Ahh, the humble bronzer. It’s a beauty product that boasts many talents but is often overlooked.
The bronzer is a nifty little makeup asset that can help you fake it 'til you make it. Whether we need to wave bye-bye to a dull, wintry complexion, maintain our post-holiday color for as long as possible or catfish our way to chiseled cheekbones, bronzer is undoubtedly perfect for the job.
To help you discover your golden match in time for the summer season, here's a roundup of the best bronzers.
Let's kick things off with a brand that we'll love and trust until the end of time - MAC. This makeup giant will forever offer a selection of holy grail products, one of them being the Bronzing Powder. This pressed powder arrives in both matte and frosted finishes, so you can choose between adding both warmth and radiance to your complexion.
Hoola, who? Only the most notorious bronzer in the business. This number one selling powder is now available in four complexion-complementing shades – Hoola Lite, Hoola Original, Hoola Caramel and Hoola Toasted – meaning all skin tones can jump on board. Offering seamless application, this matte bronzer laces skin with a subtle, sun-kissed color.
Sun's out, cheeks out! RiRi makes sure that your complexion is looking its healthiest throughout summer with the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer. The true-to-life shades, non-greasy and non-slip formula ensures a high-fashion finish that lasts all day.
If this cute compact doesn’t scream ‘summer glow’ then we’re not sure what does. Charlotte Tilbury is our go-to gal when we’re yearning for skin that looks dewy, glowy and fantastically flawless. The Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette provides just that. Dabble in a warm bronzing powder before dusting cheeks with the dazzling highlighter for the perfect summer glow.
If you're not looking to cash in on a highlighter, Charlotte Tilbury can also provide the perfect solo bronzer. You'll never have to Facetune an Insta pic again as this bronzer not only warms up your complexion, it airbrushes it. That's right, a pore-blurring effect is delivered with every sweep, thanks to a finely-milled powder formula that's bursting with hyaluronic acid.
Just one swipe of this bronzing stick is enough to give you that post-holiday glow. It's creamy, it's buildable and it boasts just the right amount of sun-kissed color, making it the perfect addition to any summer makeup collection. Thanks to the nifty stick formula, you can warm up your complexion or create a more contoured look. We particularly love this bronzer as it can be thrown in any handbag and used on-the-go.
Golden, honey, amber or mocha, no matter what your shade, Anastasia Beverly Hills has a bronzer to match. Whether you like a soft summer glow or a more chiseled and defined finish, each bronzer within this collection has been designed to look natural - never orange - and offer buildable coverage.
Wave goodbye to muddy cheekbones and color that fades as Bobbi Brown bring an extensive collection of award-winning bronzing powders. Balanced with red and brown hues – the genuine colors found in a true tan – this compact is your secret to a fool-proof faux tan.
We love shiny, pretty things here at the Cosmetify HQ and this bronzer from Hourglass is the definition of just that. The luxurious marble-effect formula fuses buildable bronze pigments with the brand's much-loved Ambient Lighting Powder. The result? A seamless, sun-kissed, soft-focus finish.
Milani provide a bronzer that's boujee but on a budget. As well as the prestigious gold packaging, this finely-milled pressed powder is embellished with threads of gold shimmer so that you can lay down an enviable summer glow. If that wasn't impressive enough, its unique silk-like texture is inspired by Italian terracotta tiles.
Certified vegan. Certified halal. Certified cruelty-free. If you're looking for a bronzer that's kind to skin, animals and the environment, this is the winning choice. The fine and featherweight mineral powder sweeps effortlessly over skin before settling into a warm sun-kissed finish. Whether you wear it alone or over foundation, you can guarantee your natural radiance is visibly enhanced.
This liquid bronzer from NARS Cosmetics is so versatile, you’ll be drowning in radiance. Boasting a subtle golden shimmer, you can swipe this bronzer across your cheeks and forehead, blend it over your collarbones and even swipe it down your shins for an unmatched glow.
Bluffing your way to a natural glow is made easy with this baked bronzer. A favorite amongst beauty experts in the Cosmetify office, this formula is long-lasting in every way (we’re yet to hit the pan after a year of use). Not only does it blur the look of pores, it also builds a naturally sun-kissed look over time.
If you're a true beauty guru, then you'll know about this bronzer. The Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer is a classic. It's recently made its debut on Tik Tok, with many users hailing it as one of the best bronzers. So, why not try it for yourself? It's super creamy, ultra-soft and is infused with a subtle shimmer that makes your skin glow.
We couldn’t leave the guys out, could we? Rock a tanned appearance all year round with this face bronzer from Clinique. Specially formulated for men’s skin, this oil-free gel bronzer effortlessly sinks into skin and leaves you with a streak- and stick-free tan.
Now that you know not to overlook your summer bronzer, why not check out our list of the best self-tan for pale skin?
Written by Carly Cochrane
Carly is a beauty editor at Cosmetify and has been a part of our family for three years. She has over five years of experience in health, beauty and wellness writing.