bronzer at the same time?

Absolutely! Using both blush and bronzer can help create a more finished look that's great for special occasions. To wear both, first apply the bronzer in the "3" shape. However, when going over your cheeks, go a little lower than you normally would and get the undersides of your cheekbones. Then apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend so that there's a smooth transition between the blush and bronzer. And now you've got an *amazing* look that brings out your cheeks and adds warmth to your face!

How did your blush or bronzer look turn out? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via Giphy

by Erin Jeon | 7/9/2020