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We know sunbathing, tanning beds and even spray tanning can cause some serious skin issues, but does that mean we're doomed to be pale and pasty forever? Not a chance. There's still one safe way to get that golden glow, and it's in your makeup bag: bronzer.

The key to getting that perfect faux glow is not just having a great bronzer, it's knowing how to apply it as well. Since it's so easy to accidentally look like a muddy Oompa Loompa instead of Jessica Alba, we asked makeup artist Nick Barose for his best application tips, as well as his advice on picking the best bronzer for your skin tone.

The number one misconception about bronzers, according to Barose? People are misled by the name itself. "You should use a bronzer to look healthier and sun-kissed, not 'bronze,'" he says. For a believable tan, Barose says you shouldn't pick a color that is more than one shade darker than your natural skin color. And if you're fair skinned, he suggests looking for a sheer bronzer with peach tones. "Avoid reds or browns if you're fair, because those shades will make you look orange and dirty."

When applying bronzer, use a big, fluffy brush and tap off any excess product before swiping it on your face. He recommends that you concentrate most of the color at your temples and along the cheekbones. And without double dipping, lightly brush across your nose and chin. "Don't forget to apply and blend bronzer down your neck. And if your hair is up in a ponytail, you should also put a little around your ears," says Barose.

Now that you've got the know-how, all you need to do is find the best bronzer for you.

Best Bronzer No. 15: Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer, $29
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TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.5*
Why it's great: This "matte and natural" bronzer is a favorite among reviewers because it "lasts all day," "blends nicely" and "never looks orange."

"The color is totally believable," says one reviewer, who adds that this "fabulous" bronzer is her "go-to" when she wants a natural look. It makes you look like "you spent the day playing in the sun," sums up one fan.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer here.

Buy Now on Amazon

*At time of publication

Best Bronzer No. 14: NYX Cosmetics Matte Bronzer, $9
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TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.6*
Why it's great: "If you're looking for an inexpensive bronzer, then this is it!" exclaims one reviewer. "This gives skin a beautiful glow," says another. Other readers agree, adding that this bronzer is subtle and provides the "a perfect matte finish" that is great for contouring.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for NYX Cosmetics Matte Bronzer here.

Buy Now on Amazon

*At time of publication

Best Bronzer No. 13: Cargo Bronzer, $29
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TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9.2*

Why it's great: This bronzer has the "perfect amount" of shimmer. One satisfied user says it "brushes on smoothly" and leaves her skin with a soft, "natural color." This bronzer "won't make you look like you're orange...it goes on your skin perfectly and smoothes out any blemishes," explains another reviewer.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Cargo Bronzer here.

Buy Now on Amazon

*At time of publication

Best Bronzer No. 12: Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, $42
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TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9.2*

Why it's great: "A light touch give[s] me a gorgeous bronzed look without all the shimmer and glitter of so many other bronzers," raves one reader. Another reviewer agrees, saying the glow you get from this bronzer "looks like a real tan." Reviewers describe it as "buildable and believable," and say "it [works on] everyone, from the lightest to the darkest skin tones ... it truly is beautiful."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder here.

Buy Now on Amazon

*At time of publication

We know sunbathing, tanning beds and even spray tanning can cause some serious skin issues, but does that mean we're doomed to be pale and pasty forever? Not a chance. There's still one safe way to get that golden glow, and it's in your makeup bag: bronzer.

The key to getting that perfect faux glow is not just having a great bronzer, it's knowing how to apply it as well. Since it's so easy to accidentally look like a muddy Oompa Loompa instead of Jessica Alba, we asked makeup artist Nick Barose for his best application tips, as well as his advice on picking the best bronzer for your skin tone.

The number one misconception about bronzers, according to Barose? People are misled by the name itself. "You should use a bronzer to look healthier and sun-kissed, not 'bronze,'" he says. For a believable tan, Barose says you shouldn't pick a color that is more than one shade darker than your natural skin color. And if you're fair skinned, he suggests looking for a sheer bronzer with peach tones. "Avoid reds or browns if you're fair, because those shades will make you look orange and dirty."

When applying bronzer, use a big, fluffy brush and tap off any excess product before swiping it on your face. He recommends that you concentrate most of the color at your temples and along the cheekbones. And without double dipping, lightly brush across your nose and chin. "Don't forget to apply and blend bronzer down your neck. And if your hair is up in a ponytail, you should also put a little around your ears," says Barose.

Now that you've got the know-how, all you need to do is find the best bronzer for you.
BY LILA GLICK, ALLIE FLINN | SHARES
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