Few things have the power to instantly transform your look like a good bronzer. A few sweeps on the high points of your face (think forehead and cheekbones) can create subtle depth while adding an all-over warmth that looks as if you just got back from vacationing in St. Tropez. And on top of making the post-beach vacay glow possible any time of year, bronzers can also double as contour products to help chisel and sculpt your facial features.
How To Choose The Right Bronzer For Your Complexion
Bronzers come in a variety of formulas and shades, which can make shopping for the best bronzer an overwhelming task. But fret not—we’re here to show you that bronzers can transform any complexion, from the fairest of skin to deep skin tones. No matter your shade, your search for how to achieve the perfect, healthy bronzed look ends here.
When shopping for bronzers, it's best to avoid ones that skew too orange or muddy and instead find formulas with undertones that complement your skin tone. Red, brown, and shimmery, golden shades work well with dark skin tones, copper, terracotta or neutral hues suit medium to olive skin tones, and subtle rose and peach-colored pigments are perfect for light to fair skin tones. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a list of the Top 10 bronzers suitable for anyone wanting to don the sun-kissed look, whether you like a powder matte or a sheer, dewy finish.
How We Found The Best Bronzers For Every Skin Tone
Since we know it can be challenging to find the bronzer that works best for your skin and undertones, we used our data-driven algorithm that factors in best-selling buzz, editor recommendations, rave reviews, and more to pull together this list. This proprietary tool ranks and scores only the best products your hard-earned money can buy, so you can trust they're the real deal. From deep, creamy shades to shimmery powders, scroll on to shop the Top 10 bronzers that will give any complexion a year-round, just-got-back-from-the-beach glow.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Makeup Brushes. Opening image: @fentybeauty
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Sheer and blendable, Fenty's Cheeks Out cream bronzer couldn’t be easier to work with. In every shade, the sweat-and water-resistant, light-as-air formula effortlessly melts into the skin, making it impossible to overdo. Plus, the buildable formula works double-duty as a bronzer and contour.
HELPFUL TIP: Build the pigment on your cheeks, temples, and bridge of your nose for a healthy-looking bronze, or add depth to your cheeks, jawline, and sides of your nose for a soft contour look. Pro tip: the shades "Amber" and "Toffee Please" are great for contouring.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
WHO IT'S FOR: With its luminous, pigmented finish, Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Bronzer is perfect for those seeking a radiant glow. Developed using Photoluminescent technology, the formula delivers an all-around natural-looking, sunkissed glow—no sun-tanning required.
USER REVIEW: “I have been searching for that perfect, natural, sun-kissed bronzer. This is it! It warms up the face beautifully with a soft ambient glow. I also use this in my crease to give definition on those no-makeup-makeup days, and it’s perfect!”
Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This range of groundbreaking, versatile bronzers was carefully curated to bring out the warmth in every skin tone. Its powder formula is easy to blend, long-lasting, and provides the healthiest, sun-soaked glow.
AS SEEN ON: Instead of applying a full face of makeup, actress Gabrielle Union gets glowy using only the Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer in the shade "Caramel Cutie" for her Zoom calls.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This innovative bronzer couldn’t have a more impressive formula. The matte, hyaluronic acid-infused powder contains silica and mica, two ingredients known to soften and smooth the skin. But to top it off, the finely milled, pigmented powder delivers a thin, silky layer of coverage and color for that flawless, sun-kissed glow.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Airbrush Bronzer is formulated with pore-blurring effects, so it provides a soft-focus that won’t make imperfections or textured skin more prominent.
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Haven’t been to the beach, but still want that enviable, beachy glow? A warm-toned shimmery bronzer, the shade will give your complexion an all-around just-back-from-the beach glow.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This vegan, waterproof bronzer is formulated with Amazonian clay for longer, better wear, and it looks especially good on olive skin tones.
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
WHO IT’S FOR: No need to spend hours tanning when you’ve got this natural-looking bronzer. Formulated with red and brown undertones to mimic the look of a real tan, you can achieve a sun-kissed tan year-round with minimal effort.
USER REVIEW: “Best bronzer. So natural-looking! Even looks like you were in the sun that day with a rosy glow. I tried many others but always end up going back to this one! You don’t look orange—very natural!”
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: With just a few swipes where the sun naturally hits you, expect to instantly see all-over warmth and dimension to your face. No matter how light or dark your complexion is, the rich and super-blendable formula makes it easy to customize the post-vacation tan of your dreams.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Made with 100% real cocoa powder, Too Faced's good-smelling matte bronzer is available in three shades: "Milk Chocolate," "Chocolate Soleil," and "Dark Chocolate."
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The Benefit's Hoola Matte Bronzer may be small, but it packs a powerful, pigmented punch. The finely milled formula has a rich and velvety smooth feel that applies smoothly and delivers excellent color payoff. Plus, it comes with a built-in mirror and a powder brush for perfect on-the-go application.
HELPFUL TIP: For a luminous finish, apply this bronzer to the eyelids for a radiant pop.
Nars Bronzing Powder
WHO IT'S FOR: For those who want a warm glow that actually looks like it came straight from the sun, look no further. Nars's Bronzing Powder is a cult favorite widely praised for its golden shimmery formula that instantly creates or enhances the look of naturally tanned skin.
HELPFUL TIP: Blend the leftover product on your brush onto your neck and neckline for even-looking, untraceable coverage.
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
WHAT IT DOES: This ultra-rich bronzer is creamy and soft, combining the best features of a cream and powder bronzer. Infused with Murumuru Butter, essential fatty acids, and pro-vitamins, the moisturizing formula keeps your skin hydrated and silky throughout the day for a healthy glow.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: With an under-$20 price tag, this bronzer has racked up more than 3,000 reviews on Ulta for its affordability and its lit-from-within results. Pair it with the best bronzer brush, and you can't go wrong.