Bronzers are a must-have in every makeup bag. They add warmth and depth to your complexion, making it look sun-kissed and more defined. But if you stroll down the drugstore makeup aisle or head to the beauty counter, you’ll be faced with seemingly endless options. We compiled a list of the best makeup bronzers that are worth investing in, according to experts in the beauty world.
Getting that “healthy glow” from the sun is actually not all that healthy. In fact, a recent study finds exposure to DNA-damaging ultraviolet light used in tanning beds could cause malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Their research also discovered a single intense dose to ultraviolet-B radiation, coming in sunlight, is enough to cause abnormal mutations. Instead of putting your skin at risk, you can achieve a sun-kissed look just from applying bronzer. It’s a win, win!
And we all want to look our best, right? An international team of researchers says so. According to their study, humans have an insatiable urge to check themselves out in the mirror. The team surveyed more than 93,000 people across 93 countries and found that people spend one-sixth of their lifetime trying to enhance their physical appearance. That’s approximately four hours a day, every day! Turns out, attracting a partner and social media are the main culprits.
Bronzers are one of the most versatile makeup products out there. They can help you achieve a sun-kissed glow, add definition to your face or even give you a subtle contour. With so many different types of bronzers — cream, powder, spray (we could go on and on) — it can be hard to know where to start. But thankfully, you can start with the list below of the best bronzers that beauty experts recommend time and time again. Did we miss your go-to? Let us know in the comments!
The List: Best Bronzers, According to Beauty Experts
This dreamy, creamy bronzer from Chanel is a cult favorite among makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts because it blends seamlessly into skin. Byrdie calls its glow-power unmatched: “Not only does it work to deliver an unmatched glow, but this soft-focus powder provides an immediate smoothing effect. Its featherweight formula, velvet matte finish, and light-reflecting pigments also help create a natural-looking radiance. Plus, the compact design looks très chic.”
And Vogue adds, “There’s not one member of the Vogue beauty team who isn’t obsessed with this gel-cream bronzer, which glides onto skin and delivers a glow akin to Gisele’s year-round tan. The only issue is you’ll never want to reach the end of the rather chunky pot.”
Stylist gives a personal review: “Make-up artists and beauty fanatics may have raved about it for years, but what made me really pay attention was seeing the bronzer on the Instagram feed of Lisa Potter-Dixon – my make-up artist friend whose beauty advice I religiously take as verbatim. I soon realized I had massively overlooked the one thing that stands between me and a face that looks as though it’s spent six weeks in Sicily, rather than on my sofa. So, I got my hands on some. And I can confirm that it is hands down the best bronzer I’ve ever tried.”
The Hoola Bronzer is considered a universally flattering shade of warm brown that is perfect for creating a natural-looking, bronzed glow. Glamour says this bronzer can contour your face and get it looking ready for a vacay: “You really can’t beat a classic. Hoola is well loved for its insanely easy-to-blend texture, totally matte finish, and the fact that it’s cool enough to realistically contour with and also warm enough to make you look vacation-ready.”
InStyle says it’s highly rated by users: “Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer is one of the few beauty products that’s truly withstood the test of time. Since launching in 2001, the natural-looking bronzer has risen to cult-favorite fame thanks to its easy-to-blend nature and seemingly universal, sun-kissed shade. More than 300,000 Sephora shoppers [give] the bronzer their heart-shaped seal of approval.”
“Benefit’s Hoola is cult for a reason. Containing the finest of pearlescent pigments, it creates a believable glow, plus it’s super easy to apply,” writes Vogue.
This buildable formula creates a natural-looking bronze, suitable for a wide range of skin tones. Marie Claire’s writer names this bronzer the best for cheeks and eyes: “It’s warm and golden-toned with a hint of shimmer, which looks basically matte on the skin. This is also the perfect bronzer to use on both your cheeks and your eyes for a chic monochromatic makeup look like the ones seen on the runways at New York Fashion Week. All in all, it’s an essential item in my collection.”
“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,” New York Post says.
One InStyle reviewer specifically likes the laguna shade: “‘The Laguna tone is perfect for fair-to-medium skin. It works on any skin type — it looks like you have been on a Euro vacation.’ Need we say more?”
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is smooth like butter and known for its creamy texture and natural-looking finish. The Aesthetic Edge calls it a dream cream: “The creamy murumuru butter formula nearly feels like an actual cream, but it is all silky smooth powder that blends like a dream. Everyone loves the tropical scent, and this shade screams summer tan with a hint of refined pearls.”
And luckily, you can buy it at the drugstore! We Heart This writes, “What is the best drugstore bronzer list without this best-selling bronzer to contour your face? With this cream bronzer, you can expect a dewy and youthful look. Key benefits: brightens skin tone, provides subtle shimmery finish, softens and hydrates the skin.”
According to InStyle, “Say hello to InStyle senior commerce beauty editor, Shannon Bauer’s, be-all, end-all bronzer. ‘I have tried many, many bronzers — high end and drugstore — and this is still one of the best,” she says. “It has light enough shades for my very pale skin that isn’t too warm or red-toned. It is easy to sweep on and layer up but looks super natural and sunkissed.'”
This matte bronzer creates a flawless, airbrushed finish. Plus, it contains hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps skin! According to Cult Beauty, this is the best product for pale skin: “It’s agreed, Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Bronzer is the absolute best bronzer for fair skin. It’s incredibly smooth and blends effortlessly for a natural-looking matte finish that can be built from a wash of warm colour to contour-sharpening definition. Plus, it works with every foundation that we’ve tried it with!”
“The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush matte bronzer is another great splurge if you’re looking to treat yourself. It’s made with micro-fine perfecting powders to deliver that color with a matte finish. It’s also made with skin-care ingredients like hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and keep it looking soft. It goes on super lightweight and feels super smooth on,” Women’s Wear Daily describes.
According to Vogue, “From fair to deep in hue, Charlotte Tilbury’s bronzer comes in a shade for everyone. True to its ‘flawless finish’ name, it blurs out imperfections, enhances and defines and, importantly, comes in a huge palette that is perfect for on-the-go application.”
Are you ready to get bronzed, glowing skin? Any of these top picks are sure to give you that sun-kissed look.
You might also be interested in:
- Marie Claire
- New York Post
- The Aesthetic Edge
- We Heart This
- Cult Beauty
- Women’s Wear Daily
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.