Because a summer glow isn't just for summer
The best bronzers can (and will) warm up your complexion in a matter of seconds. Bronzer is one of those products you can rely on when you’re feeling a bit lacklustre, with the power to take a face from dull and tired-looking to healthy and radiant.
‘Making sure you get the right bronzer for your skin tone is so important because getting the wrong one can either make you look orange, ashy or like there’s no make-up on you,’ explains Bobbi Brown Pro Artist Zara Findlay.
‘Obviously, we want to use make-up to highlight and accentuate elements of our face, without making it look too prominent and in your face – it’s all about getting the balance right.’
So what should you look for when bronzer shopping? ‘Your bronzer should tick a few boxes: It should be the same undertone as your skin (cool, warm, olive, neutral); should be the natural warmest colour your skin tans and; preferably be matte, as bronzer is used to warm and define the face,’ says Zara. ‘Shimmer or areas of glow should be added with a highlighter rather than a bronzer.
‘The easiest way to see if it is the perfect colour for you is to place the bronzer against your chest and see if it lifts and compliments your skin tone.’ Keep reading for a few more tips on how to choose the right bronzer for your skin tone, as well as the Marie Claire edit of the best buys.
Best bronzers for pale skin
You might think a bronzer on pale skin will look too garish, but there’s a whole host of new products on the market that are catered for lighter skin tones. The key is to go no more than one or two shades darker than your natural complexion.
You should also choose a formula with pink, peachy or golden undertones. The result? Skin that looks sun-kissed rather than an odd shade of orange.
Best bronzers for medium and olive skin
For those of you with warmer skin tones you’re in luck, because you can choose to go subtle with your bronzer or really pack it on. Be wary of formulas that are too shimmery though, as this can make you look washed out. If you want a touch of shimmer, make sure the particles are super fine.
If you’ve got olive undertones, try copper shades, and if you’ve got yellow undertones, go with more golden and peachy options.
Best bronzers for darker skin
Deeper skin tones can benefit from the best bronzer too. Go for ones with reddish copper tones – Glossier’s new Cloud Paint shade Dawn works beautifully on black skin – and gold-flecked brown formulas. They’ll illuminate your skin while giving it a subtle sculpt.
Speaking of sculpting – the best contour kits are perfect for creating that defined contoured look – but if you prefer something a little more subtle, try adding contour with a light shade of bronzer. Keep scrolling for our favourites.
Ever since she launched her eponymous beauty brand, Rihanna's products have taken the industry by storm. These excellent bronzers will warm up any complexion without a hint of orange.
A soft matte bronzer that adds natural warmth, Bobbi Brown's Bronzing Powder is a great choice that'll last you ages.
This super subtle and creamy bronzer has just the right level of warmth to make it wearable on all skin tones. And because it's buildable, you can get a slight glow or a full-on summer tan look.
Diffused powders with golden shimmer create an all-over warmth or contour for the face perfect for creating or enhancing the look of tanned skin. Laguna is the chief NARS bronzer. Everyone loves them because they're universally flattering.
You know why Hoola is on this list. It really is one of the best bronzers on the market. There's no sparkle or shine to it; it's completely matte making it super natural-looking. For dark skin tones try Hoola Toasted, while fair complexions should reach for Hoola Lite.
If you’re after a bronzer with a touch of shimmer you must try this one by Tom Ford. It not only looks beautiful lightly dusted over the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, but it looks incredible over shoulders and shins too.