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How to Apply Bronzer: Tips from a Celebrity Makeup Artist

Celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman shares how to apply bronzer like a pro—plus five clean bronzer options to shop.

Written by
Andrea Hill

As summer wanes, tricks to maintain that sun-kissed glow associated are entirely welcome. Fortunately, makeup artist Gucci Westman isn't shy about sharing her secrets—including how to apply bronzer like a pro.

Westman—the go-to artist for the likes of Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Ratajkowski, and more—took to social media to share her tips for creating a quick, bronzed moment, and we're planning to carry the cues into fall. But her tutorial on how to apply bronzer is different than what most of us learned via YouTube back in the day.

For a natural sun-kissed glow, Gucci says her secret is opting for horizontal strokes as opposed to vertical ones. "I like horizontal application because I feel like you make it seem a little bit more authentic," she says. "It looks more like it would if the sun actually hit your skin."

How to Apply Bronzer Like a Pro

Westman begins by packing a small amount of product onto a contouring brush, tapping away excess powder before pulling the brush across her forehead in a horizontal motion that mimicks the way that the sun would actually reflect on your skin.

After gently sweeping the bronzer across your forehead, apply it using the same horizontal motion over your cheeks, under the eyes, and eyelids to maximize warming. As a general rule, she never goes below the cheekbones.


To wrap up the process, add a quick brush down the nose. Then "tie" your temples and cheeks together by brushing the powder back and forth between, creating a glow that leans natural and flattering.

To test-drive Westman's bronzer application technique yourself, we've handpicked a selection of clean bronzers (including her own) to help you achieve a perfectly luminous look year-round.

4 Clean Bronzer Options to Shop

To re-create Westman's exact look, reach for the bronzer featured in her tutorial. Westman Atelier offers clean and cruelty-free prestige beauty, centering natural ingredients and a vocal commitment to sustainability. The powder is highly-pigmented, long-lasting, and easy to blend.

Vegan and cruelty-free, Tower 28 is known for its playful approach to beauty. Its best-selling bronzer enhances your natural glow with speckles of gold and seamlessly chisels your face when used for contouring.

Kosas' clean bronzer promises "a golden hour filter you can wear," along with a buttery-soft texture. (It has the consistency of a pressed powder minus the creasing or cakey finish.) Plus, Kosas adheres to the EU standards and eschews more than 2,700 ingredients.

This talc-free powder features a buildable and blendable pigment designed to suit every skin tone. It's lightweight and ideal for anyone craving a sun-kissed glow. The packing is mono-material and mirror-free for easy recycling.