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17 Bronzers That Make It Look Like You Just Returned from a Beach Vacay

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In an ideal world, a natural sun-kissed glow would come from a weekend spent outside or a blissful day at the beach. But when that’s not an option (boooooo), you can always opt for the next best thing: a great bronzer. This classic beauty product is an easy way to add warmth and radiance to your face year-round and can even be used to contour the jawline.

Like all beauty products, the best bronzer for you will be the one that's well-suited to your skin tone. For those with fair skin, makeup artist Ellen Bodkins says, "Stay away from orangey or reddish-toned bronzers. Also, dark-toned bronzers aren't really flattering. Try to pick very light beige tones." Bronzers can also elevate makeup looks for those with deep skin tones. Anyone in this complexion range may want to steer clear of cool-toned bronzers as they can make darker skin tones appear ashy; instead, reach for warm, deep, richly pigmented shades. And because bronzing darker skin tones is more about creating a lit-from-within type of glow versus a tan, try a formula with a touch of shimmer as opposed to one with a matte finish.

If you’re already a bronzer lover, you know that one streaky swipe can ruin your whole look. To avoid this, Bodkins says, "Make sure that your skin and the brush you are using for application are totally dry. Using a larger flat-headed brush also helps for seamless blending—and don't forget to dust that bronzer on your jawline and also on the sides of your neck. This will make sure that your skin tone is even, especially in those flash pics."

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the highest-ranked bronzers available on IPSY based on Ipsters who received these products in past Glam Bags. These versatile selections range from shimmery to matte and can work on a wide variety of skin types and skin tones. Let’s get glowing!


About the Expert:

Ellen Bodkins is an NYC-based celebrity makeup artist who has done makeup for TV, film, weddings, and special events.

TARTE Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess™
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TARTE™ Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

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Here's a bronzing powder that creates a natural, sun-kissed summer glow that will last all day long. This longwear waterproof formula uses Amazonian clay powders to lock in the product and absorb any excess oil on your skin. But just because it has super strong longwear capabilities doesn't mean it's bad for your skin—this matte bronzer is made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or mineral oil. It has a soothing, silky feel, and a seamless streak-free finish for the perfect long-lasting glow.

"This is a nice blendable, buildable bronzer that is the perfect neutral shade for fair skin," one Ipster writes. "I like that it is not too pigmented at first and looks smooth on the skin. Overall, this is one of the better bronzers I have tried."

MORPHE Mini Bronzer in Blogger
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MORPHE Mini Bronzer

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If shimmer-packed bronzers aren’t your thing, give this matte bronzing powder a try instead. Use this velvety smooth formula to quickly create subtle, natural-looking warmth. Because the formula is matte, it can also double as a contour. Just make sure the shade is about two shades darker than your natural skin tone.

"I love contouring and this shade was perfect [for that]," one Ipster writes. "Good pigment, good brand, very nice to travel with too."

PACIFICA BEAUTY Bronzer Blush Duo
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PACIFICA BEAUTY Bronzer Blush Duo

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It doesn't get much more convenient than this powder bronzer and blush set. Made exclusively for IPSY, these longwear, highly pigmented shades blend smoothly into the cheeks for a glowy, sun-kissed sheen with a matte finish. Slip it into your makeup bag for an on-the-go glow whenever (and wherever) you need it.

For one Ipster, this multitasking product ticks all the beauty boxes. She writes, "Perfect colors. Perfect texture and feel on my face. Stays all day and smells great!"

MAËLLE BEAUTY Sunkissed Bronzer
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MAËLLE BEAUTY Sunkissed Bronzer

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From the stunning packaging to the gorgeous shimmery shades, there are so many reasons why one Ipster refers to this bronzing palette as her new “holy grail” product. This palette includes a range of pearly bronzing shades that you can blend together or use separately. Tap on a bit of the lighter shades in winter, use the dark colors in summer, and dot on a bit of pink as a quick replacement for blush. The luminous lighter shades can even be used as a highlighter, or you can swirl your bronzing brush across the whole palette for a multidimensional, healthy glow.

