Jennifer Lopez is more than just a beautiful human, she’s an entire board on my personal Pinterest page. She’s beautiful with or without makeup, and her bronze and glow game is as aspirational as it is achievable no matter your skin tone. Now that summer is finally within sight, it’s time for that perfect bronzy, glowy look, one that does NOT include laying in the sun and exposing yourself to harmful UVA and UVB rays.  Our bronze and glow strategy consists of many light layers of glowy, bronzy products so the look is never heavy-handed or Tan Mom-ish. It may mean using more products and more steps, but the end result is magical.

There is a way to get the look if you have pale, medium or deep-toned skin.  Included are shade assortments and recommendations, when applicable, so all readers of all skin colors are included.

Lastly, the products referenced are a guide not a mandate. Use what you have - there’s no need to buy more.

  • The look starts the night before with a little skincare/self-tanner concoction. Add 2 Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops to your moisturizer to develop a base bronze overnight. These self-tanning drops come in Light, Medium and Dark so you are able to customize your tan levels by formula and by the number of drops you add into your skincare. Any self-tanner made for the face works, though. Pro tip: don’t forget to wash your hands after applying. We’ve all made that mistake once before. Wake up the next morning to bronzed skin free of self-tanner stink.

  • Add some glow into your morning moisturizer or use a moisturizer with built in luminosity. If you have a moisturizer you love, add a half pump or a few drops of your favorite liquid highlighter. We use Becca Shimmer Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter, which comes in 7 different shades and lasts forever. If you’re looking for a moisturizer with built-in glow, look no further than Glamglow’s GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, which comes in 3 shades.

  • Next, apply SPF and then apply concealer / tinted moisturizer / foundation if you want some coverage.  Volition Beauty’s Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50 and BAREMINERALS Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer are amazing recommendations.

  • To powder or not to powder? It’s not a Shakespearean dilemma, sure, but that doesn’t make it less important of a question. Oily skin types will most likely need a powder to keep the glow in place, but  you’ll want to avoid removing all of the glow you just carefully applied. The answer - try a light dusting of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow (2 shades - Translucent and Medium Deep), which absorbs excess oil, helps makeup stay in place and adds a subtle glow.

  • The last step in this Bronze and Glow look is to add a little touch of luminizer or highlighter to the highpoints of the face. Remember, this look is about sheer layers. Avoid using a chunky highlighter or one in a color that clashes with your skin tone. You want the highlighter to meld seamlessly into your skin. The RMS Living Luminizer has a castor seed oil and coconut oil base which the heat of your skin helps melt and blend.

  • This look is best with minimal eye makeup (think a natural brow and some mascara) and a sheer wash of lipcolor or lip gloss. The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow is fantastic as is Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm.

If you want more Jennifer Lopez in your life, check out this video with her makeup artist, Scott Barnes and Tati (aka Glam Life Guru). It’s a deep dive but you will be amazed at the bronze and glow magic.


Catherine Spinley is the Editorial Director at The Sunday Issue as well as a freelance writer and sometimes-photographer. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read about her at and @spinderella1110.