12 best bronzers for dark skin tones
Lacking colour this winter? Worry not. We’ve got the perfect pick for all of you glo-getters
It’s official: summer is over. But just because the sunlight hours are getting shorter doesn't mean we can't emulate a sun-kissed glow.
As the old adage goes, you must fake it till you make it, and there’s no better way to do that than with the humble bronzer. Whether you are looking for a warm subtle glow, or to enhance your bone structure with contouring, there are plenty of products perfect for the job.
Because the effects of winter are more visibly pronounced on darker skin tones, we often find that during the colder months our skin can look a bit lacklustre. And something as little as bronzer can elevate our look. There are powders, liquids, creams and buildable products, which means there are bronzers for every undertone. Here’s our best pick.
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel: £40 for 30g, John Lewis
For those who prefer a cream texture, Chanel’s Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Make-Up Base offers blendable, velvety bronzing either beneath or on top of makeup, or it can leave you looking sun-kissed worn alone. Gently sweep across your cheek bones, temples and forehead for an overall glow.
Iconic London Illuminator: £30 for 13.5ml, Iconic London
This is one of the world’s most sought after bronzers if you are looking for an extra pop on those defined cheekbones. Each drop of this highly-concentrated liquid shimmer can be added to foundation, primer or moisturiser for a super-versatile customisable glow. If you’re one with a penchant for dewy skin, this one is for you.
Our perfect shade: Glow
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer: £45 for 11g, Harrods
This bronzer delivers an impeccable glow, thanks to the intense bronze pigments. It comes in various shades and sizes; including travel-size, which is perfect for an in-flight makeover. The formula is buildable, adding depth to an otherwise dull-looking complexion, so if you are looking for a brightener during winter months, this is for you. Brush gently along the temples, hollows of cheeks and jawline for a defined contour.
Our perfect shade: Luminous Bronze Light
Mac Mineralize Skinfinish: £25.50 for 10g, Look Fantastic
Part bronzer and part highlighter, MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow is a shimmering gold bronze perfect for adding radiance and warmth to sun-starved skin. Simply glide across the cheek bones for a warm glaze, either worn alone or on top of makeup.
Our perfect shade: Global Glow
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops: £34 for 15ml, Harrods
Cover FX drops produce coverage ranging from completely opaque to just a hint of tint thanks to its buildable ability. Once you mix one to four drops with the liquids in your skincare routine (e.g. serums, lotions, oils), its pigment-rich particles evaporate, allowing the formula to blend easily without altering the texture or consistency of your moisturiser.
Our perfect shade: Candlelight
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate: £60, Selfridges
If there’s one product to have in your makeup bag, it is this one. Favoured by some of the world’s best make-up artists and influencers, its cult-status is warranted. The cream duo offers both a highlight and a bronzer and gives the skin the glow it deserves. Thanks to its adaptability, it can also be worn alone, or on top of makeup for an added lift. It comes in two shades; intensity one and intensity two.
Our perfect shade: Intensity Two
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour: £42, Harvey Nichols
For a subtle, all over glow, this golden powder is easily buildable over foundation or without and is easy to sweep across cheeks, temples and the bridge of your nose. Its lightweight formula delivers a radiant, but natural tan thanks to its mineral pigments and active ingredient, Kalanchoe extract. Just one swoop with the half-moon brush leaves the skin looking flawless.
Our perfect shade: Deep
Dior Nude Air Tan Powder: £37.97 for 10g, Notino
If you can get your hands on this powder, grab it while you can because it sells out very quickly. The cult-status product from Dior is amazing, simply because of its highly-pigmented formula. It comes in plenty of shades, all delivering a healthy sun-kissed glow all year round without leaving your skin patchy or uneven. This powder acts like a thinly painted veil, so is perfect for those who prefer a no-makeup makeup look. It also comes with a mini kabuki brush, handy!
Our perfect shade: 003 Cinnamon
Black Up Sublime Powder: £27.50 for 0.33oz, Black Up
This gorgeous powder's texture is silky, lightweight and blends right into the skin. It creates a flawless, warm glow thanks to the perfect ratio between pigments and shimmers. It doesn’t turn white or chalky on darker skin tones and is suitable for those who have gold and copper undertones. The powder comes in five shades and is suitable for vegans.
Our perfect shade: PS 03
Nars Laguna Liquid Bronzer: £27 for 30ml, Harvey Nichols
If powders or creams just aren’t your thing, then you’ll love the Nars’ iconic Laguna liquid bronzer. It’s perfect for blurring imperfections whilst leaving your skin with an all-natural glow. It works really well for those with darker skin tones as its consistency is buildable. Gently flick across your cheekbones, cupid’s bow and nose for an all-day dewy look.
Our perfect shade: Laguna
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder: £28.50 for 7.5g, Harvey Nichols
This is perfect for those with oily skin, it's matte formula is perfect for adding warmth without extra shine. It wakes up dull-looking skin with a subtle but radiant finish, great if you love a barely there look. Its sheer, buildable formula feels completely weightless on the skin but also lasts all day. Although it's matte, the product can also be used for highlighting thanks to its multidimensional formula.
Our perfect shade: 04
Bobbi Brown Bronzer: £32 for 10g, Look Fantastic
This lightweight powder bronzer by Bobbi Brown has been created with the perfect balance of red and brown tones, making it ideal for medium to dark skin tones. There are seven shades to choose from including Natural, Golden Light and Dark, but we think the best shade is Golden Deep.
Our perfect shade: Deep
Verdict: Best bronzers for dark skin tones
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel takes the top spot for us, simply because a little goes a long way, it’s affordable and it delivers the most beautiful glow. Its buildable formula looks great either worn alone or with makeup. We also loved Nars’ liquid bronzer because it delivered an amazing dewy glow and leaves your skin looking bright and healthy.
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