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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.

Image via Imaxtree

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Best Bronzer No. 15: Too Faced Bronzer, $30
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.9*
Why it's great: Readers say this bronzer leaves you looking like a tan goddess rather than a clementine. "This is an excellent all purpose bronzer that is excellent for both tanning the skin and contouring," says one reader." Other users agree, saying the bronzer is well pigmented, blends easily and is 100 percent natural looking on any skin tone. "It gives a much more natural look since it lacks any shimmer," says one reader. "It gives you such a beautiful glow. It's a bit expensive, but totally worth it."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Too Faced Bronzer here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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 Best Bronzer No. 14: Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $8.69
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9*
Why it's great: One user calls this a "fantastic drugstore pick," noting that it gave her skin a "nice warm glow" and "applied like a dream." Another fan agreed, paying special attention to the "neutral undertone" that "gives a beautiful, sunkissed, glowing finish."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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Best Bronzer No. 13: Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer, $30
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

*At time of publication

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Best Bronzer No. 12: Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, $54
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9.1*
Why it's great: This "gorgeous, flawless powder" works for all skin tones, says one reader. "There is no shimmer, so this is great for contouring the face," reports another reviewer, who also attributes its long-lasting powers to the fact that it's "rather moisturizing." Overall, reviewers agree this is "a must-have for every makeup bag."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder here.

Buy now

*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.

Image via Imaxtree
BY LILA GLICK, ALLIE FLINN | SHARES
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