I finally got around to doing swatches for the bronzers that I had mentioned in a previous response post. All the pictures are in the same order so I only labelled one (elbow to wrist). You can click on the images to make them larger.
Shade wise from darkest to lightest: theBalm’s “Bahama Mamma”, Sephora’s “Sunset” Duo and Too Faced’s “Chocolate Soliel.” These are probably my favourites for contouring and general bronzing. “Chocolate Soliel” also comes in “Milk Chocolate Soliel” for lighter skin tones.
They work great on skin tones ranging from light to medium-deep. “Bahama Mamma” has the most brown tint to it out of all the bronzers and probably would show up well on deeper skin tones. They are all very buildable and easy to blend.
Tips: The key is to keep the dark shade closest to the hair line and keep most of it away from the centre of the face to avoid looking “muddy”.
For contouring the cheeks start by pressing the brush to get the most product near the ear/cheek bone area and then lighten your press to stroke it along your cheek bone. You should try to get as little product as possible as you stroke down the cheek towards the mouth. Thus, it should start as a dark stroke which fades into a very light, faint line by the time it reaches the middle of face.
You can even use a straight edge, like a card, against your cheek for a first light stroke to outline where you will be contouring and then build on that line. But make sure you blend it out so you don’t see the harsh line on your face. If you use a light hand then it is easier to blend out bronzers.
Don’t forget the temples and the jawline and of course the nose if you like. It is always easier to build up if you want more colour. But if you put on too much, take whatever foundation you have left on your brush or sponge and lightly go over the harsh areas to smooth and blend for a seamless look.
Back to the products: The Revlon cream foundation works pretty well and blends very easily as a bronzer for light to medium-light skin tones and is available in all sorts of colours.
I believe Sonia Kashuk has another two colours in her range of cream bronzers. The one I have is the medium shade so there is one lighter and one darker shade than the one I have swatched here. It also blends easily and looks very natural for an all over glowy look. I have seen people compare it to the much raved about “Soliel De Tan” by Chanel.
The Bourjois bronzer has the most orange but works great as an all over bronzer/blush. Both the Chocolate Soliel and the Bourjois bronzer smell like chocolate!
Finally, the lightest one out of the bunch is the Gosh Cosmetics bronzer. It is easily blendable but not very buildable. It is great for medium to light skin tones.
Tips: Unfortunately it is difficult to find bronzers for deeper skin tones. There are some kits that come with different shades like “Anastasia Beverly Hills contouring and highlighting kit” and “Coastal Scents contouring and highlighting kit”. However, I do not personally own either of those yet and thus, I cannot attest to the depth of their colours.
What you can do for darker/deeper skin tones is highlight the top of the cheek/under eye area, the bridge of the nose up to middle of the forehead and a little bit on the chin area using a concealer or a foundation that is a shade or two lighter than your skin tone and then apply the darker foundation around the face where you would normally apply the bronzer.
Along with darker shade foundations, you can also use concealers and matte eyeshadows to contour and to bronze all over by blending.
Remember to first try out any new product on a small area to make sure that your skin does not react to it.
Also, here is a link that I found which also explains how to contour on deeper skin tones using what’s called the “reverse contouring” method:
The biggest tip that I can give is that there is no universal technique for contouring and bronzing because everyone has their own unique features and bone structure. You just have to try different methods and products to find which ones suit and highlight your features the best.
Hope this helps! 🙂