Bronzer may have taken a backseat to contouring and strobing in recent years, but that tawny, entirely sun-kissed glow is well and truly back. Don’t believe us? Just look at the spring 2018 runways for proof, where bronzer was swathed under cheekbones at Altuzarra, worn in a dusty taupe shade at Joseph and teamed with an allover glow at Emilia Wickstead.
But you don’t need the catwalk to convince you of the perks of a good bronzer. Just sweep your perfect shade over tired skin and you’ll see that a little fatigue is no match for a bronzing powder’s glow-boosting clout. Almost every makeup brand claims to offer the best bronzer, so how do you narrow it down? Rank & Style has found the internet's 10 favourite formulas, each of which imparts a touch of tan that’s entirely natural-looking.
A completely matte bronzer, there’s no garish streaks of shimmer throughout this formula, which are often the biggest giveaway of a faux tan.
A cult classic, Benefit’s Hoola is milled so super fine that you can swish it all over the face without the fear of muddy-looking patches.
With a really subtle gold shimmer, Tarte’s bronzer is best applied in circular motions with a giant fluffy brush.
So sheer, Nars’s bronzers are some of the most universally flattering.
It may be a powder, but there’s a kind of creamy texture to Urban Decay’s bronzer that makes it meld into the skin for an undetectable finish.
A bronzer can be both matte and radiant. Laura Mercier proves it with this shimmer-free powder, which imparts subtle, light-reflecting pigments to prevent your tan from looking flat. Available in five shades—with the lightest doubling as a warm highlighter—it appears to seamlessly melt into your skin for a hyper-real finish that works year-round.
Don’t judge this natural bronzer by its dinky pot—it’s small but undeniably mighty, veiling skin in a true golden hue with just a few precise dabs high on cheekbones. It’s a shimmer-free cream, but the balmy texture and a thwack of Buriti oil lend a dewy finish. In other words, you end up with the same kind of glow you’d get from an afternoon on the beach.
One of our biggest summer bugbears is makeup that vanishes by midday, so it’s no surprise that a lasting bronzer made it into this top five. But alas, it’s now sold out—so try the brand’s super-similar bronzer instead.
Matte? Tick. Velvety? Tick. Chocolate-scented? Tick, tick, tick. In true Too Faced style, Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer fuses whimsy touches with downright brilliant makeup. Promising “all the tan without the twinkle,” it warms complexions with a tone that’s deep and rich. Sweep it high on cheekbones for a dusty retro tan that fits the season’s ’70s vibe.
Coming up trumps is a bronzer from the brand synonymous with glowy complexions, and we think the impressive shade range might have something to do with its success. Where most bronzing powders boast a lineup of one to three shades, Bobbi Brown has eight, ranging from the soft, sandy hue of Elvis Duran to the golden-brown tone of Deep.
Get ready for some seriously glowy-cheeked action.
Opening Image: Mango