Monday, July 29th, 2013

Rant & Rave

Share: Tell us what you love and hate about Bronzer!

my answer: I very rarely use it! I prefer a grayer contour powder for contouring, so the only time I really use bronzer is when I’m testing one for review, but it’s not a product I actually reach for. I’m starting to come around on them, though, after trying many more recently.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

37 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Bronzer

  1. I love how it can really bring a facial look together, but good God I hate shimmer bronzers, sparkly bronzers, anything-that-is-not-matte bronzers. I also wish there was a bit more variety in undertone — like you mentioned, a greyer product tends to produce a more natural contour.

  2. Ellen

    I used to be terrified, now I can’t live without them! On my fair neutral/cool skin, I choose ones with some pink in them (Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons in 00 Nudes or Guerlain bronzer in Blondes [lighter than the brunettes one]) and use them sort of like blush but to add a little warmth. Sometimes I use them alone, sometimes with a pop of pink on my cheeks. It makes such a difference, especially in the summer!

    • I keep teetering on the edge of getting Guerlain’s 4-Seasons bronzer but every time I look at them, I get scared off. Here in Canada, a drugstore chain with “points” carries Guerlain in a few select stores, including one near me and I could basically get the bronzer “for free” (well, using my points, it would be “free” and I’d just pay the sales tax) but, like I say, it keeps scaring me off!

      • I would highly recommend getting the four seasons bronzer. They are so natural looking, but also difficult to overdo. They are totally worth the price, in my opinion.

        • Can they also be used for contouring? I’m literally as white as a milk bottle lol but have rosy undertones. So I haven’t really found a bronzer yet that compliments my skin but the shades nude or naturally blonde look line they could work, just not sure because there is shimmer in them isn’t there?

  3. Love how just a touch can warm up your complexion and make you look fresh.

    Hate how many of the bronzers run orange or turn orangey.

    Bronzer is one of those products I used to use when I was younger, then grew to hate, and now I’m back using again…occassionally…lightly. I feel bronzers are a product that have come some distance and yeah perhaps this time a little more adept with my application. I’m using a really light touch under cheekbones and a light dusting on the sides of my face on days where I feel I am looking a bit wan or on days I want more of a summery warm look. I’ve learned to trust Guerlain bronzer shades to stay true to pan on my face. I grab the very light shades intended for blondes and find they are the right level of colour and intensity for me.

  4. I have recently incorporated bronzer into my routine! I think it has a lot to do with finally finding one that truly works well for my skin tone (the bronzer half of Dior Coral Glow). Another thing is that my face for some reason doesn’t tan as fast as the rest of my body, so a bit of bronzer helps balance the difference out. I am, however, a bit skittish about shimmery bronzers. Unless the shimmer doesn’t actually look like shimmer on the skin, I’d most probably skip.

  5. As long as it’s matte, I like it. But unfortunately most bronzer have some shimmer in it, and that’s a no go for me. It emphasizes my already large pores, and I don’t need that…

  6. Pia

    I don’t get (understand) bronzers – how do you use one without making it look like your face is disconnected to your neck without applying bronzer on your neck, too? Granted I’m not pale (NC25-30), and I appreciate the desire for fairer skin people (including men) to have the “healthy glow” of having gotten some sun without risking skin cancer, but I have not been able to apply enough to make a difference without creating a mismatch with my neck. So I might as well not use it. I have a couple of bronzers and I can see that it can look good on other people. I much prefer contouring shades also. Bronzers just don’t make sense to me and I refuse to put makeup on my neck. lol

    • Pia

      meant to say …”fairer-skinned” people…

    • Veronica

      Heh, I’m an NW10/15, and I always take bronzer done onto the neck to keep the tone even. In fact, if I’m out enough to pick up a strong tan (I use that phrase loosely), I’ll often find that my face will tan a teensy bit more than my neck, so I’ll use bronzer to darken it to match my face. I also take it down into my chest when I wear lower-cut shirts because I rarely tan there, and it’s noticeably paler than the rest of my upper body. :)

  7. Right now I’m currently enjoying skipping the bronzer, but for a while I was loving it.

  8. I actually like my pale complexion, so I’m not a fan of bronzers. The only one to really grab my attention was the Guerlain “Terra Inca” powder released a couple of years ago. That had a lot of pink in it, so I didn’t get the “grubby” effect I get from most bronzers. I do enjoy a candlelit glow, however, but if I want that, I turn to Hourglass “Dim Light” or “Luminous Light”, which is as warm as I can really handle.

  9. Avatar of Rad Rad

    Sounds weird but i love that it gives my skin an expensive glow like i’ve had an amazing beach holiday. I don’t own many bronzers but Guerlain is on top of the list for me.

  10. Jen

    I like them for contouring, but struggle with the idea of bronzing your face to a different color than your neck. Years ago, Tarte made a fantastic liquid bronzer that absolutely never transferred onto my clothes, so I’d smooth it on down to below my neckline. I loved it! But now I can’t find any bronzer that doesn’t get all over my clothes if I do that.

    The only way I usually wear a bronzer is just on my forehead, carefully blended to nothing at the temples and above the nose. Done properly, this gives the illusion that you’ve gotten a little sun without getting into the whole face/neck matching issue.

  11. I still haven’t figured out how to use bronzer. It kind of scares me.

  12. I started recently too, using Bobbi Brown in Golden Light. It’s a good shade for me. I like contouring because I have a pretty round face and my jawline is 1000% my least favorite feature, so I like to shade it.

