It’s that time of year again! The time of year I start to really crave warm bronzey looks, and the time of year I start wearing my bronzers like crazy. I actually wear bronzers year round because I like the warmth and shape they give to my face, but I really love playing around with bronzers during the warmer months.
Since I’m such a huge fan of bronzers, I’ve pulled together all of my favorite and most used bronzers. I but bronzers of all tones depending on the kind of look that I want. I tend to gravitate toward neutral toned bronzers the most if I’m going for an all over bronze, a cooler one if I have a more targeted, contoured application, and a warmer toned bronzer for when I want to achieve a more sunburned look (usually during the height of summer).
I also have a range of shimmery and matte bronzers. I used to only wear matte to give my face some more shape, but recently, I’ve been starting to use more glowy bronzers that have just a bit of shimmer to give me a more, well, glowy look.
I put together some of my favorites and most used bronzers for you today. Yes, I have a lot of bronzer, but it’s one of my favorite steps of my makeup routine.
For reference, I have a medium warm olive skintone, equivalent to a MAC NC30 skintone most of the year, and leaning toward MAC NC35/37 in the summer. These are the bronzers that I’ve found work best for warm medium skintones. I apply my bronzers with either the ELF Complexion brush for a more pigmented and contoured application, or the Real Techniques blush brush for denser, harder bronzer formulas.
First is a cream bronzer stick – the Vincent Longo Chiara Flush Stick in Warm Bronze, which I’m unsure is even still available. Vincent Longo seems to have gone under, although their products are still around Dermstore and Amazon. This is like a gel-cream bronzer that blends out sheerly and is pretty warm toned. I don’t use cream bronzers often but I sometimes like to use it underneath powder bronzers to make my makeup more long-wearing.
Next up are some matte bronzers that I use most often out of all of these.
Bobbi Brown Stonestreet Bronzer is probably my most cool-toned bronzer, although it’s still more of a neutral bronze rather than a contour shade. Although it swatches quite pigmented, I actually apply this during the fall and winter when I want something a little lighter, and I want to give my face some shape without necessarily looking warmer.
Tom Ford Terra Bronzer is a pricey, but truly beautiful bronzer. It has a very dense texture, but with a stiffer brush, it applies to a natural finish. It looks seamless on my skin and can also be built up from a very light finish to a slightly deeper bronze. I do find that this shade is a little too late for me when I’m at my darkest in the summer, when my skin reaches somewhere between NC37 at its very darkest. I use this most in the winter and spring.
Marc Jacobs O!mega Coconut Bronzer really changed the bronzer game for me. The slight golden – but not orange – tone matches my warm olive skin perfectly, and the matte texture makes it great for shaping my face while giving it some warmth. It’s also quite pigmented so I have to use a light hand unless I’m already quite tan. Although I’ve used this bronzer a lot, that pan you see is not from me using it so much I’ve hit pan. It’s due to faulty packaging where the product wasn’t pressed completely flat into the pan, so it actually broke once I started using it a lot. Unfortunately this means that while the big mirror makes this a great travel compact, the product inside is pretty delicate.
Moving on to some glowier, but not quite shimmery, bronzers.
For this category, the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Bronzers are pretty much the gold standard. They are incredibly smooth and silky and blend out to a completely flawless finish. I have it in shade 01 and 03. I would not have thought to try 01 because it looks so light in the pan, but I had a sales associate try it on me, and I was surprised to see it provide a lovely subtle warmth to my face. It’s not really a bronzer to add a ton of definition, but it’s great for all-over warmth. Shade 03 isn’t actually too much darker, but it is definitely a little warmer.
Next is the famous Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Deep Bronze has taken the makeup world by storm in recent years! I have always loved Physician’s Formula bronzers. In fact, they were my first bronzers ever, and I’ve probably used up 5-6 different Physician’s Formula bronzers over the years. These butter bronzers are really as good as everyone says they are, minus the heavy scent. They are smooth, ultra blendable, and also blendable. It’s really hard to mess up bronzer with these, especially since the shades run very very light, and this shade is a true bronze. The slight glowy finish of theses are a great part of a glowy makeup routine.
Bare Minerals Invisible Bronzer in Tan is a recommendation from Sandra, one of my long-term favorite bloggers/Youtubers, that has become one of my most used bronzers. It is a dense bronzer that also works best with a stiffer brush.This is also slightly cooler toned, which works well when I want some definition in my face. This is another really natural looking bronzer, especially since it’s not completely matte, but not really shimmery, either.
The only shimmery-ish bronzers I own are the Becca Sunlit Bronzers, which are not frosty, but they definitely have a bit of shimmer running through them. There is a big shade difference, as well as difference in undertones, between all the shades. Bronzed Bondi is more of the classic warm bronze shade that I’d wear in the summer to give me a sunburned look, while Maui Night is a red-toned deep bronzer that I use almost as a blush to really give me a sunburned look. I really only use these bronzers in the summer because they are super soft and pigmented, like most Becca powder products are.
I have swatches of all of them, in order of how I talked about them:
There are a couple missing that I don’t have on hand. Benefit Hoola is a cult favorite at this point, and although I have it as part of a palette, I don’t feel like it’s quite the same shade as their standalone bronzer I’ve used in the past, so I didn’t include it. I think Hoola is a great bronzer that has a good balance of neutral tones to work as a bronzer/contour hybrid.
Same goes for the Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer. I’ve used a couple minis before, and also think that it’s a great neutral mid-toned matte bronzer that works for many skintones. I’m sure many of you know that it also smells delightful in addition to smooth application. I would also happily own this again at some point.
After taking these photos, I also acquired the Saint Cosmetics bronzer in On Cloud 9, which is a mid-tone warmer shade of bronzer. I’ve been wearing it over the past few days and I love how silky and smooth it applies, and the tone is natural, yet I look very naturally bronzed. It also has a matte finish.
I’d say my top picks would be the Tom Ford Terra Bronzer for the winter and spring, especially. The Marc Jacobs O!Mega Coconut Bronzer or the Bare Minerals Invisible Bronzer in Tan for all year round. I also use the Bobbi Brown Stonestreet Bronzer and the Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer pretty frequently, though I usually reach for them when I’m looking for specific tones.
How’s that for a summary of bronzers? There’s no guessing that I’m a bit of a bronzer fanatic, though now I’m definitely hoping to use a couple of these up since it’s clear I have some favorites.
Do you see any bronzers you like in here? What are your favorite bronzers?
As always, thanks for reading.