There are so many reasons I love my bronzers, and staying away from harmful rays is definitely one of them. But, my for real reason is that the right bronzer can give you that perfect sun-kissed glow year-round. I get that some of us are lucky enough to hit the beach several times a year (or even live near one!), but as a homegrown Canadian, winter hits hard and lasts forever. That means that summer colour fades and in sets the green undertone… yippee.
Pulling together fashionable yet wearable makeup looks is a fun hobby for me. I used to play with makeup for the obvious benefits: it made me look better. But the truth is, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve settled into my looks and now, although makeup still enhances what I have, it’s actually just fun to play around and mix colours and metallic and bold liners with pale lips – I kind of really enjoy however many minutes I have to myself, music on, applying makeup.
But, I digress. Back to bronzers. All playing aside, bronzers are, at the very least, the one item every person should have on their makeup counter all year-long. Mascara is also one of those must-haves. Ok, so two of the essentials have been established (lol!). I’ve scoured the ends of the earths to find some of the best makeup products, but when it comes to bronzers, I have my one shop that has it all (thank you Sephora). Most of the time I go into Sephora and browse to see what matches my pigment, but I kind of have my favourites already, so I just hit auto-purchase and checkout online.
Here are my top 5 bronzers from Sephora (and the world):
Weightless and silky smooth, I think Nars really hit it out of the park with their bronzer. It’s my go-to recommendation for any friend who asks about bronzers. They have a few colours, but Laguna works for almost anyone between fair, medium, and even dark. The pigment is translucent and applies with a matte finish. Add to that the perfect shimmer that mutes out all imperfections, and voilà! Nars for the win. They even sell it in a blush/bronzer combo pack… I mean honestly, thank you Nars.
So, I wear the medium-to-deep matte finish in the Too Faced brand called Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer. I always choose one to two shades darker when it comes to bronzers and the Too Faced just matches my complexion perfectly. It lasts forever and has a secret (not-so-secret) ingredient… real cocoa powder! It’s a warm bronzer (feels and looks like the sun hit your face) and as an added bonus, it smells as good as it looks!
Benefit Cosmetics has been one of my favourite cosmetic brands for a long time… like childhood long. With their iconic Hoola Matte Bronzer, I get a super natural-looking glow that leaves me looking tanned and healthy (even in the winter!). It’s ideal for skin of my complexion, especially the natural bronze colour I use. Sometimes, I even use it as a finishing powder, which means rather than applying on my temples, cheekbones, and jawline, I kind of just loosely apply powder all over my face. It also works as a contouring powder (but you’ll need to get the highlighter separately).
This bronzer is kind of like the Olympics of bronzers: it has a micro-fine, jet-milled powder and advanced pigment technology. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but either way, it leaves my skin looking flawless! The O! Mega Bronzer Perfect Tan by Marc Jacobs is smooth, silky, and bronzer 101 – the Tantric is universal – it’s perfect for anyone!
I chose the illuminating Ambient Lighting Bronzer from the Hourglass collection. It honestly looks like I spent a week in Tulum with this bronzer. It not only gives a natural glow to your face that is radiating, but it also adds dimension and depth (kind of like a contour finish). It has the perfect balance of pigments and applies seamlessly so you won’t have any streaks on your face. It’s got great balance and the blending is built in. I really love this bronzer, and isn’t the zebra striping effect in the packaging just another level of beautiful?
All of these bronzers have something unique about them, but the thing that ties them all together is that they are all technologically advanced to offer the perfect balance of depth, colour, and contour. Translucent and soft, they are long-lasting and diffuse naturally into the skin for a healthy glow every day of the year. I don’t shy away from makeup, but even for those who go au naturel on the daily could benefit from a touch of sun.
Photography by Patricia Brochu