Katie Jane Hughes Tells Us How to Get a Bronzed Beauty Look in 8 Steps
It's summer, indoors.
Now that we’re spending the majority (/all) of our days inside, we’re looking for new ways to introduce a little sunshine into our lives that doesn’t involve being outside when we don’t need to be. Enter, makeup maestro Katie Jane Hughes. Earlier this week, we jumped on a Zoom tutorial with the celebrity and editorial makeup artist (her clients include Ashley Graham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) to celebrate the launch of Tower 28 Beauty’s Bronzino at Sephora Canada. During the 40 minute-long call, Hughes told us she’s been experimenting more than ever – “That’s honestly what’s been my sort of saving grace through all of this — playing so much more than I would if I was on set for a job” – and walked us through eight simple steps to creating a bronzed beauty look (using the new Tower 28 bronzer for contour, eyeshadow and lips) to bring a little vacay-inspired glow into our lives.
Here’s how to recreate her bronzed look in your own bathroom:
Use the skin prep routine you normally would. Hughes starts with a spray mist, and then pops an oil on her skin, focusing on the high points of the face. In anticipating the sheen in the bronzer, she keeps the oil to a minimum.
2. Bronze base
“It’s really important for that bronzy look to look like it’s you, and not something you’ve put on your face,” she tells us. For that gorgeous natural glow, she says to build the bronze colour before applying any complexion product like concealer or foundation.
In our tutorial, Hughes used both shades of the Bronzino — West Coast (a cooler tone) and Best Coast (a warmer hue). This cream-based bronzer offers a dewy, glowing sheen, rather than a velvety sparkle from that of a powder bronzer. When it comes to tools, fingers will apply the product more densely while a brush will better achieve a lighter look. Hughes advises that while either method works brilliantly, it’s best to pick one and stick with it throughout.
Start buffing the bronzer into the perimeter of your head, thinking about where the sun usually hits your face first. And what may look like a lot of product at the beginning, can easily be maneuvered around the face in the later steps.
Next, pop it onto the cheekbones and buff it out into the hollow of your cheeks. She admits that there isn’t much to say about the application other than “wherever you want that glow, just throw it there.”
Take the darker shade of the bronzer and apply it on your eyelids with a tiny, fluffy brush. Start with a small amount and apply it cautiously, adding more as you see fit. This glossy eye sheen is a signature look for Hughes. “In my opinion, this is that optimal, wearable editorial look,” she says, adding that it’s also the easiest one to achieve.
Using the leftover product on the tiny brush, go around and sculpt the small features that you’d like to detail, like your nose.
“I absolutely love a pink cheek and bronzy skin,” Hughes says, calling it “fresh but also super young and super sexy.”
Using a big brush, press blush into the apple of the cheek, then diffuse it up toward the hairline and temple. Next, begin to bring it down a little bit. A good template to follow is a boomerang shape, stretching the colour from your temple down to the hollow of your cheek. Hughes advises that the boomerang shape is elegant, nondescript and flattering on everyone. Finish by adding a dab of bronzer onto the hollow — this will read as a shadow. To really tie your blush colour into the rest of the look, lightly apply it close to your lash line. “Don’t be afraid. Play with it now, especially because we don’t have anywhere to go!”
Now is the time to dip into your base makeup. Take a concealer brush with your chosen product, then buff it out on the back of your hand to “prime the brush.” Delicately skim around the areas that you want to erase, blend, blur or conceal.
For this look, Hughes used an orange-red colour on her pout. Once you’ve applied the product to your lips, take your ring finger and smooth out the edges by skimming the fingertip along the edge of the lip. Next, take the bronzer and dab onto the centre of the lips. “This is to add a pop of light, to centre the mouth,” she reveals. Finish with a gloss.
8. One last swish
Complete the look with another round of bronzer for added pop and depth, paying particular attention to your jawline and ears. You can also dust it on your décolletage with a big brush. Once you buff the majority of the texture away, you’re left with a lovely golden, gleaming finish — and a very Instagrammable bronze makeup moment.