When it comes to shopping for beauty products, there are certain items I think are worth investing a little more money in (I’ll admit, I’m boujee about my serums) and others that I’d be reluctant to splash extra cash on. Bronzer is one such product.
Much like mascaras, which, in my opinion, the best can be found on the high street, the most brilliant bronzers can be snapped up for less than £15. This means that getting gorgeously glowing skin this summer really doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Admittedly, a few years back this was a slightly different story, with high street bronzers typically only available in an extremely limited shade range (although, if we’re being honest, the offering wasn’t much better from higher-end brands). And if you could find a shade that suited, the likelihood of it being loaded with glitter was high. We’re talking disco ball levels of shimmer and shine.
Thankfully, high-street bronzers have since had a major glow-up with more sophisticated formulations and wider shade ranges, giving expensive bronzers a true run for their money.
How to choose the right bronzer for you
When choosing a bronzer that will work for you, there are a couple of tips I’ve picked up from makeup artists over the years. If you want a classic sun-kissed look, then seek out warm shades that are slightly reddish in undertone — it will help mimic that slightly flushed look that skin gets when you’ve been sitting out in the sun. If you’re looking for a bronzer that will give a more sculpted effect to the skin, cooler browns with a grey undertone will help you to achieve a more contoured look.
As for the texture? It’s totally down to personal preference. I love the look of a cream bronzer for a more natural, radiant finish, but tend to opt for a powder bronzer in the height of summer when I really want my makeup to stay put.
The 6 best high street bronzers
Ahead, my pick of the 6 best high street bronzers that I’ll be alternating all summer long.
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, £14.99
This is something of a cult bronzer among the beauty community, and its innovative formulation truly deserves all the hype. It’s a kind of cream-powder hybrid, infused with murumuru, cupuacu and tucum butters to give it a velvety-smooth texture that melts into your skin. Plus, it contains refined pearl pigments to provide a subtle shimmer that leaves skin looking silky, bright and glowy.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Longwear Soft Matte Bronzer, £12.99
When it comes to high street makeup with longevity, I’m a huge fan of the entire Infallible range and its bronzer really doesn’t disappoint. It’s a really finely-milled powder that can be dusted on lightly for a subtle sun-kissed look or layered up for a more intensely bronzed effect. And, it’s totally matte, so perfect if you’re looking for a high street bronzer with a natural, skin-like finish.
E.l.f. Putty Bronzer, £6
I genuinely can’t believe the price of this bronzer when it totally holds its own against products costing upwards of £40. Formulated with argan oil and vitamin E, it’s a creamy pigment that buffs into skin to deliver a subtly luminous glow. I like it best applied with fingertips. The most impressive thing, though, is the shade offering. Whether you want a contoured finish or a just-back-from-holiday tan, there’s a shade that suits.
Revolution Super Dewy Liquid Bronzer, £5
This high street bronzer is like holiday skin in a bottle. I wasn’t sure whether I’d get on with this at first as I thought it would be tricky to apply, but I dab the tiniest amount onto my cheeks using my fingers (a little goes a long way to be warned) then stipple it out with a makeup brush or sponge. As the name suggests, it leaves skin looking dewy, fresh and ultra-juicy, with a natural bronzy sheen.
Rimmel Radiance Shimmer Brick, £7.99
While I typically opt for a matte bronzer or one with just a subtle shine, sometimes the occasion calls for something a little more shimmery and that’s where this beautiful powder from Rimmel comes in. It’s a multipurpose product in that you can pick out individual strips of the powder to use as a highlighter, bronzer or eyeshadow, but I prefer to swish a fluffy brush through all of them and dust it over skin for an ultra-glowy bronzed finish that’s perfect for summer evenings.
NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer, £8.50
If you’re after a good contour-style product then this won’t be for you, as this high street bronzer is all about replicating that true ‘touched-by-the-sun’ effect. But if you’re looking to fake holiday skin in a flash then I can’t recommend it enough. Available in five russet bronze shades, from light to deep, it delivers a totally matte, incredibly natural colour to skin and always leaves me looking incredibly fresh and healthy.