Once winter weather is over and spring moves into the balmy days of summer, many people are venturing outside more. It’s safe to bet that most of them want to look effortlessly snatched while doing so — and that might mean showcasing a sun-kissed glow. InStyle predicted glowy cheeks would be one of the hottest looks for summertime 2021. But how are you supposed to pull off the trend after spending so much time inside? The experts recommend against the viral TikTok trend of contouring with sunscreen. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work. What you really need is a quality bronzer in your makeup collection.

Just like any other makeup product, there are going to be bronzers that work better than others for your needs. How do you know what to look for when picking one out? Bobbi Brown makeup artist Amalie Russell shared some tips with Elle. “Whether it’s a matte, cream, or illuminating bronzer that brings you joy, a good bronzer should spark your natural warmth and add a little ‘zing’ to your face and skin,” she said. According to Russell, the trend right now is cream-based bronzers, which provide a more natural look on the skin. However, it’s also essential to consider elements such as the color and finish quality of the product.

How do you know which bronzer is right for you?

Shade matching makeup isn’t always as simple as it seems. However, Glamour provided a handy tip for selecting the right colored bronzer for your sun-kissed summertime look. The publication recommends that a safe starting point is to pick a product two shades deeper than your natural skin tone. Of course, you can go even darker for more drama. Makeup artist Kasey Spickard stressed the importance of considering your tone and undertones. Fair skin tones typically look better with a neutral-colored bronzer, while tan and olive skin more easily pulls off warmer tones such as terra-cotta. If your skin is darker, you may like a golden bronzer.

When we say to consider the finish on a bronzer, we’re referring to how it looks once applied to the skin. Is it shimmery or does it apply with a matte finish? If you are fond of gleaming skin, a shimmering blush is for you. However, it’s not quite that easy. Byrdie recommends staying away from products with large glitter particles since they can provide a glaring finish as opposed to the desired soft sheen. Also, Paula’s Choice notes that a shimmery bronzer applied on top of oily skin may leave you looking even shinier. Although shimmering bronzers are very popular, there’s nothing wrong with a matte option. In fact, Byrdie compiled a selection of must-have matte bronzers to help you find the perfect product for your skin needs and aesthetic desires.

Here are some bronzers to consider adding to your collection

Now that you know how to select a bronzer that works for your skin and makeup needs, it’s time to actually select a product to add to your collection. Most makeup brands carry bronzers in their collection. If you have a favorite brand, you can always start there. However, there are certain bronzers that rise above others in terms of quality. This year, Glamour selected Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Bronzer as the best in class. While luxury brands like Charlotte Tilbury certainly sell high-quality products, there’s no rule that says you need to buy high-end makeup. Even superstars like Halsey swear by drugstore brands sometimes.

Of course, there are plenty of affordable bronzers. Glamour selected Physicians Formula’s Butter Bronzer Murumuru Butter Bronzer as the best drugstore bronzer on the market. “Despite being a powder, it has an almost buttery cream feel, so it never skips or looks patchy,” the publication noted. Better yet, with a $16 price tag, it’s more accessible than the $55 Charlotte Tilbury option. What are some other choices? Sephora’s best-selling bronzer is from their Makeup By Mario line, while Ulta’s is from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Both websites also list Benefit Cosmetics’ Hoola Bronzer as a fan-favored option. If you start there, you’re sure to find your perfect match to pull off your very own sun-kissed glow.

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