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Best bronzers for all skin types 2022 | London Evening Standard

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ronzers have long been a crucial step in our beauty routines.

Its subtle addition can make a big difference to illuminate and transform our complexions with just a sweep of the brush to give you that fresh from holiday glow.

When summer feels like a long time away, these sun-kissed heroes bring a much-needed dose of sunshine to even the darkest of winter days without worrying about the potential dodgy side effects of fake or spray tans.

Bronzers come in three main forms; sticks, powders and liquid and can have a glitter or matte finish depending on your preference.

Which type of bronzer is best for me?

For beginners, it’s probably best to stick to the powder format as they are the easiest to achieve an even application. They also work best for those with oily or combination skin but it is important to prep properly before applying. Use primer or moisturiser and wear over the top of foundation to give the formula staying-power. Opt for a medium sized fluffy brush with a flat top for all over the face and an angled brush for contour and tap to get rid of excess.

For a liquid or cream bronzer, they tend to apply darker than their powder counterparts and are not as fool proof. That being said, they may have a better sheen and work better for those with dry skin. Apply with a sponge or your fingers or combine with moisturiser for ease.

Where should I apply bronzer?

Use your bronzer to accentuate certain areas and add definition to your face. Apply to areas where you would be most sun-kissed like your hairline, cheekbones and nose or go for the triple technique by adding the warm illumination to your hairline, high point of cheek and jawline.

How do you pick the right shade?

When it comes to choosing the right product for you, don’t go too much darker than your natural shade – one or two shades at most. If you have applied too much, use a clean brush and go over your face with circular movements. Natural lighting will provide the best application.

Pay particular attention to your undertone and whether you have a cool, neutral or warm hue. For those with a cool undertone, opt for peachy, beige or soft hues. For warm, golden is your best bet and for neutral, steer clear of yellow and pink shades in favour of natural browns.

In order to look as natural as possible you must find the right shade to match your skin tone which follows a general rule of thumb; lean in to how your skin reacts in the sun. For fair and light skin, warm beige, rosy and bronze colours will replicate that just touched by the sun feel. If you have medium or olive skin, use bronzer to create a perfected finish to compliment your natural tan with gold and copper colourings. Bronzers for darker skin tones can appear more like a finishing powder and can end up washing out deep skin tones as some products contain white pigments, opt for deeper shades, rusty tones, amber or chocolate-brown bronzers.

Bronzing Powder

Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder has become a cult product and there is good reason for that — this fine powder is absolutely fool proof.

The wearable formula is offered in six shades, ranging from Natural to Deep, making it one of the most versatile on the market. It has red and brown tones that mimic the natural tanning hue and thus should be applied to cheeks, forehead, nose and chin where the sun is most likely to hit for a realistic fresh-from-the-beach look all year round.

Ideal for beginners but also a fan favourite with professional makeup artists, it has a matte finish without shimmer and works well for contouring.

Match you skin tone without going too dark as it is quite pigmented but when done right, blends easily into the skin.

This is the kind of product that you’ll keep buying over and over again.

NARS Bronzing Powder

NARS

The Nars bronzers have long been fan favourite products, offered in three versatile hues; Laguna, San Juan and Casino. They look darker in the package than the colour actually appears on the skin but still offer a healthy glow with a copper golden finish.

Best for light to medium skin tones, the formula builds well and is easily blendable, giving you more control. A little goes a long way with this powder that has a subtle glittery sheen.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer

Charlotte Tilbury

This bronzer is one of our favourites as it creates an unobtrusive second-skin like finish. Charlotte Tilbury gets it spot on and this one comes in four colours with fair, medium, tan and deep hues that work for every skin tone.

The fine texture powder glides on to the skin and blends seamlessly to create a realistic finish. The illuminating bronzer is a prize product that avoids any orange tinge — instead you’re left with a smooth, flawless and golden glow.

Dior Forever Natural Bronze powder bronzer

Dior

Housed in one of the most attractive compacts we’ve ever seen, Dior’s Forever Natural Bronze bronzer comes in a retro-looking padded cream casing adorned with the brand’s logo detailing. Oozing with sophistication, this also gives a bit of a buffer if you’re prone to dropping your powders.

