Take it from me, someone so pale I could give the vampires in Twilight a run for their money—the wrong bronzer can look downright weird on fair skin. I’m extremely pale, and bronzer has always been tricky for me. Some formulas read too orange, while others end up making me look like I rubbed dirt on my face.
The trick to finding a good bronzer is finding one that genuinely makes you look like you just got back from a sun-drenched vacation. It should also be easily blendable, so you can diffuse it on your face as if you were naturally sun-kissed.
After a lot of trial and error, I’ve found bronzers that I like on my own skin, but I decided to reach out to celebrity makeup artists Katey Denno and Fiona Stiles to find out which ones they recommend the most for people with fair skin. See below for makeup artists’ favorite bronzers for fair skin (and how a few of them look on!), plus some of my own favorites.
“It’s a great price point, an easy matte shade that works for lots of undertones, and blends surprisingly well,” says Denno. This bronzer is highly pigmented, so use sparingly—but like Denno says, it blends very well.
“A bronzer quad that is great for glowy, sun kissed skin in the summer,” says Stiles. “I also love the versatility of the palette, you can use the pretty shimmery colors to catch the light on your cheekbones or use them on the eyes for a bit of shimmer there. I also appreciate the different tones so you can use them in spring, summer or fall.”
“I use this on pretty everyone in the ‘light’ category,” Denno says. “It’s a great balanced shade (meaning it works on most warm, cool, and olive undertones), blends easily with any fluffy brush, and you can layer it on top of itself under the cheekbones for a more solid payoff that looks like a natural contour.” This may be my new favorite bronzer—it goes on so easily, blends seamlessly, and looks natural.
“These putty bronzers come in a wide range of shades, including ones that work beautifully on fair skin, which is hard to find,” says Stiles. “The texture of the formula is easy to use with your fingers or a brush and it blends easily and seamlessly into the skin.”
“I like a soft, matte bronzer, but I also like to strategically add shimmer and glow after I’ve bronzed a face,” says Denno. “This duo is perfect for that. The powder bronzer looks beautiful and had a lovely sheer (and buildable) finish, the packaging is gorgeous, and the little embossed hearts on the pressed powder itself make it all the more special. The lit stick goes on like a dream (I like to use the finger to product to skin method rather than applying straight from the tube) both on top of the powder bronzer but also offers a beautifully bronzing and highlighting finish when used on its own.” I just tried the bronzer, and I found it gave the most dreamy subtle warmth to my face.
“A staple in my kit for decades, these bronzers are perfect for warming the skin,” Stiles says. “Not matte, but not shimmery, they bring a touch of the sun to the skin that reads completely natural.”
This new liquid bronzer from Milk makeup melts into skin seamlessly. It looks natural and makes my skin appear glowy and hydrated.
The best thing about this bronzer is that it goes on sheer, so it’s really easy to build it out to the intensity you want it. It’s my go-to when I want to look just a tad more sun-kissed.
If you like a more shimmery bronzer, this is the one for you. It blends easily with your fingers (or a brush) and imparts a subtle shimmer.
If you, like me, love multi-tasking beauty products, try this blush and bronzer duo out for size. You can layer colors, blend them together, and put them all over your face for a natural, healthy-looking glow.
This is the first bronzer I ever tried that I actually liked. It’s long-wearing, goes on so smoothly, and looks like your skin.
This cushiony, soft bronzer gives a subtle sheen without being sparkly, so it just makes your skin look dewy.
Leave it to Nars to have a bronzer that makes your skin look perfectly sun-kissed. This bronzer gives your face a bit of subtle warmth. Next up, Oh Sh*t, This TikTok Trick Shows How to Hack Your Way to Bella Hadid’s Jawline