8 cream bronzers to try for a sun-kissed glow
Achieve a tanned complexion in a snap.
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Cream bronzers aren’t a new phenomenon, but they're becoming increasingly popular because of the natural, sun-kissed finish they leave on the skin. Many flock to them as a way to achieve a tanned look without the dangerous UV exposure, or a natural contour when applied in the hollows of their cheeks without any harsh lines or a cakey powder finish. These eight creams are long-wearing, easy to blend, and won’t budge from sweat or heat.
1. For beginners: Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream
This bronzer from Huda Beauty helps achieve a beautiful contour and bronze in one and is both blendable and buildable for newly minted beginners or experienced bronzer users alike. Its cream-to-powder consistency allows you to create a healthy-looking bronzed complexion or a dramatic contour, depending on how much you layer on. Available in six shades, ranging from fair to rich, you'll find a stunning shade for most skin tones.
A Sephora reviewer says: “This is the best cream contouring product I have ever used and I’ve tried many. It’s so easy to blend, doesn’t dry too quickly, and doesn’t leave any patches on the skin when applying over foundation... A little goes a long way, this product will last me more than one to two years.”
2. For a hint of sun: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream
Celebrities, makeup artists, and Tik Tok creators describe this cream bronzer as nothing short of incredible. Made with mineral waxes, silica, and light-reflecting pigments, its lightweight formula claims to ensure effortless application, an immediate smoothing effect, and a radiant finish. Apply the cream to your face where the sun would naturally hit, like your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin, with your fingers or brush. You can use it to contour by applying it to the shadows on your face, like underneath your jawline or in the hollows of your cheeks. It’s available in two shades—tan bronze and tan deep bronze.
A Chanel reviewer writes: “My favorite bronzer ever! I love how it's universal and I don't have to shade-match. I apply with a Beauty Blender, and it goes on effortlessly. I cannot tell you how much I love it! Plus, ordering straight from Chanel is always the best experience! The packaging is top-notch!”
3. For a matte finish: Tarte Sea Breezy Cream Bronzer
Just one swipe of this bronzer transforms your skin to a just-came-from-the-beach look without the glittery sheen you can get from other products. The water- and streak-proof formula blends evenly to contour, bronze, and impart gorgeous warmth. Its star ingredient, marine plant extract, claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines while smoothing out your makeup. The bronzer offers a natural-looking matte finish, making it a great choice for oily skin or those who prefer less shimmer.
A Sephora reviewer proclaims: “Blends easily. Looks flawless. Comfortable and effortless. One of the best cream bronzers on the market, if not the absolute best.”
4. For a buildable bronze: Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
Rhianna’s Fenty Beauty never ceases to amaze fans with its show-stopping products, and this cream bronzer is no exception. According to more than 450 reviewers, it not only applies like a dream but also looks great on the skin whether you wear it solo or with a full face of makeup. Its light-as-air formula is available in seven shades, ranging from cool fair to very deep, and is both sweat- and water-resistant. Upon application with fingers or a brush, the bronzer melts into your skin and can used for a hint of depth or built up for a bold bronze.
A Sephora reviewer raves: “This looks gorgeous and glowy, and makes me appear actually tan... The sheer quality of the product is what makes it extra natural. It's also beautiful to blend and never looks patchy, which always happens to me with other bronzers. It is also the first bronzer to look natural on my forehead.”
5. For a sculpted face: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand
Looking to achieve facial definition? Try this contour wand from Charlotte Tilbury. The lightweight formula—which comes in two shades, fair-medium and medium-dark—is easy to apply. By controlling the amount you dispense from its cushion applicator, you can add some subtle definition in the hollows of the cheeks or create a full sculpted contour by applying it on the jawline, cheekbones, and perimeter of the forehead. The brand recommends dabbing the applicator directly onto the skin and tapping it in with your fingers, a brush, or a sponge.
One Sephora reviewer exclaims: “This lives up to the hype. While it initially applies dark, it blends out like a dream with little effort. Definitely a great product for contour beginners! I completely understand why it’s [often] sold out. Will most definitely repurchase.”
6. For dry skin: E.L.F Cosmetics Putty Bronzers
If you’re looking for a bronzer that’s designed for dry skin, this E.L.F. one is your best bet. Although its formula is non-oily, it will keep you hydrated, thanks to ingredients like argan oil and vitamin E. Its eight shades of pigmented formula can create an instant, natural-looking glow or a sculpted contour, while remaining both blendable and buildable.
An E.L.F. Cosmetics reviewer writes: “I just got this and, OMG, the videos and reviews I saw prior were not joking. This product is amazing! It feels so high end and the cream-to-powder finish is so pretty and light. In the pot, it looks way too dark but it blends like a dream.”
7. For a dewy bronze: Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer
This bronzer can help you achieve an effortless summer glow all year round with its five shimmery hues ranging from light to deep. It claims to soothe, condition, and nourish your skin with ingredients like mango butter and green tea. If you love a dewy, shimmery complexion, look no further than Tower 28.
A Sephora reviewer raves: “Absolute dream! So blendable and creamy, dewy and fresh! My cheeks are illuminating with joy! A definite must need! So in love.”
8. For sensitive skin: Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer
With a balmy texture and velvety finish, this Saie cream bronzer applies without any cakiness or patchiness. With ingredients like organic colloidal oatmeal, silica, grapeseed oil, and elderberry extract, it claims to moisturize and balance the skin with each wear. Its lightweight formula comes in four shades from light bronze to dark bronze and provides great, subtle color payoff. To apply, swirl your brush into the compact and buff into the areas of your face where the sun naturally hits.
A Sephora reviewer exclaims: “I am completely obsessed with this bronzer because it’s foolproof and gives the most natural finish! It is super creamy, blendable, natural-looking, and gives a perfectly sun-kissed finish! I use it all over and double up where I want more definition!”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.