e.l.f. cosmetics

Best Bronzers for Brown Skin

It’s almost summer and bonzers are the way of the day.  I commonly get asked, I already have brown skin, why on earth would I use a bronzer?  Well girlfriend, a bronzer is your shortcut to perfectly luminous and velvety skin.  I commonly use bronzer for blush, but have found that with the advent of bronzers sans shimmer, they are an ideal replacement for foundation for brown skin beauties.  I think this belongs in my top 5 category, but I have 6 bronzing categories here, so I’m rounding down…

Jada Pinkett-Smith epitomizes Blinging Brown Beauty Bronze!

Jada Pinkett-Smith epitomizes Blinging Brown Bronzed Beauty

Let’s break down the types of bronzers out there on the market first :


NARS Bronzer $30

1.  Powder bronzers with shimmer

Of course you all know I am a NARS freak, so of course his bronzers in Casino (darkest)  and Laguna (medium) are on the top of my list.  New on the NARS bronzer list is Irresistiblement (desert glow).  You know that’s on my got-to-get list.

Diffused powder with golden shimmer to create an all-over warmth and contour for the entire face. Bronzing Powder creates a natural looking glow which enhances or creates the look of tanned skin.

  • Fills in lines and pores for smoother looking skin
  • Sheer color enhances or creates the look of tanned skin
  • Subtle shimmer adds glow
  • Imperceptible finish ideal for all skin tones

2.  Powder Bronzers without shimmer
Too Faced Matte Bronzer $27.50

Too Faced Matte Bronzer $27.50

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder .  LOVE this bronzer.  It’s matte, so it’s the perfect finishing powder for oilier skin that don’t do well with lots of shimmer.  Plus it smells like chocolate — makeup and aromatherapy in one!  Perfect combination for bronze-a-choco-holics.

What it is:
A delectable matte bronzer.

What it does:
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder makes getting glam-and-tan downright delicious. Too Face combines the natural, therapeutic effects of real cocoa powder with their signature bronzing pigments, creating a unique matte bronzer that neutralizes red and evens out and enhances all skintones. The complexion is left with a flawless finish, a gorgeous radiance, and a subtly sweet scent.

3.  Bronzer as Primer
Smashbox Bronzing Photo Finish Primer $38

Smashbox Bronzing Photo Finish Primer $38

We all know that primers are all the rage.  Fellow makeup artist and writer Nalo and I both agree that Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Bronze is an beautiful choice for women of color.  Says Nalo, “I do like Smashbox Photofinsh Bronzing Primer Foundation. It helps even out skin tone and minizimes fine lines, I think it a must have this summer.”  Obviously great makeup minds think alike.  I also have to give a shout out to Laura Geller.  Her tinted Spackle with a bronze finish is beautiful.

Smashbox’s best selling primer, now enhanced with a warm, bronze base. Just like the original, it uses a lightweight silicone emulsion to smooth out fine lines and enhance the skin’s texture, but it also adds a delicate bronze hue to the face. It can be used alone to enhance your complexion with a subtle glow, or under your regular foundation, concealer and powder to improve product wear and performance.

 4.  Gel Bronzers
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Gel SPF 15 $28

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Gel SPF 15 $28

Bobbi Brown won my dark and lovely daughter’s affection as a beautiful bronzing gel.  She uses it alone or mixes a bit into her foundation for flawless skin.  Bobbi Brown Bronzing Gel SPF 15 in Desert Sun is perfect for all brown skins beauties — for lighter tones, it subtly warms the skin and for darker tones, it evens and gives a gorgeous glow.

Bobbi’s unique gel-based bronzer instantly gives the face a healthy, natural-looking glow with the added benefit of sun protection. Now available in new shade, Golden Sun, requested by makeup artists and customers alike. Depending on desired effect, blend bronzer all over face or where the sun naturally hits – forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.
 5.  Body Bronzers
Laura Mercier Body Bronzer $38

Laura Mercier Body Bronzer $38

Back to my NARS fixation, I wrote a couple days ago how I had to downsize from my Bodyglow, I’m still I love with it though.  Only drawback, is that it is slightly oily, so you have to be sure to massage in really well.  But it does leave the skin glowing.  Sort of like that all over glow that Beyonce has.  However, I have found a standout substitute.  Laura Mercier Body Bronzing Makeup.  I was in Nordstrom rubbing this into my legs and the counter girl was giving me dirty looks, and I just told her, “Try before you buy.”  And the try definitely made me WANT to buy.  This Body Bronzer has a lovely streak-free non-tranferable finish.  A must for summer whites!

 What it is:
A body bronzer with light-reflective particles.

What it does:
Laura Mercier Body Bronzing Makeup instantly reveals radiant, bronzed skin—without long-term commitment. The satiny-smooth formula contains light-reflective particles that disguise imperfections while adding a subtle, all-over sheen. Lightly scented with the Almond Coconut Milk, it is streak free, transfer resistant, and easily washes off when ready.

 6.  Drugstore Bronzers
To round out my favorite bronzers for brown skin, I have to include some inxepensive, yet effective choices that are easily accessible from the drugstore.  Nalo likes Natural Hue Bronzer from the  Covergirl Queen Collection and I am a fan of Physicians Formula Pearls of Perfection Bronzer.  Queen Collection Natural Hue Bronzer is $8.18 at drugstore.com and Physicians Forumla Pearls of Perfection is just under $12.  (I picked up my Physicans Forumla at Walgreens for less. )
Last words of advice on Bronzers —
Tools for Bronzer application:
Sephora Professional Platinum Poweder Brush 50 $30

Sephora Professional Platinum Poweder Brush 50 $30

Some brands tout a big fat dense head bronzer brush.  Unless you are applying bronzer to the body, this is not the right brush. It picks up too much product for use on the face.   I prefer a large powder brush, preferably one with a contoured head for using bronzer as blush.  And of course a fluffy rounded brush for all-over bronzer application. 

 How-to:  Apply to cheeks, temples, nose, or anywhere you want a boost of color with POWDER BRUSH or for just a sweep of color, apply with a fan brush over cheek bones.

Happy bronzing all my fellow blinging brown beauties!



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2 Responses to Best Bronzers for Brown Skin

  1. Pingback: Bronzer; The Dark Skin Sin « darielward

  2. Evon Salmons March 5, 2010 at 1:08 am

    thanks for sharing this one!

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