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Summer Bronzer Edit

July 16, 2016

By popular request, I’ve rounded up some new bronzers I’ve tried this summer along with tried and true favorites. Bronzers are probably one of most favorite makeup products – there’s just something about a glowing tan that I love. Living in Southern California we have warm sunny weather almost year round. I do use sun protection for the face and body, but living here there’s just no avoiding the sun – but I love it.

I’ve pulled an extensive list of bronzers and split them by type. It’s by no means a comprehensive list of all the bronzers on the market, nor is it a list of all the bronzers I have tried or own (that would be a post a mile long). I have picked out the ones I thought were either new and interesting, tried and true or new found loves. A quick note before I go into the details – I have medium olive toned skin with normal/combination skin. I prefer warmer bronzers as cool-toned bronzers often look ashy or grey on my complexion. Foundation shades most reached for include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6 + 7 mixed, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz mixed. I love bronzers of all types whether it’s liquid, powder, shimmer or matte.

Finding the right shade or formula for you will depend skin undertone (pink or yellow), skin tone (fair, light, medium, tan or deep), skin type (oily, dry, combo, etc.) and also things such as shimmer or formula preference.

Up first are some matte bronzing powders. Several of you have asked for recommendations on more affordable options. Two lines I’ve tried I think are excellent are the Colour Pop and Benefit.

Shown above:
  • Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed (reviewed here) is a deep warm matte bronze, I think this is best suited for deeper skintones, on me it’s a bit dark, but good for days I want a more dramatic look.
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Skinnydip is a soft light neutral matte bronze that looks like a skintone color for me, for those with fair skins who find most options too dark, this might be a good option to look at.
  • Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder (c/o) is a classic that is neutral so it will work with a wide range of skin undertones, it’s one of the best more affordable matte bronzers I’ve tried.
  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer Tantric (c/o, on the face here) is another well-loved one by me, it’s huge! The color and pigment is semi sheer but buildable, so if you’re looking for one that is impossible to overdo, this is a good one.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra and Bronze Age (c/o review and both shown on the face here), Terra is one of the few wearable cool-toned bronzers I can wear, Bronze Age is one of the darkest bronzers I own, it’s a deep warm golden color, if you need something deeper try the Chanel Les Beiges Summer Duo reviewed here.

Next up are more luminous glowy bronzers ranging from a soft shimmer to high shimmer.

Shown above:

  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Poolside (medium-deep bronze) and Paradise Cove (cool-toned neutral) both have a soft luminous finish. They have a unique formula that I thought would be powders but are more of a bouncy gel cream. The price is affordable but the amount of product you get pretty small at 4.2g. Still I think these are fun and easy to build.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (reviewed here) is a soft luminous highlighter + bronzer in one. More details on the review linked above. It’s almost identical on my skin to the lighter version Luminous Bronze Light which happens to be the shade in the Nordstrom Hourglass Luminous Light Palette.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium- Dark (review + look here) is a gorgeous bronze and orange shimmer duo. It’s more dramatic on me, but still wearable. For tan to deeper skintones I think you will love this one. More details in the review linked above.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Sunlight is one of the latest additions to the celestial powder line, it’s not really a bronzer, but on my skintone it is. It’s a medium to deep golden shimmer that gives my skin a golden sunkissed look. (It’s also coming soon in the Celestial Skin Liquid formula, available for pre-order.)
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Golden Hour Mousse Bronzer is something I bought while in New York. It’s the most beautiful warm golden coppery shimmer I’ve ever seen. It’s a mousse formula that is super lightweight and easy to blend. I swatched it with a heavy hand below but once you blend it on the skin it becomes a more soft glowy gold that gives the face a beautiful golden glow. I highly recommend it.

Liquid bronzers up next. I have used and liked the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzers but didn’t love it enough to repurchase (even though they added more shades). A few more affordable options below.

Shown above:

  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (c/o) come in 4 highlighter shades and 2 bronzers. I’ll have a post on the entire collection soon, but for now a quick peek at the bronzers in Sunset and Sunkissed. Both are neutral to cool toned. Sunset offers a deeper bronzed look. If I look in the bottle there is a sheen but on the face it looks more creamy. Sunkissed is my skin but better. These have been swatched heavily but blend out nicely and are very easy to layer and blend.
  • Benefit Dew the Hoola (c/o) looks super orangey in the swatch, but let me assure you, it is not orangey on the face. It is on the warm and peachy side but I think that’s what makes it work. It’s sheer but buildable and dries to a semi-matte finish. I’ve worn it alone or with a tiny bit of powder blush layered on top.
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer is another new one that looks super warm and almost orangey in the swatch but often times with any kind of cheek product what you swatch on the hand/arm looks very different on the face. I love this one because it’s fluid and blends into a very soft finish on the cheeks. It leaves a soft sheen without looking greasy. I almost hate posting these swatches because I think they will deter many of you from trying it, but I really urge you to try if you have a NARS counter near you. It’s one of the most natural looking bronzers I’ve tried that is visible but looks like your skin, just better and with a bit more life.

