These 14 Bronzers Leave You Looking Sun-Kissed, Not Streaky

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Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Let’s be honest: Sunkissed skin is something we ~all~ strive for. The good news? You can achieve it with minimal effort—and at any time of year—if you find the right bronzer.

When picking a bronzer, there are a few things to think about. To choose the correct color for your skin tone, we recommend going one shade darker than your complexion. Also, make sure to stay away from chunky glitters, which can look flashy, and instead opt for a subtle shimmer for a radiant effect.

Read on for the best bronzers that'll take your glow to the next level.

Our Top Picks
A lightweight formula, this bronzer provides a smooth finish and a natural glow.
An affordable option, this bronzer is buildable and goes onto skin smoothly.
Despite being affordable, this bronzer blends out beautifully and offers a subtle shimmer.
This bronzer arrives in versatile colors that look fabulous on every skin tone.
This bronzer will give you a sun-kissed glow without it feeling taut or dry.
An oil-free bronzer, this option is great for those with oily or sensitive skin.
Try this matte bronzer for the best blendability and a natural-looking coverage.
A cream formula, this option melts into the skin and delivers an effortless look.
For a complete finished look, this palette offers both a bronzer and a highlight.
A luxe option, this bronzer offers a smooth natural finish without a streaky look.

Best Overall: Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream

Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream
What We Like
  • Melts into skin

  • Color looks natural

  • Velvety texture

What We Don't Like
  • Not for acne-prone skin

Not only does it work to deliver an unmatched glow, but this soft-focus powder provides an immediate smoothing effect. Its featherweight formula, velvet matte finish, and light-reflecting pigments also help create a natural-looking radiance. Plus, the compact design looks très chic.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 2 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget: e.l.f Primer-Infused Bronzer

e.l.f Primer-Infused Bronzer
What We Like
  • Applies smoothly

  • Color stays true all day

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Pink-based blush shades not for everyone

Trust us, this product will feel much more expensive than it actually is. Priced at less than $10, this bronzer is a total steal. Still, it’s easy to build, lasts all day, and adheres to the skin smoothly.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer

L'oreal's True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer
What We Like
  • Blends into skin seamlessly

  • Shades are neutral

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Has a slight shimmer

L'Oréal consistently delivers some of the best drugstore makeup on the market. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this super affordable bronzer has great buildable coverage, a subtle shimmer, and three flattering neutral hues that would look divine on everyone.

Coverage: Light | Finish: Shimmer | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Shade Range: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
What We Like
  • Creamy texture

  • Blends into skin

  • Color looks natural

What We Don't Like
  • Scent may be strong for some

Receiving the stamp of approval from Byrdie associate editor Holly Rhue, this bronzer arrives in insanely versatile colors that look fabulous on every skin tone. In addition, the matte formula allows for seamless blending and the infusion of cocoa powder makes it smell as good as it looks.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 2 | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dry Skin: Lawless Summer Skin Velvet Matte Bronzer

Lawless
What We Like
  • Doesn't look too powdery or cakey

  • Gentle for sensitive skin

  • Byrdie Clean

What We Don't Like
  • A little orange on fair skin

If your skin is dry, you’ll appreciate this finely milled powder bronzer. Made without tons of irritating ingredients like fragrance and parabens, you’ll leave with the perfect sun-kissed glow without your skin feeling taut or dry.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 2 | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Oily Skin: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Bronzer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Bronzer
What We Like
  • Stays matte all day

  • Hydrating formula

  • Contains peptides

What We Don't Like
  • Only one shade

If you have oily skin, you’ll appreciate this oil-free bronzer. Formulated with collagen, hyaluronic acid, and pore-blurring technology, you’ll stay moisturized sans any greasiness. Also worth noting: Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus loves this bronzer, too.

