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13 best bronzers to use for a sun-kissed look this summer

A bronzer is your secret to looking like you've been on holiday even if you haven't left the house...

Leanne Bayley

As soon as it starts to get warmer, a new bronzer always goes straight to the top of my beauty wish list. Thankfully it's always around this time of the year that the biggest beauty brands bring out their new bronzers. We've rounded up some of the best on the beauty counters; From Tom Ford to Illamasqua, Charlotte Tilbury, NARS and more. Yes, some might be new, but some are downright iconic. 

But first, what's the best way to apply bronzer? 

Makeup artist James Molloy, who's a big fan of the Tom Ford Glow Bronzer in 02 Terra, revealed to HELLO! that bronzer application has changed so much in recent years. He told us: "Our technique has matured a little bit, we've gotten a little savvier with where we place it, and these days I use bronzing as an enhancement. It's not a complete shade changer, it's an enhancer. I'd brush across the top of the cheeks and definitely along the bridge of the nose to get the sunkissed effect. I always bronze around the hairline and sweep it on the jawline, so it really is a touch of bronze rather than a full-on skin tone change-up".

MORE: Our favourite fake tans that make you look like you've been on holiday

Hannah Martin, the makeup artist responsible for Princess Eugenie's wedding makeup, recently took to her Instagram account with a masterclass in how to apply bronzer like a professional and gave us her do's and her don'ts

What colour bronzer should you choose for your skin tone?

It's actually Hannah who revealed the common mistake we all make when it comes to a bronzed glow, saying: "Instead of focusing on the centre of your face to add warmth, you need to centre on the outer area of the face to emulate that sunkissed look. I think the most important thing about bronzing is knowing what tone of bronzer you need … is it golden or more cinnamon-toned? If you're not sure what colour you tan, look back at photos of yourself during the summer months and see if your tan is a golden tan or a cinnamon tone."

The famous makeup artist then goes on to explain another trick of looking at your chest in the mirror and seeing if there's a natural redness there. If there is a hint of red then a reddish-brown bronzer would probably be a good choice. 

If you don't naturally tan, and you're super fair, Hannah recommends looking for something with a tiny bit of pink to it. If you're porcelain-skinned she recommends a dusting of your usual blusher will be enough to give you a lift. For those looking for light-toned bronzers, she recommends Charlotte Tilbury, Huda Beauty, and Bobbi Brown.

What's the best brush to apply bronzer with?

Laurretta Power, makeup artist and Head of Artistry at Benefit Cosmetics, reveals the right bronzer brush can make a world of difference. She told us: "A medium-size, dome-shaped brush is the ideal style brush for bronzer. If the brush is too big you won’t create shape and can look flat, too small and it will look more like contour, let your brushes do the work for you." 

Lauretta recommends the Benefit Hoola Bronzing Brush for achieving the ideal look. Her Pro Tip? "Sweep the brush across the forehead past the temple onto the cheeks and down across the jaw in a figure of three, with this style brush you’ll get the perfect positioning of bronzer to warm up the complexion and add shape to the face."

We've rounded up the bronzing palettes with the best reviews for your makeup bag... 

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, £43, Chanel


If you're into a cream bronzer, it's all about Chanel's iconic cult bronzer, Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream. Excting news for 2021 - a brand new shade has been added for darker complexions. Now available in a Soleil Tan Deep Bronze shade, this cream-gel bronzer provides just the right amount of pigment where the sun naturally hits. The product glides on smoothly with the help of a KABUKI brush and it's super easy to blend all over the face, with emphasis on the forehead, temples, nose and chin. Just you watch: The skin takes on a radiant, naturally sun-kissed glow.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Bronzing Trio


Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Bronzing Trio, £34, Estée Lauder 


You know summer is upon us when Estée Lauder releases the cult famous Bronze Goddess collection - and this year we have a wonderful bronzer that will transform you into an, erm, bronze goddess. The palette consists of carefully balanced bronzing and highlighting powders for the perfect levels of warmth and glow. 