Not all style over substance, the formula itself adds definition and warmth in one fell swoop. The pressed bronzer is a beach holiday in makeup form with a natural-looking finish and a long-lasting result. The formula is infused with wild pansy flower that adds hydration, while the product itself soaks up excess moisture to leave you with a perfected complexion. Flawless.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

This aesthetically pleasing Bronzer comes from Hourglass. There are four shades that are specifically designed for fair, light, medium and medium-deep skin tones with warm bronze, golden beige, pale yellow powder, neutral bronze, cool bronze hues.

The balance of pigments comes in a marbled design that when swirled gives a soft, subtle finish that glides right on to skin with a good amount of coverage. The formula sits well to brighten complexion and offers a flawless, sun-kissed look. The multitasking product can work as a highlighter or setting powder with a slightly shimmery addition.

There is the bonus of a mesh reinforcement that helps reduce the chance of the product shattering.

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

A holy grail product since its launch in 2001, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer is truly something special. The fluffy powder brush makes for a simple application, while the pigment-packed formula takes your complexion from dull to dreamy in a jiffy. This warm shade is just the ticket for pale or medium skin tones.

Yves Saint Laurent Sahariennes Bronzing Stones

Not only is this YSL option an extremely attractive product with its sand dune tonal design and luxe packaging but it is also a lust-worthy bronzer — the weightless powder sits like a flawless second-skin.

Opt between the four shade variations and apply all over your face or use as a contouring tool for more defined radiance. It has a light, warm finish that gradually builds up without sinking into fine lines or drying out your skin and is ideal for normal and oily complexions.

bareMinerals Endless Summer Bronzer

bareMinerals has updated its bronzer to make the application easier than ever. The pressed powder formula is mineral-based and clean. It applies seamlessly to skin with a matte coverage that is blendable and will not go patchy.

The brand offer two colours; Faux Tan – a natural cool for fair to medium skin tones and Warmth – a bronze hue for medium to deep. Both hues are very pigmented and so a little goes a long way for an intense colour pay off. It leaves you with a flawless complexion that is long-lasting.

Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream

Chanel

This bestselling Chanel product is one of the most adaptable bronzers that we’ve seen. The innovative product has a firm mouse texture similar to a cream but glides on to the skin like a powder, leaving a nice sheen. You can even mix with your moisturiser to add to its blendability or wet your brush for ease in application.

While it may appear thick, when on the skin, it feels lightweight but as a word of warning, you only need a small amount to reap the benefits.

There is only one universal shade and it has a soft, natural bronze hue that leaves you with a perfect warm glow.

The Les Beiges Bronzing Cream is ideal for those with dry skin and is definitely worth the investment.

Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer

In line with the brand’s diverse ethos, Fenty Beauty have an impressive eight shades that provides options for all skin tones from fair to deep. You can have a very full coverage bronzer if you go slightly darker than your skin tone or opt instead for a setting powder-like product if you go down the lighter end of the spectrum.

The tightly pressed formula is easy to use, allowing you to start with a subtle glow and build the colour gradually. There is no shimmer or sparkle in the formula and gives off a warm glowy hue over a more orange shade.

It is easily blended to preventing patchiness and will not come off on your clothes.

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer

We are all after that lit-from-within glow and that is the entire raison d’être of this cult Tom Ford bronzer.

The luxe product is housed in a chic packaging where it is embellished with flecks of gold.

The formula is nourishing thanks to the combination of cocoa seed butter, mango seed butter and cupuaçu butter but it has earned itself a place on our list due to its radiant and flawless finish. The Soleil Bronzer is also long-lasting both in application and product lifespan — after a good amount of use there’s hardly a dent.

The bronzer is buildable and is easy to blend without endless time bluffing to stop blotchiness. You can use it to create definition with contouring or apply all over the face for a luminous complexion.

Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer

Rare Beauty

Sun in a stick, Rare Beauty’s cream bronzer comes in five shades and is super easy to apply. Swipe over your cheekbones, jawline, collar bone or wherever your face and body might need a little colour and blend seamlessly with your fingers, a sponge or brush.

The lightweight formula looks darker in the stick that it appears on your skin which is actually far more buildable to intensify the colour.

The travel-friendly stick tends to be more durable than its powdered counterparts, especially for the clumsy among us that have a tendency to drop them.

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