Bronzers are essential makeup items for most people as they have the ability to liven up a dull complexion and impart that healthy, sunkissed glow most of us aren’t born with. For me, bronzer is perfect for adding colour back into the face after applying foundation and powder and for evening out any noticeable difference in colour between the neck and face.
But not all bronzers are made alike. There are 3 things I need in a bronzer: it needs to be matte, non-orangey and not too dark or light. The best bronzer on me is usually a medium toned brown with minimal orange undertones.
So here’s my top 6 picks that I like to rotate between:
1. Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base
2. Clarins Bronzing Duo in 10 – Bright Sun
3. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil in Chocolate
4. NYC Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny
5. MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze
6. Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in 2 – Medium
The Chanel bronzer is a luxurious looking cream bronzer that comes in a lovely frosted container and black lid with the Chanel logo in gold. Inside, the bronzer looks a bit too orangey but it only comes in 1 shade that’s supposed to suit all complexions. It’s also scented with a floral fragrance though I can’t tell what the scent is exactly.
I love this bronzer because its so subtle and impossible to overdo, plus the cream texture means it applies sheer and very naturally. It also lasts for ages – I’ve had this pot for a year now!
I usually apply this with a stippling brush like the Sigma flat top synthetic kabuki brush or with a duo fibre brush, all over the face for an extremely natural glowy tan.
Next up is the Clarins Bronzing Duo, which contains 2 shades of bronzer: the lighter shade is good for winter while the deeper shade for summer (and for spring, mix both shades together!).
I always think more brands should come up with bronzer palettes with more than 1 shade of bronzer in it to suit different times of the year (my dream would be to have a bronzer quad!) This bronzer is also matte and I like this because a) it’s good for travel b) it was my first bronzer and b) it works for my skin tone. The left side I usually apply lightly with a kabuki brush all over the face, while the dark shade I use more as a contour on the sides of the face, forehead and chin.
I’ve also had this for ages (2 years +) and as you can tell it still looks untouched!
The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil is quite similar in colour to the Chanel bronzer. Pictured above is the mini version I picked up last year in New York for $10 (came with a bronzer brush too!) and is great for travel. it is a little more orangey than most of my other shades but I ADORE the smell!!
It smells exactly like chocolate and it’s apparently made with real cocoa powder. The packaging is also really cute and lightweight. I don’t notice anything particularly amazing about the application (except for the divine smell) but it works well for a general bronzer.
This MAC bronzing powder is the darkest shade of the lot! I purchased it initially to use on my clients but ended up keeping it as it’s perfect for when I have a deeper tan. It looks quite natural, has no smell and is good for contouring; although I have to swirl the brush in the pan quite a few times to get any colour to show up on the face. Also, the mirror is also quite small.
And next, we have the famed NYC bronzer in Sunny! A holy grail favourite for so many Youtubers and bloggers across the globe, it’s one of the cheapest and most effective bronzers around. To me, it’s amazing for the price (US$2.99!!!!) and the application is pretty good as well. It’s not as great as the Chanel bronzer, the Clarins one or the Bobbi Brown one (review below) but it is certainly pretty damn good!
Packaging is cheap as well, of course but I can’t really complain for $2.99 and for how lightweight and slim the compact is. I picked this up from CVS in Chicago last year (bought 2 actually) and for a period of time this was all I used daily. It has no smell, is neutral enough to be used on my skintone without turning it ashy or orange, and is blendable.
I really like this and don’t have to worry about taking good care of it in my bag since it’s so cheap :)
Lastly, my Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Medium. This matte bronzer comes in 4 shades (Golden Light, Medium, Natural and Dark) but I think Medium is the best shade for me at the moment. I could probably also use Golden Light quite liberally across the face but Medium seems to give me a more noticeable, healthier glow.
It’s the newest addition to my flock of bronzers – I got this last Friday – and whenever I’m on counter working I ALWAYS wear this. So that’s why I had to get it eventually! It looks great under harsh lights and looks nice and natural but has to be applied with a light hand (preferably a broad kabuki brush).
So this ends my short bronzer review/roundup!
To finish it off I’ve decided to share my fave bronzer pics from Pinterest – enjoy!