Today, we are featuring the best and the most affordable drugstore bronzers for several reasons. We are all aware of the fact that our climate has been changing for the worse, that the ozone layer has been getting thinner and, as a result, sun rays are now more intense than ever. We also know what damage can excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays do to your skin, regardless where the rays originate from – the Sun or a tanning bed. Overexposing your skin to UV (ultraviolet) rays, will lead to premature aging, wrinkles, spots, discoloration and reduction in the amount of collagen and elastin which keep your skin tight and supple and are considered the very foundation of beautiful skin. Last but not least, there is a heightened risk of skin cancer.
This is where bronzers come in handy. Just like UV rays and tanning beds, bronzers will also give you that sexy, golden-brown glow, as well as conceal blemishes, uneven skin tone, sculpt your face, add dimension to it, define cheekbones and slim your nose. Bronzers are a welcome substitute for anyone who can’t or won’t spend considerable amount of time in the sun but would still love to have that wonderful sun-kissed look.
But, a few words of advice before you use a bronzer. First and foremost, you need to choose the right shade. The general rule is that you should choose a shade that is only one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. For instance, if your skin tone is quite fair, the best bronzer for you would be light-medium. If your skin tone is medium dark to olive, you should get yourself a bronzer that is of sheer cooper or earth color. For women with dark brown skins, chocolate brown bronzers with a hint of shimmer and warm or blue undertones are recommended.
Secondly, it is recommended that you properly prepare your skin before applying bronzer, particularly the ones that come in the shape of a cream. Gentle scrub is the best thing to do this. Also, make sure that you apply bronzer on clean and dry skin. Bronzer is usually applied with a soft brush in a round, light motion.
So, we covered the basics of using bronzers and now onto the bronzers that we liked and that won’t break the bank because they all cost under $10.
1. LORAC Travel Size Tantalizer Baked Bronzer – This is one of those bronzers that will give you that silky smooth bronze finish which looks very natural and gives you that terracotta / rosy glow. You can also use it as a highlighter, as well as lightly dust it over your eye shadow to give you a little more shimmer. It blends very well. LORAC’s bronzer is also all-in-one compact that comes with a bronzer in the top and a brush and a mirror at the bottom. Although, it comes in travel size, with this bronzer a little goes a long way. If you want a natural, subtle glow, the best way to apply LORAC Travel Size Tantalizer Baked Bronzer is with a dry brush. If you are looking for more intense bronzing, apply it with a wet sponge. Whichever you choose, this bronzer will make you look like you have spent several days at the beach while adding a touch of glamour to your face. The color is quite pretty – it is not orange or ‘muddy’ (a problem with quite a few bronzers) or too shimmery. Another plus of LORAC’s Tantalizer Baked Bronzer is its durability because it stays on pretty much for the entire day. Even if you sweat, there will be no smudging or smearing. It also comes highly recommended for ladies with darker skin tone because it provides a really gorgeous, natural glow.
2. Rimmel London Natural Bronzer Sun Glow – Rimmel is one of those trusted brands that have been around for a very long time. It is also one of the cosmetic brands that have the best quality to price ratio. With their bronzers you won’t have to worry about finding one that fits your skin type, because they are suitable any skin type. Rimmel Natural Bronzer Sun Glow is creamy matte and it won’t give you that ‘fairy dust sprinkled all over my face’ look. Although, this bronzer has a slight warm, orangey tint to it, it is also suitable for women with cool skin undertones. It is well pigmented (which means that you need very little of it), super affordable and applies well. This high performance bronzing powder can be used both on the face and body and because it has a very smooth texture, it blends really well. It comes in three shades – Sun Light, Sun Bronze and Sun Dance – and it is quite buildable. If you are not too fond of shimmer and glitter in your bronzer, this product is right up your alley.
3. NYX Tango with Bronzing Powder (When a Leopard Gets a Tan) – This is a two-color (light brown and pink with a little bit of highlighter) mosaic bronzer which is suited for women who already have a base tan. It is less pigmented than the usual drugstore bronzer and a tad less shimmery. A word of warning… Because this bronzer is very subtle, it will take you several swipes with the brush for the bronzer to show up. Because it is so unassuming, it is recommended for the skin with enlarged pores. NYX Tango with Bronzing Powder looks very natural when applied and it comes in a practical compact with a brush that is handy to use wherever you might be – on the beach or at home. It will give your face and body that wonderful golden glow like you have just returned from a two-week-cruise in the Mediterranean. If the shade of this particular NYX Bronzer does not match your skin tone, NYX has four more shades to choose from – Tan Enthusiasm, Confessions of Tanaholic, Bronze Ensemble, and Tribal Odyssey. As for the When a Leopard Gets a Tan (Cute name, isn’t it?), we would say that it is more suitable for women with a lighter skin tone rather than darker ones only because of the amount of sheer this bronzer has. Then again, if you don’t mind looking a bit glittery, regardless of your skin tone, get yourself the Leopard one.