"Another gem,” one Ipster writes. “I love the shade, it makes my skin look like I’m not wearing any makeup—very glowy and gives me a tanning effect that looks like I came straight from the beach, even with my dark skin.”

BENEFIT COSMETICS Hoola Matte Bronzer in Natural Bronze
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BENEFIT COSMETICS Hoola Matte Bronzer

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This bestselling bronzer has long been a staple for those looking to achieve the perfect matte-finish bronze. Don’t believe us? Ask any one of the 50,000 Ipsters who agree. This formula is extra finely milled to provide a super smooth, foolproof finish. Use it to contour, sculpt, or add just the right amount of warmth to any makeup look.

"I absolutely love this," Ipster @kittyklien says. "I'm pretty new to bronzers but this was so easy to apply. It blends out so easily while maintaining its color. It also lasts extremely long and doesn't budge."

OFRA COSMETICS Bronzer in Americano
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OFRA COSMETICS Bronzer

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Whether you’re making selections for your travel beauty bag or just trying to make room in your makeup collection, this bronzer is the answer to all your small-space needs. The three-in-one powder works as a traditional bronzer, but it can also be used as a body bronzer and eyeshadow. When you’re in need of a noticeable yet natural allover glow, apply this shimmery shade on your face, tap a little bit on the collarbones, and dab a touch more on your eyelids to transform yourself into a bronze goddess.

“I love this bronzer so much,” one Ipster writes. "It's my new go-to. I wear it every day. The product glides on, and is easily manipulable. 10/10 recommend."

LOVE+CRAFT+BEAUTY Bronzer Palette
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LOVE+CRAFT+BEAUTY Bronzer Palette

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The best part of this bronzing trio is that you can use these matte finishes together or individually to find the right shade for you. This warming palette features three standout shades: Cymbeline, a matte golden clay shade; Sunniva, a warmer terracotta color; and Aditya, a rosy bronze for a deep, natural glow. These three powder bronzers are super blendable and great for warmer skin tones and warm undertones.

"This was my first time trying the brand LOVECRAFT and so far I really enjoyed it," Ipster @amielyn82 said. "The variety of shades in this bronzer palette was perfect. I felt like they added something for everyone's individual skin tone. The formula itself felt creamy and blended beautifully."

THEBALM COSMETICS Take Home the Bronze in Oliver, Thomas, OR Greg
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THEBALM COSMETICS Take Home the Bronze

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If bronzers tend to look too orange on your skin tone, try this neutral-toned bronzer that's specifically formulated without any orange undertones. Because it's not too warm, it's a great choice for anyone with cool to neutral undertones. This highly pigmented powder bronzer swiftly delivers a matte, sun-kissed look perfect for everyday wear.

One Ipster says this bronzer helped her create her perfect, "subtle but show-stopping natural look." She says, "It stays on and goes on easy."

GIGI GORGEOUS The Sick Sculpt Bronzer Duo in Turnt + Extra
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GIGI GORGEOUS The Sick Sculpt Bronzer Duo

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This dual-toned bronzer is a limited-edition IPSY exclusive made in collaboration with YouTube personality, author, and activist Gigi Gorgeous. The set includes two essential hues: one lighter, cool-toned shade and one darker, warm-toned shade. Both are matte and can double as both a daily bronzer or contour (whichever you're feeling that day!). Medium skin tones can swirl these two colors together to create a balanced shade, while fair and deeper complexions can opt for one side or the other.

"Looooooooove this," one Ipster writes. "I use it every day. I use the lighter shade to contour my forehead and nose, and the darker shade to contour my cheekbones."

OFRA COSMETICS Bronzer in Versatile Matte
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OFRA COSMETICS Bronzer

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If the previous OFRA bronzing shade looked a little bit too light or shimmery for you, this multitasking, three-in-one product in a deeper shade with a matte finish might be the one for you. Use it as a traditional bronzer, a body bronzer, or an eyeshadow—the choice is yours. Whatever you choose, use this ultra-pigmented bronzer conservatively; a little bit goes a long way here! Start light and gradually build up color to create your ideal bronzed glow.

