Bronze is one of those items that I personally, never thought I would be using. I used to not understand what it was, how to use it, how to find one, until my gateway bronzer, the Physicians formula butter bronzer in light bronzer. I was always scared of turning myself orange and that was the perfect bronzer to start with. I actually finished that one up, but it was a really lovely bronzer. 

I wanted to compare a few bronzers in my collection that I thought a: might be good first timer bronzers, and B: are the bronzer that I use the most often and the new ones that I feel are easy to use. My biggest gripe with the bronzer world is that the shade ranges in all bronzing ranges, is so crappy. For example, I have the Maybelline bronzer in medium, MEDIUM in what world is my fair skin a medium shade. That means that the lightest shade, you would have to be super light to buy it. That is why I wanted to include other bronzers (unfortunately) there are not many ranges out there that have more than two or three shades. I think it is also important to bring up that during this time, where social justice and Black lives matter is on the “forefront” of brands. I am only hoping that by putting pressure on brands to actually put their money where their mouths are more shade ranges will come out and they will realize this isn’t just a trend. That means more inclusive shade ranges, not just 3 bronzers that are hardly any different in tone.

All Bronzers open.

Let’s start with the least expensive of the bunch. The Maybelline City Bronzer. The claims “Get naturally bronzed and softly contoured looks that bring on the heat with Maybelline City Bronzer. This multitasking bronzing and contouring powder accentuates your skin’s natural radiance and gently contours your features. The micro-milled powder contains whipped cocoa butter for a velvety matte finish”. I have the shade medium, and this is a noticeably warmer toned bronzer in my collection with a bit of a yellow undertone. It is a smidge cooler than the Physicians formula sunkissed bronzer. 

Physicians Formula butter bronzer in sunkissed is another lovely bronzer, and physicians formula finally expanded the shades to 8, which is a step up from before, but the shades could go darker. Here are the claims”   “Ultra-luxurious bronzer, infused with Murumuru Butter, delivers a radiant Brazilian goddess glow! Incredibly creamy and soft texture combines the best features of a powder and cream bronzer, to deliver a lit-from-within tropical glow unlike any other.Packed with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins that soften, condition and moisturize skin, leaving it silky soft. Ultra-rich bronzer formula instantly melts into skin, sealing-in moisture to deliver instant and lasting hydration. Features ultra-refined pearl and soft-focus pigments that smooth skin texture, brighten skin tone and deliver a gorgeous bronze finish”. These claims are accurate, this bronzer does create a lit within glow and for the most part, is very easy to use and is easy to not mess up. 

The Vesca Beauty Bronzers were the next ones that I wanted to try for this post. Introducing Kissed By Soft-Matte Bronzing Powder, a velvety-smooth bronzer delivering covetable sun-kissed warmth to face and body, available in 7 shades. With a scent that will transport you to your dreamiest destination, Kissed By Soft-Matte Bronzing Powder gives all skin tones a healthy glow, with an ultra-blendable formula that leaves a soft-matte, skin-like finish”. I have the shades kissed by Rio and kissed by Santorini, the two lightest shades. These are such nice smelling and formulated bronzers. They went on smoothly and right off the hop came out with 7 shades ranging from light to deep. These all have nice undertones. I would say the two I own, the light shade Kissed by Rio, are more neutral yellow toned shade and the shade kissed by santorini which is a warm toned shade. These I would say are close in shade to the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush bronzer. The formula is not as smooth, but is nice and soft on the skin as well as buildable. These also aren’t flat matte which I like.

Clockwise: Vesca Kissed by Rio, Vesca Kissed by Santorini, Fenty In da Sun, Tarte Park Ave, Hourglass Bronzer

The next bronzer I wanted to discuss is the Hourglass Ambient lighting bronzer. This is such a lovely bronzer, while it has shimmer, the particles are not chunky nor noticeable on the skin. This is by far my coolest toned bronzer of the bunch. There are four shades, so an expansion is needed.  :  “The airy, lightweight bronzers fuse the illuminating effects of Ambient® Lighting Powder with bronze pigments to deliver buildable color and a radiant finish.While traditional bronzer tends to be flat, Ambient® Lighting Bronzer uses Photoluminescent Technology for seamless blending and color transitions. The hand-made powders are formulated using an advanced miscelare technique – which means “to mix” in Italian – creating the perfect balance of pigment and powder, and no two look alike.Ambient® Lighting Bronzer can be used alone for subtle warmth and contouring or paired with Ambient® Lighting Powder to create depth and dimension”.

The Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer. This is another range that just did it right. 7 shades right off the hop with a shade for the fairest of the fair to the deepest of the deep. I like that this bronzer creates a nice warmth, while being buildable. This would be a really good beginner bronzer for someone who wants a nice easy to use bronzer, plus supporting a Black owned beauty brand is a win.  “A long-wear, transfer-resistant bronzing powder in eight groundbreaking shades, each carefully curated to bring all skin tones to life.This powder bronzer comes in eight versatile shades to bring out the warmth in all skin tones. Smooth, creamy, and easy to blend, this light-as-air bronzer gives you a sun-soaked glow that stays put all day. Whether you’re looking for warmth or contouring, it does it all with the perfect soft-matte finish”.

Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronzer is the next bronzer that I wanted to test for this post. This only has two shades. TWO SHADES. Seems legit *rolls eyes*. This is a nice bronzer, and has a similar scent to the Physicians Formula or the vesca. I think this is a nice starter bronzer, if you are white. I don’t know which skintones the darker shade would accommodate maybe, a medium to tan skin tone. I think that this bronzer would stand to create more shades (like 7 more) so that people can actually enjoy this bronzer.  “Iconic matte waterproof bronzing powder infused with longwearing Amazonian clay.Bronze and contour with this best-selling, multi-tasking vegan bronzer infused with Amazonian clay for flake-free applications and hours of pigmented wear. The moisture-rich powder delivers an even, buildable glow or streak-free contour to enhance any skin tone. Infused with tarte’s powerhouse Amazonian clay and none of the icky, bad stuff, the everyday weightless powder helps to improve clarity and texture, leaving your skin healthy and glowing from the inside out”

Clockwise: Physicians formula Sunkissed, Charlotte Tilbury Medium, Anastasia Beverly Hills Tawny, Maybelline medium

The final bronzer in my collection is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Tawny. Review can be found here. This bronzer is supposed to be a light neutral base, and while it is, I find this entire range does have a red undertone to it. I find while this does have 5 shades, they do all look pretty similar in the pan, but I am not sure how the other shades perform on the skin. The claims: “This finely-milled formula provides buildable coverage that blends seamlessly. It comes in six naturally sun-kissed shades for all skin tones, and is packaged in a luxe compact with a large mirror so you can see your whole face as you bronze”. 

My favourite bronzers are Vesca, Fenty and Charlotte Tilbury. Now, Charlotte has not participated in pull up for change, so I am waiting to see their numbers before making purchase decisions. As someone who has the privilege to even make that decision I’d like to recognize that. Vesca is not black owned, but somehow has made a bronzer for every skin tone which I really respect. Fenty is a no brainer, a brand I loved ever since its inception, the bronzers are simple, easy to use, and buildable which is key if you are a new bronzer wearer. As a favourite for the drugstore, for my skintone, the Physicians formula bronzer is the one I’d reccommend from the drugstore if you can find your shade.

Bronzer Swatches

What is your favourite bronzer?

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