4. Maybelline New York Fit Me! Bronzer – In the last few years, Maybelline has rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to makeup. This is one of those well-known drugstore brands that are affordable, yet of good quality. Their New York Fit Me! Bronzer is universal as far as the skin tone goes – it is suitable for both light and darker skinned ladies. This product works well as a bronzer and a contour powder, and it gives a great, healthy glow to the face. The only thing that we are not too keen about is the brush that comes with the bronzer which is a bit synthetic and harsh, and it doesn’t pick up enough product. Maybelline says that Fit Me! Gives a natural, fade-proof color that looks fresh on the skin so if you are into the soft, non-pigmented-almost-no-makeup-look, this bronzer will suit you just fine. So, the pros of Maybelline New York Fit Me! Bronzer is that looks very natural, doesn’t appear cakey, it has good pigmentation and it is versatile (it can be used for contouring, highlighting and faking a light tan). The con is actually the enclosed brush because it doesn’t do any justice to the product and makes it very difficult to apply and blend.
5. e.l.f. Golden Bronzer – This is again a bronzer for fair to medium light skin type and it works well as a bronzer and a highlighter. It does give the skin that dewy glow and it is very easy to blend. e.l.f. Golden Bronzer is a four-color bronzer which mix together to form the shade that is best suited for your complexion. There isn’t much shimmer to it; just enough for the perfect glow. The good thing about this bronzer is that a little will go a long way because you only need a modest amount of it. There are three color combinations of e.l.f. bronzers available – the warm bronzer which is ideal for summer when you have some tan on, the cool bronzer which is an all-year-around bronzer great both for summer and winter time, and the golden bronzer which again is more suitable for summer but has a more subtle illuminating sheer compared to the warm bronzer. e.l.f. bronzer is very easy to apply, it gives good pigmentation, it is long-lasting, it is also versatile and suitable for daily use for normal and oily skin types alike. Last but not the least, we have to mention its price because it is incredibly affordable. At the moment, e.l.f. Golden Bronzer retails for only $3 on Amazon. Great value for money!
6. L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets The One Sweep Sculpting Blush (Nectar, Peach) – This is not only a typical bronzer but, as the name suggest, a sculpting blush. L’Oreal’s One Sweep Sculpting Brush contours, defines and highlights all at the same time. This product is absolutely perfect for everyday use because it is very natural looking and far from obvious when you put it on. It comprises of two colors – Nectar and Peach – so you can properly match your skin tone. The blush part is pink and quite pigmented while the bronzer contains a very, very subtle pigment. When you combine the two, you will get a great color balance for your skin. The One Sweep Sculpting Blush is completely. The packaging comes with a mirror and an unusual looking brush that is very defined and has a dent in the middle (to closely follow the cheek contours). L’Oreal’s One Sweep Sculpting Brush comes in four professionally coordinated color duos. Unfortunately, L’Oreal has discontinued producing this sculpting blush so your best chance of finding it is online. Amazon is currently selling it for $5.80 and has a very limited supply on stock.
7. Jane Cosmetics Matte Bronzing Powder – Remember our intro to this article and the recommendation that you should get yourself a bronzer that contains either Vitamins A, C or E. Well, here is one that does. It is packed with Vitamin E that is very beneficial for your skin because it is considered one of the best antioxidants. Jane Cosmetics Matte Bronzing Powder has a really soft velvety finish (made with spherical mica) and, because of it, it is very easy to blend. This bronzing powder will give you that elusive summer flush without looking overdone or unnatural. You can use it for contouring, sculpting and shading. Jane Cosmetics an iconic makeup brands that has been around for decades, and what sets it apart is that it features the faces of real, everyday women who are giving back to their communities on their products. But back to the product in question…. Matte Bronzing Powder is available in four shades – Inspire (soft shade), Dream (warm shade; ideal for a bronze glow), Empower (deep shade; for a deep golden bronze glow), and Give (rich shade with a terracotta glow). If you want a more intense contouring, pick Empower or Give or if you are a fan of a more natural look, you should choose Inspire or Dream. Regardless of the shade you pick, Jane Cosmetics Matte Bronzing Powder blends beautifully, it is fuss free and compliments the skin pretty well.
8. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow / Boosting BB Bronzer – If there is a bronzer that does it all, this must be it, and when we say “does it all” we mean protect, moisturize, smooth, brighten, softens wrinkles, contours, highlight. Physicians Formula Boosting BB Bronzer is a bronzer and a BB cream in one which is stain-, streak-, orange- and odor-free. Not only that, it is also hypoallergenic, free from parabens, gluten, oil and fragrance, dermatologist approved and non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t block the pores and cause acne breakout). This is the first ever bronzer / BB cream on the market that not only takes care of your skin but it gives it an instant and long-lasting bronze, sun-kissed look thanks to the so-called Glow Activator Technology Triple-Action. The BB cream will work towards improving the skin’s clarity and boosting radiance. It is also worth mentioning that this bronzer contains Kapi Kapi Kacchu Seeds, Phospholipids, Ceratonia Siliqua, and Vitamins C and E and it will give that air-brushed finish to your skin while nourishing and moisturizing it. And all of that only for $7.45. Quality, versatility and care all in one product!