It appears that this is a shy summer. We’re accustomed to these of course, but it doesn’t make them any less irritating – not least for our complexions. While the Green List lengthening offers the promise of a tanned glow (which we only recommend pursuing after a facial SPF has been applied liberally), some of us simply aren’t prepared to wait. Instead, we’re turning to a familiar favourite: bronzer. But bronzer doesn’t just add warmth to our faces, it adds definition too. And even if you wouldn’t touch fake tan wearing full PPE, you probably wouldn’t say no to chiselled cheekbones. So, here are the best bronzers.
A gel texture is fairly unconventional as bronzers go, but – coupled with its 70% water content – it might be the reason that the Sensai Bronzing Gel is so easy to apply, not to mention why it looks so natural once on. And that’s all you really want from a bronzer, right?
If you have fair skin, even the most delicate application of bronzer can appear clumsy. Don’t chastise yourself for it, though: you aren’t the problem, the bronzer is. Pale people need a bronzer like Guerlain’s Terracotta Light. As its full name implies, the variety of colours in the compact will give you a healthy glow as well.
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands, at least where the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer is concerned. But don’t allow the thrill of this stick bronzer being vegan let you forget to blend it – you’ll look like a cave painting otherwise.
This bronzer is a big deal. Not necessarily because it's a Chanel bronzer (although that always counts for something), but because it now comes in a shade suitable for darker skin tones: Soleil Tan Deep Bronze. As lightweight as it is luxurious, it provides a mattifying effect that – depending on the application – can either make you look either sunkissed or contoured.
A bronzer that boosts your collagen while lifting your complexion? That would be the Oskia Nutri-Bronze Adaptive Sheer Tinted Serum. Enhanced with bakuchiol (nature’s retinol), using it will do your skin a world of good – not just in the present moment, but on a long term basis too.
If you use a bronzer called ‘Bronze Goddess’ does it transform you into one? Well, there’s only one way to find out. And given that the Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Bronzing Trio contains not one but two bronzers and a highlighter, maybe that’s a conservative estimate of how good you’ll look post-application.
We like butter. Mostly when we say this we mean in collaboration with carbohydrates, but here we’re referring to its texture. This is partly because the VIEVE Modern Bronzer has a buttery texture that makes it melt onto skin like, well, butter. It’s also two other B-words (buildable and blendable) that work to render you the best B-word of all: beautiful. Yes, beautiful – and the other one if you like being intimidating.
Summer Solstice was rubbish this year. Luckily, however, dreary weather has no effect on a cheek duo by NARS of the same name. Containing both a bronzer and a highlighter, it’s a hit of sun to the face – during golden hour if you want to be specific about it – in powder form.
You can thank the minerals in this Dior bronzer – which comes in two shades to cater for both fairer and darker skin tones – for the instant illumination it offers. An essential if you want your nude makeup to be as glamorous as possible.
Westman Atelier regularly wows with its products. This bronzer is no exception. Not only does it offer the illusion that you’ve just been hiking in the Calanques at the height of summer (as opposed to fretting about bronzer in your room), it’s also a protective shield against environmental aggressors. No one can hurt you now.
If you want a bronzer that makes you look gorgeous to the point that people are pondering whether you’ve had work done (and who isn’t partial to a few tweakments these days), we recommend the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and silica which both blur and beautify, it has the power to effectuate a Hot Girl Summer even when you feel completely hopeless.