How To Apply Highlighter And Bronzer

How to Apply Highlighter and Bronzer

If you’re new to makeup it can feel a little overwhelming.

The amount of products and the various ways they can be applied is enough for anyone to throw down their beauty blender and keep their face au naturel.

However, once mastered, makeup is a wonderful way to express yourself and show your personality on the outside.

We understand that there is a lot to learn, though, which is why we’ve come up with a step by step tutorial on how to do your makeup, focusing specifically on bronzer and highlighter.

Bronzer and highlighter are fun, expressive products to add to your makeup bag that can make your face glow and make your overall makeup look polished and professional.

Read on to learn more about the different types, how to choose one, and how to apply them for that glowy, polished look.

What Is Highlighter?

Highlighters are a must-have in any makeup bag, and they’re especially useful for adding a touch of glitter and sparkle to your face.

Highlighters are designed to reflect the light and make the wearer look shiny in the best way possible.

Unlike blush, which is used to add color to your face, highlighter emphasizes your features (the features you want to emphasize, that is) by making them pop.

In this way, highlighter and blush complement one another.

What Are The Different Types Of Highlighter?

You can choose between powdered or liquid highlighter. Both of these function in the same way, but liquid highlighter offers a more intense shine.

How To Choose The Right Highlighter

Some people prefer to use a sheen look during the daytime, and a glitter highlighter look during the night, but technically there is no ‘right’ way to do highlighter, just do what’s right for you!

What Is Bronzer?

Bronzer is a great product to have in your makeup bag! It is designed to give your skin a bronzed look, which adds warmth and mimics sun-kissed, glowing skin.

Bronzer is also used to contour your face. This allows the wearer to accentuate their desired features, such as cheekbones, their jawline, etc.

How To Choose The Right Bronzer

Before we get into product application, we must first ensure we are using the correct product!

There are many different types of bronzer that have slightly different uses. Here are a few examples of the different forms of bronzers!

Matte Bronzer

Matte bronzer is perfect for contouring and adding depth to your face.

They also help to minimize the look of other features by creating ‘shadows’ on your face. If you have oily skin, then a matte bronzer is perfect for you!

PÜR MINERALS Bronzing Act Matte Bronzer Powder - Illuminating Bronzer For Face & Body Contour - Brightening Bronzer Makeup For Natural-Looking Glowing Skin - Vegan, Cruelty-Free Bronzer - Light
  • PÜR's innovative light bronzer delivers a natural-looking glow and easily doubles as a contour to create depth and dimension. Use the warm bronzer to fake a healthy-looking tan or shape the face and body to create a natural look of incredible definition.
  • Our natural face bronzer comes infused with our good-for-your-skin Ceretin and Energy Complexes, to help brighten the look of your complexion for a subtle, all-over warmth that radiates.
  • At PÜR, we believe that innovative beauty shouldn't be a burden on anyone. That's why we've been committed to creating cruelty-free products from the start. All of our makeup and skincare products are free of animal testing.

Shimmer Bronzer

Shimmer bronzer is not suitable for contouring. However, if you want a sun-kissed, summer glow then the shimmer bronzer would be perfect for you!

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer | Bronzer Face Powder Makeup | Dermatologist Approved
  • WARM ISLAND GLOW - Give your face the radiant goddess glow of the tropics Pick your color and watch your look gently transform as the refined pearls and soft-focus pigments smooth and brighten your skin tone with a subtle shimmer finish
  • NOURISHING AND MOISTURIZING - Made with a blend of murumuru butter, cupuaçu butter, and tucuma butter from the nutrient-rich Amazon, this makeup is packed with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins that soften, condition, and moisturize the skin
  • SMOOTH APPLICATION - Whether you use a makeup brush or even just your fingers, cosmetics from the Murumuru Butter Collection glide on with ease and seamlessly blend into the skin for attractive all-day coverage. Product Form: Pressed Powder
  • MADE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN - Physicians Formula makeup is specifically formulated with your health and comfort in mind That's why we use high-quality hypoallergenic and natural ingredients, leaving you looking and feeling beautiful from the inside out
  • CRUELTY-FREE – All Physicians Formula foundations, eye makeup, lipsticks, and other cosmetics are always cruelty-free and never test on animals

Satin Bronzer

Satin bronzer is a great middle-ground between a matte and shimmer bronzer. It can be used for contouring while adding that little extra radiance.

