Oh, bronzer. When it's good, you're a glowing goddess. When it's bad, well, there's a Google search for that. To ensure that you look naturally sun-kissed in favor of an unsavory shade of Donald Trump, here's our guide to the most flattering bronzers for every skin tone.
When choosing a bronzer for fair skin, there can be a fine line between a warm sculpt and a Cheeto-dusted visage. The key is to go no more than one or two shades darker than your natural complexion and choose a formula with peachy, pink, or golden undertones. As far as consistency goes, you want, nay need something that's buildable (so it doesn't read too strong out of the gate), not too shimmery, and super blendable.
If you're an amateur in the bronzer department, this silky-matte formula strikes an exquisite balance between red and taupe to ensure that it's as natural-looking as possible on lighter skin tones.
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Elvis Duran, $42; sephora.com.
As this tried-and-true shade proves, a particular shade doesn't reach cult status for naught. Fair-complexioned women flock to "Laguna" as it never reads orange or too dark/shimmery for contouring.
NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, $39; sephora.com.
Another beloved matte for an I just got-back-from-a-weekend-in-the-Caribbean glow sans sparkle, you can not only blend it on your cheeks, but on the temples, eyelids, and underneath the jawline to for an all-over wash of healthy color.
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer, $29; ulta.com.
Ladies with medium skin tones, you've got it made in the bronzer department as it inherently complements your natural tan. Still, you don't want to overdo it whether it's a formula that's too glittery or a shade that makes you look washed out. If you've got olive undertones, opt for copper-y shades. If you've got yellow undertones, go with more golden and peachy options.
If you'd rather enhance your natural glow than contour, this ultra-light powder can be mixed with other face products or used on its own to boost your complexion.
bareMinerals Warmth All Over Face Color, $21; ulta.com.
For a touch of gold in your sculpt, mix these bronze and gold stones together for just the right amount of shimmer where the sun hits naturally or all over.
Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow Boosting Sun Stones, $14.99; soap.com.
This formula's peachy-brown undertones make it universally flattering for all medium skin tones. Not to mention, the creamy, finely-milled powder allows for a seamless and buildable second-skin glow.
Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed, $28; sephora.com.
While neutral bronzers can ruddy things, warm color pops beautifully on deeper skin tones. Look to reddish coppers and gold-flecked brown formulas to illuminate the skin while delivering a subtle sculpt. As far as application, you can't wrong using it as you would a blush. Your cheekbones will thank you.
We love a two-for, and Tilbury's bronze and highlight duo just makes things easy if you're in the market for sculpted, candlelit skin. The bronzer pigment will give you that born-with-it contoured feel while imbuing youthful warmth.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, $68; charlottetilbury.com.
A drugstore steal from CoverGirl's range formulated for dark skin, this red-tinged bronzer is a beauty vlogger favorite for its silky finish and the warm vibrancy it brings to the face.
CoverGirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Minerals Bronzer in Ebony Bronze, $8.29; drugstore.com.
This trio of super-sheer bronzing powders can be used as a bronzer, blush, or an all-over complexion enhancer. Plus, you can customize the pigment and finish with every swipe as desired.
Iman Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder in After Glow, $18; amazon.com.