A bronzer imitates the glow of a natural tan. The warm tones add contour and warmth to the face.
But which is the best bronzer for Asian skin?
It’s a tricky question because many Asian cultures smile upon fair skin, not the suntanned look. That’s why sometimes bronzer takes the place of highlighter and contour makeup to add dimension.
Also, many Western bronzers don’t flatter Asian skin tones. They may appear rosier or orange. The key is finding the correct undertone.
How do I choose the right bronzer for my skin tone?
The best bronzers will give Asian skin a healthy glow. Let’s discuss how to choose flattering colors for different skin tones.
Learn your undertone
The first thing to do is to decide what your undertone is. Look at your wrist in natural daylight. What color are your veins?
- If they look green, you have a warm undertone.
- If they are blue or purple, you have a cool undertone.
- If the colors seem to blend both blue and green, you have a neutral undertone.
We realize that it’s difficult for some people to see the difference. Therefore, you can also compare how your skin looks while wearing gold and silver jewelry (1).
Silver looks nice on cool undertones, while gold highlights warm undertones. If it doesn’t matter, you likely have neutral undertones.
Then, there’s the white paper test. Stand in daylight and hold a blank sheet up to your face. If your face looks more olive or yellow, you have warm undertones. On the other hand, if you have a rosy flush, you’re probably cool-toned.
Again, if you can’t tell the difference, you’re probably neutral.
Now that you’ve discovered your undertone, it’s time to choose a bronzer.
Match the undertone
Bronzer is meant to mimic a tan, so it needs to match your natural color. If you have warm undertones, try a bronzer that’s peachy, caramel, or golden.
If you have cool undertones, rosy and cinnamon will look better.
There are also bronzers with neutral undertones, like soft brown.
In any case, don’t go more than three shades darker than your skin color.
Consider texture, too
It’s not just the color that matters, but also the texture. By that, we mean whether the bronzer is matte or shimmery.
You’ll have to decide whether you want a bronzer that blends into the contours or highlights them.
How do you apply bronzer on Asian skin?
There are lots of videos with advice about contouring, but not so many about bronzing.
For starters, you’ll need a brush to apply it and blend it.
Next, after you tap off the excess powder, pass the brush along your hairline, the highest part of the cheekbones, and along the jawline. The bronzer will emphasize those lines.
Blend in circular motions with the brush until it looks perfect. Now, you’re done, unless you want a little more depth.
Some makeup artists follow up by brushing a little bronzer on the bridge of the nose and the neck. They may also use bronzer as eyeshadow.
Also, you can prevent streaking by applying translucent powder before bronzing. It allows it to glide and blend more smoothly.
Best Bronzers for Asian Skin in 2023
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
Does bronzer seem like a turnoff because it’s just another dry powder that leaves your skin chalky? Not this one – it’s smooth like butter.
That’s not surprising when you know it moisturizes with three types of plant butter: murumuru, tucuma, and cupuaçu. It’s surprisingly lightweight and straightforward to blend with either a brush or your fingers.
The subtle shimmer makes the skin radiant with tiny particles of refined pearls, mica, and sapphire. They call it the “warm island glow”.
What’s more, this bronzer leaves out parabens, gluten, oil, and animal derivatives. This is a vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic. It won’t irritate the eyes or sensitive skin.
Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic
Here’s a palette of different bronzer shades for contouring. Mix them however you want, or use the colors independently.
The light colors are too pale for dark skin tones. However, the bronzer is formulated for sensitive skin and eyes. It’s fragrance-free, won’t clog pores, and contains no gluten or oil.
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
This brand makes bronzers for all skin tones. Each one is silky and matte for a flawless, natural appearance. It’s highly pigmented yet blends smoothly.
Since there are so many colors available, there’s no excuse for not enjoying a sun-kissed appearance year-round.
We checked the ingredients and were pleased to see there are no parabens.
Also, many reviewers were pleased with how long the bronzer lasted.
RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer
If you love botanicals, this bronzer features wild-crafted Buriti oil from Brazil. It’s rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A to nourish the skin.
While you wear it, natural nutrients like rosemary, cocoa seed butter, and jojoba oil pamper your complexion. It’s made with non-GMO, non-nano ingredients. There’s no soy or gluten, either.
Moreover, the creamy bronzer is easy to blend with fingers. It’s sheer, not sparkly, and free of gray, pink, and orange tones. The smooth consistency provides even coverage.
Undone Beauty Water Bronzer Stick
The amber shade is ideal for neutral and yellow undertones. It’s warm and natural, just like the scent of this bronzer.
It smells clean and fresh, like coconuts in the sunshine. The water-based formula is perfect for acne-prone skin as it won’t clog pores.
Also, it’s vegan, paraben-free, and gluten-free. It even comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
NARS Bronzing Powder
Here’s the best bronzer for mature skin. It camouflages fine lines and large pores and makes a dull complexion radiant once more.
It delivers a subtle shimmer along with sheer color for easily blended coverage.
Furthermore, it’s available in a deep brown that goes well with olive and medium skin tones.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
It’s always nice when we splurge on luxury cosmetics that deliver what they promise. This bronzer has Photoluminescent Technology that enhances the appearance of the skin.
