The sun’s rays hit your perfectly, and sooner than later, you have a gorgeous sun-kissed tan. But unless you live in a sunny constant (aka California), a sun bath isn’t always readily available.
To counter this, we turn to the allure of bronzers.
With a simple swipe, you can achieve a natural glow without the sunshine’s help.
But no one likes a bronzer full of chunky glitter or super orange undertones. To avoid that at all costs, we reached out to top beauty experts to get some tips and tricks on how to choose the best bronzer.
To skip right to our 17 best bronzers — which include the best cream, liquid, stick and powder bronzers — click here.
What should I look for in a good bronzer?
Kate Synnott, ROEN’s beauty creative director, suggests reaching for “soft golden bronze tones” that include “glowy highlights.”
On the other hand, Emma Willis from Made Addicts cautions against opting for products that are “too orange” and those that make you look “muddy.”
Which shades are best for light, medium and deep skin tones?
To avoid an orange or muddy look, you must choose the right shade of bronzer for your skin tone.
We took both Synnott and Willis’ expert recommendations and created a streamlined guide for you to follow below.
- Light: Opt for fair and neutral shades with golden flecks.
- Medium: Choose warm, olive bronze tones.
- Deep: Reach for dark browns, deep oranges and terracotta shades.
How do I choose the right formula for my skin type?
Bronzers come in an array of various formulas, such as creams, powders and liquids. However, your skin type and the finish you desire will help narrow down your search.
If you consider yourself to have oily or combination skin, reach for a powder to minimize shine. If you have dry or normal skin, opt for a cream or liquid to add some hydration to your skin.
Although, Willis explains that no matter your skin type — oily, combination, normal or dry — “you can use creams or powders,” as it “just depends whether you like your skin to glow or if you prefer a more matte finish.”
How do I apply bronzer:
While applying bronzer may seem like a difficult feat, it’s actually quite the opposite. Contrary to contouring, bronzing is simply a matter of adding color and warmth to the face — no hard angles required.
Synott explains that the bronzer should be applied like a “light dusting” all over the face and neck to give a “glowy sun kissed effect.” Willis suggests grabbing a fluffy powder makeup brush or a dense buffing brush to achieve this effect.
We will add that you should blend your bronzer upwards and not downwards. This will combat any muddy effects.
1. NARS Bronzer Powder, $38
This bronzer is an award winner for a reason. It not only creates a natural, healthy glow, but the milled powder fills in fine lines and pores to create a smooth finish. Choose from four popular shades.
Infused with murumuru butter, this bronzer stands out from the pack. Its rich and creamy formula seamlessly blends, creating a gorgeous goddess glow. Choose from eight shades on Amazon.
Packed with hyaluronic acid inside refillable packaging, this oversized natural bronzer is next level. Choose from four various matte shades.
Creating a depth and glow to the skin, this is a favorite of many. Its finish is sheet, airy and light on the skin.
This cream-gel formula is noncomedogenic, which helps decrease the chances of clogged pores and breakouts. You can also look forward to a soft, velvet finish.
With a subtle pink undertone and a dual sided compact. This bronzer will give you a glow so good, everyone will think it’s real.
7. Bobbi Brown Bronzer, $44
Inspired by a true tan, this bronzer includes both red and brown tones. It effortlessly blends with all skin tones and can be built for a deeper tanned look.
While not technically a bronzer, this all-over glow enhancer mimics that same effects of a good bronzer. Depending on the shade you choose, you can say hello to warmth and a luminous complexion.
Crafted with argan oil and 96% naturally-derived ingredients, this bronzer is long-wearing and natural. Best of all, it’s transfer resistant.
Infused with vitamin E, this bronzing powder easily blends into the skin providing an all-over warmth. It’s available in matte, satin and high-shine finishes.
11. Vita Liberata Body Blur, $39
While this bronzing blur was made for the body, it works just as well for the face. Simply apply a small amount on all the right places. Then, enjoy a natural-looking tint.
12. e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Bronzer, $6
With a unique putty-to-powder formula, this bronzer is highly pigmented and buildable, though never cakey. Instead, you’ll be left with a sun-kissed glow.
It’s clean. It’s natural. It’s Milk Makeup. Enjoy punchy ingredients like mango butter and apricot oil and welcome bronzed skin.
Looking for a silky, luxurious powder that absorbs oil and keeps you shine-free? If so, you’ve found it.
Perfect for both your face and body, this bronzer effortlessly glides on and stays on. What more could you want?
Silky soft meets luminous glow in this iconic bronzing powder by ILIA Beauty, and now, you can score it in two new shades as well.
This longwearing, matte bronzing stick is easy to use and great for travel. Simply use your finger or a dense brush to blend.
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