Bronzer makes you look healthier by adding warmth to the skin. It gives it a sun-kissed glow. And yes, it’s possible to enjoy bronzer on brown skin.
How do you pick the best bronzers for dark skin? It starts by understanding your undertone. Is it cool, neutral, or warm? While contour creates a shadow for depth, bronzer should enhance your tan. When in doubt, choose a warmer color. Cool shades may look ashy.
Then, you’ll want a bronzer that’s about one or two shades darker than your skin. Your preference may change depending on whether it’s summer or winter.
Plus, it’s up to you if you want a shimmer or a matte finish. Shimmer could make oily skin more noticeable, but it also adds radiance.
Lastly, it’s time to choose between powder, cream, gel, and liquid bronzer. Get inspired with our top picks below:
|The best bronzers for dark skin tones||Why we love them|
|FENTY Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer Color|
|Benefit Hoola Caramel Matte Medium-deep Powder Bronzer|
|Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder|
|Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette|
|Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, Sculpting Bronzer|
|COVERGIRL Full Spectrum Sculpt Expert Bronzer|
|NARS Bronzing Powder|
|bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder|
|UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer|
If you’re new to bronzer, it helps to watch a video about how to apply it. Most experts use a backward three technique by brushing bronzer from the temple along the cheekbones and the jawline. Blend it into the neck and décolletage, too. The color hits all the places where the sun would.
Go for a soft-focus look by using a fluffy brush. Roll it in the powder to distribute it across the bristles and tap off the excess.
If you use a cream bronzer, use a damp makeup sponge or your fingers.
- Best Bronzers for Dark Skin in 2021
- FENTY Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer Color
- Benefit Hoola Caramel Matte Medium-Deep Powder Bronzer
- Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
- Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette
- Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, Sculpting Bronzer
- COVERGIRL Full Spectrum Sculpt Expert Bronzer
- NARS Bronzing Powder
- bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder
- UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer
- Real Techniques Powder & Bronzer Brush
Best Bronzers for Dark Skin in 2021
FENTY Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer Color
Start here if you’re searching for a Black-owned bronzer. Rihanna’s FENTY is available in rich shades like Caramel Cutie, Mocha Mami, and Thick Mint.
Mocha Mami is a deep color with a red undertone while Thick Mint has a neutral undertone. Carmel Cutie is also neutral. Thankfully, the perfectly balanced pigments enhance the skin’s natural color – they won’t look muddy or ashy. Check out the comments people are leaving. The most satisfied users are pleased how even the red-toned shades don’t look like blush.
All nine colors are paraben-free and cruelty-free. They are transfer-resistant and long-wearing to last all day without touch-ups.
Although they are powder, the texture is creamy and easily blended. It has a soft matte finish without shimmer.
- Black-owned company
- Nine shades including deep colors with neutral or red undertones
- Transfer-resistant and long-wearing
- Cruelty-free and paraben-free
- Creamy texture that blends easily
- Soft matte finish without shimmer
- Compact does not come with a brush
Benefit Hoola Caramel Matte Medium-Deep Powder Bronzer
Benefit’s Hoola bronzer comes in shades like Caramel and Toasted. FYI: the Toasted shade has a neutral cinnamon hue for extra warmth on dark skin.
Each one is packaged with a natural-bristle cheek brush. It’s super easy to apply and won’t look cakey or overdone. What’s more, it can double as contour as it has a matte finish.
If you like these deeper colors, they’re pretty new. The company only added the deepest shade in 2019. We’re happy they listened!
If you’re curious about Benefit, they have an interesting story. It started in the seventies when twin sisters from Indiana moved to California and flipped a coin to decide what type of business they would open. If that sounds kind of funny, it matches their theme, which is “Laughter is the best cosmetic.”
- Medium and deep shades with a matte finish
- Can double as a contour
- Packaged with an applicator brush
- Few color choices
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
It’s best to use a bronzer that matches your skin to look like a real tan. This brand offers several shades including Dark (copper brown) and Deep (golden brown).
Each silky powder has a matte finish with no shimmer for a natural appearance. It’s just warm enough without looking like blush, yet it still avoids looking gray or muddy. It’s straightforward to apply, but you’ll need your own brush. Be careful as it’s highly pigmented.
Moreover, the formula has no parabens, phthalates, or gluten. It’s so lightweight you’ll forget you’re wearing it until you look in the mirror.
- Dark and deep shades with a silky, matte finish
- Highly pigmented powder bronzer
- Free of gluten, phthalates, and parabens
- No applicator brush included
Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette
Here’s a brand that wants to change the beauty world for the better. They provide shades of makeup for a wide range of skin tones. Furthermore, these are affordable products. Case in point is this contour palette that includes bronzer and highlighter. Use it to sculpt your face the way you like it.
The creamy colors are paraben-free and straightforward to blend. They recommend the following steps: use a large contour brush to buff it. Then use a smaller brush to highlight the apple of the cheeks.
Choose from three palettes including Medium to Dark and Dark to Deep. Although the highlighter has a shimmer, the other colors do not.
