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 in place of 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.
What is the difference between blusher and bronzer?
Before we discuss whether you can substitute bronzer for blush, let’s go over the differences between them.
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.
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
- It's a natural-look skin bronzer that...
- The Sun Bronze shade complements fairer...
- The waterproof formula is smooth to...
- Comfortable and easy to apply
- SPF 15 formula
Sensitive Skin Bronzer: bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer
Shimmering Powder for Dark Skin: Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil Bronzer
- 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
- 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
Vegan Cream Bronzer: Au Naturale Luminous Creme Bronzer Stick
- Our Luminous Bronzer Stick was designed...
- Caramel: a light bronze with golden...
- Apply just below your cheekbone for...
- Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam...
- Proudly hand-crafted in the USA in Green...
Budget Liquid Bronzer: NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Born To Glow Liquid
- 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
- Sheer, oil-free
- All Skin Types
- Ophthalmologist Tested
- Full Size, 1floz/30ml
- New, In Box
Matte Liquid Bronzer with SPF: Perricone MD No Makeup Bronzer Broad Spectrum SPF 15
- A healthy-looking, sun-kissed glow...
- The sheer, blendable formula ensures a...
- The sheer, blendable formula ensures a...
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.
Can You Use Bronzer In Place of 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 vs. 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!
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.
Can you use bronzer in place 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.