Bronzer means that whatever the weather, there's no reason to give up on a natural-looking tan. Whether you're a dab hand with a bronzing powder or a serious tan-o-phobe, a light sweep can take your complexion from pasty to glowing and gorgeous. They're the must-have product for summer and winter, and are surprisingly versatile too, giving you anything from a just-been-on-holiday look to Bella Hadid levels of glow.
It's pretty easy to get carried away on the bronzing front, though. Ever swiped something terracotta-coloured under your cheekbones and realised that you've definitely gone overboard? Or loaded up on the shimmer front and, looking back, realise it's all a bit sweaty looking? Believe us, we've all been there. Follow these foolproof steps, and you'll start getting used all the enquiries about your (nonexistant) holiday...
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Pick the right finish
For subtle definition, sweep your matte bronzer in a 3-shape from your temples, under cheekbones, and across the eyelids and jawline, along the sides of your nose if you like. Oh, and make sure not to load your brush up with too much product; start subtly, then build it up.
Pick something the colour of your chest and arms for the subtlest bronze factor - or go two shades darker for added drama - and then decide how cool or warm you want to go, depending on the desired effect.
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Play with formulas
Powder isn't everything - in fact, it can get seriously streaky when applied over moist foundation. Try a liquid or cream bronzer if you like the dewy thing - it'll blend like a dream, sink right into your skin, and give a more believable finish.
We've tried and tested the best bronzers and picked the best; from the old classics to the best bronzers of the year. There's industry-approved favourites like Benefit's Hoola, now in liquid form, and NARS Laguna, as well as Rimmel's Kate Sculpting Palette for contouring. Prepare to meet your perfect match...
1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light
The prettiest bronzer we’ve ever seen EVER - this marble finish powder is the most -worthy product in our makeup bag. Sweep the highlighter infused bronzer all over to fake a post-holiday glow.
Hourglass available at | £45
2. Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee Complexion Multitasker
The best way to use this beauty is to mix it with your foundation - that way you'll get a natural all over glow.
Clinique available at | £23.50
3. Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Bronzer in Java Sun
‘I love to make women feel like the best version of themselves’ says VB. Well, she’s done it. Inspired by the ‘warm sensual glow’ of LA, this matte bronzer is a contouring dream.
Estee Lauder available at | £52
4. lookfantastic, Benefit Dew The Hoola
Hooray! Now in liquid form - pefect for those who aren't keen on powders.
Available at | £24.50
5. Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra
Perhaps a little steep for a bronzer but trust us, you won’t regret investing in this white and gold compact of dreams. Containing a warm-toned bronzer formulated with sunstone, amber and black tourmaline crystal, this is the blingest bronzer around.
Tom Ford available at | £72
6. Illamasqua Beyond Powder in Epic
Beauty Ed George Driver’s bronzer meets highlighter of choice - sweep this pressed powder over your forehead, cheekbones and down your nose for an instant bronzed glow.
Illamasqua available at | £34
7. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Pink Quartz
Containing five shades of superfine pigment, this blush-toned bronzer adds a soft pink glow - no ashy contouring here.
Bobbi Brown available at | £35
8. Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette
Contour like a pro with Mossy's trio pallette - shade with the bronzer, highlight then finish with a touch of blush.
Rimmel London available at | £6.99
9. NARS Matte Multiple
Thr entire world has fallen for but their Matte Multiple is a busy girl’s dream. Not only does the stick, which comes in bronze and blush tones, smooth on almost effortlessly, but blends dreamily thanks to its cream-to-powder formula. The lightweight formula is hydrating and long-lasting, allowing for a comfortable feeling all day long. If you want a more vivid finish, try applying wet.
Nars available at | £25
10. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer
Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess powder gives skin a radiant, tanned glow. Perfect for perking up a summer complexion, the oil-free formula keeps your complexion shine-free and comfortable, while being simple and easy to apply in a convenient and elegant tortoiseshell compact. The best bit is you can build the colour for a natural glow, rather than a tangoed cakey look.
Estee Lauder available at | £35
11. MAC Foundation Bronzing Powder
MAC’s light tinted Foundation Bronzing Powder gives skin a sheer, natural colour with added highlights. It’s ideal for enhancing a skin tone or to maximize a holiday tan, its smooth texture is easy to apply and gives a smooth, even finish.
MAC available at | £23
12. Laura Mercier Bronzing Powder
Laura Mercier's Bronzed Pressed Powder has a lightweight, smooth texture which allows it to glide on to your skin evenly, leaving zero patches, just a luminous healthy glow. The velvety texture makes it stay on for longer and the pigments blend beautifully to enhance your skin tone, giving you a natural glow all-year-round.
Laura Mercier available at | £28.50
13. SISLEY PARIS Phyto-Touche Sun Glow Powder
Ideal for fairer skin types, this trio gives a subtle luminosity to the skin, and the choice of two bronzey shades is ideal.
14. Rimmel Natural Bronzer
The best subtle bronzer around if you're on a budget, this is fantastic at mimicking that post-holiday glow.
Available at | £5.99