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So many new bronzers have launched in the last year or two, so I thought it would be help to keep a Best Bronzer for 2021 up to date so you can all work out which ones are best for you! This will be a work-in-progress as I discover more launches, so make sure you check back and be sure to ask any questions.
Two more really good options for pale skin come from NARS. For Summer 2020, they created a shade lighter than Laguna in the original formula. It is called San Juan. This one has the same supersoft gold that Laguna has, but in a lighter bronze shade.
NARS Bronzing Powder Matte Vallarta
NARS has another new offering for paler skin, in the brand’s new Matte formula. It is called Vallarta and will be great on lighter skin tones that love a velvety finish.
Finally I have to recommend the absolutely stunning Guerlain Terracotta Nude. This is a very special sheer bronzer with plenty of skin flattering glow. It uses special technology which means its tone-adapts to individual complexions. You can use it as a bronzer itself, or a skin perfector or a glowy blush. It is very versatile.
It sells out every time it is restocked so you have to be quick with this one!
Here is Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer in Fair, next to NARS San Juan, NARS Vallarta (matte) and Terracotta Nude:
Best Bronzers 2021 For Medium Skin
This is the easiest category to find a bronzer that suits you. Although I have fairly pale skin, I fit into the medium categeory when it comes to bronzer, so the shades I show you here are the ones that suit me the best.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer No 2 Medium
The new CT Airbrush Bronzer in medium is a perfect match for me, and will most definitely suit light to medium skin tones. You can see this applied to my skin in the youtube video below:
I absolutely love this bronzer – the velvety yet glowy finish, the smoothness on the skin, the hydrating properties of the ingredients. It completely ticks the boxes for me.
Here it is compared to Charlotte’s orginal bronzer, Filmstar Bronze and Glow:
Guerlain Terracotta Matte
Another beautiful alternative, and definitely one for the fans of Terracotta, is the brand new Terracotta Matte formula in shade Medium.
This one is really easy apply and blend, and it literally feels light as air on the skin. The formula uses Kaolin which is a white clay known for its mattifying ability. And of course it smells absolutely amazing in true Guerlain Terracotta style.
Again I have to recommend Terracotta Nude from Guerlain and this is also beautiful on light to medium skin tones. This is a very special sheer bronzer with plenty of skin flattering glow. It uses special technology which means its tone adapts to individual complexions. Read about it in my blog post.
Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer
Limited edition – no longer available for 2021.
The new Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer in Solar Pop is a perfect bronzer for light to medium skins. The texture is beautiful – just like the brand’s iconic Cheek Pops, and it layers on beautifully for a natural looking glow and radiance. It has a matte satin finish that I love.
The new addition to Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess collection has really impressed me.
It is called the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Bronzing Trio and it’s quite a versatile product. You can use individual shades to sculpt, however I like to use a big fluffy brush all over the pan for all over bronziness.
Here is Charlotte Tilbury AirbrushBronzer in Medium, next to Terracotta Matte, Terracotta Nude, Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer, NARS Paradise Found (Laguna), Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Bronzing Trio, Chanel Les Beiges & Fenty Butta Biscuit:
Best Bronzers 2021 For Dark Skin
I don’t have lots of Bronzer recommendations for Deeper skin tones as I rarely get sent them but I have a few suggestions for you.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush in Tan and Deep
I can recommend the new Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush in Tan and Deep which are great shades and have already been getting great feedback.
I have swatched them together, although it seemed a bit silly as Terracotta Nude is adaptive and I am pale. But I was sticking to my format!!
Fenty have a brilliant range of deeper tones in their Cheeks Out Collection* although I’m afraid I don’t have access to swatches.
Best Bronzers For Dry Skin
Drier or dehydrated skins need special attention when it comes to bronzer to ensure you get a soft and smooth finish.
Chanel Les Beiges
Last year Chanel reformulated their iconic Soleil de Tan, which is now called Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream. The formula has had a tweak, and I really like it. It uses a blend of wax and powders for easy application and a light mattifying effect, but there are also light reflecting pigments for radiance.
If you want some a bit glossier and glowier (and quite a lot cheaper!) then the Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer in Butta Biscuit is a very good match tone-wise. I absolutely love this formula, and there’s a chance that I might even prefer it to the Chanel! Especially considering how much more affordable it is.
The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer has a matte finish making it also suitable for oilier complexions. There are four shades to choose from – see them in my swatch post.
Clinique Powder Pop
The Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer is a good option for oily skin as it has a matte formula, with no shine, but instead a flattering sheen. It is long lasting too so will stay in place.
NARS Bronzing Powder Mattte
This formula is a new addition to the brand’s collection. The formula contains zero shimmer so won’t add shine to the skin, yet is enriched with botanical oils to care and comfort. I have shade Vallarta which is good for paler skins.
I have swatched the medium shades as that’s the only colour I have in the Guerlain.
Guerlain Terracotta Matte Medium, Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer Medium, Clinique Powder Pop, NARS Matte Bronzing Powder in Vallarta & Nudies Matte in Terracotta Tan:
Best Bronzers 2021 For Older Skin
This category really comes down to what kind of finish you want because you can wear any bronzer you like, no matter your age.
La Mer The Bronzing Powder
La Mer is the perfect choice for mature skin types. This bronzer is packed with skincare ingredients and it is super softening on the skin and never settles into texture. Whenever I use this compact, which does the job of blush, bronzer and highlighter in one, I am always asked what’s on my cheeks!!
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer
Charlotte Tilbury is always a good place to start because Charlotte really understands mature skin and I find that all her products are very smoothing and flattering.
The Airbrush Bronzer is certainly an excellent option for older skins as it contains Hyaluronic Acid to plump, soft focus silica to reflect the light and give a soft-focused effect, and fine perfecting powder to smooth out texture.
I also think that Guerlain’s Terracotta Nude is gorgeous for older skin tones. I find it very smoothing on the skin, so much so that I can pretty much apply it anywhere on my face, without it emphasising texture of pores.
Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer is really flattering on my skin so it’s a great candidate for more mature complexions. It has a very smoothing texture that glides on and doesn’t settle in pores or lines.
Chanel Les Beiges
Creams are also great for mature skin and I’d suggest non-matte textures for an even more skin-flattering finish. Although Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream has mattifying properties, it still gives a lovely glow, so is a great option.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer in Medium, Guerlain Terracotta Nude, Clinique Powder Pop Flower Bronzer, Chanel Les Beige, Fenty Butta Biscuit:
Best Bronzers For Contour
I sometimes don’t really worry too much about where contouring ends and bronzing starts but if you are looking for contour shades, it is best to stick to cooler tones, and completely matte formulas that are free from shimmer or sparkle.
The shades recommendation I am making are for light to medium skintones as contouring for deeper skintones is a whole different ball game and I am in no way qualified to make those recommendations.
Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer in Amber
I absolutely love the Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer in Amber as the perfect cool-toned shadow for my skin tone. It also comes in a stick formula if you prefer that method. Both textures are super easy to blend and looks really natural on the skin.
Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer in Amber, Charlotte Tilbury Airbursh Bronzer in Light, then Medium, Terracotta Matte in Medium, NARS Matte Bronzing Powder in Vallarta, Bronze Bronze Goddess Matte & Glow Trio (shades separated):
I think that’s about it for now for my Best Bronzers 2021 recommendations. Feel free to leave your comments and queries in the comments below.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and stay tuned to the homepage and Instagram for news on all the latest launches and products. The Facebook page is here and make sure you also find me on YouTube.