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13 Bronzers That Will Make Dark Skin Tones Absolutely Glow

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There have been a lot of noteworthy beauty product improvements in recent years, but one of our personal favorites is the inclusive evolution of bronzer. Old school, orange-tinted bronzers—which were primarily created to "tan" fair and medium skin tones—have been replaced with a more inclusive array of shades that focus less on tanning and more on adding warmth and glow to all different shades of skin.

"Until recently, it was difficult to find something decent for darker skin tones," admits makeup artist Pascale Poma. "Today we have many options and brands out there to cater to our specific needs." Poma says that she loves using rich bronzing shades on deep skin tones to "add a nice warm tone over the skin and create added definition."


About the Expert:

Pascale Poma is a Beligan makeup artist who works in fashion, beauty, and advertising. She has worked with celebrities like Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones, and Anna Wintour. Explore her work on her Instagram @ppmakeup1.

How to Find the Perfect Bronzer

When looking for a bronzer to complement your dark skin tone, Poma says to take both your skin tone and skin undertone into account. Most skin has either a warm (yellow, peach, honey), cool (blue, red, pink), or neutral undertone (no apparent tint). For the most natural results, make sure the bronzer you use has the same undertones as your skin.

In terms of the best finish to look for, Poma says, "I definitely steer away from super matte powders that could easily dull the skin or turn it ashy, which deflects the whole purpose of using a bronzer. I prefer opting for a silky semi-matte finish to keep a very natural-looking skin."

With all these expert tips in mind, let's dive into a few of our favorite formulas. Below are 13 of the best bronzers for dark skin tones.

1. Best Multitasking Bronzer: BOBBI BROWN Bronzing Powder in Deep

BOBBI BROWN Bronzing Powder in Deep
Courtesy of BOBBI BROWN

If you want one bronzer that will work flawlessly for any and all types of bronzed makeup looks, reach for this cult-favorite powder formula. The lightweight powder features a versatile semi-matte finish and a unique blend of pigments that are specially formulated to closely resemble a real summer tan. It's sun-kissed radiance made easy.

2. Best for All-Over Radiance: CLINIQUE Sun-Kissed Face Gelee Complexion Multitasker

CLINIQUE Sun-Kissed Face Gelee Complexion Multitasker
Courtesy of CLINIQUE

This universally flattering, oil-free gel is designed to make bronzing totally foolproof. Rather than applying this after you apply your face makeup, simply mix a bit of this to your foundation for a seamless, all-over radiance. Not a foundation person? Try mixing it with your daily moisturizer instead. If you've never used bronzer before this is a great product to start with.

3. Best Natural Finish Bronzer: MENTED Bronzer in Yacht Life

MENTED Bronzer in Yacht Life
Courtesy of MENTED

This sunkissed bronzer from MENTED features a deep neutral color and a subtle shimmer that can give you a beachy glow any time of year. It's richly pigmented and supremely blendable, meaning all you need is a quick dusting of product to get a radiant glow. This formula is also enriched with vitamins A and E to condition the skin while you wear it.

4. Best Illuminating Bronzer: FLESH Highlighting Balm in Squeeze

FLESH Highlighting Balm in Squeeze

If you tend to be more of a highlighter person than a bronzer person, this product offers the best of both worlds. Part-bronzer part-highlighter, this rich, shimmery shade offers both warming and brightening benefits. It won't be the best bronzer to use for sculpting or contouring, but if you're primarily after those glistening, sun-kissed vibes, this stick will certainly do the trick.

5. Best Longwear Bronzer: FENTY BEAUTY Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer in Mocha Mami

FENTY BEAUTY Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer in Mocha Mami
Courtesy of FENTY BEAUTY

Instantly add warmth to deep skin tones with this buildable, lightweight bronzer from Rihanna's beauty brand FENTY. The longwear formula is not only transfer-resistant but also hydrating. It’s backed by mango and papaya fruit extracts to create glowing skin that's also supremely hydrated.

