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The Best Bronzer

Last updated on June 13, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Bronzers

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Physicians Formula Cruelty-Free Murumuru Butter Bronzer

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Physicians Formula

Cruelty-Free Murumuru Butter Bronzer

Buttery-soft, shimmery and nourishing, this pressed powder bronzer is designed for sensitive skin and goes on smoothly with the applicator or your fingers. It is made with cupuaçu, tucuma and murumuru butter and will condition your skin while making it glow with radiance.

Overall Take

Creates a Tropical SheenThis product is cruelty-free, and you will look and feel gorgeous every time you put it on!

 Runner Up



Matte Powder Bronzer

NYX's pressed powder cruelty-free matte bronzer gives you the appearance of a natural tan without the associated sun damage. It comes in five shades to enhance different skin tones and has just the right price for your budget.

Overall Take

Kissed by the SunGet the sun-kissed look you want, and you'll be amazed at how beautiful and healthy your skin looks!

 We Also Like

theBalm Bahama Mama Paraben-Free Matte Bronzer


Bahama Mama Paraben-Free Matte Bronzer

theBalm brand is known for its picture-perfect makeup products, and this Bahama Mama bronzer is no exception. It doesn't have an unattractive orange undertone and works well as a brow-filler and eye shadow.

Overall Take

No Citrusy Undertones HereGrab this travel-sized version and keep it in your purse whenever you want to add a bit of shimmery color.

 Strong Contender

Rimmel SPF 15 Waterproof Formula Bronzer


SPF 15 Waterproof Formula Bronzer

Impossibly low priced, Rimmel's totally natural-looking skin bronzer adds the right tone you want. This bronzer is SPF 15, waterproof, smooth, easy to apply, and it can last as long as 10 hours.

Overall Take

Wow, It's So Affordable!Choose from four shades or buy all of them; you can certainly afford to at this price!

Buying Guide

Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, blush and bronzer are two different things. Bronzer is used to create a glowing or tanned effect and can be used on different parts of the face, while blush is used on the apples of the cheeks for a flush of color. Bronzers are usually gold or brown, while blush is generally more on the pink side. If you want to use both together, apply blush first and bronzer second.

Bronzers can be worn throughout the year, though they can create a “summery” look. Powder versions are applied with a brush or fingertips and are offered in matte and shimmery formulas. Powders work well on oily skin and tend to last longer than cream bronzers. Use the latter if you have dry skin and apply with your fingers or a makeup sponge. Apply bronzers to spots on your face where the sun would hit it naturally, like your forehead, temples, jawline, cheekbones, neck and decolletage.

Be sure to choose a bronzer that complements your skin tone. If you’re unsure, look for a tone that matches the color you naturally tan. Start with a small amount at first, then build it up slowly; don’t overdo it. If you put on too much, soften the look by blending it.

What to Look For

  • A large, fluffy makeup brush is best for applying powder bronzers, and a makeup sponge or stippling brush works nicely with cream ones.
  • Use bronzers for contouring, but only matte ones when defining cheekbones. Shimmery bronzers will look fake if you use them in this way.
  • Shimmery bronzers can also make a face look sweaty if you’re not careful enough.
  • If your skin has a muddy/orange appearance, you have probably used too much bronzer.
  • You can use a highlighter instead of a bronzer if you want a shinier appearance. Use this on your nose, eyelids, cupid’s bow and cheekbones.
  • Contouring products are also different from bronzers and are used to create more defined features.
  • Makeup products (including bronzers) contain preservatives, chemicals and other ingredients that can be irritating or produce allergic reactions. Ifs this happens, wipe it off and stop using it.

More to Explore

Bronzer can be tricky to apply, and it’s not unusual to see someone who has used too much or put it in the wrong places. It’s also best to apply bronzer in natural or warm white light (LED is good). A dense makeup brush can be a poor choice since it holds onto more product. Use a light brush and a gentle hand. If in doubt, go just one shade lighter.

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