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The 15 Best Bronzers for a Natural-Looking Glow

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Whether you’re missing that sun-kissed look of peak summer, attempting to enhance your tan, or doubling down on that healthy glow that never goes out of style, bronzers can help you get there. A good bronzer can add definition, give pale complexions a nice boost, and some can even pull double duty for contouring. The best bronzers give you the finish you want and the coverage at a price that won’t break your budget. Here are 15 of the best bronzers to try this year.

Best bronzers overview:

How we chose the best bronzers

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including formula, finish, and more, to create a short list of the top bronzers. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best bronzers for each category.

Best overall
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer

What we love

  • Oil-free
  • Large compact
  • Looks like a natural tan

What we don’t love

  • Formula change may yield varying results

Estée Lauder promises an endless summer in a compact and “the perfect touch of sun” with its Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer. And while it seems like Estée Lauder stopped making this oldie but goodie for a while, it’s back, picking up right where it left off. This fan-favorite formula beautifully bronzes your skin and is formulated with an oil-control complex that does the heavy lifting to keep midday shine in check.

Users have noted that Bronze Goddess lays down a long-lasting glow, and while it has some shimmer, it looks like a natural tan. Bronze Goddess blends easily, and though it’s a little pricey, you can use it as an eyeshadow, nose contour, and body shimmer.

Shades: 4 | Finish: Natural | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best budget
E.l.f Primer-Infused Bronzer

What we love

  • Infused with primer
  • Long-lasting
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Only available in 1 shade

Anyone looking for a sun-kissed glow that doesn’t pull too hard on the purse strings will find it with E.l.f’s Primer-Infused Bronzer. As its name implies, this matte bronzer is infused with primer, so it has incredible staying power. Plus, it applies easily and blends smoothly. Unfortunately, this bronzer is only available in one shade, but for under $10, it could be the deal of the century if it works with your skin tone.

Shades: 1 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best splurge
Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer

What we love

  • Buildable
  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Skin-nourishing formula

What we don’t love

  • Only available in 2 shades

If you’re in the mood for a splurge, Tom Ford’s Soleil Glow Bronzer is a sleek addition to your beauty bag. The Soleil Glow Bronzer is infused with a nourishing blend of butters, including cocoa seed butter, mango seed butter, and cupuaçu butter, so with each use, it’s doing good things for your skin. 

Soleil Glow delivers a matte finish, but it’s luminous and silky, and the color looks anything but flat. Even better, this bronzer lays down enough color to double as a contouring powder, the coverage is buildable, and we’re giving it extra points for its sleek, totally Tom Ford-worthy packaging.

Shades: 2 | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Not stated | Type: Pressed powder

Best cream
Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Smoothing
  • Light citrus scent

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Infused with mineral waxes and silica, Chanel’s Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream hits our list as the Best Cream bronzer. This lightweight bronzer gives your face a sun-kissed look with a velvet matte finish. Plus, it’s smoothing and formulated with light-reflecting pigments that deliver a radiant finish. 

While creams can sometimes be hard to use and blend, users have noted that’s not the case here. Instead of being difficult to manage, Chanel’s Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream melts beautifully into your skin with lasting buildable coverage. Beyond its incredible coverage and color, this bronzer has a gorgeous light citrus scent — just another feather in its cap.

Shades: 3 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Cream

Best powder
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer

What we love

  • Moisturizing
  • Blurring
  • Hydrates skin

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Bronzer is pore-blurring, smoothing, and magically matte. But this bronzer does more than just lay down incredible color. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate, soften, and soothe, mica that adds depth to the color, and microspheres that give it a silky texture while adding wear time. With one swipe of this powder, your face will be sun-kissed, radiant, and beautifully moisturized.

