Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Let’s be real: Glowy, sun-kissed skin is something we all aim to achieve—even in the dead of winter. And while highlighters, bronzers, and blushes are necessary to our arsenal of products, properly applying them requires the right tools and expert technique. Specifically for bronzers, the right brush is necessary to prevent cakiness, streakiness, and the dreaded orange color from under blending.
If you use the correct brush, applying bronzer can be as simple as sweeping a single swipe across your cheek. You want to stick to soft, fluffy brushes or angled, precise brushes to make your bronzer application a home run. Trust us, once you have the correct tools, the application is as easy as can be.
To apply, explains Sara Nicole Smith, National Makeup Artist for Bobbi Brown, sweep the bronzer brush over the bronzing powder and lightly tap off the excess. “Follow that by dusting the bronzer on the apples of the cheeks, forehead, nose, and skin—the places where the sun naturally hits the face.” To take the look even further, finish with a light application of bronzer on the neck—and vióla, sunkissed and glowy.
Ready to try your hand at applying bronzer the proper way? Below you’ll find the best bronzer brushes on the market for accomplishing that sun-kissed glow every time.
Best Overall: Sigma Beauty F29 HD Bronze Brush
While working to ace your makeup application, this brush will give your complexion a boost of sunkissed, highly pigmented color—a little product goes a long way with it. Made with extra soft SigmaTech fibers, it’ll feel like butter against your skin. And thanks to its fluffy bristles, achieving a fresh-from-the-beach look can be done in seconds.
Best Budget: Real Techniques Sculpting Brush
Trust us, this bronzer brush feels way more expensive than it actually is. Composed with dense bristles and an angled head, precise bronzer application is just a few swipes away.
This brush specifically will come in handy if you love to use bronzer to contour.
Best Drugstore: e.l.f. Flawless Face Brush
E.l.f is undoubtedly one of the most popular drugstore brands—and we get it. Thanks to the incredible quality and detail behind this brush, you’d have no idea it’s priced under $6. Made with a flat point at the tip and flat and skinny sides underneath, you’ll get the most bang for your buck as it can be used to contour or apply blush, powder, or bronzer.
Best for Powder: Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush
Creaseless, cakeless powder applications are just a few sweeps away with this bronzing brush. Designed for usage with pressed powder formulas, it’ll leave you with a smooth, even application of bronzer with every use. For best results, Nicole Smith recommends blending the color lightly by brushing downwards towards the body.
Best for Liquid: Hourglass Cosmetics No 2. Foundation/Blush Brush
Applying a liquid bronzer can be quite a challenge—you don’t want to apply too much or too little, and it must be blended evenly (or you’ll look unrecognizable). Established with a medium-domed shape head and densely packed bristles, your liquid bronzer will finally blend harmoniously. The best part? The weighted metal handle will provide you with maximum control for a truly effortless application.
Best for Cream: Huda Beauty Sculpt & Shade Face Brush
Not only does this Huda Beauty brush apply cream bronzer like a dream, but it applies powder and liquid seamlessly, too. Two different brush heads compose this unique bronzer brush—a smaller, angled one for precise application and a larger, fluffy one to buff and blend any harsh lines. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll walk away with a face that rivals one done by a professional makeup artist.
Best Portable: Charlotte Tilbury The Air-Brush Bronzing Brush
Need to touch up your bronzer on the go? Try this retractable bronzer brush. Aside from promising a seamless application every time—including when you're on the move, it can easily be thrown into your purse without looking like an eyesore thanks to its beautiful rose gold casing. Swirl the product in the bronzer, tap off the excess, and apply in a sweeping motion for best results.
Best Luxury: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 05
Dust some bronzer on your face with this fancy brush, and you’ll instantly feel like a luxury. Available with a sleek, brown encasing, the synthetic hairs will feel incredibly luxe against your skin. By picking up the optimal amount of product, it’ll disperse bronzer evenly and smoothly all over your face leaving you beautifully sunkissed and radiant.
Best Multi-Tasker: Patrick Ta Complexion Brush No1
Always on the go to create celebrity makeup looks, Patrick Ta’s tools need to be accessible. With its distinctive tulip shape, this brush allows great application for blush, powder, bronzer, and highlighter. Composed with cruelty-free synthetic fibers, it is intended to mimic the product pickup of natural hair for a streakless and cakeless face.
Best Multi-Tasker, Runner-Up: Mented Cosmetics Angled Cheek Brush
Designed to give your cheeks a sculpted look, this brush can apply blush, bronzer, or highlighter effortlessly. Since it has an angled shape, it’ll fit into the contours of your cheek to give you chiseled cheekbones. Plus, by using synthetic fibers, the brush is vegan, too.
Best Angled: Fenty Beauty Cheek-Hugging Bronzer Brush 190
An angled brush is quintessential for those of us who use bronzer to contour. Extra-large and super plush, it expertly hugs the curves of their face while adding warmth and definition to your cheeks, temples, and jawline. It expertly diffuses bronzer to disperse just the right amount of bronzer with every use.
Selecting the best bronzer brush is imperative for a sunkissed, not streaky bronzer application. Known for its extra-soft bristles and fresh-from-the-beach bronzer application, the Sigma Beauty F29 HD Bronze Brush (view on Neiman Marcus) is our overall favorite for a wide range of reasons. If you’re looking to spend a little less, e.l.f.’s Flawless Face Brush (view on Ulta) and Real Techniques Sculpting Brush (view at Amazon) both live up to their hype—and come with affordable price tags.
What to Look for in a Bronzer Brush
The shape of your brush is crucial to applying bronzer. A larger flatter surfaced brush will provide a soft, smooth, and seamless application in an instant, says Nicole Smith. “A smaller, angled brush is better when you want to hug the natural curvatures of the face—focusing more on the hollows versus the highs.”
A fuller, larger size bronzer brush is ideal for tinting the complexion and most naturally mimicking a sunkissed look, explains Nicole Smith. “A smaller more dense brush (heavier more concentrated application) is better when trying to contour or achieve a more sculpted application.”
You want to ensure you’re using the correct tool for the bronzer your applying. “Natural hairs work best for powder bronzer application while synthetic will most evenly blend liquid/cream bronzers,” says Nicole Smith.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Rachel Dube has written for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She covers all things beauty, as well as lifestyle and fashion. Although she considers herself a bronzer novice, she acknowledges that the right bronzer brush can make all the difference in application.