LAURA GELLER NEW YORK Baked Bronze-N-Brighten Bronzer Powder - Medium - Natural Bronze Glow
  • BAKED BRONZE-N-BRIGHTEN MULTIPURPOSE POWDER BRONZER: Medium swirls of liquid pigment self-adjust to match your skin tone for a customized match.
  • NEVER ORANGE GET A BEAUTIFUL NATURAL BRONZED TAN GLOW, ALL YEAR LONG: Baked Bronze-n-Brighten delivers sun-kissed color without any trace of orange. The resulting soft powder imparts a warm, sun-kissed glow, while also providing coverage and color correction.
  • BAKED FORMULA, SMOOTH WEIGHTLESS FEEL SELF ADJUSTING PIGMENTS: As always, the swirled, color-correcting pigments are baked in terra-cotta pans for 24 hours, and are mineral oil- and paraben-free. Infused with antioxidants Centella Asiatica and White Tea Extracts.
  • MULTIPURPOSE USE: This Bronzer powder face makeup can be used as contour, eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyebrow filler, and of course bronzer!
  • HOW TO APPLY: Apply bronzer on places the sun naturally hits: forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Or sweep across the hairline, cheek bones, and underneath the jawline for a toasted contoured definition and a sculpted look.


If you want to achieve the perfect overall makeup look then you need to pick the right shade of bronzer for your skin tone.

For glowy skin, your bronzer should ideally be 1 to 2 shades darker than your skin and foundation.

To contour, you should choose a bronzer that is 2-3 shades darker than your skin and foundation.

This helps to create the natural, shadow effect.

It is helpful to go with the lighter shade if you are stuck between two shades of bronzer because this allows you to layer the bronzer and work up to the color you want.

This also helps to reduce any harsh lines and create a more natural look.

Using The Right Brushes

How to Apply Highlighter and Bronzer - Use the right brushes

Before applying your bronzer or highlighter, you need to ensure that you are using the right brushes.

This is so you can have more control of the amount of product you deposit onto your face and exactly where you deposit that product.

Further Reading: What is a Kabuki Brush?

Highlighter Brush

For the best possible results, you should apply your highlight with a thin, tapered brush that is specifically designed for precision and achieving a wonderful, strobing effect.

We think this highlighter brush would be perfect! This brush is perfect for both a powdered and a liquid highlighter.

However, some people prefer a fan brush to apply their highlighter, and if that sounds like you, then you can find the perfect one by clicking the link here!

Please note that you can use other brushes when applying your highlighter to different places, but these brushes are what we recommend when it comes to highlighter and bronzer basics.

Bronzer Brush

When applying bronzer, you will need an angled brush! Angled brushes are great for precise and accurate bronzer application.

With this angled brush, you will achieve a sharp contour look that’s sure to catch everyone’s eye!

Alternatively, for shimmery bronzers, you can use this Lancome bronzer brush!

How To Apply Highlighter

Powdered Highlighter

  1. Pick up your thin, tapered brush or fan brush and sweep it back and forth across your highlighter.
  2. Dab off the excess powder.
  3. Lightly brush over your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your brow bones.

If you want an extra, sparkly look can be achieved by adding highlighter to different places on your face!

  1. Repeat steps 1-3 above with a glitter highlighter.
  2. Use your finger or a smaller brush to apply the highlighter to your cupid’s bow and the inner corner of your eyes.

If you want a visual tutorial of these steps, then you can find one by clicking this link.

Liquid Highlighter

Applying liquid highlighter is very similar to applying the powdered product.

  1. Open your liquid highlighter and dap lightly onto the necessary places on your face – your cheekbones, browbones, cupid’s bow, wherever you feel inspired!
  2. Now that you have your light dots of liquid highlighter, use your brush to lightly sweep them across your skin.
  3. Blend into your face for an overall natural shine. Remember you can always add more product, so it’s best to start small and work up to your desired glow.

How To Apply Bronzer

Matte Bronzer

  1. First, sweep the brush over your bronzer.
  2. Dab off the excess.
  3. Lightly sweep the brush across your cheekbones moving inwards from your ear.
  4. Repeat for your forehead, jawline, the tip of your chin, and the tip of your nose.
  5. Don’t forget to blend any harsh edges or excess product.

Shimmer Bronzer

  1. Repeat steps 1-2 above.
  2. Lightly dab your bronzer onto your cheekbones.
  3. After applying the shimmer bronzer to your cheekbones, you can go ahead and apply it to wherever the sun naturally hits your face, such as your nose and forehead, adding more product if necessary.
  4. Blend! Make sure you blend well for an overall subtle glow, and natural, sun-kissed look.

Final Thoughts

Bronzer and highlighter are wonderful additions to any makeup bag.

Highlighter reflects natural light and can make your finished look anything from lightly shining to full on glitter glam.

Matte bronzer is used to accentuate your chosen features, while shimmer bronzer is designed to give you a sun-kissed, warm glow.

Whatever products you choose, all are easy to apply with only slight variations between the respective products.

Once you’ve mastered it, you can go ahead and improvise in whatever way you feel inspired.

Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API