Bronzer: What is Bronzer For and What Are the Best Bronzers To Buy in 2020?

by Angie <3
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Hello and welcome back to Angie’s “Simply Beauty Blog!” In this post, I’ll be sharing the A’s to Z’s on the basics on what a Bronzer is and also be giving you my BEST Bronzers (MUST-HAVE) recommendations! Without further adieu, let’s jump into it!


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What is Bronzer? Why Should You Use it?

Bronzer is used to give your skin a sun-kissed healthy glow; basically giving you the illusion of a little bit of a tan. Bronzing also adds a little bit of warmth and color back to your skin after you’ve applied your foundation that evened out your skin tone. The two most common finishes of Bronzer’s are ones with a matte finish and one’s that have some shine/shimmer in it.

How do you know which one to use?

That’s simple! It all depends on the final look you want to achieve with your makeup.

A Matte Bronzer is more natural since it doesn’t have any shimmer in it; thus, it looks like your skin just has a flush of warmth to it. A Shimmery Bronzer, has fleck’s of shimmer in it (obviously) and it causes the skin to have a more radiant finish. The shimmery finish isn’t the most natural, thus, I prefer to use a Bronzer with a matte finish for every day wear. For me, Bronzer is a step that I NEVER skip in my daily routine (click here to read my everyday makeup products). I just love how Bronzer adds color to my skin, making it look as if I got a tiny – bit of a tan (even though I really didn’t).

Phew. Now that we covered the basics, let’s cover one more topic.”

What is the Difference Between Bronzer and Contour?

For makeup beginners, especially when I first started to use it, I was a little bit confused on what the actual difference was between the two.

Contouring is when you use makeup to create shadow effects on your skin. These shadows help give your face a more definitive structure (cheek bones, structured jaw line, etc.), and also help sculpt your face. This is a common technique that’s used to create those Instagram-worthy sharp cheekbones, a slim nose, and an overall structured look to the face. When it comes to contour, this product should usually be Matte because this step is truly supposed to give the illusion of a natural shadow on the face. Shadow’s on the face are meant to be cool-toned so they look only like a true shadow and don’t have any warm orange undertones.

On the other hand, Bronzing, as I mentioned before, is meant to add a sun-kissed glow and warmth to the skin. Typically, Bronzers are more warm toned so they’re not really recommended to be used as a contour since they won’t give you that shadow effect.


Must – Have BEST Bronzers


Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder – Shade 01:

First up on our list of Best Bronzers, is the Essence Sun Club Matte Powder. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am a huge fan of the Essence Cosmetics brand. The brand has quality products at an extremely affordable price. As I mentioned before, I tend to gravitate toward Matte Bronzer’s because those are the most natural. Thus, a lot of the recommendations in this post will be Bronzers with a Matte finish.

This Bronzer is top-notch quality and all for only $4.99! It’s only sold in 2 shades currently, which is definitely not enough, so I hope they expand their shade range. I use it in the shade 01 and it works perfectly. The high points of this product: It is extremely blendable and not too pigmented, the pan-size is HUGE! Thus, this will last you a very long time all while making you smell delicious. Not AS delicious as one other Bronzer that we have coming up, but a close second. It smells very tropical and has a hint of coconut, which happens to be one of my favorite scents ever! Another bonus of the product is that it’s not orange at all, so it looks super natural on the skin. I highly recommend trying this Bronzer out if you’re on the hunt for a new Bronzer that’s amazing and affordable!


Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – Light Bronzer:

This recommendation should definitely be of no surprise. The Butter Bronzer has been around for years and it has become a drugstore favorite of almost every makeup fan. It used to only be available in a few shades, but over the past few months, they’ve been adding to their range. In total, the Bronzer is available in 6 shades: Bronzer, Light Bronzer, Sunkissed Bronzer, Deep Bronzer, Bronze Brazilian Glow, and Endless Summer.

