The best bronzers for that sun kissed look

by Lorna White |
Updated on

Nothing drains the life from your face like two hours' sleep followed by a full-on day at your desk or with your kids. This is where bronzer is like that reliable friend who perks you up, makes you feel human again and doesn’t judge you for drinking your fourth cup of coffee that morning.

If your face could do with a pick me up and a healthy glow all year round, we've rounded up our favourite top 10 bronzers, from cream to powder, for perking up tired mamas.

So we know this one is on the pricier side, but the Chanel cream bronzer has recieved rave reviews from its fans. It's lightweight, easy-to-blend and gives a really natural glow.

How to apply - use a brush to apply to the points of the face where the sun would hit. Alternatively, you could use it as a bronzer. Another top tip is to mix a bit with your body moisturiser on the shoulders and décolleté for the ultimate summer look.

One reviewer said: 'I have a medium skin tone and I love this bronzing cream. It feels so light and has a subtle pretty glow. I use it daily. I wish there were more shades but I can build this up a bit. It has the classic Chanel scent, which I find lovely. I also like that there is no glitter bits. I have combination skin and the cream goes on smooth and I don't notice any pooling in pours or any added texture. I haven't noticed any drying or adverse skin reactions.'

Benefit's award-winning Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder is now available in four shades to compliment all complexions all year round. You also get a built in mirror and a little brush for bronzing on the go which we love!

How to use - sweep over the areas you normally tan in using the brush provided or your favourite bronzing brush.

One reviewer said: 'The perfect shade for contouring, not warm toned more cool great for sculpting the face. Lasts a really long time so you get your money’s worth and comes with a mini sculpting brush that applies the product really well. Interested in trying the benefit caramel bronzer.'

This all in one palette provides both bronze and glow. With two bronze shades to choose from (medium and deep) depending on how deep you want to go, you have the option of using them separately or blending them together. There's also a luminous highlighter for the highest points of your face for added glow.

How to apply - apply with your favourite bronzing brush and add the highlighter with a different highlighter brush to the forehead, tops of cheeks, nose and shoulders.

One reviewer said: 'Bought this bronzer to take me into summer and it's absolutely beautiful! The texture is smooth and it glides on like a dream, leaves a lovely subtle finish. Would highly recommend and will certainly buy again.'

Alternative retailers
Kohl's$28.00View offer
Sephora$28.00View offer
Bloomingdale's$48.00View offer
Ulta$48.00View offer

If you're a fan of lightweight bronzers that are easily buildable you'll love this one from Charlotte Tilbury. Coming in four shades, it's made up of microfine powders and certainly won't leave you looking like you've got some mud on your face, making it ideal for when you're in a rush!

How to apply - apply to the parts of your face and body which naturally tan.

One reviewer said: 'This bronzer is absolutely amazing, it's just so natural looking. If you do want a deeper brown however this probably isn't for you as it's quite light and you might need to layer, however that is the appeal for me that it remains so natural.'

You can't really go wrong when it comes to MAC make up, and their bronzer will give you a super gorgeous and natural glow that lasts all day. Coming in two different shades, this bronzer provides a subtle and sheer tint to the face to warm your skin tone up naturally for a smooth finish.

How to apply - achieve your desired look and build up by applying with a brush.

One reviewer said: 'I decided to treat myself and spend a bit extra on some bronzer to see if it was worth it.
I'm really glad I did, it goes on really well, you don't have to use too much and it blends nicely. It definitely gives a lovely sun kissed look.'

This award-winning bronzer is available in four different shades making it suitable for all skin tones. It's designed to be longwearing, providing instant warmth to the face with a subtle gold shimmer that's easily buildable and lightweight. It can be used to bronze or to contour.

How to apply - for bronzing, take a brush and sweep over the high points of the face and down the neck and décolleté. To use as contour, take a smaller brush and apply to the hollows of the cheeks.

One reviewer said: 'I have tried many bronzers in past and never liked anyone. But this one looks so good! It has the right amount of shimmer, not too much. And packaging is beautiful! One of my must have products that I would never change.'

This cream based bronzer from Fenty is available in seven shades and is brilliant if you're going for a natural look. Sheer and buildable this cream bronzer warms up and softly to define your face with a fresh-faced bronze glow that looks natural on everyone.

How to apply - use fingertips or a brush to apply this where the sun naturally hits your face. For a soft contour, apply to the hollows of your cheeks, jawline, temples, and sides of your nose.

One reviewer said: 'Purchased this a few months ago and its safe to say I am obsessed! As someone with cooler undertones, most bronzers/contour do tend to look very orange on me - shade AMBER is a perfect cool toned contour shade. It has a beautiful finish and lasting capacity! Highly recommend!'

Revolution offer a brilliant 10 shades of their powder bronzer, making it a brilliant choice for all skintones. This formula is super pigmented yet buildable making it perfect for the face and body.

How to apply - use a brush to apply to the high points of the face and blend into the neck.

One reviewer said: 'I bought this bronzer in the colour spectre. It’s a beautiful rich bronzer with red undertones for dark skin girls. Gives me mocha mami vibes. The packaging is beautiful and feels expensive. Really happy!'

NYX are a brilliant budget brand and their matte bronzer is perfect for the summer months and beyond. Available in five shades, this product will help you achieve a natural and healthy looking complexion all year long.

How to apply - use a brush to apply to the high points of your face and also your body for an all over glowing look.

One reviewer said: 'I’ve tried lots of different bronzers and never found one I wanted to repurchase - except this one! It’s a great all year round bronzer as it builds up nicely to give you a bronzed finish no matter what time of year.'

This bronzer feels so luxurious on the skin with its cream to powder formula. In five shades, this deeply pigmented bronzer is long-lasting and is both water and sweat resistant. It's easy to blend and layer depending on the depth of colour you're looking for.

How to apply - dot along the contours of each side of the face: cheek bones, forehead, and jawline before using a fluffy brush or a beauty sponge to blend well.

One reviewer said: 'This stuff goes a long way! Very pigmented so a little goes a long way. Good lasting power too! Is easy to build up and leaves a natural looking tan. I am Shortbread in the Foundation colour and would recommend the fair shade in this for anyone with a similar skintone.'

Popular articles to read next

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.