These Shimmer Bronzers Help Fake a Beach Vacation

Best Shimmer Bronzers

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I think the best part about shimmer bronzers is that you don’t have to spend 40 minutes to figure out where the bronzer goes and where the highlighter goes. They take the guesswork out of bronzer application because a shimmer bronzer doesn’t even need a super precise application!

If you’ve never used one before, a shimmer bronzer is just like a regular bronzer but has a glowy finish. It’s like bronzer meets highlighter. Shimmer bronzers come in powder, stick, and cream form. They give you beachy bronze, sun-kissed skin and leave a glistening effect on the cheeks with just a few swipes.

The shimmer varies considerably! There are blindingly glowy options as well as subtle ones with a nice sheen. That’s why shimmer bronzers work on all skin types, tones, and textures. If you’re wondering what’s out there, below are the best shimmer bronzers to try.

Best Shimmer Bronzers

1. Nars Laguna Bronzer Powder

Nars Laguna Bronzer Powder - Best Shimmer Bronzer

This one reigns supreme over others as it has the most subtle shimmer wrapped in a bronzer. It comes in 9 different shades, one of which is going to be your new favorite for glowy makeup. The pigmentation is not super strong, so you can’t overdo it. But it’s absolutely buildable.

It’s great for natural, everyday makeup to get a barely-there shimmer with the perfect amount of sun-kissed bronze. It does fade a little bit throughout the day. So if you need a long-lasting effect, you might want to set it with a setting spray.

Quick Tip: This powder bronzer comes in cream form as well. The cream version, Nars Laguna Bronzing Cream, is equally flattering but it’s more pigmented. It blends very easily and has a subtle sheen that allows you to use the bronzer to lightly sculpt and contour the face as well.

Shades: 9
Size: 0.038 oz/11 gr
Good to Know: Paraben-free

2. Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer

Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer - Best Shimmer Bronzer For Medium Skin

This one is a dual bronzer that comes in two shades. It has a pink undertone, which is supposed to mimic the flush of a real tan. I don’t know about that but I can say that it looks like you’re wearing both a blush and bronzer, which ends up giving you the most natural-looking brown.

And it brings your whole makeup together with a luminous finish. You will not need to wear blush when you’re wearing this. The only downside is that you have a single shade to work with, which works better for medium skin tones.

Shades: 1
Size: 0.28 oz/8 gr

3. Kosas The Sun Show Glowy Warmth Baked Bronzer

Kosas The Sun Show Glowy Warmth Baked Bronzer

The good thing about this baked bronzer is that you can either get the shade for your skin tone or get different shades and mix and match to highlight, bronze, and sculpt. They’re all very lightly shimmery, which is great for natural, summer makeup.

The lightest shade has warm undertones to bring warmth to fair skin tones without looking muddy. The medium shade has a peachy undertone that gives you just the right amount of definition. And the deepest shade has red undertones, which look incredibly rich and pretty on darker skin tones.

Shades: 5
Size: 0.21 oz/6 gr
Good to Know: Cruelty-free, vegan

4. Milani Baked Bronzer

Milani Baked Bronzer -  Best Affordable Shimmer Bronzer

This is another baked bronzer to achieve sun-kissed skin but this is more budget-friendly. It feels super light on the skin, blends in seamlessly, and leaves your complexion absolutely glowing.

It just brings about a healthy glow onto the cheeks. The vegan bronzer is baked, so it feels velvety on the skin. That means you can apply it both with your fingers and with a brush.

Shades: 3
Size: 0.25 oz/7 gr
Good to Know: Vegan, cruelty-free

5. Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer - Best Cream Shimmer Bronzer

Cream bronzers come in handy for a more natural, dab-it-and-leave-it type of makeup. They’re also easier to work with on textured skin or aging skin all because of their blurring and blending effect.

This cream, buttery formula has the most amazing dewy finish. It’s made with emollient oils, blends into the skin seamlessly, and leaves your complexion fresh and glowy. The radiance is impossible to miss, so it’s a dewy makeup must-have.

