Best Bronzers From Cheap to Steep

Plus, find out how to properly apply bronzing powders

When it comes to bronzers, you can afford to spend more. The best bronzers aren't found in the drugstore. Using a big brush, blow off the excess and apply to spots where the sun naturally hits: The forehead, cheeks, and nose.

Most bronzers come in powder form, but if you want a dewy look and you don't have oily skin, consider a cream.

More on bronzer:

  • Get the scoop on the right (and wrong) ways to apply in How to Apply Bronzer.
  • Contouring: How to highlight cheekbones, downplay jowls, a big nose & a high forehead with bronzer

This bronzer is a staple in 'InStyle' magazine's annual 'Best Beauty' lists. The color isn't too "orange" which can be a problem with bronzers. If you get a lighter color (say 2) then you can layer more color for darker results. There's a bit of sheen or shimmer which looks great, too. The 1 is perfect for blondes with pale skin, the 2 is for brunettes and the 20 is moisturizing and perfect for those who tan naturally. You can use different shades for different times of the year.

This is the bronzer used by Khloe Kardashian's makeup artist. It's beloved by reviewers on Amazon.com for being subtle and natural. Use it to contour your face.

This is one of the most popular bronzers rated on Makeupalley.com. Users love it because it goes on without looking "dirty." Although pricey, the powder will last a long time and if you use it almost daily, the cost per use is worth it. Apply with a big, fluffy bronzer brush for best effects, you can use a smaller brush to create contouring just under the cheekbones.

Comes in 3 shades, choose your favorite.

It's rare that a product gets a perfect score on Makeupalley.com, but Iman's bronzer does. Of the users who tried this, 100 percent said they would buy it again at the time of this writing. This bronzer was created for women of color and can act as a blush or a bronzer depending on skin tone. Use the darker of the trio of the colors for a bronzer effect and the lighter 2 colors for a blush. Many women apply with a Kubuki brush (buy from Amazon).

MAC is a beloved brand for so many women and their bronzer is a favorite product. Users love its natural look which isn't muddy or too orange. It's one of those makeup drawer favorites that a MAC lover buys again and again. Comes in various shades depending on skin color. 

Another very popular, tried-and-true bronzer, you can use the dual shade in summer and winter, using more of the darker shade for summer and the lighter for winter. Great for oily skin.

This is my hands down favorite bronzer. I am fair and find that even the lightest shade (Matte Bronzer) gives me color. I like that it has no shimmer in it. I use a huge brush and apply to all the spots where the sun might naturally hit: forehead, nose, and cheeks.

If you are looking for a very natural sun-kissed look with little-to-no shimmer, give this medium-priced bronzer a shot. It's beloved by users and one of those "oldie-but-goodie" products that have stood the test of time.

While most bronzers come in powder form, some come in creams, like this wonderful bronzer from RMS. Buriti is a great pick for anyone looking for a dewy look. It's not drying like powders can is formulated with Vitamin A and Beta-carotene rich Buriti oil. This bronzer is marketed as an "ultra-sheer cream bronzer" that "is a huge step away from the typical traditional orangey/sparkly bronzers that saturate the market."