Hair & Makeup

7 Of The Best Bronzers For Every Skin Type, Texture And Tone

It’s instinctive to reach for bronzer when you’re feeling a little flat, but choose the wrong one and you could end up looking lackluster rather than luminous. Here, the PORTER beauty team explains how to pick the perfect glow-getter for your complexion


Is there a more hard-working item in your makeup bag than bronzer? Not only does it add warmth and life to skin, but it can also reintroduce shape to a face that has softened with age, brighten eyes when worn on lids, and add definition to your décolleté. That said, it’s all too easy to pick the wrong shade, texture or finish for your complexion – so here are the hero formulas for every skin tone and type…

Best bronzer for creating a natural color: Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick

The beauty of this stick bronzer from Westman Atelier is its ease of application. The creamy formula contains jojoba oil, ensuring the buttery texture melts into your skin for a truly flawless effect, while the rich pigment builds a convincing bronze tone without shimmer or shine. Just swipe across the tops of your cheeks, into your temples and along your jawline, then pat in with a fingertip.

Best bronzer for flat, winter light: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

A great choice on dull, wintry days, this airy, illuminating bronzer by Hourglass is loved for its ability to light up skin for good reason: its Photoluminescent Technology delivers an ethereal, soft-lit glow. The result? Skin looks healthier and imperfections are diffused. The powder is incredibly finely milled, too, so it layers up a treat. Reapply as the day wears on and add an extra sweep for evening.

Best bronzer for going all out: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

This bronzer-and-highlighter compact duo is brilliant for giving dull skin instant glow. The combination of reflective pearl and warm-bronze tones in this Charlotte Tilbury palette confers a megawatt sheen – and injects a touch of warmth and vitality to sallow skin. Apply with a cheek brush (try Tom Ford Beauty Cheek Brush 06) in small circles, dusting it across the tops of your cheeks and into your hairline to mimic a sun-kissed complexion.

Best bronzer for medium to dark skin: Westman Atelier Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer

A buffing of bronzer to cheeks and into the temples lends medium to dark skin tones a sheen of glowy warmth. Case in point: this unique formula from Westman Atelier is silky smooth and a dream to blend, with or without a brush. It also contains cupuaçu, cocoa-seed and mango-seed butters to nourish skin and deliver a layer of protection from the environment.

Best bronzer for pale skin: La Bouche Rouge Refillable La Terre Bronzer in Blonde

Bronzer can be daunting when you have very pale skin, with many bronze shades looking far too obvious, even when blended out. However, this bronzer by La Bouche Rouge has been formulated with pale skin in mind. It is finely milled, so it can be applied in wisp-like subtle layers – and the shade is soft and muted, so it imparts a warm diffusion of color. If you’re applying it across your forehead, be sure to also buff it into your hairline to avoid creating a white strip around the perimeter of your face.

Best bronzer for contouring: Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream

Doubling as a contouring go-to, this bronzing cream from Huda Beauty is excellent for adding realistic, subtle shading to accentuate cheekbones and redefine your jaw. It blends in easily, like a cream, but quickly settles into a velvety powder finish. Be warned: a small amount goes far, though, so buff a touch of pigment into the hollows of your cheeks and underneath your jawline, then buff again to avoid leaving obvious lines on your skin.

Best bronzer for socket definition: Gucci Beauty Poudre De Beauté Éclat Soleil

Like the rest of the face, the eye area can lose definition with age and the natural socket line can become a bit lost. Gucci Beauty’s velvety powder is the answer to restoring it. Use a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush, like Burberry Beauty Small Eyeshadow Brush No.11, to buff a touch of the color around your socket – if the natural line is hard to spot, place an eyelash curler against your eyelid and buff the powder around its perimeter instead.

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown