Finding the Perfect Bronzer for Your Skin Tone

Updated 08/19/19
Stocksy

When it comes to bronzer specifically it's all about the perfect match for your skin tone, and no complexion is too pale or too dark to reap the benefits of beautiful, radiant makeup. We have to shop smart (because we all know nothing is worse than an unnatural look or a borderline-orange faux glow). Enlisting the help of the top industry pros, we sought out the lowdown on how to shop for your bronzer soul mate—because we don't know about you, but we're not going to settle for lackluster skin this season. As it turns out, finding a shade that works for you is a lot easier than it might seem. From cream to powder, shimmer, and matte, read on to find out how to find the perfect bronzer for your skin tone.

Dark to Deep

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Cappuccino
Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Cappuccino $28
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Unfortunately, shopping for deeper skin tones can still be a challenge. Former Make Up For Ever Director of Artistry and Education Lijha Stewart has some advice: "Be careful with shimmer if you have a richer skin tone. Try to choose a golden shimmer versus pink or silver, which can reflect a gray cast over deeper skin tones." Stewart adds that neutrals are a big no-no: "Avoid neutral or yellow shades that could make the skin look ashy."

Medium to Tan

Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna
Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna $40
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The golden shimmer creates an all-over warmth on the skin, perfect for enhancing the look of olive and tan skin tones. It delivers a soft, shimmering color for a luminous glow. Kelli Bartlett, Artistic Director at Glamsquad, explains: "Nars' Bronzing Powder in Laguna has gained a huge cult following because the bronzer effortlessly mimics sun-kissed skin. It's more intense than a bronzer I'd recommend for paler complexions but perfect for those with medium to tan skin tones."

Fair to Light

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer in 10M
Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer in 10M $36
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When choosing a bronzer, color matching is the number one goal. So where do you begin? Becca Global Style Director Kerry Cole says, "When looking for the right shade for your skin tone, try to find something that mimics how your actual skin looks when it's slightly tanned."

For fair to light complexions, Stewart stresses the importance of neutral or golden undertones. "Don't go too dark or red with color. Otherwise, your skin will look patchy or mismatched." In other words, stay away from warm shades, which tend to look orange on light skin tones. Less is more in this case.

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