Instead of making your cheekbones look flat, it has optically transparent particles that manipulate the light. It adds a warm glow without looking like a mask.
Furthermore, it’s buildable and doesn’t require any particular skill for blending. Treat it like you would any other bronzer, and you’ll still see a positive difference.
Believe it or not, this is a handcrafted product. It’s fragile in the compact. On the bright side, if the cake breaks, it’s still usable.
It’s vegan and made without parabens, artificial dyes, nanoparticles, and fragrances.
LAURA GELLER NEW YORK Baked Bronze-N-Brighten Bronzer
Choose from light, medium, or dark shades. Each color will give you a healthy glow throughout the day.
This is a paraben-free bronzer packed with antioxidants to defend the skin. Centella asiatica, tea leaf, and vitamin E counteract premature aging and environmental pollution.
Feel free to use it in place of foundation or mix it with your makeup to boost its radiance. It’s also handy for monochromatic nude eyes.
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzing Powder
Pretty much every beauty blogger ever has tried this bronzer. Why all the fuss?
For one, it seems to make the face look slimmer. It’s popular for contouring Asian skin. But it really only works on pale complexions.
Second, it comes in a cute little compact with a large fluffy brush. Pop it in your bag and take it everywhere you go.
And finally, it has a matte finish that looks natural and surprisingly not as orange as you’d think.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY Filmstar Bronze & Glow
This brand was established by a famous makeup artist. That’s why you can depend on this bronzer doing precisely what it promises.
It illuminates the complexion with a slight shimmer and rich color. The trick is learning to make the most of the Light Flex Technology. We recommend watching a video or two and practicing.
The two-pack of powder will give you a celebrity glow when you get it right.
Becca Sunlit Bronzer – Capri Coast By Becca for Women
Get the best of both a powder and a liquid with this creamy bronzer. It provides a subtle tan with a hint of shimmer.
The shade is best suited for light skin tones. But it’s perfect if you’re reluctant to go full bore with a bronzer.
It provides plenty of coverage and doesn’t look orange.
bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer
There are four shades of this subtle bronzer available. The colors are suitable for most skin tones.
It’s sheer and lightweight, with a tiny bit of sparkle that won’t look overdone.
The manufacturer describes it as a “multidimensional mineral bronzer”. That’s because it adds depth as well as delicious radiance to the complexion.
If you hate working with chunks in your compact, this bronzer is more resistant than most. It’s also free of parabens, phthalates, and fillers.
Palladio Baked Bronzer
There are three shades available for this shimmery bronzer. Users say it stays on all day, and it doesn’t turn orange.
The luminescent powder can be used dry or wet, depending on the effect you desire. Dry creates a natural glow, and wet creates a more vivid effect.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Matte Bronzer
Which is the best drugstore bronzer for Asian skin? We think that NYX is out in front of the competition.
One of the most significant selling points is that it comes in shades for all skin tones. The matte finish provides a realistic-looking tanned effect.
Plus, the bronzer doubles as contour in the hollows of the face.
The only downside we found is that it contains parabens. Otherwise, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
Maybelline New York City Bronzer
Maybelline also offers an excellent bronzer for the price. The attraction here is that it stays on for up to sixteen hours.
It consists of micro-milled powder blended with whipped cocoa butter. It makes for a buttery texture that’s pleasant to blend. But the technique might take a little work. Use the light shade to soften angles and the dark one for more dimension.
On the other hand, you can simply bronze your entire face and neck to look like you had fun in the sun.
In case you clicked on bronzer reviews by accident, here are alternatives for contouring instead.
[innisfree] Face Designing Duo Contouring
If you’re new to Korean beauty, the brand innisfree is an excellent introduction. Take their contouring compact, for example.
There are two shades: light and dark. Each has a silky texture with micro-pearl powders for a touch of radiance.
Use them to enhance the structure of your face by adding depth or making it appear slimmer.
This is long-lasting makeup that will stay put all day.
Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit
Here’s a mirrored compact with six progressively darker creams. Fortunately, it comes with instructions for how to sculpt your appearance.
Blend the contour with a brush, sponge, or both. Each color is highly-pigmented and long-lasting.
What’s more, if you like the sleek compact, you can refill it when the colors run out. Three of the creams are suitable for concealing, and three are for highlighting. There’s something for every skin tone.
BS-MALL Makeup Brush Set
You can never have too many makeup brushes. But this eighteen-piece set has brushes you’ve probably never seen before. Thankfully, it’s inexpensive compared to the value it contains.
These are the tools you need for applying and blending foundation, bronzer, concealer, blush, contour, eyeshadow, and so on.
All the brushes have soft synthetic bristles in a dense configuration. They don’t shed, and they stay firmly seated on the wood and metal handles.
Simply wash them and reuse them.
The key to the best bronzer for Asian skin is the undertone. Once you find the shade that brings out your natural beauty, you’re set.
Will you use it to give yourself a temporary tan? Or apply it like contour to add depth to your foundation?
No matter how you use it, you might get addicted to bronzer because of the healthy glow it imparts. Enjoy!
1. https://www.popsugar.co.uk/beauty/What-My-Skin-Undertone-Quiz-34403268 by Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, published August 13, 2020, accessed January 29, 2021