Shades: 5
Size: 0.158 oz/4.5 gr
Good to Know: Fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free

6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer -  Best Shimmer Bronzer

This one is similar to Nars Laguna Bronzer Powder in that they both have a very subtle shimmery finish. But this one is a little more pigmented. It’s not the best for contouring or sculpting unless you want to. But it’s excellent for warming up the skin and faking a sunny day at the beach.

It blends well even on bare skin if you want to go foundation-free. It gives you that multi-dimensional glow to give depth to the complexion without contour. It’s also a super flattering bronzer for mature skin.

Shades: 3
Size: 0.39 oz/11 gr
Good to Know: Cruelty-free

7. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer -  Best Drugstore Shimmer Bronzer

This powder formula is a cult favorite for its affordability and the fact that you get a fair amount of product. The three shades, which have cool undertones, make it easier to sculpt the face and define your features. The shimmer is subtle, so you can use it all over the face without looking sparkly.

The lightest shade is the best shimmer bronzer for very light skin. The medium shade, if you ask me, and if I’m being honest, is useless. So whether you have medium, olive, or dark skin tone, go for the darkest shade and build slowly.

Shades: 3
Size: 0.41 oz/11.6 gr

8. Cover FX Monochromatic Bronzer Duo

Cover FX Monochromatic Bronzer Duo - Best Shimmer Bronzer

This bronzer duo has both a matte and a shimmer shade. It’s so convenient. If you’re not ready to fully invest in a glow bronzer, this one allows you to experiment. You have your regular bronzer to sculpt and warm up the skin. And if you feel like it, you can always dab into the shimmer option to bring a youthful radiance into the complexion.

Additionally, you can use them together at the same time for a seamlessly blended, overall glowy, and highlighted look. This one is good for all seasons! The shade Suntan Bronze has red undertones which looks amazing on medium skin tones.

Shades: 2
Size: 0.51 oz/14.5 gr

9. Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette

Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette - Best Shimmer Bronzer

If you prefer a face palette to get the glow going on all fronts, then you’re going to love this powder glow palette. Besides a seriously glowy bronzer, you have a blush and two highlighters to complete your look. And by the way, these are all ‘what you see is what you get’, meaning that yes, they are that glowy and that pigmented.

They are all high-impact and richly pigmented. The Universal palette is great for light skin tones and offers warm undertones. The Glitz palette can be used for medium skin tones and can be built up for darker skin tones. Either way, the palette is great for blindingly glowing skin.

Shades: 2
Size: 0.4 oz/12 ml

10. Huda GloWish Soft Radiance Bronzing Powder

Huda GloWish Soft Radiance Bronzing Powder

This is my recent favorite for its seamless shimmer formulated in a very pigmented bronzer. My skin is going through this phase where it doesn’t agree with my powder products but I’m still able to use this one because the formula doesn’t cling on to my dry patches.

The powder is super velvety and feels incredibly soft on the skin. It’s deeply pigmented, incredibly easy to blend and apply, and leaves an elegant shimmer. It also works as a soft contour.

Shades: 5
Size: 0.28 oz/8 gr
Good to Know: Cruelty-free, vegan, fragrance-free

So these are some of the best shimmer bronzers you can try. Remember that bronzers look unnatural when you overdo it. So it’s best to start very slowly and build up from there especially if you have very light skin.

How to Apply Shimmer Bronzer

To properly apply your shimmer bronzer, get a little amount on your powder brush. Start by pressing your brush onto the hollows of the cheeks and slowly blend towards the center of your face. This is going to give you an overall warm and defined look. Don’t forget to apply it across the forehead closer to your hairline and down the temples and your jawline as well.

To achieve that sun-kissed look, give more focus to the center of your face. Apply it liberally on the bridge of the nose and a little bit on the sides of the nose scattered towards the cheeks but still closer to the under-eye area. As your nose is the first place the sun hits, this is the best way to fake sun-kissed skin. If you want to learn more, here’s how to apply bronzer.


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