Shades: 4 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best for dry skin
Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

What we love

  • Doubles as a highlighter
  • Skin nourishing
  • Blends easily

What we don’t love

  • Packaging leaves a little to be desired

Inspired by the sun setting over the ocean, Tower 28’s Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer pulls double duty as a bronzer and a highlighter. It’s available in five buildable shades and infused with good-for-your-skin ingredients like mango butter and green tea extract that soothe and condition the skin.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Sheer | Type: Cream

Best matte finish
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer

What we love

  • Matte finish
  • Blends easily
  • Available in a mini size

What we don’t love

  • Brush may not appeal to all

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer is a cult classic, and for good reason. The silky soft powder warms up your complexion, leaving you with a gorgeous matte finish. It’s a blendable, buildable formula that lets you go as light or dark as you want. Plus, it’s long-lasting and scores extra points for cute packaging. 

Just as you might expect from a cult classic, Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer has thousands of five-star reviews. While plenty of users noted it’s easy to apply and has plenty of staying power, a handful of users noted it doesn’t blend well, and a handful more were underwhelmed with the pigmentation.

Shades: 4 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best radiant finish
Dior Forever Natural Bronze

What we love

  • Boosts skin hydration
  • Available in 8 warm and neutral shades
  • Longwearing

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

Dior’s Forever Natural Bronze powder is a soft, lightweight bronzer that blends beautifully with natural long-wearing results. Sifting through the ingredient list, we find wild pansy flowers to boost hydration and skin barrier strengtheners like shea butter and apricot kernel oil. While Dior’s Forever Natural Bronze offers natural radiant coverage, it’s buildable and blends well. Plus, there’s coverage for everyone, with eight shades to choose from.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best waterproof
Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

What we love

  • Blends easily and seamlessly
  • Waterproof
  • Longwearing

What we don’t love

  • Only available in 2 shades

Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Bronzer is a multitasking must for any makeup bag. This bronzer is long-lasting and waterproof, courtesy of Amazonian clay. Plus, mineral pigments work to brighten and soften your skin each time you swipe it on. If that weren’t enough, it’s silky and blends streak-free.

Shades: 2 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best value
Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer

What we love

  • Conditions and moisturizes skin
  • Radiant finish

What we don’t love

  • Packaging needs improvement

Infused with murumuru butter, cupuaçu butter, tucuma butter, and pro-vitamins, Physician’s Formula Bronzer conditions and softens your skin as it delivers a radiant bronzing effect. This bronzer melts into your skin, delivering instant hydration, and users have noted that a little goes a long way.

Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer has over 11,000 five-star reviews and a pretty loyal fan base, with many noting the formula is soft and buttery. And while reviewers have also pointed out that this bronzer beautifully nails that summer tan with a radiant finish, a few have mentioned that the packaging is bulky and the applicator seems unnecessary.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best stick
Merit Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer

What we love

  • Easy to apply
  • Sleek packaging
  • Blendable

What we don’t love

  • Pricey for the size

When your bronzer is a beauty bag must-have, Merit gets it right with its Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer. This easy-to-use bronzing stick is sheer, buildable, and lightweight. It’s also formulated with fatty acids that condition your skin and lock in moisture. And if you’re inspired to do some contouring every now and then, Merits Sculpting Bronzer pulls double duty — use the wide side for a sun-kissed look and the narrow side for precision sculpting.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Sheer | Type: Cream

Best liquid
Milk Makeup Bionic sun-kissed Liquid Bronzer with Hyaluronic Acid

What we love

  • Can be worn alone or applied over makeup
  • Lightweight
  • Buildable formula

What we don’t love

  • May be messy

Anyone who prefers a liquid bronzer will find it here with Milk Makeup’s Bionic sun-kissed Liquid Bronzer with hyaluronic Acid. This weightless liquid bronzer is sheer yet buildable, infused with skin-nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, mushroom extracts, and vegan collagen. The best part about this liquid bronzer? You can wear it alone or applied over your makeup.

Shades: 4 | Finish: Natural | Coverage: Sheer, buildable | Type: Liquid

Best shade range
Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer

What we love

  • Available in 9 shades
  • Lightweight
  • Made with mango and papaya fruit extracts

What we don’t love

  • May need more pigment

Since Fenty Beauty launched in 2017, it’s been lauded for its incredible shade range, and its bronzers are no exception. Determined to create a bronzer for everyone under the sun, Rihanna hit it out of the park with Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer, featuring nine incredible shades, including India Sun, Shady Biz, Mocha Mama, and Coco Naughty.

