The Best New Bronzers

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

Oh, bronzer: what a torrid relationship we’ve had with you. From the heavy-handed days of the early aughts to recent days of being bronzer-phobic lest we all look like Paris Hilton, you’ve set a healthy dose of fear in our hearts. 

Thankfully though, if you’re one of those who shied away from this product in the past, there are more ways than ever to get your bronze on with just a little hint of glow. I’d like to argue that bronzer should never be used to create a “tan” look—this is where many women (and, uh, certain orange-hued politicians) go wrong. If you’re trying to create a tan, you’ll want to use a self-tanner first. Bronzer is simply the icing on the cake; you’re looking to add warmth and a bit of glow to your complexion rather than actually change its color completely.

Getting bronzer right is simple, really: choose a shade that’s only a couple of shades darker than your natural skin tone, use a big, fluffy brush, and apply a small amount of product. Don’t forget to apply a bit to your neck and ears for the most natural look! Now, check out my bronzing picks for summer 2017—it’s going to be one glow-y season!

Luminizing Powder from Honest Beauty

This is the bronzer that I’m currently using. I appreciate that it’s not even marketed as a bronzer, but as a luminizing powder, and that’s how I use it. I use the shade Dusk Reflection with my favorite fluffy powder brush and get just the right hint of a glow.

NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer Seaside

If you’re a fan of NARS Laguna but find it a bit intense (especially early on in the summer season), you’ll love the brand’s new, more subtle offering. Infused with proprietary Soft Blurring Technology, this weightless powder evens skin tone and adds just a bit of color so you look perfectly bathed in warm, natural light always.

Becca X Chrissy Tiegan Glow Face Palette

Whover decided that Chrissy Teigen was the perfect spokesperson for a bronzer was right on the money—this woman has that natural-yet-noticeable glow on lock. This palette has everything you need to create the perfect summer glow: a rose gold highlighter, an illuminator, a bronzer, and a blush. Vacation skin=done.

Nudies All Over Face Color Matte by Nudestix

If you like a matte bronzer (for contouring or for allover color) this soft color balm is it. Simply swipe on and use the built-in brush to blend.

Ambient Lighting Bronzer

For a subtle look with a hint of iridescence, try this bronzing version of Hourglass’s cult-favorite Ambient Lighting powders (in four shades so you can find your best match!).

Pacifica Sundream Lotus Infused Bronzer

An all-natural (and cruelty-free!) bronzing duo with two shades that can be mixed and matched  over the course of the summer.

Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer

This ultra-fine-milled powder is infused with a hint of iridescent pearls to provide a supernatural glow that mimics the natural sheen of skin on a hot summer night.