Can You Use Bronzer as Blush? Bronzer vs Blush

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Blush and bronzer are makeup kit staples. They make your face fabulous, give it a bit of dimension, and accentuate those cheekbones.

Though cosmetics, like blush, lipstick, and eyeliner have been around since ancient times, apparently now you need things like eyeshadow primer, highlighter, contour, lash conditioner, bronzer, highlighter, not to mention all the gadgets, brushes, etc.

It may feel like you need to carry around a hockey bag full of your makeup “necessities”. How can you pare down?

Can you use bronzer as blush?

While blush and bronzer may seem to serve similar purposes, the ways in which they’re supposed to be used and the looks they achieve can be drastically different.


Blush vs Bronzer

Before we discuss whether you can substitute bronzer for blush, let’s go over the differences between them.


Rimmel Bronzer

Bronzer is meant to give you a healthy glow that makes you look like you’ve spent a day at the beach. It can be applied to wherever the sun would hit your skin, like cheekbones and brow, the bridge of your nose, as well as your collar bones and décolletage.

Bronzer, as the name suggests, comes in a variation of bronzed tones. There is often a touch of gold or shimmer mixed in.

Bronzers are often blended into tanning oils  and self-tanners  in order to give instant color, while the other ingredients do their work.

But they are makeup, not self-tanner. They wash off with water, unlike the DHA in self-tanners.

Bronzers come in powder, cream, and liquid formats. Here are some of our favorites:

Budget Powder Bronzer: Rimmel Natural Bronzer

Rimmel London Natural - 022 Sun Bronze - Bronzer, Matte Finish, 0.49oz
  • Gives your face a sunkissed glow
  • Waterproof formula
  • Up to 10 hours of wear
  • Matte finish

Sensitive Skin Bronzer: bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer

No products found.

Shimmering Powder for Dark Skin: Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil Bronzer

Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil Bronzer 0.28 oz
  • Signature bronzing pigments bathe skin...
  • Cocoa powder-infused formula smells like...
  • Multi-use for face and eyes
  • 8+ hours of long-wearing, glowing bronze

Budget Cream Bronzer: Physicians Formula Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer

Physicians Formula Organic Wear All Natural Sculpting Face Bronzer Makeup Stick Toffee, Dermatologist Approved
  • An ultra-blendable and buildable bronzer...
  • This multi-use cream-to-powder bronzer,...
  • Key ingredients: Organic jojoba oil,...
  • Skin Type: Combination

Cream Bronzer for Oily Skin: Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer, Baked (Bronze) - 0.19 oz - Cream Bronzer Stick - Buildable, Blendable Color - Matte Finish - 1,000+ Swipes Per Stick - Vegan, Cruelty Free
  • CREAM BRONZER - Matte Bronzer is a...
  • HYDRATING FORMULA - This bronzer applies...
  • HOW TO USE - Apply on your forehead, on...
  • WHO WE ARE - Milk Makeup is all about...

Vegan Cream Bronzer: Au Naturale Luminous Creme Bronzer Stick

Au Naturale - Contour Stick Makeup | Luminous Creme Bronzer Stick for Women | Vegan & Gluten Free | Long Lasting with Cream-to-Powder Formulation
  • ✨Cream-to-Powder Radiance: Experience...
  • ✨Certified Organic Brilliance: Au...
  • ✨Clean & Ethical Beauty: Take a step...
  • ✨One-swipe Application: Effortless...
  • ✨Pure Pigments and Organic Oils: Our...

Budget Liquid Bronzer: NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Born To Glow Liquid

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator - Sun Goddess
  • Liquid Illuminator: Enjoy a luminous,...
  • Versatile Glow: This multifunctional...
  • Face From Foundation To Finish: Complete...
  • Cruelty Free Cosmetics: We believe...
  • Discover NYX Professional Makeup: Try...

Liquid Bronzer for Sensitive Skin: Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee Complexion Multitasker Bronzer

No products found.

Matte Liquid Bronzer with SPF: Perricone MD No Makeup Bronzer Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Perricone MD No Makeup Bronzer
  • A healthy-looking, sun-kissed glow...
  • The sheer, blendable formula ensures a...
  • The sheer, blendable formula ensures a...


Jelly Blush

Blush, on the other hand, is meant to be used directly on the apples of the cheeks to warm up the skin. It’s supposed to mimic your cheek’s natural blush – that flush you get from working out at the gym, coming in from the cold, or having been embarrassed.

Blush tends to come in variations of pinks, plums and peaches.

Blush is ideal for adding a hint of natural-looking color to your cheeks to give you a vibrant, fresh-faced look.

Typically Blush comes in powders, though occasionally in other formats like Jellies. Different formulas will work better on different types of skin. Some may find blush can cause acne.

Rimmel Jelly Blush, Peach Punch, 0.19 Ounce
Rimmel Jelly Blush, Peach Punch, 0.19 Ounce
RELEASE YOUR GLOW: Take your glow to the next level with Rimmel London Jelly Blush; TURN MAKEUP TIME INTO PLAYTIME: Build and blend according your personal style
$5.07 Amazon Prime

Can You Use Bronzer as Blush?

The simple answer is yes, you can use bronzer in place of blush. However, that being said, read on to see when and if you should.

When to Use Bronzer as Blush

Sometimes people forget that makeup is meant to emphasize your natural beauty by accentuating your best features or downplay the ones you want to minimize. For most people, makeup isn’t supposed to make you look like an anime character at Comicon.

We’ve all seen someone with obviously painted-on eyebrows, bright pink cheeks, or lipstick that’s just not the right color for them.

Sometimes it can be hard to achieve the “you just better” look. But it’s really easy to tell if you’ve missed the mark.

It’s important not to let your makeup wear you. YOU are supposed to be the focal point, not your makeup!

It’s important not to let your makeup wear you. YOU are supposed to be the focal point, not your makeup!

So while yes, you can use bronzer for blush, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

The season & your skin tone

While bronzer can definitely be worn all year round, it often looks ‘summery’, making it the natural choice for warmer months.

For lighter skin tones

During the winter months, if blush is supposed to mimic your natural flush when you’ve just stepped in from the cold outside, then understand – no one with fair skin flushes brown.

It won’t look natural if you apply bronzer like blush.

For those with light skin, in the wintertime, it’s best to use bronzer as it was intended: to give you an all-over glow, rather than just on your cheeks.

In the summer months, you are more likely to have a bit more color. As long as you choose a bronzer in a color that goes with your skin tone, you might be able to get away with using bronzer as blush.

Aim for a shade or two darker than your skin color that matches your skin tone.

But again, if you are not spending time outdoors and you have really fair skin, brown “blush” on your pasty white cheeks is not going to be the look you’re going for.

For darker skin tones

If you have darker toned skin, then you can for sure use a bronzer as blush.

Blush meant for darker skin tones does come in shades of darker tans and browns. Just bear in mind that bronzers come in a variety of brown shades – not pinks or plums.

If you have a darker skin tone, opt for a non-shimmer bronzer in the winter months (for everyday wear) in the same tone as your natural skin. Just aim for a shade or two darker.

Choose a bronzer with warm tones, otherwise it may look ashy.

Take Away

Can you use bronzer instead of blush? Yes, you can. But bronzer works best as a blush for those with darker skin tones.

If you are very fair-skinned, it’s best to apply bronzer, as it was meant to be used: to the areas the sun would naturally hit your face to give you some overall color.

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).