Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: five tips for achieving bronzed, glowing skin

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tell us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends

Paddy shares his tips for achieving bronzed, glowing skin with bronzer and powder contour.
Paddy shares his tips for achieving bronzed, glowing skin with bronzer and powder contour.

By Paddy McGurgan

This week, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and I'm sure we all miss the sunshine that we had gotten used to. Don't let the lack of sun dull your complexion - here are some of my top tips for achieving bronzed, glowing skin with bronzer and powdered contour.

Bronzers can have additional benefits - if you invest in a highly pigmented bronzer to sculpt and contour the face, you can then use it as a transition colour through the crease of your eye make-up. One of my favourite drugstore bronzers to use for this look is the Bourjois Bronzing Powder in Medium/Dark (£7.99, Boots).

Bourjois bronzer

I have to admit that this bronzer is my favourite product to use to sculpt and define the face. It is traditionally applied with an angled or tapered powder bronzer brush, which is great for a defined look. When using a powder product, make sure to tap off any excess product from the brush as this will prevent you from packing too much onto the skin. The main areas to focus your bronzer on should be your temple, under the cheekbones and along the jawline - this gives the illusion of a slimmer, symmetrical face.

I am quite the 'bronzer hopper' - being a make-up artist, I go through moods, preferences and trends, however, my all-time hero bronzer is Illamasqua's Pressed Foundation in shade 240 (£30.00, Make up Pro Store). I love this product because it applies smoothly onto the skin, giving full definition to the face.


I find that a matte powder bronzer is best for creating a sculpted and warm addition to the face. The product I would recommend is the Benefit Hoola Bronzer (£24.50) as it applies beautifully to the skin and will help you achieve a defined look.


When choosing your bronzer, the general rule is to go no more than one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone to avoid a patchy, uneven skin tone. Try Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow (£49.00) - it is a blend of pearl and pigment which will leave an even and gorgeous glow. With a large brush, sweep it around the hairline and under the cheekbones, blending upwards for a naturally sculpted look.


It is a common misconception in the beauty community that cream products are the best for achieving strongly contoured cheekbones. For me, this is complete rubbish. Cream products are thicker in texture which can sometimes look heavy on the skin. There is only so much product that the skin can hold before it starts to look messy or patchy.

Personally, if I have a client who loves a strong contour, I always reach for my matte powder bronzer to sculpt and shape the face. There are so many bronzers to choose from, but, the one I tend to reach for is Make Up Studio M3 Compact Bronzer (£23.75). I can use this product on any client because its tone is so natural. How strong or smooth of a contour you want depends on the pressure you put on the brush.

Top tip: For an extra sculpted look, sharpen your contour using a tiny bit of cream concealer under your cheek bone area (just on your lower jaw) as this will automatically raise your cheekbone.

Five top tips for seamless bronzer application

1. Take your foundation product and buff around the edges of where you have placed your contour - this will add extra definition to your face.

2. Be careful when choosing your shade. Opt for cool toned contour as you want to create a shadow-like effect on the cheekbones. This will blend into the skin better and not stand out as much as an orange-toned product.

3. When applying your bronzer, start at the middle of the ear and do not go any further than the outer corner of the eye. This will enhance your natural bone structure.

4. Apply your products in the correct order. First, apply all your liquid products (primer, concealer and foundation) then apply your powder products (bronzer, blush, setting powder). This will prevent your make-up from cracking or turning ashy.

5. Lastly, know your own face shape. There is no 'one size fits all' - ensure you're bronzing to enhance your own features. The reason for contouring is to make the face as symmetrical and oval-shaped as possible, so make sure you tailor your bronzer and contour to your own face shape.

Belfast Telegraph


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