In celebration of summer’s imminent return, I’ll be talking about bronzer all throughout the month of June. Last week I shared two warm-toned beauties from my collection that really give me that dramatic summer sun-kissed glow. But today’s post is for the people out there who are either a little scared of bronzer, or are looking for someplace less warm and more neutral to start. It’s important to note that not all bronzers are inherently warm-toned; I used to make that mistake in thinking myself. You can find many beautiful neutral bronzers (i.e. not too warm, not too cool) out there or even more cool-toned bronzers; it’s just a question of finding an undertone you’re comfortable with.
So when I’m in the mood for something more neutral and subtle, these are the bronzers that I reach for in my collection. Please keep in mind that depending on your skin tone, you will have to adjust the specific shades to get the desired effect from your bronzer. For reference, I’m quite fair with a cool undertone.
Without further delay, let’s get into it!
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS A GIFTED ITEM, BUT ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.
OPTION 1 FOR EASY-TO-USE NEUTRAL BRONZERS – PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA BUTTER BRONZER IN BRONZER
What It Is:
Ultra-luxurious bronzer, infused with Murumuru Butter, delivers a radiant Brazilian goddess glow! Incredibly creamy and soft texture combines the best features of a powder and cream bronzer, to deliver a lit-from-within tropical glow unlike any other.
Why It’s Good For You:
Packed with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins that soften, condition and moisturize skin, leaving it silky soft. Ultra-rich bronzer formula instantly melts into skin, sealing-in moisture to deliver instant and lasting hydration. Features ultra-refined pearl and soft-focus pigments that smooth skin texture, brighten skin tone and deliver a gorgeous bronze finish.
Available in 8 shades – $15.00
Ah, the bronzer that started it all for me! It’s got to be my all-time favorite formula. The powder itself is so smooth and creamy-feeling to the touch, and smells like coconut. It’s the epitome of user-friendliness, and for that reason it’s the product I recommend to most bronzer-beginners. It applies and builds up on the skin so beautifully without any patchiness at all. As I mentioned in my last post, I use the Joah Beauty Large Powder Brush for bronzer application and it works a treat. But of course use any large fluffy powder brush you have on hand.
The shade Bronzer (catchy I know) is absolutely perfect for my complexion; a true neutral tone that I can easily layer without fear of veering into Oompa Loompa-ville. Thankfully Physician’s Formula recently expanded their shade offerings (which was long overdue), so now there’s a much better spectrum of light to dark shades. In terms of finish, I’d definitely call it satin but it’s quite subtle; you don’t know have to worry much about looking too shiny or sparkly in the sunlight, which is ideal.
OPTION 2 FOR EASY-TO-USE NEUTRAL BRONZERS – ILIA BEAUTY NIGHTLITE BRONZING POWDER IN DRAWN IN
A clean, talc-free, finely milled powder that delivers a natural bronzed look. Buttery soft textures blend easily and can build from a natural sun kissed glow to more dramatic payoff.
Sun kissed, with a silky-soft touch. This supremely blendable, matte powder is finely milled with a subtle sheen for a luminous finish, and a natural warmth that you can dial up in intensity for a stronger contour. Includes a built in mirror for easy, on-the-go application.
Available in 2 shades – $34.00
This is my newest bronzer, which ILIA very kindly gifted* to me this spring after they launched their first powder bronzers and highlighters. Their NightLite Bronzing Powder in the shade Drawn In has very quickly found its own little niche within my collection as an alternative to the Butter Bronzer on those days when I want something a tad warmer. (But certainly not as warm as my darker bronzers from Fenty and Lancôme.) It has a golden yellow undertone but it’s a very customizable powder in that you can dial up or dial down the effect quite easily. It appears more neutral on the skin when you add just a light layer, but it can certainly transform into something more golden the more layers you add.
It applies beautifully without any skipping or patchiness even over freshly applied foundation. It’s more powdery than the Butter Bronzer, meaning it kicks back more product when you swirl your brush in the compact. For that reason it definitely builds up quicker on the skin, but it’s still very controllable. The finish is somewhere between matte and satin; at first glance it looks completely matte in the pan but in direct sunlight you can see these teeny-tiny reflective particles that show up in the most subtle way on the skin.
Unfortunately ILIA only offers this formula in two shades – Drawn In which is described as a light-medium tan, and Novelty which is described as a medium-dark tan. (Drawn In seems to be out of stock online everywhere at the moment, so if you’re interested I suggest signing up for email updates at your favorite retailer.) I can’t attest to whether these shades stretch that successfully across so many skin tones, but I’m *assuming* that was the idea…? However intention and optics are everything now, and in recent weeks discussions on inclusivity within the beauty world (and beyond) have become much more urgent and impassioned, for good reason. I think ILIA should certainly do better with this range, and when I reached out to them about this they confirmed they will be launching a third shade this August.
Read this: Introducing Ilia Beauty Color Block Lipstick
What are your favorite neutral bronzers? I’d love to know!
xo, and be well, Erica