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14 Blendable, Expert-Approved Bronzers That Warm Up Any Look

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Highlighters and luminizers tend to get most of the attention when it comes to glow-giving makeup bag staples, but the humble bronzer can be just as impactful. All it takes is the right formula and a few strategic flicks of a fluffy brush to sculpt, enhance and warm up any complexion.

“By adding a bronzer to a makeup look, you are essentially adding a natural warmth to the skin that creates a healthy glow,” Kevin Kodra, Nudestix‘s global makeup artist, tells Fashionista.

Bronzers and contouring products are frequently mistaken for one another — after all, they’re both applied to similar areas of the face (see: cheeks, foreheads, along the jawline) and can come in similar tones. But they’re not the same: Contouring deals in shadows (accentuating the natural curves of one’s face), while bronzers focus on warmth, depth and radiance.

“If you like to define your features, you would reach for contouring products,” Kevyn Aucoin Beauty‘s Head Makeup Artist Drita Paljevic explains. This means turning to more gray-based tones that absorb light (rather than reflect it) and avoiding shimmer at all costs. “If you like to bring warmth to your face, you would reach for a bronzer.”

With powder, cream, liquid and stick formulas filling the market, there’s a bronzer for every skin type and skill level. Paljevic recommends Kevyn Aucoin’s The Neo-Bronzer, a three-hue gradient powder offering a subtle glow; Kodra often reaches for Nudestix’s Nudies Bronze, a blendable and buildable cream bronzer that plays well with powders.

Kodra’s best tip for the perfect bronzer application? Zero in on the areas of the face where the sun would naturally hit, like the high points of your features. “It’s never just the cheeks, but all-over the high points, from the upper cheek bones, forehead, eyes, bridge of the nose and chin,” he says.

In addition to gradually building up coverage when applying bronzer to your face’s high points, Paljevic recommends bringing bronzer down to the upper chest area to achieve a seamless, natural-looking glow all over.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite bronzers (and our experts’ favorites). Keep scrolling to see (and shop!) all of our picks.

Nudestix Nudies Bronze, $35, available here

Haus Labs by Lady Gaga Power Sculpt Velvet Bronzer with Fermented Arnica, $38, available here

Juvia’s Place Bronzed Cream Bronzer, $18, available here

Colourpop Bronze Stix, $10, available here

Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Bronzer, $40, available here

Elf Cosmetics Putty Bronzer, $7, available here

Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer, $35, available here

Glossier Cloud Paint Gel Cream Bronzer, $22, available here

Good Weird Back From Vacay Bronzer, $24, available here

Mango People Sun-Kissed Cream Bronzer Stick, $27, available here

Lys Beauty No Limits Matte Bronzer, $19, available here

Pixi On-the-Glow Bronze Tinted Moisture Stick, $18, available here

Make Beauty Skin Mimetic Microsuede Powder Bronzer, $32, available here

Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer, $32, available here

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