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Here’s exactly how you should apply bronzer!

The three easy steps for nailing that golden glow.

Bronzer is the only makeup product you need to fake that I-just-got-back-from-Miami glow—even in the dead of winter. To avoid looking too toasty (because you can totally go overboard), we spoke with celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño for his tips on how to apply bronzer the right way on all skin tones.

Pick The Right Shade

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Bronzer, which is typically a powder or cream in a shade of brown, adds dimension and warmth to your face (it’s why we use it when we contour). To make it look as natural as possible, you want to pick the right shade for your skin tone. Avendaño suggests going no more than one or two shades darker than what you naturally are. For those with fair skin, he says to pick a neutral shade so it won’t look too muddy. A formula with shimmer should be used with a lighter touch, while a matte formula is a little more dynamic.

If you have yellow undertones, a golden or peach bronzer is best for a radiant, healthy-looking glow. For olive and dark skin tones, pick a bronzer with orange undertones.

Reach For A Fluffy Angled Brush

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The best brush to use with both powder and cream bronzer is an angled brush. “They’re great for bronzing because it can fit around the curve of your cheekbone for a nice definition,” Avendaño says.

For liquid bronzer, he suggests applying it first with a brush and blending it in with damp sponge like the Beautyblender to make it look seamless. “You don’t want to see an obvious defined line,” says the makeup artist. “So using a damp sponge is a great way to blend it out.”

Follow the “3” Rule

More bronzer is not necessarily better—so take it easy. Avendaño says the most common bronzer pitfall is using too much at the start. Layering is key, whether working with bronzer powders or liquids, to avoid looking muddy. “Light layers is a great way to start applying bronzer,” he says. Gradually blend a little bit of bronzer, then go check your work in natural daylight before adding more.

It’s one of the oldest but most effective beauty roles: always apply bronzer in the shape of the number three, going from your temple to your cheekbone and then finishing off with your jawline. When bronzer hits those three high points of your face, you’ll look contoured and sun-kissed. For a little extra glow, you can brush a little bit of bronzer across the center of your nose, too (since that’s where the sun would naturally leave some color—if you weren’t wearing sunscreen).