6. Best Bronzer for Sculpting: THRIVE CAUSMETICS Sun Chaser Blur + Sculpt Bronzing Powder™ in Milán (Deep Warm)

THRIVE CAUSMETICS Sun Chaser Blur + Sculpt Bronzing Powder™ in Milán (Deep Warm)
Courtesy of THRIVE CAUSEMETICS

If you're looking to use bronzer primarily to add a boost of definition to your makeup, reach for this finely milled bronzing powder. With a true skin finish, it won't leave your complexion overly shimmery or noticeably dull. Instead, the hydration-packed formula can be swiped on temples, hollows of the cheeks, and jawlines to instantly warm and subtly sculpt.

7. Best Bronzer for Contouring: CHARLOTTE TILBURY Airbrush Bronzer in Deep

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Airbrush Bronzer in Deep
Courtesy of CHARLOTTE TILBURY

Looking for even more defining benefits? This innovative bronzer uses finely milled pigments to blur the pores, creating an insanely smooth, airbrushed effect. The super-smooth finish makes it an ideal pick for contouring. It even features hyaluronic acid to keep skin happy and hydrated.

8. Best Bronzer for Warm Undertones: NARS Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana

NARS Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana
Courtesy of NARS

This award-winning bronzer blends like a dream. The rich, mahogany brown shade features a golden shimmer that will make those with warm undertones absolutely glow. If you're mainly after that ultimate sun-kissed glow over a sculpted look, this glow powder is most definitely the move.

9. Best Bronzer for Cool Undertones: MORPHE Glamabronze Face and Body Bronzer in Prodigy

MORPHE Glamabronze Face and Body Bronzer in Prodigy
Courtesy of MORPHE

With cool red undertones, this blendable bronzer is perfect for deeper skin tones with cool undertones. Those who tend to be a bit heavy-handed when applying blush or bronzer, do your best to use a light touch here. This bronzer is mega-pigmented, so a little can go a long way.

10. Best Bronzer for Neutral Undertones: BECCA COSMETICS Sunlit Bronzer in Maui Nights

BECCA COSMETICS Sunlit Bronzer in Maui Nights
Courtesy of BECCA COSMETICS

There's a reason this pressed powder is a consistent bestseller. The ultra-creamy bronzer makes it so easy to create a buildable sun-kissed glow with just a touch of shimmer. This rich, rich sienna-bronze hue is absolutely stunning on dark skin tones. Use it strategically to define or apply it all over for a boost of radiance.

11. Best Cream Bronzer: HUDA BEAUTY Tantour Bronzer in Tan

HUDA BEAUTY Tantour Bronzer in Tan
Courtesy of HUDA BEAUTY

This cream bronzer is a great option for anyone prone to dry skin. While powders can emphasize dryness, cream formulas like this option from HUDA seamlessly blend into skin without accentuating any flakiness or dry patches. With a truly neutral finish, this can be used for any bronzing tasks—be it sculpting or a subtle touch of warmth.

12. Best Bronzer + Blush Duo: GUERLAIN Terracotta Light Natural Healthy Glow and Radiance Bronzing Powder in Deep Cool

GUERLAIN Terracotta Light Natural Healthy Glow and Radiance Bronzing Powder in Deep Cool
Courtesy of GUERLAIN

This rich, dual-toned product is a dream come true for any makeup minimalist. The creative formula blends GUERLAIN's iconic Terracotta bronzer formula with a vibrant blush. The result: warm, glowy skin in seconds. Simply swirl a fluffy brush in the powder then create a "three-motion" down from your temples to your cheeks to your jawline to instantly give the skin a dramatic boost of rosy radiance.

13. Best Baked Bronzer: BAREMINERALS Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer in Dark to Deep

BAREMINERALS Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer in Dark to Deep
Courtesy of BAREMINERALS

This multidimensional bronzer uses ultra-fine reflective pearls to artfully mimic the effect of skin after a day in the sun. Because this formula is baked, it's also highly pigmented and more break-resistant than others. If you're traveling or you tend to bring a few beauty essentials with you wherever you go, you won't have to worry about this compact making a mess in your bag.

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Article Last Updated February 25, 2021 12:00 AM