How to Choose Bronzer

How to Choose Bronzer


Khadija B.
November 3, 2021

We all want the look of golden, sun-kissed skin in an instant, but don’t want to expose our bodies to UV rays or fake tans gone bad.

A good bronzer is the best alternative, but if you want the best results, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right product for your skin type and tone.

How do you choose bronzer?

When buying a new bronzer, you should try to carefully match it to your skin tone and type so that it looks natural but still enhanced.

You’ll also need to think about the finish you want and how it will be applied, with options like pressed powders and cream-based bronzers all offering different results.

Bronzer doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective, and most times, it’s about choosing one that matches your skin tone and type to get the best outcomes.

This guide will show you how to choose a bronzer that’s the perfect complement to your skin, giving you that naturally gorgeous sun-kissed glow.

Step 1: Determining Your Skin Tone


If you’re someone who wears makeup, or you’re setting out to be, the most important thing to do before you get started is to understand your skin tone.

With an idea of your natural skin tone, you’ll be able to find the products that complement and enhance it, and this is especially important when choosing bronzers, blushes, and contouring products.

  • Fair to light: These people have naturally fair complexions and will burn easily in the sun, or turn pink rather than olive. People with this skin tone should stick to lighter bronzers like pinks and peaches.
  • Olive to medium: If you have a medium or olive skin tone, you’ll find that most beauty products and colors will suit you, and a day in the sun will turn your skin even more olive. For the best results, choose earthy and golden tones.
  • Dark: Those with a naturally darker skin tone are richer in melanin pigmentation and will react favorably towards sun exposure. Good bronzer colors for this skin type are terracottas and browns.

Step 2: Learn the Bronzer Colors and Tones


With an idea of your skin tone, you’ll be better equipped to find a bronzer tone that’s suited to the finish you want.

Most bronzers will come in either a light, medium, or dark option so you can easily match it to your skin tone, but you need to ensure it’s no more than two shades darker than your natural color, otherwise it’ll be too obvious.

Bronzers are also created with various undertones, including pink, peach, copper, and yellow, so you want to complement the undertone of your skin as well.

These undertones can be classified as warm, cool, and neutral, and you might already know yours just by looking at whether gold or silver jewelry suits you.

Ultimately, the best way to choose a bronzer is by testing it on your skin, as even with the best guidance and recommendations from a makeup brand, everyone will react differently to makeup products.

As long as you know the direction to take and your skin tone, it’ll be easier to find the perfect match.

Step 3: Matching a Bronzer to Your Skin Type


With the right shade sorted, you’ll now need to find a bronzer that suits your skin type.

These are the most common skin type categories and how they should lead you towards a bronzer that looks and reacts the best.

  • Oily skin: People with oily skin have to be careful about their beauty products, and if you want a safe bet when it comes to bronzers, choose the liquid or powder variety. Avoid anything that leaves a shiny finish on the face, like glitter or cream-based bronzers, as it can just make the oil stand out more.
  • Dry skin: Dry skin can be a nightmare for cosmetics so use a cream-based type if you’re looking for a bronzer. This will ensure it doesn’t dry out and still has that moist and naturally bronzed look on your skin.
  • Normal skin: Those with normal skin will be able to use just about any bronzer but should spend some time experimenting first. The creams can look extra moist and the powders can dry you out, even with the best of skin and intentions.
  • Combination skin: Someone with both oily and dry skin should stick to the pressed powder option. This ensures you get the right finish but keeps the oily skin at bay without drying out in the problem zones.

Step 4: Learn How Bronzers Apply Differently

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Finally, you’ll need to understand the different types of bronzers and how they can impact the final finish on your face.

These are the common forms of bronzer on the market today and what you can expect when you apply them.

  • Powder: A powder bronzer comes in a pressed or loose type, and will give more of a matte finish. If you want to avoid the shimmery, sparkling look of bronzer and want it to appear like a natural tan, this is the way to go. This is the most popular type of bronzer sold because it suits more skin tones and types.
  • Liquid: These are rubbed in just like foundation and also offer a natural finish. They’re a good choice for dry skin because they stay moist all day and you can get them in just about any shade.
  • Cream: As a richer and thicker texture, cream-based bronzers are ideal for achieving more of a glossy finish. They help to pick up shimmery and golden hues even better as well.
  • Gel: These dry quickly and can be applied with just your fingertips, and they’re the best bet if your goals for bronzer are all about glittery goodness.

Step 5: Blending a Bronzer

Step 5: Blending a Bronzer

The goal of bronzer is to give your facial structure subtle definition while also creating overall warmth, so getting it applied and blended expertly is key.

Once you have the right shade of bronzer, this blending process will be easier, but you’ll still need some tips to ensure it’s seamless with your natural skin tone.

  • As bronzer is easy to recognize on the face, you’ll need to apply just small amounts at a time and continually check what you’ve done to make sure it’s not too obvious.
  • Spend some money investing in a brush made specifically for bronzer to help with blending and application. Although many bronzing products come with a small brush included, they’re not up to par with the more expensive types.
  • If you’re worried about the bronzer sticking out, use small circular movements whenever applying it rather than large sweeping ones.
  • The placement of bronzer is important as well, so try to stick to the top of the brow bone and cheekbones rather than being right on top of them. Avoid brushing the bronzer down the cheek because your face will look patchy and dirty.

A Bronzer For Every Body

A good bronzer has the power to change your whole look, but most of the magic lies in choosing the right product.

With our guide to finding your skin tone and selecting the perfect finish, you’ll see there’s no need to spend a fortune one, as long as you have the best bronzer for your body.

Related Questions

Whether it’s a sunless tanner or an all-over body bronzer, you can get an amazingly natural look without resorting to sun damage.

If you’re still unsure about which route to take to get the finish of your dreams, read on for some commonly asked questions about these bronzing products to find out more.

How Long Does Self-Tanner Last?

A good self-tanner can last between five and 10 days, but this depends on the ingredients, shade, and type of tanning product.

A lighter shade will generally stay on the skin for less time than a darker one, and taking measures like pre-application exfoliation and regular moisturization can help it to stay on the skin longer.

How Long Does Self Tanner Take to Develop?

How Long Does Self Tanner Take to Develop?

A self-tanner takes time to develop and reach its final color, which can be anywhere from two hours to 10 hours, depending on the ingredients and how your skin reacts.

You should always check the instructions of the self-tanning product you’re using to get a more specific wait time for its development and further instructions.

Can I Put Body Bronzer on My Face?

Unless specifically stated on the packaging, you should avoid using body bronzer on your face.

These bronzers might not be suitable for the skin on your face as it’s more sensitive, and the shade of the bronzing product will likely be different from what you require on your body.


Khadija B.