Battle of The Bronzers: Cream or Powder?

December 01, 2023
Battle of The Bronzers: Cream or Powder?

It’s time for your bronzer era

Bronzer is the beauty equivalent of a really good spray tan. Just like your clothes seem to look better on tanned skin, with bronzer, your skin looks healthier and more balanced. We’d even argue that this makes you feel even more confident while wearing it. But we get it, bronzer can be intimidating to master. There are so many different shades and formulas to consider, plus the tools to use and figuring out the ideal placement on the face. Above all though, you’re going to need to choose a side: are you team cream bronzer or team powder bronzer? Here, we’ll help you decide.

A Note on Texture: Matte vs Shimmery

Before we get into the merits of powder vs. cream bronzer, you’ll need to start your best bronzer wish list. That is, what look are you going for? Ask yourself if you want an everyday bronze effect or a shimmery luminous one. Depending on your answer, you’ll be able to make your first wish list item: matte or shimmery. The good news is you can find either variety in a cream or powder bronzer.

 

The Case for Cream Bronzer

Diehard cream bronzer fans will tell you that nothing melts into the skin and looks natural quite like a good cream bronzer, period. We have to agree. The best cream bronzers become one with the skin for a truly glowing finish. The flip side of this is an effect that might not last as long as a powder. For this reason, cream bronzers are ideal for those with dry or normal skin types. If you have oily skin, you can still use cream bronzer, however, you might need to touch it up more often or simply set it with a translucent powder over top.

 

How to Apply Cream Bronzer

The best cream bronzer application depends on whether you’re applying a matte or shimmery formula. Matte bronzers are best applied to contouring areas like the sides of the forehead, down the sides of the nose, and to the hollow of the cheeks. Shimmery cream bronzers are best applied to the upper cheekbones to the temple area. All cream bronzers need to be blended in properly to look their best. You can use your fingers (this also helps to warm up the formula and help it blend better) or a beauty sponge or buffer brush.

 

The Case for Powder Bronzer

Powder bronzer girlies know that nothing beats the precision and control they get with powder vs cream bronzer. It’s so much easier to build to your desired coverage and get a truly sculpted look with a powder. When it comes to the different varieties of powder, it’s essentially a toss-up between matte and shimmery but you do want to select the right shade and type for your skin. If it’s on the dry side, go with a formula that has moisturizing ingredients. If your skin is oily, choose a matte bronzing powder for best results.

 

How to Apply Powder Bronzer

The first rule of achieving the best powder bronzer application is to get yourself a big fluffy bronzer brush to apply it (be sure to keep it as your bronzer brush only). The same placement rules apply based on whether you’re opting for shimmery or matte powder bronzers. Shimmery formulas are best applied to areas of the face where you would want a glowy highlight, like the tops of the cheeks, and the center of the forehead. For matte bronzing powders, aim for the upper sides of the forehead, temples, jawline and along the contours of the nose. If you’re looking for a bronzer that gives natural and glowing vibes, reach for a baked formula. Its ultra-soft texture glides over skin like a dream!

TIP: Want to know the best way to find your perfect bronzer shade? Opt for a shade that’s about two shades darker than your natural skin tone for a natural, bronzed look. If you go much darker it can look too obvious and even a little muddy.

 

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