- Palette with contour, bronzer, and highlighter
- Designed for medium to dark skin tones
- Affordably priced
- No brush or mirror included
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, Sculpting Bronzer
It’s both a cream and a powder. The Butter Bronzer is aptly named. It’s a pleasure to use, plus it’s moisturizing for the skin.
The deepest shade contains refined pearls and soft-focus pigments to leave the skin glowing with health. The delicious texture blends nicely whether you use your fingers or a brush. In fact, it comes with an applicator sponge that stores in the back of the compact.
While you wear it, Amazonian plant butters like murumuru and cupuaçu nourish the skin with nutrients.
What’s more, the formula is cruelty-free and hypoallergenic. It contains no oils, gluten, or parabens to protect sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Those who love it say it looks airbrushed, never chunky or glittery. As a bonus, it smells a bit like coconuts.
- Creamy powder with a buttery texture that blends seamlessly
- Slight shimmer from soft-focus pigments and refined pearls
- Infused with exotic plant butters to moisturize the skin
- Hypoallergenic and cruelty-free with no gluten, oils, or parabens
- Comes with an applicator
- Only one deep shade
COVERGIRL Full Spectrum Sculpt Expert Bronzer
Out of all the drugstore bronzers, Covergirl is our favorite because the Ebony shade is just gorgeous. Furthermore, it’s handy for contouring, too.
It’s a matte mineral-based formula that helps minimize shine on oily skin. Like all products from Covergirl, it’s cruelty-free. The only dent in its reputation is the inclusion of methylparaben, but at least that’s the least concerning of all the parabens commonly found in cosmetics.
The brand launched this color in 2006 as part of the Queen Natural Hue Mineral Bronzers. But then, Covergirl stopped manufacturing Ebony until 2019. Those who used it before say that the revamp is a little different now. To us, it looks ever so slightly lighter in color.
In any case, it has a matte finish that’s buildable and easy to apply.
- Rich, deep, warm Ebony shade
- Buildable matte finish useful for contouring, too
- Infused with minerals that help reduce shine
- contains methylparaben
NARS Bronzing Powder
NARS offers three shimmery shades for deep skin tones. These include Casino, Laguna, and Punta Cana. The latter is a mahogany brown with a distinctive warm undertone. Laguna is the lightest of the three.
They may all be powders, but they have a creamy, silky texture that blends perfectly. It’s long-wearing makeup that’s won awards.
Moreover, it’s gluten-free and has no parabens, formaldehyde releasers, or phthalates. What little fragrance it contains is less than 1% of the formula.
Women of all ages love how it looks on their skin. Even the warmer shades don’t look orange. Plus, the sheer colors tend to smooth over imperfections.
- Three shimmery shades for dark skin
- Award-winning bronzer that’s free of parabens, gluten, formaldehyde releasers, and phthalates
- Silky texture that blends easily and lasts all day
- No applicator included
bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder
If you prefer sheer makeup, try this bronzer. It has a radiant finish with a slight shimmer from reflective pearls. Wear it alone or over foundation.
What’s more, it’s buildable, allowing you to customize your look from a natural healthy glow to a more sculptured appearance.
It’s a baked powder with skin-friendly ingredients. There are no parabens or talc. Instead, the primary ingredient is cornstarch, which accounts for its soft texture.
- Sheer shimmery finish with buildable color
- Skin-friendly ingredients with no parabens or talc
- Wearable alone or over makeup
- No applicator included
UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer
It’s a stick, not a compact, so you’ll never end up spilling powder from a crushed cake in a compact. Furthermore, it’s a water-based formula that blends smoothly. It doesn’t streak or clump because it melts into the skin.
It’s based on coconut water and has no fragrance. Plus, it’s free of parabens and gluten, and non-comedogenic. It only takes a moment to wash it off at the end of the day.
There are four shades total, with Amber or Sangria being the deepest. The former is a warm shade for neutral and yellow tones, while the latter is a cooler color for neutral to warm undertones. In either case, both bronzers come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Users love it because it’s not glittery or orange. Instead, this bronzer enhances your natural color to look like you spent time in the sunshine.
- Clean formula based on coconut water with no fragrance, parabens, or gluten
- Four shades available including two deep colors
- Appropriate for either neutral and yellow or neutral and warm undertones
- Stick applicator and a pleasant texture that melts into the skin
- Comes with a satisfaction guarantee
- Bronzer may melt if exposed to high temperatures – don’t leave it in the car
Real Techniques Powder & Bronzer Brush
Since so many of our favorite bronzers don’t come with an applicator we decided to include one here. It has soft bristles that pick up plenty of product. Plus, it’s washable and reusable without the fear of shedding.
It’s a quality applicator at an affordable price. That’s not surprising as it comes from a company that’s been in business for over a decade. The founders are nieces of a pro makeup artist in London, and they’ve been involved in makeup artistry since they were young.
Celebrate melanin-rich skin by using makeup that leaves it radiant. The best bronzers for deep skin tones match undertones for a warm, sun-kissed glow that looks healthy and natural.
We hope our reviews helped you find the cosmetics you were looking for today. If so, we’d love to hear about your new bronzer. Feel free to leave us a comment below.