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Curly Nikki

How to Pick Your Summer Bronzer

By January 27th, 202130 Comments
How to Pick Your Summer Bronzer

McKenzie Renae of

If natural kisses from the sun aren’t quite your forte, then bronzer will become your new BFF! Bronzer is used just like blush, but is meant to give you a more sun-kissed, just-back-from-the-beach glow that will have the guys wondering how you look so luminous. The goal is to look exactly that … sun-kissed! Here are some helpful tips and great products to get to started with enhancing your beautiful skin 🙂

Picking a Bronzer

Shimmer? Matte? Highlighter? Yes, there are many options when it comes to bronzers, but take a deep breath and don’t feel overwhelmed. There are a few simple things to keep in mind.

1. Pick a bronzer that is right for your skin tone. It’s easy to go too dark and look dirty or too light and look shiny and ashy.

2. Pick a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Look for descriptions like “dark” and “deep” or higher-numbered labels. Make sure it’s pigmented.

3. Bronzers come in liquids, powders, sticks and beads. So, experiment and play around by choosing the one that makes you look your best.

TIP: If you’ve got normal-to-oily skin, try a powder formulation. For dry skin, a cream or gel bronzer is probably the way to go.

How to Pick Your Summer Bronzer

Applying Bronzer

First note, a little can go a long way. It’s better to apply less and add more as you go. You don’t want your bronzer to look like it’s just sitting on your foundation or bare skin, so blending is key!

1. Sweep your bronzer on with a big fluffy brush on areas of your face the sun would hit — the temples, cheeks, bridge of your nose, chin and along the hairline. Make sure to tap off any extra bronzer before you apply to avoid going overboard.

2. As for the rest of your makeup, keep it simple. A pretty peachy lip gloss, soft pink cheeks and warm eyes complement bronzer well. If you are comfortable without foundation, bronzer is great to wear alone on top of clean, bare skin.

TIP: If you have oily or combination skin, use oil absorbing sheets to gently blot any excess oil away. This prevents you from potentially removing your bronzer and looking splotchy.

What are some of your favorite bronzers?


  • Sharia Nicole says:

    @Kandyapple…I highly recommend you try Mary Kay Bronze Diva bronzer. It looks great on darker skin tones! It is a matte bronzer, that has no shimmer, however it really warms the face. I use it along with Mary Kay's Canyon Gold which is a beautiful golden shimmer bronzer for dark skin as well. Try both because I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I sell so much that I have to constantly keep it on hand because it sells out so fast. Visit my website at

  • DecemberPumpkin says:


  • Anonymous says:

    I use Cover Girl's Queen collection bronzer–I think it is ebony–it's the darkest one. My complexion is somewhere between Sanaa Lathan and Gabrielle Union (hence our problem with finding colors that work with our complexion–we vary so greatly) provides a nice subtle shade. For liquid bronzer, in the summer I was using one from The Body Shop(Honey Bronze bronzing gel) that gave a nice glow. They actually have a really nice makeup line.

  • Katrina A says:

    Maybe my skin tone is difficult to match because I have always had a hard time trying to find a blush that would look decent on me, let alone a bronzer. I have used Bare Minerals Warmth All-Over Face Color but didn't really notice a difference, so maybe it wasn't really dark enough for me. I guess the search continues…

  • Godz Kidz: The Jackson Family Blog says:

    Billionaire Bronze (Auto correct made it Billionsure. What is that?)

  • Kandyapple says:

    anyone know of a good drugstore bronzer for darker tones (think Keshia Knight-Pulliam)?

  • stephanie says:

    I just picked up MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Glorify and it's a beautiful highlighter/ bronzer for my skin tone. I love the glow it gives to my skin. It's limited edition so once it's gone it's gone, but I think it works with lots of skin tones and is not glittery.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Larinem Goddess Glo Mineral Bronzer in Medium-Dark. I actually mix it with Badger's unscented sunscreen to make a tinted moisturizer. I like to keep it light in the summer and I prefer my makeup to be as natural as possible. This combo works great for me!

