Monday, March 19, 2012

My Top 5 Bronzers & Best Ways to Choose the Right One

Summer is coming and of course we can't skip bronzer in our makeup routine! I honestly can't live without a bronzer, I would feel really incomplete without having it on my face, haha. No matter what season at the moment, how cloudy the day is, I will never forget to apply bronzer. The reason why is a bronzer can really define your features, and make your face look slimmer (click here to find out how)! So in this post, I want to share my top five favorite bronzers of all time. Trust me, I have tried so many bronzers and I swear by these five bronzers! :)

Before I jump to the top five, let me tell you on three best ways to pick bronzers.

  • Choose a color that is two to three shades darker than your skin tone. Not too dark, but at least you can tell the color difference on your face. So, you can always use beauty powder, pressed powder, powder foundation, or even cream foundation that is darker than your skin tone. 
  • Use matte finish bronzer. I personally prefer matte than shimmer bronzer, I am pretty sure a lot of people will agree on this. Matte bronzer will define your face better, and most importantly, you don't want shimmer all over your face. TheBalm Betty-Lou Manizer is an example of a shimmery bronzer. When you want to have a shimmer on your face, use a shimmery blush or highlighter instead. A shimmery blush is only applied onto your cheeks, but bronzers are applied onto your cheekbones, temples, jawlines, side of the nose, so you don't want shimmers on these features. If you still want a shimmery bronzer, pick one that has subtle shimmer, which means the shimmer is barely there, but still noticeable. 
  • Find a bronzer that has a medium brown shade or looks like a natural skin tan. Some bronzers contain redness or a hint of orange, and this will look unattractive. The reason why bronzers are created is to create a natural shadow on your face by a technique called contouring. So, if your bronzers are more to orangey shades, this will make the shadows look fake. 
Now lets see my top 5 bronzers! 

1. Benefit Hoola Bronzer 

This is my number one favorite bronzer, I have gone through three boxes of this. It is matte and the perfect natural tan shade. This will appear well on light and medium skin tone. 
Where to buy: Sephora,, $28 for 0.28 oz.

2. Smashbox Bronze Lights in Suntan Matte 

As you can see, I have hit the pan of this bronzer, and this is my second container of it. I am going to wait until I can't get the products anymore and then buy the third one ;) I love this bronzer because it is a deep tan but very warm. I know this bronzer from Kim Kardashian's makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, I came to his makeup workshop last year and he said he'd swear by this bronzer. He uses this bronzer on Kim and all of his clients because all skin tone can rock this bronzer. So I tried it on, and fell in love with it. This Bronze Lights also comes in another shade called Sunkissed Matte, which is lighter than Suntan Matte but has an orange tint to it. 
Where to buy: Sephora,, $29 for 0.3oz

3. NARS Laguna Bronzer 

This is the only shimmery bronzer that I love. As you can see in the swatch above, there is a slight shimmer with the gold flecks on it, but the shimmer is very subtle. This is why I like the NARS Laguna, it gives you a glow with the appropriate amount of shimmer. And of course I have hit the pan, and this is my third container! I usually use this during summer. 

Where to buy: Sephora,, $34 for 0.28 oz. 

3. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder

This bronzer from Too Faced is very matte and has a scent of cocoa powder. I honestly do not like the smell, but a lot of people do. This bronzer is sheer that you can build up the intense of it. The shade itself is very warm and deep, and you'll look naturally tan! :) 
Where to buy: Sephora,, $29

5. MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in Dark 

This is my new favorite bronzer and I have reviewed this on another post last month, so please read it for more in-depth about it (click here to read). Anyway, this is from the Cook MAC collection which is still available! So, you'd better hurry up if you'd like to purchase one. As you can see its name, it is a pressed powder, not a bronzer. However, I use this as a bronzer to contour my cheek, and OMG! It really gives me a subtle and natural glow, and perfect for camera! 
Where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, $23 for 0.35 oz.

So that's all of my top bronzers! These are the products that I will continue to repurchase, but I do not know about MAC Studio Careblend since it is a limited edition product and I do not buy a backup for it. So when it is gone, probably I have found another favorite bronzer, or just stick with the other four :) 

Please share with me what is your favorite bronzer. I am a bronzer junkie, so I'd loveeeeeeeee to know what is your favorite :) Who knows it can be my favorite too! Leave in the comment below, or let me know on Twitter or Facebook!

I'll talk to you soon!!!! 

Love you, 

Compare the swatches!
Left to Right: MAC Studio Careblend in Dark, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Bronzer, Smashbox Bronze Lights in Suntan Matte, Benefit Hoola Bronzer. 


  1. My favorite bronzers are the ELF Golden Bronzer and Clinique Almost Bronzer :)

    1. Thanks for sharing!!! Definitely will check them out :)

  2. great post!~ i have been looking for a highlighter for weeks. think i will definitely pick up hoola knowing you've purchased three boxes!~ =)

    1. Thank you!!! Yeapp I love Hoola so much! It is matte, and really gives you that natural tan look. ;)

  3. My favorite bronzer are hoola and sleek contour kit #light.. But I'd love to try chocolate soleil & nars laguna <3

    Thx for sharing!

  4. which one do u suggest for medium olive skintone (NC40,indonesian skin)? which one between too feced choclate soleil n smashbox suntan matte? since i already have hoola, n it looks dirty on my cheek..

  5. I've heard so many wonderful things about Benefit Cosmetics Hoola and I'm adding it to my WISH LIST>