I used to use the shade “Bronzer,” but I found that it was a little too orange on my skin. Thus, when I found out that they added shades to their range, I was OBSESSED with the new addition called “Light Bronzer.” This product has a super creamy, smooth, and blendable formula. This product lasts for so long on the skin and has just the perfect amount of pigmentation. One thing that I don’t really like about this product is the price. It is a drugstore Bronzer that costs $15.99!! Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like that’s a little too high for the drugstore. Lastly, I wouldn’t be doing this Bronzer justice if I didn’t talk about the scent. It smells AMAZING!!!! It smells like coconuts and the beach; just HEAVENLY!


Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer – Inda Sun:

Out of all the recommendations on this list of Best Bronzers, if there’s one Bronzer that reigns supreme above all the rest, it’s this one. WOW isn’t even enough. This Bronzer is just perfect in every single way and it is really my all time favorite Bronzer; blendable, perfectly pigmented, matte, just total PERFECTION. (If you want to read my full thoughts on this bronzer, click here!)

This Bronzer is sold in 8 shades, with varying undertones so there is a Bronzer for everyone! I use mine in the shade “Inda Sun,” which is described as fair with neural undertones. This shade is complete and total perfection for me. It doesn’t make my skin look muddy or too orange; it is super natural and I really can’t get enough of it. Since I love the Bronzer and the undertone so much, I can even use this Bronzer both to bronze my skin AND contour! The powder is smooth, long-wear, transfer-resistant; just everything you’d ever want. If there is one Bronzer that you HAVE to try, it’s this one!


Maybelline City Bronzer – Light 100:

Next up on our Best Bronzers list, is the Maybelline City Bronzer! I saw this Bronzer one day at CVS and I tried it on a whim and I was stunned. This Bronzer is amazing (hence, why it made it onto our list). It has a matte formula that’s infused with cocoa butter which is meant to make the product more creamy. It has a buildable formula, it’s super easy to use and it doesn’t make your skin look patchy when applied over foundation.

It’s currently available in 3 shades: Light 100, Medium 200, and Dark 300. Although the shades are kind of advertised to be enough for everyone, I feel like some shades that are meant to be in between the colors they currently have are missing and are definitely needed. When looking online, the shades honestly look TOTALLY off from what they actually look like in person. Thus, I recommend going to the store and looking at these to determine which shade would be perfect for you.

One reason why I’m in love with this Bronzer is because I think it is an exact dupe for the Fenty Beauty Bronzer. Yes, the packaging is not as luxurious and the formula isn’t 100% identical, however, I do think it’s a very close match. I use mine in the shade “Light 100” and it has the same neutral undertone that the Fenty Beauty Bronzer has. Plus, this Bronzer is only $9.99, while the Fenty Beauty Bronzer costs $30.00. If you’re looking for a an affordable Bronzer that won’t make your skin look orange/muddy, to be blendable, pigmented, and smooth, I 100% recommend giving this product a shot!


Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer – Park Ave Princess:

The last one of the BEST Bronzers is a little bit different than all the rest. As opposed to the other products which were matte, this one has a shimmery satin finish to it. Although it isn’t my every day holy grail, this product is my ideal summer-time Bronzer. I also love to use this product when I’m wearing no makeup but still want a little something. I just moisturize my skin, add glowy Bronzer, some blush, and I’m good to go!

Despite the fact that this Bronzer is shimmery, it doesn’t have any large flecks of sparkle or glitter in it at all. It is a slight glimmer that just gives a sun-kissed glow. I purchased mine the shade Park Ave Princess and I love it. It’s a tiny bit too dark for my skintone, thus, that’s why it’s my go to summer Bronzer. One major plus of this Bronzer is that it’s waterproof meaning it really has great staying power. Additionally, this Bronzer is probably one of the most pigmented ones I’ve ever tried so a little tiny bit goes a very long way. If you are looking for a Bronzer that has a little shimmer in it to give you some radiance, this one is definitely a MUST-TRY!


BONUS: Best Bronzers – Swatches!

best bronzers

Have you ever tried any of these BEST Bronzers?! What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!



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