The best bronzers to brighten up your summer complexion

The best bronzers to brighten up your summer complexion

Hair and makeup by Jukka/Design.Me/Charlotte Tilbury/Plutino Group
Image by: Genevieve Caron


The best bronzers to brighten up your summer complexion

No sun? No matter. Here are the best bronzers to add a little radiance to your complexion.

Before contouring palettes were all the rage, bronzers were the go-to summer product to bring a little more life to our complexions. These days, for a softer look, the way to wear bronzer is the old way­—less contour and more carefree.


Laid Bare

Our picks for the best products to give you glowing skin that looks sun-kissed—sans UV damage. For a more natural look, choose a preblended formula that contains multiple shades. 


(Clockwise from top) Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Bronze Kit, $16, Guerlain Terracotta Light The Healthy Glow Vitamin-Radiance Powder in Natural Cool, $64, Nyx Cosmetics 3 Steps to Sculpt Face Sculpting Palette in Deep, $18, Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand in Light to Medium, $50, Nude by Nature Natural Glow Loose Bronzer in Bondi Bronze, $30, Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow in Brown Sugar, Baby, $33, Elizabeth Grant Caviar Shimmer for Face and Body, $75, Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Crème Pigment in Spellbound, $38,


Glow Getter

Pixi Beauty’s global colour ambassador, Amanda Bell, offers her tips. 

Step 1
Applied properly, powder bronzer will add warmth and dimension. The key? make it your last step. To finish your makeup, first apply a translucent setting powder. “If your skin is even a bit wet, the bronzer will cling to the moisture, leaving your makeup patchy,” says Bell. 

Step 2
Bell recommends applying powder bronzer in a classic three/backward-three shape on both sides of your face using a medium-size fluffy brush. “Start on your forehead, then sweep underneath to your cheekbone, then sweep to below your chin,” she says. 

 Step 3
Give your skin an overall light dusting of bronzer. “Tap off the excess on your brush, then place a small amount on the centre of the forehead, the nose and the chin,” says Bell. “This is where you attract sunlight.” Finish with a light dusting on the apples of the cheeks.


Shade Finder

The general rule is to choose a bronzer one or two shades darker than your skin tone.


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in N°10, $66, Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer in Natural Bronze, $38, Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed, $35,

For Light Skin: Look for a bronzer with both olive (to build warmth) and peach (to add glow) undertones.

For Olive Skin: Medium skin tones are naturally warm, so stay away from anything too orange.

 For Dark Skin: The wrong undertone can make dark skin look ashen or dull; choose a deep tan with a copper undertone.


Pick Your Formula

The look you’re after, plus your skin type, should guide your decision on what formula to buy.


Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee Complexion Multitasker, $33, RMS Beauty Contour Bronze, $35, Pixi Beauty Pixiglow Cake 3-in-1 Luminous Transition Powder in GildedBare Glow, $38,

Liquid Or Gel: Ideal for dry skin types, liquid bronzer bestows a dewy look. It’ll blend into skin like a dream and give it a more believable glow. You can also mix a few drops with your foundation for a very subtle sheen. 

Cream: Creams are great for dry skin, too. “Map out the three/backward-three shape with small dots, then using circular motions, polish the cream into your skin with your fingertips,” says Bell. This one adds dimension with a warm hue, providing sun-drenched radiance.

Powder: Powders work best for oily skin. This light-diffusing palette has a colour gradient so you can customize the shade to perk up your complexion. “It mimics the perfect warmth without being too obvious,” says Bell. You can also wear a powder formula over top a liquid or cream bronzer to set it.



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The best bronzers to brighten up your summer complexion