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Makeup Tips and Tricks, Makeup Trends

Building Your Summer Makeup Kit: Bronze and Highlight

Summer has arrived, and just as you’ve traded in your sweaters for tees and boots for sandals, it’s time to transition your makeup into the new season. For certified makeup artists, your makeup kit is one of your most prized possessions, and a lot of thought and care goes into each product.

So how do you choose the best products to give your clients that gorgeous summer glow? Use this guide to the different types of highlighters and bronzers on the market, and which ones are worth clearing space for in your makeup kit.

Read on and take notes for your next makeup haul!

Know your glow

Not all products that claim to provide a healthy glow are created equal. Highlighters and bronzers may appear to be similar to blush, but they are very different in the finish they provide and in how they’re used.

Blush is universally known as a flush of color for the cheeks, and can be found in a range of colors from red to peach and even tan, depending on the client’s skin tone. While blush is a product that can be applied year round, it faces intense competition in the summer months from bronzer, which is a product that creates a natural glow. Makeup artists know that their clients will want a natural makeup look during the heat of the summer – one that is sun-kissed and warm.

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A dewy, flawless complexion can be created using a number of different makeup products, but one product in particular, highlighter, is absolute magic. If your client wants to look healthy and fresh, this is the product you’ll want to have close at hand. Highlighters can be quite expensive, but there are tons of affordable options out there that are high-quality. Plus, highlighters don’t need to be used in excess – a little goes a long way!

Types of Bronzers

As mentioned above, not all glow-producing makeup is created equal. This applies to bronzers, as well! The whole point behind bronzers relates back to skin care, and the desire for a healthy glow without spending hours in the sun.

When your clients want to look as though they’ve enjoyed some time at the beach, it’s important to understand their skin tone and color, as well as the effect they want. Here are common types of bronzers and our top recommendations to get you started:

Powder bronzer: A prerequisite to a successful career in makeup is the ability to understand skin types. This is especially true with bronzer, as the wrong choice can seriously affect your client’s overall look! If you’re working with oily skin, you’ll want to choose a powder bronzer.

A powder-based bronzer, similar to a loose powder, will mattify oily skin while creating a gorgeous summer glow that lasts all day. Powder will also create a buildable tan for clients who are nervous about applying dark colors to their skin.
Recommendation: Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

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Liquid bronzer: When it comes to natural makeup, liquid bronzers will provide the most authentic sun-kissed glow. Best suited for dry skin, this type of bronzer can be mixed with foundation or applied on top in order to create a dazzling effect.

This option is excellent for clients with mature skin, as it will not enhance fine lines or wrinkles, but instead create an extremely youthful glow. Similar to powder, liquid bronzer is a great choice for clients who prefer a slight touch of color instead of a heavy tan.
Recommendation: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer

Matte bronzer: One great feature of bronzers is that you can choose them based on desired effect! If your client is in love with the idea of a natural-looking tan, their best bet will be a matte bronzer. Be sure to choose the right bronzer shade for your client’s skin tone – a good rule of thumb is to go one shade darker (only one!) than the client’s skin.

When in doubt, use a face powder that’s one shade darker instead of highly pigmented bronzer.
Recommendation: Bobbi Brown Bronzer

Shimmer bronzer: If your client desires a serious glow that makes their features look brighter, shimmer bronzer is the way to go. Keep this product in your makeup kit for clients who tend to have dry or combination skin, as an oily face will look even worse with a shimmery product.
Recommendation: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

Types of Highlighters

Think of highlighter as bronzer’s lighter, brighter counterpart. Not just for creating a summer glow, highlighters are used throughout the entire year to highlight and brighten the face.

Here are different types of highlighters you’ll adore:

Stick highlighter: Perfect for clients with oily skin, a stick highlighter is both illuminating and flattering. These types of highlighters can be applied to specific areas of the face, like under the brow bone, the inner corner of the eyes, and cheekbones.

What do all these areas have in common? They catch the light beautifully and are ideal spots to highlight!
Recommendation: Wander Beauty Catch the Light Highlighter

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Powder highlighter: Is there any makeup product more beautiful than a pearlescent, shimmering powder? We don’t think so! During your career as a makeup artist, you’ll encounter many clients who long for a bright look with minimal shimmer and shine. In this case, a powder highlighter is an absolute must – the majority of these products have a very small amount of glitter and create a healthy glow when applied.

Powder highlighters are ideal for clients with oily skin who want a light glow (so use a light hand when applying).
Recommendation: Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit

Pot highlighter: For a client who prefers natural makeup (or no makeup at all!), a pot highlighter is an ideal choice. During the summer, many clients will want their makeup routine to be as easy and quick as possible, and this highlighter provides them with a radiant glow in seconds.

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Apply it to the high points of the face and your client will enjoy a pearly, sheer finish!
Recommendation: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Crème Highlighter

Find out what else you need to build your professional makeup artistry kit!

Victoria is a blog writer and social media expert for QC Makeup Academy, writing in-depth articles to help emerging makeup artists grow their knowledge and experience in the industry.

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