    Never tried one with a shimmer. Those don’t totally make sense to me. I would like to try a cream at some point though.

  13. I have a very round face – always have – and trying to contour with bronzer is so iffy for me because more often than not, I just look like I have stripes of dirt on my face. Because I’m pale and have very much embraced my paleness, looking “bronzed” isn’t a great look for me but I have found that Tarte’s Park Avenue Princess and a few other light, non-orange bronzers can actually look nice dusted lightly over my face when I’m not wearing much makeup and just want to look a bit more “healthy” when I dash out the door.

  14. Susan Dowman Nevling

    I have never found a bronzer that looks good with my complexion. My skin is light to fair with a lot of pink and occasional full blown rosacea. Very frustrating and I’m open to suggestions.

    • Check out Guerlain Four Seasons bronzer in 00 Nude or The Body Shop Honey bronzer in light.

    • Guerlain Four Seasons in 00 Nude and Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil are great for fair and cool toned skin!

    • Quinctia

      Physicians Formula has a four seasons bronzer, too, if you don’t want to spring for Guerlain on a product type you’re unsure about!

  15. Gena

    I don’t use bronzer much, either; I can’t even remember the last time I did. XD
    I’ve been wanting to try a grayish contour powder BADLY lately, but I can’t seem to find one. Do you have some that you could recommend, Christine? Thank you. ;)

  16. Mimi

    Tom Ford’s Terra has just a touch of gray and a matte formula. Wonderful!

  17. Jan

    I tan/burn more than anyone as dark as I should and usually wear short-sleeved outfitsin summer. So I primarily use brozer when I’m wearing sleeveless outfits and use it to blend neck and shoulders to my face. My arms get so dark that I have to use a dark foundation on them to try and blend it all together. Why 5 min in a car can make me so uneven is a mystery I’ll never figure out.

    On occasion, I’ll also use a brozer on my face for effect – sometimes a seriously dark one can be a contour, but a pinkish brown can sometimes make me look a little sun kissed as I tend to be gray brown or yellow brown.

  18. I love how bronzers look within the pans themselves. However, they seem to NOT sit well on my skin! Either it’s too dark for me, or too orangey. Blush is definitely my go-to product to apply some color to my face. Maybe it’s just preference.

  19. Veronica

    I’m quite fond of my fair skin so it isn’t a routine makeup step for me, but I do occasionally like to “warm up” my complexion with bronzer during the summer. It’s also very useful for evening out the skin tone on my neck and chest because they don’t tan as much as my face. :)

    Most fall into the category of too dark, too orange, and too warm for my skintone. I can’t use them for contouring for the same reason, so I generally stick to grey or taupe shades for that. I’m also not fond of shimmer in bronzer and prefer matte over all.

  20. I hate when bronzer looks great in the morning and then slowly gets patchy and oxidizes. Or when it ends up looking like soot. Since my skin is so fair it’s hard to find color that gives a natural warmth without the orange cast! The one that works best for me is Tarte’s Park Ave Princess. It does what a bronzer is meant to do. I love it!

  21. Fia

    For summer I use bronzer both as a blush and as a contour, but for the rest of the year I prefer a real contour colour like NYX Taupe or Mac Harmony.

  22. zainab

    I look awful with a tan so they’re not something I use. What annoys me though is how many end up looking orange or super shimmery on, because on most people it doesn’t look flattering.

  23. Am I alone in using bronzer in the same way I’d use a blush just a tad lower on the apples of the cheeks????

    I use a VERY light hand and a very subtle bronzer (Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess soft duo bronzer – oldy but a goody) and I find it is a more natural and warmer look than blush.

    My one pet peeve of bronzers is that icky brown shade with a little too much shimmer that makes your face look like you’ve just spent half a day at a muddy bootcamp *cringe*

  24. renp

    I’m a NC20 and I have Guerlain Bronzer in 01 to use of contour but I stopped using it as it looks “red” on me. Ever since that, I am terrified of Bronzers. Does anyone know a good and light matte bronzer? Please help.

  25. Most bronzers are way too yellow toned for me, and make me look either dirty or jaundiced. I have naturally peachy skin that tans somewhat orange, so I need a bronzers with a pink, peach or orange undertone. I very rarely wear bronzer in the winter because I’m so pale and actually prefer to show off my milky white skin with a hint of rosiness. In summer when I’m more tan (I tan super easily) I love wearing bronzer to give myself a nice warm glow. I always use the “3-method” because it shapes my face perfectly.

  26. xamyx

    I use bronzer for contouring, but only if I’m wearing blush. In order to keep it from looking like a “separate” product, I layer the blush directly over the bronzer, and blend thoroughly. It also works with warm-toned highlighters, and I’ve been using WnW Ticket To Brazil & Reserve Your Cabana in this manner, as well as LORAC TANtalizer quite a bit this Summer.

    Although I have visible pores, I still prefer a slight shimmer, or satin finish, as completely matte bronzers emphasize them more.

    My skintone is extremely neutral, and using bronzer adds a bit of dimension, so long as it’s not overdone, and not too orange & glittery.

  27. I am definitely a bronzer gal! …I wear it everyday! I love the way it gives my skin a healthy glow. I have a good range, from shimmer to matte.

  28. Quinctia

    Bronzer makes me glowy!

    The only thing I dislike about bronzers are bad ones. Ones that are muddy, or aren’t pigmented at all, or are poorly pigmented and not buildable. Also, I hate it when a brand/line releases a bronzer in only one shade. Every type should at least come in a lighter or darker version, but a good one also has rosy v. golden, and so forth.