We Tried Glossier's New Bronzer, and It’s Golden Hour in a Tube

Solar Paint lives up to its name.

Glossier bronzer

Glossier

It’s finally here. Glossier’s highly-anticipated bronzer officially launches today, and it’s arriving just in time for all of our summer outings. Available in four shades, the new Solar Paint ($20) offers a golden, natural glow that’s designed to make you look like you’ve spent an afternoon in the sunshine. The first of its kind, we knew we had to get our hands on the brand's latest offering the moment it dropped.

In true Glossier fashion, the cream product is described as "the most realistic bronzer possible," so we put it to the test. Keep reading for launch details, our honest reviews, and see the shades in action on Team Byrdie.

Solar Paint

BEST FOR: All skin types

USES:  A bronzer to give you a realistic sun-kissed glow

PRICE: $20

ABOUT THE BRAND: Founded in 2014, Glossier has quickly become a cult-favorite brand for its accessible skincare, fun packaging, and effortless, "no-makeup" makeup products.

The Formula

To get the formula just right, the brand consulted makeup artist Fatimot Isadare during the development process. "Solar Paint is a cream texture with a beautiful pearlized finish that leaves the skin bronzed and glowing,” says Isadare of the new product. She prefers cream-based bronzers for the “supernatural” finish they can give a makeup look.

Glossier Solar Paint

Glossier

The brand describes the texture of Solar Paint as an “almost-whipped gel crème” that will melt effortlessly with the heat of your fingers. The key ingredients include two extract blends that are unique to Glossier: "Desert Milk,” a micro-emulsion of oils like jojoba, aloe, baobab, and watermelon, and “Ayursense,” a botanical blend that’s common in Ayurvedic medicine.

Desert Milk nourishes the skin, while Ayursense boosts luminosity for a lit-from-within glow. Ultrafine light-Reflecting pearls round out the formula to create a realistic sun-kissed effect that compliments every skin tone.

Glossier, Solar Paint Bronzer
Glossier Solar Paint $20
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How to Apply

Cream formulas are pretty much foolproof if you use a light hand to apply and focus on blending. However, Isadare has a few pro tips for getting the most out of the product. 

"Solar Paint can be applied directly from the applicator to your face and blended out using a circular tapping motion with your fingers," she explains. Since cream formulas tend to dry down quickly, she likes to work in sections. She applies a few dots along the cheekbones first, blends, and then repeats the process on the other high points of her face.

woman wearing Solar Paint

Glossier

Alternatively, Isadare likes to apply Solar Paint on the back of her hand, and then use a fluffy brush to distribute and blend out the bronzer. “This technique allows for the product to warm up from your body temperature for even better blending,” she says.

Isadare adds that the bronzer is super versatile, and you can change up your look completely based on where you apply it. "If you want a more bronzed look, apply to temples of the face, tops of the cheeks, and bridge of the nose—the areas the sun would naturally hit,” she explains. "For a more sculpted look, focus on your temple and the hollows of your cheeks, blending slightly upwards."

As for finding the right shade, Isadare suggests the following approach: “Since bronzer is used for the effect of giving the skin warmth, as if you’ve spent the day in the sun, you want to go for a shade that is slightly darker and warmer than your natural skin tone.”

Choose a bronzer shade that's darker and more golden than your skin to get that naturally sunkissed glow.

The Reviews

Chinea Rodriguez, News Writer

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Chinea Rodriguez

"I’ll start off with the first thing I loved about this bronzer: the applicator. I am so terrible at gauging how much product to use, even after years of using Cloud Paint I still start out with too much or too little. The applicator made it easy to dot on a small amount exactly where I wanted it and build it up without using too much. The shimmer is super subtle, and I was able to layer a balmy highlighter over it without adding too much shine or moving the product. 'Realistic glow' is definitely the best way to describe the results. I tried the Heat shade, and it was so pretty and subtle—perfect for everyday wear."

Lindsey Metrus Malhado, Editorial Project Director

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Lindsey Metrus Malhado

"I love a liquid bronzer. It's so versatile—you can pat it into the skin or on top of foundation to warm up your complexion and contour, or you can mix it into your favorite moisturizer to create your own bespoke skin tint/shade-enhanced foundation. The design of this bronzer is particularly ideal as it comes with a doe-foot applicator for precise application along cheekbones, forehead, nose, and chin. I used shade Flare and found it to be the perfect neutral brown with no orange/red undertones, so the finished result was extremely natural and subdued.

"The formula itself is featherlight, meaning you can build as you go depending on the level of warmth you're looking to achieve. It also blends beautifully—no tackiness or pilling. I plan to use it well into the colder seasons when my complexion could especially use a bit more life."

Star Donaldson, Senior Social Media Editor

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Star Donaldson

"Glossier's Solar Paint is very reminiscent of their liquid eyeshadow Lid Star. The formula is lightly pigmented and very blendable. It’s definitely something that works best on bare skin versus with foundation. I'm wearing the shade Ray on top of my CC cream, which gives a very light, dewy, and subtly bronzed look."

Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director

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Kathryn Vandervalk

“One of my favorite things about Glossier is how easy their products are to apply—it’s hard to mess up swiping on Haloscope or patting on Lidstar, even during the sleepy morning rush out the door. This new launch is no exception. It’s truly a bronzer for anyone afraid of bronzers, since the sheer golden tones blend out easily on the skin for a subtle summer glow.

"I tried their lightest shade Flare, and I loved the way it looked when I paired it with their Cloud Paint in Dusk. The two products pulled my whole look together for that classic Glossier polished-yet-minimalist effect. My favorite part is the doe-foot applicator, which allows you to get the perfect amount of product exactly where you want it.”

Jesa Marie Calaor, Editor

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Jesa Marie Calaor

“Both a traditional sculptor and a makeup artist would agree that their finest works of art started with having the right tools. Glossier just released theirs. Solar Paint is meant to make defining the angles of your face simple with its doe-foot applicator and fingerpaint-friendly formula, so anyone can sculpt like a pro.

"I have medium skin with warm undertones, so I opted for Ray—a terracotta hue with finely-milled gold flecks. Using the doe-foot applicator, I tapped the cream onto my skin before blending it out with my fingers and a fluffy angled brush. To my surprise, the pigmented formula dried down to be skin-like, creating subtle shadows that defined my cheekbones, jawline, and nose. It added warmth to my face, which is a plus, as many cream bronzers have looked muddy against my skin. Real talk: I typically look to powder bronzers for contouring but would keep Glossier's on deck because of how user-friendly it is.”

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