Sun Stalk’r promises lasting color with a stunning matte finish that stays put. But beyond the finish and color, Sun Stalk’r Bronzer is infused with mango and papaya fruit extracts that nourish your skin with every use. 

If that’s not enough to “add to your bag,” this product is backed by hundreds of reviews. While sifting through them, we found the word “perfect” more times than we could count. Sun Stalk’r users seem to be loyal fans, with many applauding the refreshing shade range, natural-looking color, and ease of use.

Shades: 9 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best drugstore
Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder

What we love

  • Infused with Argan oil
  • Lightweight
  • Smells great

What we don’t love

  • May have too much red pigment in it

As the best drugstore bronzer on our list, Milani’s Silky Matte Bronzing Powder is easy on the purse strings. Infused with Argan oil, this silky-matte bronzer is hydrating, lightweight, and blends seamlessly into your skin with no streaking. While a few users have noted that there may be too much red pigment in the formula, others have noted that it smells divine — kind of like coconut on a tropical beach.

Shades: 3 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Pressed powder

Best buildable
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer Cream Bronzer Stick

What we love

  • Works for bronzing and contouring
  • Cream-to-powder formula
  • Formulated with mango butter and apricot oil

What we don’t love

  • Expensive for a small stick

If you’re on team “more is more” when it comes to bronzer, Milk Makeup’s Matte Bronzer Cream Bronzer Stick should top your shortlist. An excellent pick for creating an instant sun-kissed glow, this cream-to-powder formula is buildable, blendable, and packed with hydrating ingredients like Mango butter and Apricot oil.

Like some of the other entries on our list, Milk Makeup’s Bronzer Stick can be used as both a bronzer and a contour stick, but we’re not sure how much traction you can get there, as many users noted that the stick is pretty small. And when weighed against the price, it may seem expensive.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium | Type: Cream to powder

Get a sun-kissed look year-round

Bronzers are beauty bag must-haves that can add depth and dimension to your makeup like nothing else in your arsenal, but the key is finding the perfect shade, the right formula for your skin type, and the finish you prefer. 

The best bronzers give your complexion a sun-kissed boost even in the dead of winter. For the perfect touch of summer, try Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer, our pick for the best bronzer overall. 

How to pick the right bronzer for you

When choosing a bronzer, be sure to pick one a shade darker than your complexion and try to steer clear of glitter — you want a sun-tanned effect, not a New Year’s Eve look in February. And don’t forget to consider the finish, coverage, and formulation. 


Bronzers are typically available in all sorts of finishes, including natural, matte, radiant, and shimmers. So be sure to pay attention to this fine point when shopping. If your skin leans toward oily, you might opt for a matte finish to keep midday shine in check, whereas a radiant finish can make dry skin look a bit dewier. Moreover, matte and natural finishes can help you achieve a more contoured look, while radiant and shimmer finishes are your best bet for a glowy effect.


Like foundations, bronzers are usually available in a range of coverage options. If you’re new to bronzing or your makeup mood changes from day to day, you might opt for a buildable formula for more control. A medium coverage should be plenty if you’re all in on bronzers. 


Like coverage options and finishes, bronzers are also available in a variety of formulations, including creams, powders, and liquids, just to name a few. Ultimately, the formulation you choose should be directly reflect your skin type. Anyone with oily skin may prefer powders that typically deliver a matte finish and keep oils in check. Those with dry skin should probably stick with creams and liquids for their hydrating qualities. 


Should your bronzer be lighter or darker than your foundation? 

Bronzer should almost always be darker than your foundation to create a gorgeous contrast.

Is liquid or stick bronzer better?

Ultimately, this depends on your skin type and coverage preferences. Liquid bronzers are a good choice if you need more coverage or want to use the bronzer without makeup. Sticks are usually better for those who want more control and some contouring from time to time.  

Is cream or powder bronzer better for mature skin?

Liquid bronzers may be better for mature skin as they tend to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, whereas powder bronzers might settle into fine lines and amplify those subtle signs of aging.