There are two types of people in this world: those who love shimmer and those who, well, don't. And if you fall into the latter category, there's nothing like a disco ball–esque bronzer to send you over the edge in a fit of regret and rage (excuse the dramatics.) Love a side of radiance and sparkle with your bronzer? All the power to you. But if you'd rather stick with a matte finish to feign that post-vacay glow, we're 100% here for you.
Though we think there's always a time and place for a shimmering wash of bronzer, we typically prefer a sculpted—versus flashy—result (we're also still relatively scarred by the orange, light-reflecting days of high school football games and formals). But again, you do you. Interested to see which matte bronzers Byrdie editors swear are the best?
Keep reading for the 10 best formulas we've found for a matte (never glittery) bronze finish.
Perhaps one of the most iconic matte bronzers known to womankind, Benefit's cult-favorite bronzer is adored by makeup artists, celebrities, and editors alike. Plus, it comes in two different shades (light and regular) to ensure a flawless finish each and every time.
What's more satisfying than finding one of the best matte bronzers on the market? Finding one of the best matte bronzers on the market coming in at $10. To achieve the perfect matte bronze finish, NYX's ultra-affordable pick gets the job done at a fraction of the price.
In general, we don't associate liquid or stick bronzers with anything short of shimmer, shine, and dewiness. However, Milk Makeup counteracts the assumption beautifully with this user-friendly matte bronzer that comes in wanderlust-encouraging stick form. (In other words: You can officially say goodbye to the days of cracked compacts and shattered powders while en route.)
Where the best matte bronzers are concerned, this makeup artist favorite by Kevyn Aucoin is admittedly a bit of a splurge. But if a natural, lit-from-within glow sans shimmer is what you're after, meet your newest match made in heaven. Plus, since it's specifically formulated to be buildable, it makes for an effortless transition from day to night.
Adorable packaging aside, this best-of-the-best matte bronzer from Laura Geller is a beauty lover's multitasking heroine. Not only does it offer a believable, beachy glow, but it also infuses your flush with a hit of antioxidants (thanks to blueberry and cranberry) and some appreciated hydration from shea butter and jojoba seed oil.
We're not sure why this matte bronzer by The Balm still falls under the radar, but it's honestly one of the most flattering, well-formulated options we've tried (and consider us well-versed in the arena). Great for delivering a flush of color and contour alike, this paraben- and cruelty-free pick is a must for the shimmer averse. Oh, and you can also use it in lieu of your go-to neutral eye shadow or brow powder.
Bronzers have a notorious and annoying bad habit of coming in limited shade ranges—i.e., three at most. However, not the case with Bobbi Brown's beloved bronzer, which not only boasts the most flattering of matte finishes but comes in an impressive array of six different hues. We actually own a few so we can blend, mix, and customize our glow based on the season.
Not only does Too Faced's Matte Bronzer offer three surprisingly versatile shades, but the drool-worthy formula (we mean that literally) is also infused with real cocoa powder for a signature scent and lustrous cast of bronze with absolutely zero shimmer. Depending on your skin tone, and quite possibly your taste preferences, choose from the brand's assortment of milk chocolate, chocolate, and dark chocolate and then blend, baby, blend.
If you happen to be a member of the shimmering bronzer camp, you're likely familiar with Nars' signature iteration in the now iconic shades Casino and Laguna. But (to our delight) the brand has branched out to create four gorgeously non-glimmering bronzers is an appreciated matte finish. Laguna and Casino are still members of the collection, but now they're just a tad less light-reflecting.
Waterproof, vegan, cruelty-free, and matte—what more could you want from your go-to bronzer? One of the best we've tried, this pick from Tarte is a Byrdie editor favorite and manages to look impeccably natural despite its long-wear profile. Plus, it contains moisture-locking ingredients like pure water, vitamins A, C, and E, and naturally, Amazonian Clay to ensure the incandescent glow you crave.
Now that you've got your best formula, check out the no-fail guide to applying bronzer.