Coverage: Light | Finish: Matte | Shades: 1 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Matte: Urban Decay Beached Bronzer

What We Like
  • Color looks natural

  • Applies smoothly

  • Fun packaging

What We Don't Like
  • Shades are on the fair side

Dust this silky matte powder on your face, and you’ll instantly look like you spent a week on an island. Available in two universally flattering hues, the infusion of finely milled pigments allow for easy blending, a streak-free texture, and natural-looking sheer coverage

Coverage: Sheer | Finish: Matte | Shades: 2 | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Cream: Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
What We Like
  • Looks natural

  • Water-resistant

  • Nice range of shades

What We Don't Like
  • Product needs a little heat to blend

Not only does this bronzer have a light-as-air feel, but it's also a non-greasy, water-resistant formula that melts into the skin effortlessly. It also comes in seven shades and can be used to bronze, contour, or define. To apply this bronzer, use your fingertips or a face-shaping brush and apply where the sun would naturally hit your face.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Palette: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo
What We Like
  • Shades complement each other

  • Makes skin glow

  • Beautiful packaging

What We Don't Like
  • No option for deeper skin tones

Create killer cheekbones and candlelit skin with this all-in-one bronzing and highlighting palette. Aside from the super chic packaging, which is inspired by 1920s glamour cigarette cases, this duo is a one-stop-shop to achieving the perfect glow in minutes—its blend of pearl and gold pigments can easily sculpt and highlight your features with minimal effort required. 

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Luminous | Shades: 1 | Size: 0.6 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Splurge: Guerlain Terracotta Original Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Terracotta The Bronzing Powder
What We Like
  • Applies smoothly

  • Silky feel

  • Shimmer is very subtle

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This splurge-worthy bronzer has remained a bestseller since its debut in 1984. Its super-smooth texture and subtle shimmer make you look instantly sun-kissed—plus, it's infused with hydrating ingredients (like sodium hyaluronate) and comes in a wide array of neutral shades.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Fair Skin: Glossier Solar Paint in Flare

Glossier Solar Paint
What We Like
  • Lightweight texture

  • Buildable finish

  • Nourishing formula

What We Don't Like
  • May be difficult to blend

Designed to leave your skin with a sun-kissed effect, this luminous, lightweight bronzer is packed with light-reflecting pearls as well as a microemulsion of skin-loving plant oils. Not to mention, it has the most incredible texture: an almost-whipped gel cream. This shade, Flare, is a flattering neutral bronze with gold pearl iridescence ideal for fair to light skin tones. Bonus points for the fact that it’s buildable, as it’s not hard to go overboard with bronzer if your skin is on the fairer side. 

Coverage: Light | Finish: Luminous | Shades: 4 | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Olive Skin: Benefit Hoola In Natural Bronze

Hoola In Natural Bronze
What We Like
  • Looks great on multiple skin tones

  • Blends in seamlessly

  • Long-wearing

What We Don't Like
  • Not for acne-prone skin

The original shade of Hoola is flattering on all skin tones. However, we think it looks especially great on olive tones due to its intense pigment. It also has a silky-smooth texture and blends seamlessly.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 4 | Size: 0.1 / 0.3 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Dark Skin: Mented Cosmetics Bronzer

Mented cosmetics bronzer
What We Like
  • A little goes a long way

  • Pigmented

  • Blends in seamlessly

What We Don't Like
  • Not for acne-prone skin

This Mented bronzer—particularly in the shades Out of Office and Yacht Life—is ultra-flattering for darker complexions. Plus, since its pigment is super-rich, a little goes a long way.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 4 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Shimmer: NARS Bronzer Powder

NARS Bronzer Powder
What We Like
  • Multi-dimensional

  • A little goes a long way

  • Warms up skin nicely

What We Don't Like
  • No cool shades

With a beautiful golden shimmer, this bronzing powder almost seems like a highlighter and bronzer in one. Its glowy sheen looks revolutionary on different skin tones—plus, since a little goes a long way, the compact will last you for quite some time. It’s also worth noting that it's a favorite of Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 4 | Size: 0.1 / 0.3 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Final Verdict

Known for its instant sunkissed glow properties and easy application, bronzers can easily make you look like you just arrived back from a tropical vacation in a matter of minutes (or even seconds). Though it’s a little bit of a splurge, the best bronzer is Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream with Guerlain Terracotta Sunkissed Natural Finish Bronzing Powder coming in at a close second. If you don’t want to spend too much on Bronzer, e.l.f’s Primer Infused Bronzer or L'Oréal's True Match Lumi Lit Bronze It Bronzer both live up to the hype.

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