When you want to add a little color without the harmful effects of the sun, then you know that bronzer can be your best friend. Of course, you probably also know — hopefully not from experience — that there’s a fine line between bronzer looking great or being a muddled mess.

Luckily, there are some simple secrets for getting great results with bronzer. Here’s what the skincare and beauty researchers at Adore Cosmetics had to say.

#1 Don’t Forget to Exfoliate
If you want the bronzer to look smooth, even and natural, then prepping your skin correctly before applying bronzer is step number one. Exfoliating once a week is a great way to remove dead cells and even out your skin for bronzer.

#2 Take Time on Picking the Bronzer
If there’s one mistake people make about bronzer, it’s choosing a color that’s too dark or overwhelms the skin. This might be one makeup purchase where’s it’s a good idea to head to the makeup counter for advice.

#3 Start with Prep Lotion
A prep lotion is an important step in evening out the skin before applying bronzer. It also allows the bronzer to look more balanced once it’s applied and help it last longer.

#4 Choose the Right Foundation
Foundation is sometimes used under bronzer to enhance and deepen the look. But if you’re turning to the same foundation you always use, even without bronzer, then it’s not going to provide the results you desire. You’ll want a foundation that’s a shade darker to match the bronzer.

#5 Consider an Extender
Products called “bronzing tan extenders” are available to make your bronzer look better and last longer.

#6 Buy a Brush
If you want the most even, natural looking results from your bronzer, then applying it with a brush is the way to go. They sell dedicated bronzer brushes, although blush brushes seem to work equally well.