Style

Here Are The Bronzers And Blushes That Actually Look Amazing On Women Of Color

Because much like finding a good "nude" lip color, getting a blush or bronzer that actually works can be challenging.

Posted on

Bronzer can give you that ~faux glow~ with very little effort.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed Life

It's the fastest way to make it look like you spent your weekend sipping margaritas on a beach in Bermuda.

Note: The "after" image has been flipped.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed Life

It's the fastest way to make it look like you spent your weekend sipping margaritas on a beach in Bermuda.

Note: The "after" image has been flipped.

← Slide →
Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed Life

It's the fastest way to make it look like you spent your weekend sipping margaritas on a beach in Bermuda.

Note: The "after" image has been flipped.

And blush can completely brighten up your face.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed Life

Use it on your cheeks! Use it on your lips! It knows (almost) no boundaries.

But if you don't know WTF you're doing, things can go downhill pretty quickly.

Comedy Central

And because most blush and bronzer tutorials aren't shown on women of color, finding the right products can prove to be difficult.

So we asked the BuzzFeed Community for their suggestions on blushes and bronzers for women of color, and then four BuzzFeed employees put everything to the test.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

BuzzFeed Life teamed up with Maya Rene, a New York City–based makeup artist, to find out just how to use bronzers and blushes.

First off, get yourself the right tools.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

If you’re using any kind of powder products on your cheeks, opt for brushes like these. Rene suggests using your fingers instead of brushes when you're working with cream-based or gel products.

Angled Blush Brush: Use this to sweep blush over the apples of your cheeks or to define your cheekbones with bronzer.

Flat Top Contour Brush: Use this to get that "chiseled," sharp-cheekbone look with a bronzer or a contouring powder.

Here's how to emphasize your cheekbones:

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Blush brightens up the face for a naturally flushed look.

Bronzer can help to define your bone structure and give you a sun-kissed look.

Whether you choose to use both products at once is entirely up to you.

There are different techniques depending on whether you're using a powder or cream-based formula.

With powder blush, gently dip your brush into the powder and sweep it across the apple of your cheeks.

John Gara / Via BuzzFeed Life

You can find your apple by smiling and looking for the fleshiest part of your cheek. Blend the powder slightly up and toward your temple.

Sweep powder bronzer just under your cheekbone and up toward your temples with a brush.

John Gara / Via BuzzFeed Life

To find your cheekbones, suck in your cheeks to make a "duckface" and apply bronzer along the hollowed-out area.

As for cream-based blush, rub the pad of your fingertip in the blush, then blot the cream onto the apple of your cheek and up toward the temple.

John Gara / Via BuzzFeed Life

And if you have a lipstick that you're obsessed with, try using it as a blush!

Next, we tested a LOT of products.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed

1. Pixi by Petra Palette Bronzette, $28

2. Sonia Kashuk Sahara Sunset Blusher in Casablanca, Limited Edition (no longer available)

3. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome Blush, $16

4. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome Bronzer, $16

5. Milani Baked Bronzer, $6.79

6. Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess, $37

7. Too Faced Little Black Book of Bronzers, $49

8. Cynthia Rowley Bronzer, $12

9. Cynthia Rowley Blush, $12

10. Tata Harper Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint, $35

11. MAC Blush in Blunt, $22

12. Coastal Scents 6 Contour Blush Palette, $18.95

Of everything we tested, these were the products that worked — and looked — the best.

The Body Shop blush is a powder with a silky finish that can be applied directly from the container.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Sapna, Sydney, and Tracy loved this blush, but Dria wasn't that impressed.

Sydney: "This might be in the running as my absolute favorite blush ever. So light and the perfect shade!"

Tracy: "It reminds me of NARS’s Orgasm but it’s much more pigmented and richer and more noticeable. It gives me a rosy honey-kissed glow and I’m so into that."

Dria: "I put it on and 'eh.' At least I can see it [on my face]."

You can get The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome in Shade 02 here for $16.

Tata Harper's Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint is a hybrid formula between a cream and a gel that can be used on cheeks and/or lips.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Sapna: "This is easy to apply, lovely on — could see myself wearing it day or night — and seems like makeup that would last a full day. You can apparently also use it on your lips, and that seems like the makeup equivalent of a reversible T-shirt, which I am very down with."

Tracy: "The finish looks more dewy than it does cakey; it gives more of a glow than the powder blushes I tried. The color is nice and subtle so that it doesn’t do too much, but visible enough so that people know you put some work into those cheeks."

Dria: "It's sheer, very subtle, and layering it more didn't make it more present. But I didn't hate it. In fact, I kinda liked it! If you don't want to look too made up but want a hint of color, it's cool. I however don't want a hint of color. I want to look dewy and sun-kissed. My cheeks did not look "tinted," either. But it smelled great — like a fruit market."

You can get it here for $35.

MAC Powder Blush is, yes, technically a blush. But because of the shade, we used it as a bronzer instead and it looked amazing.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Just because a product has a particular label doesn't mean you can't experiment with how to use it. This blush, for example, can work as a blush or a bronzer. ~*Multi-tasking*~

Tracy: "I like this one! Pigment and coverage is good, it doesn’t do the weird pink tint thing, and it’s more matte than it is shimmery. But it also doesn’t make me feel sun-kissed in a glowing way; just tanned/browner. I would feel comfortable using this ~lightly~ all over my face and on my neck and chest, too. It seems like a little bit goes a long way, so it’s probably easy to put too much on if you’re not careful, but once you find your sweet spot, it’s awesome!"

Sapna: "This is a little deeper and rosier than I normally wear. I imagine it would look better at night, as it's a bit too intense for daytime wear. Feels light on my skin, though."

You can get the shade we used, called Blunt, here for $22.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome is a cream that can be applied directly to the face from the container.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Dria: "This felt GREAT going on. The creamy texture felt cooling to the touch. It took quite a few layers of application, but as I sat with it, I began to like it more. It had a touch of color and a touch of shimmer. It was subtle, but it was the first one I feel like I noticed. (When I said this aloud, people began to applaud! lol.)"

Sapna: "I love how it went on. Because it's in the form of a stick, it felt nice and really smooth and blends well! Bonus: It smells good, too."

You can get it here for $16.

Dria felt like most of the products she tested weren't pigmented enough for her, so we decided to stray from reader suggestions to find something that she would love wearing.

Maya suggested using lipstick as blush and it WERKED.

Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed Life

Dria: "After trying 1,000 blushes that failed to show up on my skin, I asked if we even needed blush — I was feeling like obviously my skin was too dark for blush, and I just wanted the golden-looking/bronzed part anyway.

"The thing is, the bronzer complements the blush, so to really get the effect [I wanted], you need both. And so the determined Maya kept looking until she came up with some options that we hadn't considered: using lipstick as blush. As Maya took her fingers and applied the lipstick to my cheeks, I began to get so excited! It felt like she saved the day! It felt great to finally see that pop of color on my cheeks and to feel like all was not lost. Then we added the Betty-Lou Manizer bronzer on top, and I knew my dream look had come true. I think everyone in the room applauded, too."

You can get CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Hot (red) here and in Euphoria (purple) here, each for $6.79.

What We Learned:

- Because creams and gels tend to be more highly pigmented, they really pop on deep skin tones more than powder formulas. However, if you have a powder blush shade you love, try layering it over a cream to give it more pigmentation.

- Medium to light powder bronzers with a hint of shimmer give a true sun-kissed look better than deep matte bronzers.

- When in doubt, use makeup in ways it's not marketed for — like wearing lipstick as a blush.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss