Is Bronzer Necessary?

bronzer palette in deep tan

Bronzer is a makeup product you will see again and again, especially in the summer. It’s the perfect product to give you a sunkissed glow, making it a makeup staple for beauty gurus. Bronzer and bronzer sticks are a classic part of a makeup routine, but is bronzer necessary, or can you get away without wearing bronzer? Read on to find everything that you need to know!

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What Is The Point Of Bronzer?

Bronzer helps bring more warmth to your face, delivering the look of sun-kissed skin, even if you haven’t been near a beach for weeks. Adding color to your face is an essential makeup step. After you apply your concealer and foundation, your face can look rather dull. It can appear flat. Products like bronzer give your face a splash of color and add more dimension. 

While adding color to your face is essential, you don’t have to use bronzer. Most people use bronzer during the warmer months when it appears more natural and opt for blush or highlighter in place of bronzer during the colder Winter months. You also don’t need to use bronzer to create dimension. Other face makeup products, such as blush, can also create a little dimension. 

Contouring is another excellent way to add dimension to your face. Use a contour stick before applying foundation for a soft, natural appearance. For a chiseled look, like sculpted model-like cheekbones, apply contouring products on top of foundation. 

How To Apply Bronzer

Even though bronzer isn’t necessary, many people enjoy the sunkissed glow you can only get from a good bronzer. Applying bronzer goes on after your foundation in your makeup routine. 

The easiest way to apply bronzer is to draw a three on your face. The first part of the 3 is on your forehead. Then, the 3 goes down the side of your face, along your cheekbone, and back down the side of your face and along your jawline. Using a cream bronzer or bronzer stick to draw a 3 is easy. 

Using a powder bronzer, use a precise angled bronzer or blush brush to carefully draw a 3 on your face using the same method mentioned above. 

After your 3 is done, blend it out. 

Where To Put Bronzer On Your Face

Bronzer goes on most parts of your face that are higher points the sun naturally hits. You’ll notice that when you draw a 3 on your face, the three winds up being on those same high points: your forehead and jawline. However, instead of putting bronzer on your cheeks, it goes just below the cheekbone in the hollow part of your cheek. Your nose is considered a high point on your face, but don’t use bronzer. You wind up accidentally contouring your nose, which can make it look flat and unnatural. 

Can Bronzer Be Used As Contour

Yes, bronzer can be used as a contour. Matte bronzers, two shades darker than your skin tone, are the perfect choice if you want to use a bronzer stick for contouring. Avoid using shimmers or bronzer with glitter for contouring. This gives you an unnatural look instead of the dimension and sculpting that contouring typically provides. 

Wearing Blush And Bronzer

Wearing both blush and bronzer is easy. First, apply the bronzer on your forehead, jawline, and underneath your cheekbone. Blend, blend, and blend some more. Then, apply a blush to the apples of your cheeks. When blending blush, sweep it upwards towards your eye. 

Does Bronzer Go Before Or After Foundation

The wonderful thing about makeup is that there are no hard and fast rules to whether bronzer goes before or after foundation. Most people apply bronzer after foundation for more dimension and pigment to their face. Applying bronzer before foundation is still an option, though. This is an excellent idea if your bronzer is too dark because the foundation will help mute the color a bit. Bronzer under foundation has a soft focus finish for a naturally radiant appearance. 

Do You Have To Wear Bronzer?

No, you don’t have to wear bronzer. There is not a single makeup product that is a necessity, including bronzer. You can wear eye makeup without eyeliner, lipstick without lip liner, and face makeup without bronzer. 

If you’re not wearing bronzer, wear other face makeup to add more color. If you wear foundation and concealer, your face has a uniform, unnatural appearance. Instead of bronzer, contour your face, give your cheeks a few dabs of blush, or apply highlighter to add some color to your face. 

Best Bronzer Products

Monochromatic Bronzer Duo By Cover FX ($35)

Monochromatic Bronzer Duo

This monochromatic bronzer duo is the perfect set to give you a sunkissed glow. It offers a matte and shimmer shade, ensuring you can create the look you want. Or, you can mix them for a custom look that no one else has!

Why You’ll Love It

  • Soft finish that doesn’t make pores appear larger
  • Glides across the skin like butter
  • Buildable
  • Blendable
  • Gluten, talc, and mineral oil free

Check it out here!


Phyto-Touche Illusion d'Eté - Topshot

This gel-like bronzer palette glides on smoothly like a gel product, gives you the pigment you want in a bronzer, and dries like a powder. The gentle gel-powder bronzer has a unique formula with micronized pigments to give your face an even glow that appears natural. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Hydrating
  • Softens the skin
  • It helps protect the skin from environmental damage

Check it out here!

Matte Bronzer By NYX Cosmetics ($9)

Matte Bronzer

NYX Cosmetics made a name for themselves in the industry by bringing you professional, luxury quality products at affordable products, making makeup accessible to everyone. This bronzer is precisely what you need if you’re searching for an essential bronzer. It’s available in five shades, and a virtual try-on option will help you find the perfect shade to suit your skin tone. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Vegan
  • It can be used as a contour
  • It gives the perfect amount of pigment to add definition
  • Works well with oily skin

Check it out here!

Honorable Mentions

While there are bound to be certain bronzing products that we’re die-hard fans of, it’s impossible to say that they’re the only great bronzers on the market. These are some of the runners-up in the best bronzers category!

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer ($10.12)

Wet N Wild Icon Bronzer ($3.98)

Rimmel Natural Bronzer ($3.97)

Burt’s Bees Bronzer Stick ($10.97)

Milani Liquid Bronzer ($8.35)

Final Thoughts

Is bronzer necessary? No, it’s not. You can use your bronzer stick as a contour stick and wear blush instead. This will create the same dimension that most people get from bronzer and give your cheeks a pop of color for a gorgeous look. Highlighter is another option to add color to your face. Remember that it’s essential to avoid a uniform, flat look. If you’re not a fan of bronzer and don’t feel bold enough for blush, try a cheek tint to get the perfect wash of color!

Related Articles

Best Bronzing Drops For Foundation

Bronzer For Beginners

Can You Use Blush And Bronzer Together

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