"This is beautiful and bright," one Ipster says of this shade. "I'm very happy with the glowy look it gives my skin. I also use it on my eyelids as a shadow—so pretty."

SPACE CASE COSMETICS Fakecation Bronzer
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SPACE CASE COSMETICS Fakecation Bronzer

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We could all use a vacay on the beach right about now. Even though that seaside mai tai may be a ways off, your post-vacation glow doesn't have to be put on hold. Go ahead and fake that "just back from Bali" type of tan with this luminous powder bronzer—we won't tell. With just a touch of shimmer, this powder blends flawlessly into the skin to create a natural, glowing effect that’s never cakey or ashy.

"This is the perfect shade and hands down my new favorite bronzer," writes one Ipster. Another writes, "I apply it alone for a natural-looking glow on lazy days."

YC COLLECTION Bronzer Powder in Caramelo
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YC COLLECTION Bronzer Powder

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You'll hardly believe this is a powder bronzer when you see how silky and buttery it is when applied. Harsh streaks and patchiness? Not here. The warm-brown shade is great for anyone with medium skin or warm undertones. And with a natural-looking finish, it's also another solid choice to use as a contour powder.

"Amazing bronzer, really gives the sun-kissed look and the quality is really good," one Ipster writes. "A little goes a long way."

HANALEI COMPANY Bronzer
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HANALEI COMPANY Bronzer

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Who better to bronze you than a beauty company that hails from the perennially sun-kissed island of Hawaii? This highly pigmented bronzer is perfect for those who love a quick makeup routine, as it bathes you in a natural glow in just seconds. Even better, this formula is extremely buildable, which makes it a great choice for those with deeper skin tones or anyone who likes to use bronzer for contouring.

"A great cool-toned bronzer especially for the winter," says Ipster Peyton201318. "It makes a beautiful contour shade and it is also a nice eyeshadow blending shade too," another Ipster writes.

BEAUTE BASICS 3 Tone Bronzer
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BEAUTE BASICS 3 Tone Bronzer

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This bronzing trio features three shimmery, silky-smooth shades that will suit any skin tone. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to create your own custom color, try blending two (or even all three) shades together to create a shade that is uniquely yours. This long-lasting formula will stay set in place all day providing an illuminating, sun-kissed glow.

"This stuff is amazing! The perfect blend of colors for everyday and formal looks," writes one Ipster.

YENSA BEAUTY Silk Bronzing Base and Brush
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YENSA BEAUTY Silk Bronzing Base and Brush

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This silky cream bronzer is a dream come true for anyone with dry skin. This formula's super soft texture melts seamlessly into the skin to leave you with a natural, radiant glow. Plus, like all YENSA products, this bronzer is infused with the brand's proprietary 8 SuperBlacks Essence, which includes potent antioxidants and anti-aging benefits.

One Ipster describes this bronzer as "silky and glowy." Another says it gives her an "airbrushed, picture-perfect look."

ESTATE COSMETICS Going Nutty Bronzer in Coco
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ESTATE COSMETICS Going Nutty Bronzer

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If you tend to be a little too heavy-handed with bronzers, try this powder that's made with finely milled, buildable pigments. These will allow for even more control over how much product you apply. Dust it on in light layers to finesse your ideal bronzer shade.

Ipster yedrac87 gives this bronzer the golden seal of approval. She writes, "It looks like you’ve been lightly kissed by the sun."

THE BEAUTY CROP Bronzer
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THE BEAUTY CROP Bronzer

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Get the warm glow you love—without the sun. As we all know, sunbathing has a long list of negative side effects (sunburns, UV damage, and sunspots just to name a few), but this pigmented powder formula is actually infused with green tea, a strong antioxidant that can protect from environmental stressors. Now you can achieve that same touched-by-the-sun look without any of the long-term risks.

One Ipster says she loves to use this bronzer as a multipurpose product. "I've used it as a beautiful neutral eye shadow and even blended with lip balm for a natural-looking color as well. I've used this every day for months now and that tiny compact is still going," she writes.

Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
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Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated January 20, 2021 12:00 AM