Bronzed, glowy skin is what summer dreams are made of, but getting an actual sun tan to achieve a sunkissed look isn’t such a smart idea. In fact, catching rays can lead to some not-so-pretty-looking skin (the opposite of what you’re going for.) Not to worry, though! You can sport the look of sunkissed skin without the scorching rays by using makeup. Maybelline New York is here to help you score a gorgeous sunkissed makeup look. (Sans the harmful effects of the sun, of course!)


As the name implies, skin that is sunkissed appears like it has literally been kissed by the sun. In other words, a sunkissed complexion has a healthy glow to it. The appeal of sunkissed skin is that it looks as if you spent hours lying in the sun, maybe on a beach vacation or out by the pool. Typically there is some pink in a sunkissed skin makeup look as a nod to sunburn, which can be achieved by blush when you’re replicating the look the sun-less way. And of course, there are areas of tan and radiance, which is where bronzer and highlighter come in.

How to Create a Sunkissed Makeup Look Step-by-Step:

Step 1: Even Out Your Complexion

Since it’s summer, you don’t want to use a base product that’s too heavy. Instead, opt for Super Stay Skin Tint, which has brightening benefits thanks to Vitamin C. It has a weightless feel, plus it’s sweat and humidity-proof, allowing for seamless all-day wear.
  • Super Stay® Up to 24HR Skin Tint with Vitamin C
    Buy now

Step 2: Boost Your Glow

After your skin is evened out, it’s time to really get glowing. Instant Age Rewind 4-in-1 Perfector works multitasking magic and acts as a primer, concealer, highlighter, and BB Cream all in one. Dab the sponge applicator tip on areas that you want to illuminate– whether that’s all over or in key spots, you do your thing and get your glow on, girl.

  • Instant Age Rewind Perfector® 4-In-1 Glow Makeup®
    Buy now


If you’re wondering whether to go for Skin Tint or Glow, we say why not both? They play well together and offer different benefits on their own. For instance, Tint has Vitamin C in it, so it’s great if you struggle with discoloration and want to brighten up a bit. But, if you want to stick to a super simple simple makeup routine, Glow makes the most sense for a sunkissed makeup look. After all, it’ll give you that dewy complexion that’s indicative of summer skin. Plus, because it’s a 4-in-1, you can use it in different ways. Ready to get even more creative with it? Try using Glow in one shade lighter and one shade darker than your skin tone. In these different shades, the formula can double as a brighter highlight and a contour– its sponge applicator lends itself well to using it in both ways.

3: Bronze to Perfection

A sunkissed look wouldn’t be complete without some bronzer. City Bronzer is made with cocoa butter, so it melts into skin for a velvety matte finish. And it comes in three shades, so you can choose the one that will impart the perfect healthy glow for your skin tone. Use a fluffy brush to sweep it onto areas that are naturally kissed by the sun: your forehead, bridge of your nose, etc.

  • City Bronzer® Bronzer & Contour Powder Makeup
    Buy now


Bronzer and contour products are technically different– one warmer in tone than the other– but are often used in similar ways because they both have the power to add dimension to the skin. In the case of where to put bronzer for a sunkissed makeup look, you’ll want to consider where the sun would naturally hit and tan your skin, so across the forehead and into the hairline along with down the nose are key spots. But, you can also swirl some in the temple areas, then in the hollow parts of your cheekbones and along your jawline in backwards “3” motions in order to create a more sculpted, yet still sunkissed look. Another often overlooked area for bronzer? On the eyes! It doubles as eyeshadow and adds dimension for a no makeup-makeup look. 

Step 4: Add some Heat with Blush

Because the whole idea of a sunkissed makeup look is to look like your skin has seen some sun, a good blush needs to be part of the equation (and will complement the bronzer). While a powder formula will work just fine, a cream formula like Sunkisser Liquid Blush has the ability to melt seamlessly into the skin for a believable sunkissed finish. It packs the perfect amount of shimmer to infuse your skin with a healthy, just-back-from-the beach glow. You can always dust a powder blush such as Fit Me Blush over the top to pack on some more pigment for a bolder flush, and ultimately lock in your look.

  • New
    Sunkisser Multi-use Liquid Blush and Bronzer, Face Makeup
    City Sizzle
    Buy now
  • Fit Me® Blush Face Makeup
    Buy now


To apply your blush for a sunkissed look, use the doefoot applicator and dab along the tops of your cheekbones starting at the hairline above one ear, then down, across your nose and back up the other cheek in a “W” shape. The actual sun would hit your skin this way, so just think of where you tend to get a sunburn and that’s the best place to apply your blush. You may want to add some in the center of your forehead, too, to blend in with the bronzer and create a believable sunkissed color.

Step 5: Dial Up Your Highlight

A reflective sheen on your skin will help add dimension and really tie your sunkissed look together. As you swirl Chrome Highlighter onto the high points of your face, you’ll see that its pearl pigments leave you with the prettiest sheen. Pro tip: dust some on your decollete to amp up your sultry summer vibe.

  • Facestudio® Master Chrome® Metallic Highlighter Makeup
    Molten Gold
    Buy now

Step 6: Perfect Your Pout

On your lips, go for a sheer, yet juicy color like Lifter Gloss Candy Drop. These shades have just enough punchy pigment, but in a toned-down version that pairs well with a natural sunkissed makeup look.

  • Lifter Gloss® Lip Gloss Makeup With Hyaluronic Acid
    Buy now

And voila, you’ve achieved a gorgeous sunkissed makeup look that’s ready to glow wherever you go. Depending on your preference for just how bronzed or blushed you want to be, you can always dial it up or down now that you’ve mastered the technique.

For more makeup inspiration and how-tos, follow us on Instagram at @Maybelline. We’ll see you there, Babelline!