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Best Bronzing Powders – A Complete Guide

Best Bronzing Powders - A Complete Guide

How to find the perfect sun powder/bronzer for your face?

Bronzers can do wonders for your makeup, but as with everything, it is important to know how to apply it properly, and which bronzer to use.

With so many bronzers on the market, it can be difficult and intimidating to dig into the world of bronzers. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. In this post, we share some of the best bronzer products on the market and list products for all types of different needs and complexions.

Read the guide below and find the right bronzer for you and how you should apply it for the best possible results.

What is a bronzer and why should you use it?

A bronzer is usually a slightly darker powder that gives your skin a slightly sun-kissed look.

If applied where the sun’s rays naturally hit the face. A sunblock can help you:

  • Give the skin a beautiful glow and glow
  • Create a look of a sun-kissed feeling even though you haven’t been in the sun
  • Enhance your skin and make it look fresh and healthy

What does a bronzing product look like?

Today, there are many bronzing products in many different shapes and finishes. They can be in liquid form, cream, or in a slightly more traditional powder format. They can be dull, matt, shimmery, glowy or glittery with lots of luster.

What is the difference between Contouring vs Bronzing?

It is easy to see the similarities between tanning / bronzing and contouring as both are used to darken the skin. However, they are used in slightly different ways and for different purposes:

“Contouring” is done with the help of makeup to create an illusion of shadows on the skin to sculpt, restructure, or define the face. For example, you can create sharper outlines, narrow/attenuate, or correct by applying a darker contour shadow to areas from which you want to draw attention. Most often you want to create a shadow and color that are as natural possible. With that said, it helps if you choose products that are completely matte or go in a cooler shade with a cold or grayish undertone.

Bronzing: A Bronzer is used primarily to give the illusion of a sun-kissed skin or to accentuate your tan. A bronzer is added to give the skin warmth and glow which is a great way to make the skin look radiant and healthy. Bronzing products are generally much warmer than contouring products and are more widely used than defined in one place.

What are the most common mistakes when using bronzer?

There are several common mistakes when it comes to bronzers. The most common beginner’s mistake is that you choose a too dark color. A rule of advice is to go max two colors darker than your own skin tone!

Other common mistakes include:

  • You use the bronzer as a regular powder – If you want more color on the face it is better to bet on a self-tanning cream
  • You use bronzer as a contour – As we wrote above. A bronzer should not be noticeable. Be easy on the hand when applying.
  • You use the same brush for everything – Have one brush for your rouge and one separately for your sunblock. Only that makes a difference!

How to use a bronzer?

You may be someone who avoided bronzers because you are afraid of looking orange or dirty? It may feel a little daunting but if you learn how to use a bronzer properly it can bring many benefits to your makeup routine!

Which brush should you use for your solar powder:

Since a bronzing powder, unlike contouring, does not have to be so defined, choose a slightly rounder and fluffier brush when the powder is matte or “sheer” in the texture. Then you can swipe your face quickly and easily. If you want to blend the color a bit more, choose a brush that ensures that the color is evenly blended on the skin. If you use sparkly and shiny products, you can use a different brush when you need to be easier on the hand and control how much you apply to the face.

Tips on good brushes for bronzer:

The One Perfecting Brush – Becca

Face & Body Kabuki Brush 160 – Fenty Beauty

Big pillow brush – Idun Minerals

Kabuki brush – Idun Minerals

Bronzing brush – Isadora

Mini Multi-Task Brush – Real Techniques

How to use a bronzer


Step 1. Pull the brush over the bronzer and shake off the excess. Apply the sun powder in slightly the same form as a 3rd with focus on forehead, cheekbones, and jawline – the places where the sun hits first. Start by wrapping the sun powder in a bit of an upside-down C over the brow/hairline.

Step 2. When you get to the cheekbone, apply the bronzer from ear to the cheek’s apple / highest point and gently blend out the color with small sweeping motions instead of pulling back and forth in a hard motion.

Step 3. The key to a natural bronzing effect is to frame the face. Therefore, continue down below the jawline. Make sure you level the edges so that you don’t see any lines.

Step 4. Continue with the sun powder down your throat! The result will be more realistic if it matches your face. However, avoid the middle of the neck as you would like to emphasize it. Also, add some color to your shoulders and clavicle!

Step 5. Pull a soft swipe along the side of the nose to bring up some color in the center of the face. Avoid in the middle of when you do not want the result too comprehensive.
Guide: How to choose the perfect sun powder!

We all have different tastes and likes when it comes to what products we want to use but in general, when choosing a bronzer you can think of two things that lead you to the right bronzer:

1. What shade should I choose?

In order to identify which bronzer shade you should use, you need to identify what kind of skin tone you have.

Follow the below advice:

  • Dark / Deep Skin tone – Look for a bronzer with more shimmer and glitter as it gives a fantastic fine effect and gilds the color you already have!
    Medium / Tan Skin tone – Choose a little copper tone, it gives a nice warmth and glow without getting too dark.
    Light / Medium Skin tone – Avoid orange colors and instead choose a shade that goes more for gold.
    Fair Skin tone – Choose a maximum of two colors darker than your own tone. A sunblock with a mix of brown and some pink/peach tones will be nice!

It is actually your undertone that determines how natural bronzer looks on your skin.

  • Do you have a warm undertone? – Usually best suited in gold, gets light color in the sun, clearer veins in olive tone
  • Do you have a neutral undertone? – A little more difficult to determine when you usually dress in both hot and cold and neither gets lightly burnt nor light brown.
  • Do you have a cold undertone? – Usually fits best in silver, burns fairly easily in the sun, has little clear veins in blue.

2. What type of bronzer should you choose?

Liquid, Powder, or compact? Matt or shimmer?

To answer this question, you first need to know what effect and look you want your skin to have.

Your skin type always gives you a hint as to which formula to choose but it can of course change by season and mood.

  • If you have mixed/oily skin – look for a bronzer with sebum-absorbing ingredients or that is oil-free as your skin may feel better. Maybe you should choose a matte powder to make your makeup look better?
  • Do you have dry/mature skin – Today most bronzers are quite moisturizing but maybe a liquid variant is better suited for you? Opt for a shade that gives glow and luster to the skin.
  • Do you have a normal/mixed skin – Choose freely! Maybe you want to combine different? A slightly duller powder in the forehead will be fine while a luminous powder on the cheeks will lift even more?

Are you looking for a natural bronzer with discreet color and shine?

Matte Radiance Bronzers Laura Mercie

One of the favorites, when it is adapted to sensitive skin, is a long-loading product and at the same time thin! It does not oxidize and gives a super fine finish to the skin!

Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer, 01 Medium – Esteé Lauder

Well-spoken powder, dermatologically tested, and extra popular as it fits really well for you with acne / oily skin (completely oil-free). It is easy to cover and you get a lot for the money!

Murumuru butter bronzer deep bronzer, Physicians formula

A budget luxury product that has become a mega favorite with me both for its fantastic “coconut scent” and because it gives a discreet finish with lots of luster.

Sunlit Bronzer Bali Sands, Becca Cosmetics

An amazing shade for you with a little lighter skin tone that often chooses too dark. Subtle shimmer with lovely luster! Capri Coast, for those who want it darker.

Multi-Usage Compact Bronzing Powder, Nuxe

One of the all-time favorites! Scents abroad have a fantastic shade that even those with light skin tone carry without any problems. Magic for both body and face!

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