Last but not least, the three I consider classic staples:
  • Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream is my holy grail of all bronzers. It’s soft and luminous just like the name implies, it’s impossible to overdo, not too shimmery and warms up the skin beautifully.
  • NARS Laguna Tiare (limited-edition Tiare version shown) is a classic with a scented twist for summer. It’s the same as the classic Laguna but has a summery tiare scent added in a special limited-edition packaging. The original was one of the first high end bronzers I splurged on and it lasted for what seemed like forever. It’s a classic soft luminous medium bronze that doubles as a soft contour powder. In the event you don’t want something scented or want this in a palette form, there are a few Nordstrom Sets you may want to check out including the Cult Survival Kit or the Nordstrom’s Best Cheek Palette.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust is another classic, it was quite the splurge when I first bought it because they only had the large size which is over $90. They’ve since launched smaller versions for the past couple of years which are still pricey but more affordable and nice to travel with.

For those who were asking for a summer bronzer roundup, I hope you found this helpful! I focused mainly on stand alone bronzers rather than ones in palettes. If you have any favorites please share them in the comments along with your skintone, maybe 1 foundation shade you use for reader reference.

Press samples featured indicated with c/o.

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  • The Daydream Shade looks amazing, I always go back to Laguna in the summer.

  • I love bronzers! I really want to try that Tom Ford one. x

  • Anonymous

    all items looks amazing… hard to choose one !

    Jillian – http://www.cupofcharisma.com

  • The Edward Bess and Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight are both stunning! I really want to try the Cover FX ones 🙂 I love ColourPop as an affordable bronzer option too 🙂

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  • Emily

    Great post as always! I have to admit that the Tom Ford Terra bronzer was a bit of a letdown for me. Based on online swatches and reviews, I'd managed to convince myself that not only did I need it but I needed it in BOTH sizes. The main thing that surprised me was how sheer the colour was. I am pretty pale skinned (NC15-20) and this barely shows up on me even after I buff on multiple layers. I was hoping it would be a good contour powder but it isn't really working for me. I do like it as an all over wash on my eyelids but that's about it. Surratt's Grisaille blush is a very similar shade (at least in my eyes) but with signifcantly better colour pay off. Awful packaging though.

    The Edward Bess bronzer in Daydream is HG for me too! It's one of those products that I find impossible to mess up. It's pretty much the yardstick against which I measure all other bronzers.

  • Amazing list, Laguna and Hoola are my all-time favorite bronzers! I really want to try the new Cover FX ones along with their new highlighters, they look incredible x

    http://www.beautyfromkatie.blogspot.com

  • What a collection of summertime gorgeousness! Most of the year I embrace the pale (NC15) but come summer, I love to add a bit of glow that looks natural. On my skintone, the perfect bit of sunkissed warmth comes from Guerlain's Terracotta in #00. As for TF's Terra, that is my perrenial favorite for subtle contouring during the winter.

  • Some very dreamy bronzers, Hoola is my staple piece and the hourglass radiant bronze light looks beautiful, I always adore hourglass powders!

    Emma’s World X

  • Awesome edit! I use Hourglass daily but will need to try some of these other ones as well. Great post!

    xx,
    Inessa

    http://www.inessaradostin.com

  • One of my favourite ever bronzers is the Body Shop Honey Bronze its amazing its totally matte and comes in different shades

    http://www.beautyandtheboy.com

  • Thank you, Sabrina! Thorough, beautiful and helpful as always!

  • Im rather boring when it comes to bronzers, I usually use the bourjois bronzer year round! I really want to try the Hoola and Hourglass bronzer.

    http://www.beautylifebecca.blogspot.co.uk

  • I love all of your photos. I absolutely love the Tom Ford Gold Dust. I personally want to try the Cover FX Custom bronzing drops they look so nice.

    Trecee
    http://treceefabulous.blogspot.com/

  • Celestial Powder is STUNNER.

  • Lovely picks! I've ever heard of the Edward Bess Daydream Ultra Luminous bronzer before, yet it truly is gorgeous! I've just ordered some ColourPop bronzers, including the shade Poolside, I'm glad to hear you like their formulation!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

  • The pictures are slaying, my favourite this summer to my bronze myself with this summer is the Hoola and Hourglass :p xx

    http://girlsjournal95.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoy TF Terra, but my favorite is Armani 100 and 600. I do want to try the CoverFX but in the silvery shimmer shade (can't think of name offhand!)

  • Nars Laguna ultimate bronze http://www.indigoandmouse.blogspot.com