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer 


Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer, £55, Selfridges 


A buildable foundation is hard to find, and Tom Ford’s Soleil Glow Bronzer is perfect for a day-to-night bronzer. What's more, it features a luxurious mix of plant-derived butters to nourish and soften skin while giving a luminous lit-from-within glow. Cocoa seed butter softens and comforts, mango seed butter moisturises with anti-ageing properties and Cupuaçu butter from the Amazon provides skin with a protective, hydrating layer. With specialised pigments, the comforting, sun-drenched formula adheres with excellent, second-skin-like radiance. 

Benefit Hoola Glow


Benefit Hoola Glow, £20, Benefit 


Everyone, Benefit's launched a brand new Hoola, and if you love a bit of shimmer, you're going to be happy. Hoola Glow combines the iconic Matte Hoola shade, but with a superfine shimmer for a lit-from-within look. It' usually £27.50 but right now there's a special price of £20.

Illamasqua Colour Correcting Bronzer


Illamasqua Colour Correcting Bronzer, £34, Illamasqua 


Illamasqua's newest launch - the Colour Correcting Bronzer - is an exciting one thanks to the cool-toned stripe in the centre of the palette. Global Director of Artistry Pablo Rodriguez explains the inspiration behind the collection, saying: "The Colour Correcting Bronzers have a cool-toned stripe in the centre to tone down redness, but also a cool and a warm section on each side which, when blended together, help create a bronzed glow." 

Pro tip: "Use a big bronzer brush and apply it all over the face, neck and hands for a natural look, and then add more depth on the cheeks, nose and forehead." 

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer


Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer, £26, Charlotte Tilbury 


This hyaluronic acid-infused bronzer is pore blurring and smoothing - a firm favourite at HELLO! HQ. If you're looking for a sun-kissed complexion that lasts, this is it. Charlotte Tilbury MBE's top pro tip: "Use a skin-enhancing shade to add warmth, and a deeper skin-sculpting shade to contour." 

Zara Bronzer


Zara Bronzing Powders, £14.99, Zara 


The ultimate glow-getter on the high-street. This velvety powder gives skin an instant boost, subtly warming up its tone. It's available in nine shades: Subtle Tan, Light Bronze, Medium Tan, Sublime Intense, Delicate Light, Gilded Sunset, Rich Solei, Haute Tan & Major bronze.

BareMinerals Endless Summer Bronzer


bareMinerals Endless Summer Bronzer, £26, bareMinerals 


Hailey Bieber is a big fan of the bareMinerals bronzer, and if it's good enough for the world-famous model, it's good enough for us. The bareMinerals bronzer has Mineral Blurring Microspheres to instantly blur the appearance of pores and imperfections for a photo-ready finish. It's also infused with a Gradual Glow Complex for a lasting, sun-kissed look, even without makeup.

Makeup artist Pro Tip: MUA Cher Webb said: "Endless Summer is a must-have beauty staple with its unique Gradual Glow Complex which builds a natural healthy sunkissed look over time and keeps the skin looking flawless all day. I also love to apply this without any base for a gradual glow, your skim warms up the more you wear it." 

NARS Laguna Bronzer


NARS Laguna Bronzer, £30, ASOS


This is one of those bronzers you constantly come back to. The velvety texture melts into the skin for effortless blend-ability. Finely milled, the powder is silky smooth and super blendable, applying evenly for a seamless finish. It's famous for a reason.

Huda Beauty TanTour


Huda Beauty TanTour, £26, CultBeauty 


Huda’s cream-to-powder contour and bronzer is so easy to use and is excellent for anyone who wants to excel in tantouring. The deeply pigmented formula banishes dullness in an instant for a long-lasting, sweat and water-resistant finish. 

Benefit Hoola Lite Matte Bronzer


Benefit Hoola Lite Matte Bronzer, £27.50, John Lewis


When you think of Benefit, the Hoola bronzer no doubt comes to mind - it's a cult-favourite for a reason. There are four shades to choose from but if you're fair and want just a touch of colour, the Lite version would be perfect.

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder 


Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, £33, Bobbi Brown 


The Bobbi Brown bronzer is lightweight with a soft, matte finish. If you want a bronzer for your makeup bag to use on the go, this is a great choice as you can't go wrong with this one. 

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Bronzer


It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Bronzer, £27, It Cosmetics 


Bye Bye Pores Bronzer works to minimise the look of pores while adding instant sun-kissed warmth to your skin. This bronzer is designed to glide over your skin without settling into lines or pores and diffuse the look of imperfections. 

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