5 Bronzing Powders for people who don’t like Bronzers…

My mission – to find natural(ish), skin enhancing, warmth inducing bronzers that are more tanned brown goddess than orange day glo. There are so many nasty tans out there. I am a tan-o-phobic. The smell of fake tan – that malty, mouldy, cardboardy smell is like the smell of a fart for me.

There are good and bad of expensive and drugstore brands but what I personally hate in bronzers is anything:

1. Too orange. My orange checker is my 8 year old cousin (Megan, star of YouTube) whose face will crumple when you ask her

‘Is this orange, Megan?’

Face Crumple

That means yes

2. Too much shimmer. Whilst dunking my face in glitter is one of my favourite past times too much shimmer is rarely flattering all over the face.

3. Not enough oil control. When its hot you get shiny. If you wear bronzer you may not wear powder first. Either way a bit of shine control is always useful in a bronzer unless you want to look like a piece of Nandos chicken.

That’s all I can think of. On with my bronzer pics!

Chanel Ireellee Bronzer:

chanel irreelle soleil silke bronzer.jpg

Quite a warm bronzer, bit of shimmer, a nice brush, easy to use and comes in a few shades. I think this has been superseeded now by Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzers. I bought mine for £28.

Illamasqua Bronzer Duo is very nice:

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Comes in two variants (the lighter shade is the same in both palettes) I have the lighter one in Glint/Writhe. Both sides have a light shimmer. A reasonable £18. Illamasqua packaging is pretty big though so this is impractical to carry around in my make up bag.

My bargain choice is Boots Starfish Bronzer:

boots starfish bronzer.jpg

Completely surprised me – one side is a matte brown and the other is a lighter shimmery beige. You can use it together or separately but I like that the shades are pretty different and once side can be used as a matte contour. This is £11.80 and is Limited Edition.

D’or Lumieres D’or Face & Lip Palette:

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Like the Boots, this has a shimmery side and a matte side and a shiny gold lipgloss (lipgloss is just ok). Quite a clunky palette but is quite a nice one to use and blends well.

This is an LE palette but I know if you look in eBay and some counters it is still there. Alternatively, I have the Dior Matte Bronzer which is also a nice powder and is a permanent product. This one was about £34, the matte bronzer is about £25.

My wildcard entry is Sonia Rykiel’s Face Powder:

sonia rykiel.jpg

This gives an light tan warm glow on the skin, and the tones range from that off white to sand, to beige to tan. Swirl together and…this is seriously possibly the nicest face powder I own. If not the nicest. Have you seen how many face powders I own? There’s a lot, pressed & loose about 30 (I need 30 daughters).

This one never ever looks powdery or crusty, it never settles in lines, it just GLOWS and comes with a brush that is small but works so well.

I own about another 10 bronzers (yes, no more bronzers for 10 years) Nars Laguna is also nice but slightly warm toned (I like a cooler brown) and Guerlain Terracotta is ok (first luxury item I ever owned!) but once again, I don’t think entirely natural.

Work with your skintone! If you are pale stick to the lighter bronzers and shimmers!

What are your favourite bronzers?

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  1. mizzworthy says

    Great post! Love the Illamasqua one, I even bought a back up. My wild card would be the Barry M natural dazzle – really surprised me, as did their 3 in 1 mascara… xxx

    • Row says

      Hey Mizz

      Is the Illamasqua LE? I can’t remember. I will have to check out the Barry M they are an excellent little brand :)

  2. says

    I really like the look of that Sonia Rykiel one. Very balanced. I agree on your tips and had to laugh about the 8 year old-honesty test…

    Also Illamasqua looks gorgeous. However, I have been waiting for more than a month on my Illamasqua order, and it is still not there…boohoo.

    • Row says

      Hi Birkie

      Are you in the UK? A month is a long time have you been in touch with the CS? I know they had an office move so perhaps they just need a little push :)

  3. Caroline says

    Just wondering, do you use your bronzer’s to contour?
    I’m searching for a bronzer to contour, and was wondering do you reccomend any? 😀

  4. Elle says

    I think Megan just became my idol. Love her make-up tutorials!
    Kids these days…

    Anyhow, I’m one of those people who don’t like bronzers 😛

    • Row says

      Hey Elle

      Megan is a little pro!! Yeah I don’t blame you, a lot of bronzers look dirty – the best ones just make you look glowy!

  5. sue says

    I don’t own any bronzer! Does face contouring really makes a difference?? If so, I guess I’ll have to add it to my shopping list. I’m also on the hunt for a highlighter. I heard many good things about Etude house’s highlighter. Might just pick it up when I order from gmarket next time.

    • Row says

      Hi Sue

      I’ve never ordered from gmarket, I get confused!! I think contouring makes a big difference, even if its just subtle :) Maybe a contouring tutorial is in order!

  6. Blair says

    Sonia Rykiel’s Face Powder is gorgeous! All these Japanese products are marvellous haha

    • Row says

      Hi Blair

      It is a FAB powder, I think it has been upgraded now I hope the new ones are just as good otherwise I will have to put this one into a shrine!

  7. Blair says

    Oooh, I would love to see a contouring tutorial!!! None of the bronzers that I have seem to work for me… they look muddy – it’s either they have reddish undertones or they are too brown. Does that make sense to you? ;D

    • Row says

      Hi Blair

      Totally. I hate reddish tones and some are too deep. You need a nice matte, soft brown that is not too deep or orange. I have tosay , my favourite blush which works for contour AND bronze and it totally flattering is Illamasqua’s powder blush in MIschief :)