Best Bronzers 2015

I’m a fan of wearing a bronzer year around, but it’s an essential part of my makeup look in the summer. It’s a rare day that I don’t wear a bronzer; they’re so versatile. A bronzer not only adds a glow, but can slim, contour and shape your face.

There are a few brands of bronzers that I’ve worn for years that are always in the running for best bronzers. Drugstore, department store–it doesn’t matter to me. What I like is a finely milled powder, not much shimmer and where possible (but not necessary), combination with a blush for dimension. This year, my top 10 bronzers include:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer - Luminous Bronze Light

If you’re a fan of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders (review) like I am, you’re going to love the new Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50). I tried Luminous Bronze Light shade, which is recommended for fair/light skins. It’s a combination of bronzer with a champagne “glow” swirled in. The result is a natural, beautiful, sunkissed glow. Gorgeous! The other shade available is Radiant Bronze Light, which I didn’t try, but is recommended for medium to deep skin tones.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Park Avenue Princess Matte Bronzer

I am a huge fan of Tarte’s Park Avenue Princess line and a new introduction for summer is the Park Avenue Princess Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer ($30). I think it’s invaluable to have a matte bronzer in your rotation; good for contouring, shading or just a glow without the shimmer. The added benefit to this one is the fact that it’s waterproof. So if you tend to sweat off your makeup in the heat, the Park Avenue Princess Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer is the way to go! The shade is a “medium” bronze, so good for many skin tones.

RMS Buriti Bronzer

The Buriti Bronzer ($28) from RMS Beauty is the first product in the line that I’ve tried and my first cream bronzer. This bronzer yields a sheer, “I just got back from the islands” glow. Buriti Bronzer is easy to apply, would look fantastic on fair to medium skin tones and I love the luminous quality that it imparts. The Buriti Bronzer formula is certified organic and with Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil and Buriti Oil, it won’t dry your skin. If you aren’t comfortable with a powder bronzer, try this one! Can also be used on eyes, lips…wherever you want a sunkissed touch.


The limited-edition ck One Color Limited Edition Summer Powder Bronzer ($25) is a more traditional bronzer, in that it is one solid color. This is a lightweight powder with a hint of shimmer. I tested the Light Medium shade and found it to be a natural shades, easy to apply and it didn’t turn orange or oxidize on me.

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Bronzing Powder

From Guerlain, Terracotta Joli Teint Bronzing Powder ($53) combines two shades, with the intent of yielding a natural glow. The “bronzer” side is formulated in the Terracotta tradition; silky powder that applies flawlessly. On the side, is a pop of color designed to warm the complexion. The result is the natural bronzed glow I expect from Guerlain. Of the four available shades, I tested 03-Naturel – Brunettes, which was a perfect match for my skin tone.

Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten

If you’re just starting out with bronzers and want one that’s easy and goof-proof….try Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten ($33). This baked bronzer has color-correcting pigments swirled within it; so you apply it to your face anywhere you want a touch of color. What I like about Bronze-n-Brighten is that there is no muddy or ashy color; no need to worry about control. This is a beautiful, dimensional powder that adds a luminous glow. I tried the Fair shade; if you want a darker color for summer, go with Medium.

Milani Illuminating Face Powder-Beautys Touch

From Milani, I couldn’t resist picking up the Illuminating Face Powder ($9.99) in 03 Beauty’s Touch. You can use this face powder as a highlighter, bronzer and/or blush. This particular shade is not as bronzey as 02 Hermosa Rose, but I like using it in combination and over a “plain” bronzer to warm it up. The finish is one of radiance without overt shimmer, which I also like.

MAC Bronzing Powder

If you want to go full-on beach glow, you can’t go wrong with M·A·C Bronzing Powder. This finely-milled powder applies evenly and without streaking. I tested Refined Golden (also in last summer’s Alluring Aquatics Collection), which is a medium golden-brown shade, with a pearlized finish and golden shimmer. This color is pretty for sweeping onto decollete and shoulders, in addition to using on the face.

Too Faced Little Book of Bronzers

Can’t make up your mind about which bronzer is right for you? Too Faced “The Little Black Book of Bronzers” has you covered. This Bronzer Wardrobe contains eight shades of bronzer in various shades, including several that are multi-colored.  I like that on the inside cover, there is a day-by-day suggestion on which bronzer to use; great for the bronzer-newbie or even someone like me that likes to change it up.

Bobbi Brown Face-Body-Bronzing Duo

I’ve always loved Bobbi Brown Antigua Bronzer; it’s like a pair of jeans that just work. This seasons’ oversized Powder Bronzer & Blush Duo ($48) pairs a generous size of Antigua Illuminating Bronzing Powder with Golden Light Bronzing Powder. The split pan allows you to control how much of each color you want to apply. Just want a bronzey flush? Go Antigua; want the more traditional bronzed glow? Use the Golden Light side. There’s no right or wrong way; the result is natural perfection.

Are you a fan of bronzers? What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments!


Disclosure: Some press samples have been provided by the brand/PR for editorial consideration, product testing, photography and review; I also purchased some products myself. Affiliate links have been used in the post; see Disclosure Policy for additional information.
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