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So where does the bronzer go...?

Bronze makeup and gold eyeshadow
Image: Dear Dol

Ever wondered where you should be applying your bronzer? Or contour, blush, highlight etc?

If you're confused rest assured you're not alone. It's confusing when everyone seems to be doing a different thing. Then you look at your fav YouTuber, celebrity or influencer and notice they are all wearing it a bit differently.

If you have ever wondered what you should be doing you've come to the right place!

While there are guidelines and suggestions - remember - there really aren't rules to makeup. If you feel like putting it somewhere completely different to where I suggest then that's what you should do. Plus as they say rules are meant to be broken! So if you want to be a bit creative and mix it up I certainly encourage you to!

For those who like rules and guidelines please keep reading! Let me know what you think and if you have any more tips or suggestions would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below!

Face shape

This contour chart above (from the amazing Kevyn Aucoin) demonstrates the general placement of contour and highlight. To determine exactly where to put it on your face though is determined by your face shape.

The idea in the beauty world is that we are trying to achieve an oval shape to the face. So if you have a wider face we try to slim it down. If you have a longer face we try to shorten it. If you have a larger forehead or chin we try to shape it to create that oval look. With that in mind - check out this great chart I found on Pinterest - it shows you just where to put everything based on your face shape!

When it comes to the order of when to put things on again there are no rules but I like to start with contouring first then bronzer and blush. It works for me but feel free to do in whatever order you like!

Step 1: Contour

The best way to create shape is to use a contour colour (neutral colours are best so not too warm) then shade & blend to create a shadow that gives the illusion of pushing that area back or hiding it. I like using both powders or cream. It depends whether I want the skin to look dewy or if I'm after a more matte finish. Just remember that contour shouldn't have shimmer in it otherwise that will draw attention to the area.

Step 2: Bronzer

Your bronzer then goes on the high points of the face to create a natural sun kissed glow. You can also put a bit of bronzer around the forehead, cheekbones and across bridge of nose to warm up the face. If your neck is lighter than you face you can use bronzer to warm up the neck to match your décolletage and upper body. I like using bronzers which have a bit of shimmer in them to give that healthy glow.

Step 3: Blush

Blush should be applied on the apple of the cheeks and be blended softly in the direction of either sideways for longer faces or up towards the ear for most other face shapes. If you have a heart shaped face you can apply the blush on the lower part of the apple of your cheeks. Oval face shapes can just apply to the apple of the cheeks and blend the edges. See this handy chart for more examples.

Step 4: Highlight

For gorgeous glowing skin don't forget to put some highlighter on! I like using highlighter under the brow, on the high parts of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, inner corner of the eye and on the cupids bow.

For a dewy look use a cream or liquid highlighter and blend with your fingers or sponge to create a soft glow. If you have fine lines or texture on the skin that you don't want to highlight I would skip the highlight and really only put it on smooth areas of the skin. You can still create a glowy look by putting highlighter on the other areas I mentioned. Or if you really don't want to highlight but still look dewy - stick to using a dewy/hydrating foundation for that natural glow. And remember not to use much powder or even none at all to keep your skin glowing. Use a setting spray instead to lock in your makeup.

Sarah loves

Here are my favs at the moment:


Cream: Nars The Multiple in South Beach (find it here)

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (find it here)


Cream: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour (find it here)

Powder: Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit (find it here)


Cream: Stila Convertible Colour in Petunia (find it here)

Powder: MAC mineralise blush in Warm Soul (find it here)


Cream: Mecca Cosmetica Enlightened Lit from Within Illuminating Balm (find it here)

Powder: Mecca Cosmetica Enlightened Lit from Within Powder (find it here)

Hope this has helped you a little! Happy bronzing!

Where do you like to apply your bronzer? Do you prefer a matte or cream finish? Let me know by sharing your comments below!

Sarah xx

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