How To Find the Perfect Bronzer Shade For Your Skin Tone Once and For All

How To Choose the Right Bronzer Shade

You don’t even know there’s a right bronzer shade for your skin tone until you apply the wrong shade onto your cheeks! If you don’t like wearing bronzer, or if you think that a bronzer is not what people are making it out to be, it might be because you haven’t found the right one yet. Because trust me, everybody looks amazing with bronzer! You probably just don’t know how to choose the right bronzer shade. And that’s understandable because it’s as difficult as finding your foundation match.

I’m a makeup hoarder and I have bronzers lying around untouched that have already been discontinued or had a package makeover! And the fact that you shouldn’t buy a bronzer based on how cute the color looks is something I’ve learned the hard way! But my loss is your gain because your quest ends here.

Below is your guide to finding the best bronzer shade and colors for your skin so that you can achieve the perfect warmth your skin needs to fake a day under the sun. And don’t worry. You won’t just get a few color recommendations. You’ll actually understand how you can do this yourself so that next time you try a new bronzer, you’ll know how to navigate the color palette yourself to select the right ones for your complexion.

How To Choose the Right Bronzer Shade

Your bronzer should have the same undertone as your skin and be a few shades darker than your skin tone. So to find the right bronzer for your skin, you need to consider both your skin tone and skin undertone.

Your skin tone is the surface color of your skin that you see when you look in the mirror. Your skin undertone is the underlying hue beneath that surface.

And concerning your bronzer choice, your skin tone decides the shade of your bronzer as in how dark or light. And your skin undertone decides the actual color of the bronzer as in peach or red.

Match The Bronzer Color with Your Undertone

The first step is matching your bronzer color with your skin’s undertones. There are three main types of skin undertones: warm, cool, and neutral.

If you don’t know which one you have, a very common way of identifying your skin’s undertones is with the help of jewelry. If gold complements your skin, it means you have warm undertones. And if silver complements your skin, it means you have cool undertones. Lastly, if you can’t tell which one suits you or both of them suits, it means you have neutral undertones.


Warm undertones refer to yellow, peach, and golden colors. If you have warm undertones, go for bronzers with warm undertones such as golden brown or caramel.


Cool undertones refer to pink, red, and bluish colors. If you have cool undertones, go for bronzers that are soft browns such as lightly pigmented taupe.


Neutral undertones refer to a mix of warm and cool. If you have neutral undertones, avoid shades that are too cool or too warm, and go for true browns like chocolate.

Choose the Bronzer Shade Based on Your Skin Tone

Now that you have found your undertone, it’s time for step two and that’s finding out how light or deep you should go with your bronzer. And you do that based on your skin tone. Skin tones are generally categorized as fair, light, medium, or deep.


People with fair skin tones usually have cool or neutral undertones. If you have fair skin, you should avoid deep shades that create too much contrast in your complexion, which looks unnatural. Go for very light peach colors that almost look like blush or light beige and light tan.


Light skin tones can go up about 2 shades darker and experiment with medium shades like golden and peach bronzers or more neutral shades like rosy brown or dusty rose. If your skin is between light and medium such as olive skin tone, you can try copper.


Medium skin tones are the most versatile. You can try a range of bronzer shades from warm to neutral undertones and go 2-3 shades deeper. Cinnamon is a flattering shade for people with medium skin tones. Or if your skin leans more towards tan, you can go for darker bronzer shades like chocolate brown.


According to Wayne Goss, one of my all-time favorite makeup artists, all bronzers have red undertones because that’s how you imitate a natural tan. Based on that, if you have a deep skin tone, go for a bronzer with deep red undertones. Maroon or chestnut brown could create the necessary pop of color for a deeper skin tone.

So this is how to choose the right bronzer shade and color based on your skin tone and undertone. In the simplest terms, you should make sure that the bronzer matches your skin’s undertones and that it’s two or three shades darker than your skin tone. That’s it! That’s the roadmap to finding the best one that complements your skin and doesn’t appear ashy or orange. If you’re new to bronzing, learn how to apply bronzer to get that dreamy, sun-kissed skin.

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