Hair & Makeup

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

The perfect bronzer is one of the hardest-working items in your makeup bag. Depending on the finish you choose, it can be used to shape, shade, contour, highlight and brighten, as well as create an effortlessly pulled-together look when blended over cheeks and eyelids. For the best textures, tones and finishes, be inspired by these hero bronzers…


The natural-color bronzer: Westman Atelier Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer in Coup de Soleil

Created to mimic the effects of a few days in the sun, this Westman Atelier bronzer truly gives skin a natural, sun-kissed finish, especially if you use it the way MUA and brand founder Gucci Westman recommends, which involves dusting it over the forehead (but not too high into the hairline), over the tops of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose and even under the eyes – in short, anywhere the sun naturally hits your face. Just be sure not to take your bronzer too low – ideally, no further down the face than level with the tip of your nose – for the most natural effect.

The flexible bronzing palette: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Volume III

Famous for giving skin a subtle, luminous glow, this latest addition to Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting blush and bronzer range is the perfect edit of three blendable shades for medium to deep skin tones. Sheeny but not shimmery, these formulas add a soft, beautiful luster to skin, unlike the more matte, flat-toned bronzers. Best of all, this edit gives more freedom to shape, shade and brighten the face throughout the year, too.

The second-skin, no-brush bronzer: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer in Medium

With its buttery, creamy texture, this Charlotte Tilbury bronzer is easy to blend and build up color with your fingers. Of course, you can also use a brush, but the formula often looks better when you work it into skin with your hands. Whether used all over to ‘tan’, under cheekbones and along the eye socket to sculpt, or along your cheekbones and over eyelids for an easy, pulled-together summer face, the finish is more velvet-like skin than powdery bronzer.

The light-touch ‘tan’ bronzer: Refy Cream Bronzer in Sand

In a light, creamy, blendable texture, this soft-toned bronzer from Refy adds a light wash of color and a dewy finish. Perfect to use on the go, it works beautifully as a bronzer on paler skin tones, or as a multi-tasking eye, cheek or lip color for the prettiest summer face. A great all-rounder to keep in your makeup purse.

The tan-boosting, contouring bronzer: 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.

The eye-defining bronzer: 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 go-anywhere liquid bronzer: Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow Bronzing Drops

Delivering a beautiful blend of skincare (cue hyaluronic acid and sea kelp, which help to hydrate and plump) in soft, shimmering color, this bronzer from Pai Skincare works perfectly blended over cheekbones and eyelids, as well as bare shoulders, arms and shins. Use alone to add dimension and color to face and limbs or mix with body lotion to brighten dull or dry skin.