Best Bronzers for Faking a Tan: List of Best Drugstore Bronzers and How to USE them

Do you want to get the tanned, sun-kissed look without spending hours in a tanning salon? If yes then using a good bronzer is your best bet. Bronzers are no longer meant for pale-skinned people only. Nowadays, you can find bronzers for all skin tones even dark ones as everyone wants to maintain a glowing post-vacation complexion.

How to Choose the Best Bronzer?

Getting the best bronzer that will give you the look you want requires consideration of a few things. The first and foremost factor to consider is the shade because if you get the wrong shade, the overall look won’t be good. Generally, you should go for a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your skin tone. For fair skin, bronzers with gold and honey undertones are best. If you have medium skin, go for a bronzer which is a bit on the rosy side. For darker skin tones, red undertones work best. Because your skin tone changes throughout the year, getting tanner in summers and paler in winters, get two bronzers to use in different seasons.

Bronzers for different skin types:

Another thing to take into account when selecting a bronzer is your skin type. If you have dry skin, you should opt for a glowy and liquid bronzer for a dewy look. For oily skin, matte bronzers in powder form are best.  You should also read the ingredient list of the bronzer especially if you have sensitive skin. This will ensure that you don’t buy the bronzers with ingredients that can irritate your skin.

How to Apply a Bronzer?

For a sun-kissed look, apply the bronzer on parts of your face that get tanned naturally in the sun. These include the chin, cheekbones, jaw, and forehead. Use a wide, fluffy brush with a rounded top to apply and blend the bronzer especially if you use one that is in powder form. To apply, just dip the brush in the container and coat the top with the product. Then tap off the excess and wipe the brush on the places where you want to apply the bronzer.

Are Bronzer and Contour the Same?

No, they aren’t. A bronzer is used to give warmth to your skin and provide a tanned look. On the other hand, the contour is used for sculpting the face and enhancing your features. Bronzers are usually available in warm-toned shades while contouring powders and creams come in cool-toned shades.

List of Best Bronzers in Market + Best Drugstore Bronzers

Bronzers are also available in powder, liquid, and cream form. Thus, with so many options, you would naturally get confused. But worry no more as we have done all the hard work and ranked the best bronzers for a tanned and glowing skin below. 

Best Bronzer Overall: Maybelline New York City Bronzer Powder Makeup – $5

This is the best bronzer due to its amazing silky and smooth texture. It blends like a dream without leaving any streaks. It is made with a special technology which gives it a long-lasting color. To make it even more long-lasting, you can add water to it. The bronzer has a matte finish but it does not look flat at all. It comes in two beautiful shades.

Best Drugstore Bronzer: Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – $7

This is quite an affordable bronzer and for the price, it works like a dream. It has a cream to powder finish and so, can be applied and blended effortlessly. It also stays on for a long time without cracking. This drugstore bronzer is great for providing that sun-kissed glow that we all want. Also, it has an amazing tropical scent and the packaging also gives tropical vibes.

Best Affordable Bronzer: Rimmel Natural Bronzer – $4

Due to its natural finish, Rimmel Natural Bronzer is the best among affordable bronzers. This powder bronzer is very lightweight and provides a natural color. It stays on all day without melting or fading. It also doesn’t feel very heavy or powdery on the skin. Plus, it is available in different shades, so you can pick one to match your skin tone. The bronzer can be used as an eye shadow as well.

Best Bronzing Powder: The Balm Bahama Mama – $20

This is the best bronzer if you are going in for a no-makeup look as it is so natural. This powder gives your skin the smooth natural bronzer look that is to die for. It has a matte finish and is highly pigmented. Thus, it recommended that you apply a little bit at first and then build it up. You can use it as a contouring powder and eye shadow as well. This is a good bronzer for medium skin tone as it is a bit dark.

Best Stick Bronzer: Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer – $42

This is a very handy makeup product as it can be applied easily without a brush. So, it is best for traveling.  Apart from that, this cream bronzer blends easily without getting patchy or leaving any streaks. It gives a natural matte finish to your skin. This can also be used as a cream contour. The bronzer is vegan and has ingredients like mango butter and avocado oil which provide nourishment to your skin and moisturize it. The only problem is that there aren’t a lot of shades available.

Best Liquid Bronzer: NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer – $43.5

This is the liquid version of the famous Laguna Bronzing powder by NARS. It can be used on its own, topped up with a powder bronzer, or mixed with foundation to boost up the shade. This bronzer blends well with other makeup products and gives a dewy finish. It is quite moisturizing due to the vanilla extract and nourishing oils that it contains.

Best Matte Bronzer: Nyx Cosmetics Matte Bronzer – $10

This is another affordable bronzer on our list. This is the best matte bronzer is it leaves no shine on your skin and gives a natural look. The bronzer is buildable and blends with ease. It also quite travels friendly as it comes with a sponge for easy application as well as a mirror. However, you can use your favorite bronzer brush for applying it to your face and body. Also, it has different shades for different skin tones.

Best Bronzer for Fair Skin: Benefit Hoola Bronzer-Lite – $23

This cult-favorite bronzer is now available in a wide variety of shades and the shade ‘Lite’ is best for fair and light skin tone. This can give a sun-kissed glow even to very fair skin. Plus, it is matte and can be blended easily. In fact, you can swipe it on your cheeks without the fear of it looking muddy on your skin. The only drawback is that the included brush is not of good quality.

Best Bronzer for Medium Skin: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer – $59

The formula of this bronzer is smooth and blendable. It has a subtle color for a healthy natural glow. This matte-bronzer has 0% sparkles. It is infused with cocoa powder that gives it an amazing scent. The bronzer also has a long-wearing formula and does not fade even after several hours of application. It comes in three shades and its Chocolate Soleil shade is best for medium skin.

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin: BareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Color – $16

This comes in the form of loose powder and the color is best for dark skin as it doesn’t have any orange undertones. It is very pigmented and you only need a little bit every time. It can be applied to the eyes as an eye shadow as well. Plus, it has natural ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. The only problem with this bronzer is that because it is a loose powder so it can get a bit messy during application.

Disclaimer: Content Research, Product Opinion & Publication Process

The articles, cosmetic tutorials, and beauty tips on SheBegan magazine are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. The team of our beauty and cosmetics professionals tests the products and then share the outcomes with proper citations and then after passing all the research & editorial checks; the content is sent live making sure there exists No Conflict of Interest. You can read about our authors, volunteers, team members and editorial board with our content review, product testing, tutorial guidance process here.

Suhira Munshi

Suhira heads the editorial department of SheBegan Magazine. She joined SheBegan Magazine as an author in 2017, and her writings also appeared on cosmopolitan, lifefalcon and other mags. Suhira loves to write on wellness-related topics, skin/hair/beauty tips, relationship advice topics, and bridal grooming niche. Later, in 2019, she became the head of our editorial board and also holds the position of Growth analyst. Having had sufficient experience with fitness and nutritional balance. Suhira has worked as a fitness trainer at local Gyms, we utilize her experience in our fitness and nutritional recommendations.

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