When it comes to finding the perfect bronzer for your skin type, you've got two main options: a classic powder bronzer or a cream bronzer. Both have their perks. For those with an oily skin type or anyone who loves a buildable, matte finish, powder bronzers are usually a great go-to. On the other hand, cream bronzers really have that dewy, natural glow on lock.
Beth Follert is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who has created makeup looks for television, video, print, and the red carpet.
Pascale Poma is a makeup artist who has worked with celebrities like Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones, and Anna Wintour.
Ellen Bodkins is an NYC-based celebrity makeup artist who has done makeup for TV, film, weddings, and special events.
No matter which type of bronzer you choose, makeup artist Pascale Poma notes that you'll still want to apply either one in all the go-to places: "Apply where the sun tends to hit the skin first, like the forehead, bridge of the nose, the apple of the cheek, the chin, and the collar bones." Makeup artist Ellen Bodkins adds: "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 any flash pics."
Now that you know a little more about how to apply bronzer and whether or not your skin is a good fit for a cream formula, let's dive into a few of our favorite products for a natural glow. Continue reading below to discover 14 of the best cream bronzers.
While it's true that most cream bronzers create a slight dewy effect, that's not always the case. This formula is proof that you can master a matte look while also using a cream bronzer. The buildable, multi-use stick creates dimensions and an instant sunkissed glow without adding too much shine or shimmer.
When looking for the best cream bronzer shade for fair skin, Bodkins has a word of advice: "Stay away from orangey and reddish toned bronzers. Also, dark-toned bronzers aren't really flattering." Instead, she suggests picking up a bronzer in a very light, beige tone, like this formula from GLOSSIER. The "Flare" shade is a light, neutral bronze with a subtle gold pearl for a glow that accentuates your skin tone rather than overpowering it.
If you're all about filling your makeup bag up with multi-use products, give this cream bronzer a try. Use it to create a warm, sunkissed glow, or apply it more like a contour to sculpt and define your face shape. A little goes a long way with this highly pigmented matte bronzer. Just a touch is all you need to give your makeup that extra boost.
If you have oil-prone skin, you'll want to be super selective about the cream bronzer you use. This classic formula is an ideal pick for this skin type with its lightweight cream-gel texture and matte finish—both of which will help you steer clear of added shine. Instead, it uses soft-focus powders and light-reflecting pigments to create the ideal amount of natural-looking radiance.
When makeup artist Pascale Poma uses bronzer on dark skin tones, she says "I definitely steer away from super matte powder bronzers as they can easily turn ashy and dull the skin. Instead, she's all about reaching for creamy formulas in "warm shades like terracotta, burned orangey tones."
A perfect pairing for dark skin tones: This non-greasy, cream bronzer that effortlessly melts into the skin and comes in seven different shades. With this kind of range, you can be sure to find a shade that suits not only your skin tone but your skin's undertone as well, ensuring a seamless match.
The beauty of cream blushes and bronzers is that many of the formulas are highly pigmented, which means a little goes a long way, making it easy to quickly create a sculpted or sunkissed look. However, pigmented formulas like these can often be tricky for beginners—one wrong move and you have to pull out the makeup remover and start all over again. While this formula is pigmented, it's also designed to be super buildable—mistake-proof even. Add a touch, blend, see how it feels and then add a bit more.
Not too shimmery but not fully matte, this cream-to-powder bronzer almost mimics the skin's natural sheen to a tee. With a super silky texture that seamlessly blends into the skin, it offers the perfect dose of sunkissed warmth. P.S. mature skin types and anyone with large pores, listen up: this bronzer also minimizes the appearance of large pores and evens out the complexion. We love a product that isn't afraid to be a little extra.
Ready to double down on glowy skin? This illuminating bronzer pairs pigment with just the right amount of shimmer and dewiness (thanks to mango butter and green tea extract). Did we mention it's also buildable? So you can go as radiant or subtle as your heart desires.
Looking for a cream bronzer that won't budge? Say hello to your new makeup BFF. This velvet formula applies as a cream bronzer but quickly dries down to a matte, natural finish. The longwear capability of this bronzer is all thanks to TARTE's slip grip™ technology, which uses marine plants, coconut, and sodium hyaluronate to keep both your skin happy and your makeup locked in place all day long.
Ready to bronze on a budget? This affordable bronzer won't break the bank, however, it might revolutionize your beauty routine. With a unique putty-to-powder texture, this cream bronzer is impressively easy to blend into the skin. And with a natural-looking, semi-matte finish it's also ideal for a wide range of makeup looks—you might even try using it as contour. This everyday formula also comes infused with argan oil and vitamin E to offer a boost of hydration along with that classic summer glow.
Makeup artist Beth Follert notes that a cream bronzer is a particularly great option for anyone with mature skin. "I usually recommend that people with this skin type avoid powders and opt for a creamy formula as they're better able to create a fresh, even-toned, well-hydrated look." Whereas, on the other hand, powders have a tendency to settle into (and emphasize) fine lines and wrinkles.
"Since mature skin tends to be dry, a moisturizing formula is great," Follert says. And if hydration is a priority it's hard to beat this bronzing formula. Made with a nourishing blend of organic jojoba oil, natural Indian Senna seed, organic aloe vera, and botanical cactus flower, this cream bronzer delivers that classic sun-kissed glow while also loading up the skin with hydrating antioxidants.
Looking for something that you can use for even more than just bronzer and contour? This mega-multitasker works flawlessly as both of the above as well as on the eyes or lips. You're about to have that monochromatic makeup look mastered. The convenient stick even comes with a built-in brush for application anywhere.
While most of the formulas on this list are made sans parabens and other harmful ingredients, it never hurts to go for a natural-focused formula, especially if you have sensitive skin. This 100 percent natural, super glowy bronzer is made with moisturizing coconut oil, jojoba oil, cupuacu butter, and daikon radish extract to nourish and hydrate skin for hours while it also illuminates, brightens, and bronzes.
We're happiest when our skincare routine and makeup routines can merge. A perfect example: this bronzer that features ingredients like antioxidant-rich Buriti oil, conditioning organic shea butter, and organic cocoa butter, a natural, nourishing moisturizer rich in fatty acids. Instead of just giving the appearance of healthy, glowing skin, this bronzer is actually encouraging it with or without the help of makeup.
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