Bronzer Vs. Blush: Which Should You Use?

Should you use bronzer or blush? We'll make it simple. Choose the right makeup for your skin tone and the look you want to create.

Bronzer or Blush: How to Choose

Although bronzer has been on the market for ages, it only became a staple makeup necessity quite recently. I attribute this to the popularity of contouring. A lot of makeup enthusiasts have made the switch and no longer wear blush, but prefer the deep glow of bronzer instead. So the burning question has become, which should you be using? In order to answer this question appropriately, we need to quickly dive into the major differences between the two.

Bronzer vs. blush: how do they differ?

On the surface, the most obvious difference between the two is the color. Blushes typically come in brighter colors with a tint of pink, red, or peach. Bronzers are shades of tan and sometimes have a shimmer to them.

Besides the difference in color, the two are also applied differently. Blush is meant to be applied directly on the apples of the cheeks, imitating the natural color that flourishes when a person blushes, hence the name of the product. Bronzers, on the other hand, are supposed to be applied to the areas that typically tan naturally such as the forehead, bridge of the nose, jawlines, and cheekbones, contouring the face shape.

Both when used correctly, should highlight the natural colors of your skin, enhancing them to create natural-looking color to your skin that lasts all day. You can purchase both in powder form or a creamy form.

When should you use which?

Now that we have nailed down the major differences (and similarities) in the two products, we can better understand when to use them. You likely have both options on hand and frequently glare into your makeup bag trying to decide which you should wear that day. That is at least the case for myself, and the decision usually ends up being on my mood. I tend to wear bronzer when I am wearing more makeup in general and blush when I am only wearing mascara.

While we can argue that the product you should be using is a matter of opinion and you should wear whatever your little heart desires, there actually are some instances when one is more appropriate than the other.

how to get a Sun-kissed look

If you are headed to the beach, or a laid back outdoorsy day, and going for a sun-kissed look, reach for that bronzer. The brown pigments will give you a glow that says, “I just got back from a Mediterranean cruise.” Choose a bronzer that has some shimmer to add radiance to that glow.

what makeup to use to Contour

A night out on the town, or a big event that calls for a more mature and polished look with a full face of makeup, may call for some contouring to bring out the angles of your face. Grab a matte bronzer to enhance those angles and give your face a warm look.

How to use makeup to look more Awake

It’s time to reach for the blush when you need a natural flush to brighten up your skin. Adding a pink or peach tint to the apples of your cheeks will have you looking like you just ran up a flight of stairs and are ready to take on the day. Apply in small circles with limited product on the brush to keep it a natural brightening.

How to get a Natural, glowing look

Going for a natural, day-time look? Why not use both products? Bronzer and blush can actually complement each other when used appropriately. Blend bronzer on the bottom of your cheekbone, creating a line and then blending thoroughly using circular motions. Then pop some color onto the apples of your cheeks to get a summertime natural flourish.

how to Choose the right Seasonal makeup

The shimmery glow that bronzer can provide is generally favored in the Summer-time when your skin is naturally bronzing. Enhance your natural glow with bronzer at this time of year. In the Winter, you may need to add some color to your pale face. Blush will provide you with subtle flush that you get when you hit the ski slopes.

At the end of the day, it really does come down to your mood and what kind of look you are feeling on a particular day. For those that are as indecisive as I am, these general guidelines can help aid in the decision making process. But they are just that, general guidelines, and are by no means rules that everyone must follow to look their best. After all, everyone has different skin and different preferences, which is probably one of the reasons why we have so many options available to us to begin with. So you do you, boo.

Resources— Byrdie, Mented Cosmetics, Beauty Heaven

Share this article