1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. You want your skin to be as smooth as possible to ensure an even, streak-free finish.
2. When choosing a color, makeup artist Janice Kinjo, who’s worked on everyone from Tamar Braxton to Mary J, told me that brown-skinned women should look for one that is similar, not darker, to your complexion for the best results.
3. Most bronzers should stay put and not transfer, but stack the odds in your favor by waiting until it is dry to the touch (about 5 minutes) before getting dressed. Wear loose fitting clothes after applying bronzer or if you plan to wear a dress, apply only to exposed areas like your collarbone, décolleté and legs. If you're wearing a halter top, apply to your back and shoulders.
4. Lastly, here's a great tip from Sophie Evans, St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert: If you are using an instant bronzer, spray a light mist of hair spray over the “tan” to ensure it stays in place. Or, dust on a little translucent finishing powder.
Here are our bronzer suggestions that are worth your $20:
- e.l.f. Studio Bronzer ($3)
- NYX Body Bronzer ($9)
- L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Self-Tanning Lotion ($11)
- Gleam Body Radiance ($15)
- St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion ($18)
- MAC Lustre Drops ($20)
If you've found a fabulous yet wallet-friendly bronzer I didn't mention, please leave your suggestion in the comments section! —Marcia