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 6:15 here! StaceyMarie, are you me?!?! LOL. You sound just like me. I, too, now have adult acne and I am devastated by it because I've always been complimented on my skin. Good thing I use the bronzer as foundation anyway :-/

  • Anonymous says:

    I wear bronzer, the ELF brand to be exact, as foundation/powder for the past year. I get soooooo many compliments on my 'skin' and makeup. I'm like yea I wish my skin was this sun-kissed! It so clean and easy and I never look cakey. Love it

  • Godz Kidz: The Jackson Family Blog says:

    MAC skinsheen bronzer in billiinsure bronze is one of my favs. It came out with last year's Surf's Up collection. The discontinued refined deeper bronze is great too. You may be able to get them off eBay. I've heard good things about the bronzer in the Cover Girl Queen collection.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    I just bought a "Tango with Bronze Powder" compact by NYX ($14.99), since Neutrogena discontinued making Mineral Sheers bronzer :(. So far, so good-I'm light-complexioned w/yellow undertones, and look like Casper the Negro Ghost w/o it, so I wear bronzer year-round. Why? It evens my skintone and gives it a natural-looking healthy glow, is lightweight, and easier to match than any foundation I've tried. I have normal-dry sensitive skin w/a smidge of jawline adult acne (yay, 32), but I wash/moisturize my face twice a day and haven't had any issues w/dryness or sensitivity.

  • Anonymous says:

    Makeup tip: I use bronzer to contour

  • Anonymous says:

    My fav bronzer is this discontinued one from Victoria's Secret. Its says the beauty of brazil and its a liquid bronzing brush. Love it under my foundation. I tried powder, but it had too much shimmer.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Candace4life: Just a few weeks ago I watched that video by Destiny Godley, and sticked it as my favorite!!! She knows what she's talking about. Love her.

  • Anonymous says:

    McKenzie, your Tumblr is out of this world! I'm at 19/103 and have bookmarked it!

    God bless you!

  • Fatima says:

    I would pay cash money if someone would pick out a foundation and bronzer that would match my color because I can't do it to save my life!!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ swt_sunny Nars Body Glow is heavenly!! It does have a nutty smell to it but guys seem to love the smell 😉 It's a bit pricy but well worth the splurge – your body seems to glow from the inside out and looks especially lovely when you're on the beach.

  • Candace4life says:

    ETA:Oh I forgot to post her youtube name its "Destinygodley"

  • Candace4life says:

    There's a fellow youtuber that is a professional makeup stylist who does great makeup tutorial on her site with great detail. Here's some of her choices that work best for bronzers on dark skin. Titled: Bronzer and Highlighter esp for *dark skin & WOC

  • Anonymous says:

    Cargo dark is good too.

  • tianna says:

    Great idea!!! I need something lighter in the summer because I sweat. this will be perfect!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I like Guerlain, been using it for years… the same way I would use blush.

  • FemmeFox says:

    Right now for bronzer I am using Nars Laguna. I also like MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Deep Dark, I actually use that as a regular powder. I tend to use bronzers like concealers as well, sweep a little under my eyes to look instantly awake!

  • Anonymous says:

    thanks so much for sharing..i love your tumblr account. I tried bronzer and blush and I have experienced an allergic reaction. I take really good care of my skin so this is such a disappointment.What are really good bronzers for sensitive skin?

  • NikNak says:

    It's kind of strange that she would put a tint on the pic, when the purpose of the pic is to help us get an idea of what her bronzer looks like on her.

    Ce la vie

  • swt_sunny says:

    This post is right on time! Looking for body bronzers for summer so that I can get the 'bronzed legged godness' look lol. I actually use a product marketed as a bronzer as blush everyday (Laura Mercier Bronzing Duo). It's oil free and really brightens up my face. Another good one is the Tarte Park Ave Princess, which I use sometimes on shoulders/chest area. Are there any good bronzers to use on your legs that don't smell/transfer easily? I've been looking at a few from Nars lately.

  • Felicity R. says:

    Thanks for this! I've been looking for a new bronzer. For the last two summers I've used Maybelline's Dream Mousse Bronzer In Sun Glow and I love it, but I wanted to see if there was something better out there for my chocolatey skin (The color is a shade or three lighter than my skin tone). Now I know that while I'm on the right track using a cream for my dry skin, I need to go a few shades darker 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    What's a good bronzer for darker skin tones? MAC eliminated Deeper Refined last year, and I haven't been able to replace it :-(.

  • Unknown says:

    I just started to experiment with bronzers. I wanted to start with something inexpensive so that I could figure out how to apply it to my face so I picked up some ELF Bronzer in some type of golden color. I really like it, I'm been playing with the application and I think I've finally got it LOL. I love how it makes me glow 🙂

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