Bronzer has had a torrid few seasons. Our obsession with adding warmth to our faces seemingly began some time in the mid-to-late Noughties, albeit with a far less nuanced view on application. Back then, it was all about swirling as much powder bronzer onto your brush as possible and caking it on to your entire face with abandon.
A few years later our bronzer use became (a little) more refined, as Kim Kardashian reintroduced the world to an old school makeup technique called contouring. We used cream and powder bronzer to heavily sculpt our cheekbones and slim our jawlines, using deeper shades to change and manipulate the very proportions of our faces.
Now bronzer application has become far less liberal, as the current less-is-more aesthetic requires only a touch of color to create depth, add glow and subtly contour. Cream bronzer is also now preferred over powder due to its natural finish, making it easy to blend and buff into the complexion for a barely-there effect.
Here are a few of GRAZIA‘s favorite cream bronzers to fake a natural glow, sans sun (and telltale streaks).
Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick, SHOP NOW
This buttery formula melts seamlessly into the skin, with the stick format making application absurdly simple.
Tom Ford Shade And Illuminate, SHOP NOW
A cult favorite duo for a reason, this luxe cream bronzer is perfect for adding warmth, while the accompanying highlighter gives skin a believable sheen.
Mecca Max Off Duty Contour Stick, SHOP NOW
For a more cost-effective option, you can’t go past this new formula from MECCA MAX. It comes in three shades – Medium, Deep and Rich – so all skin tones are covered.
Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer, SHOP NOW
Fake a healthy glow sans sun damage with this super blendable cream bronzer, which can be a lightly layered or built up for more intense definition.
Chanel healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, SHOP NOW
The Rolls Royce of cream bronzer, this beloved Chanel formula now comes in two shades – Soleil Tan Bronze and Deep Bronze – to suit all complexions. The silky cream delivers effortless natural color, without unsightly streaks.
All products featured on GRAZIA are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, GRAZIA may earn an affiliate commission.