Lets talk cream bronzers!
There’s been an influx of cream bronzer launches over the last couple of months. As makeup trends weave in and out, I’m actually quite happy about cream bronzers making a come back.
With so many to choose from, I thought I’d do a break down of some of the latest releases, with my Top Pick revealed at the end…
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CHANEL LES BEIGES CREAM BRONZER – $50 (1oz/30g)
Lets start with an OG Classic. One of Chanel’s all-time best selling makeup products, this cream bronzer is now available in 3 shades:
390 Universal (original shade), 392 Medium Bronze and 395 Deep Bronze
Having been through a tub of the original shade many years ago, I decided to give the slightly warmer/darker shade of 392 Medium Bronze a try; and I have to say, the color is perfection and the formula is even better than I remember it!
Chanel Les Beiges Cream Bronzer in 392 Medium Bronze
FORMULA: super smooth, buttery yet very light
FINISH: natural satin – not dewy, but not flat matte either
APPLICATION: Applies and blends flawlessly
COLOR: 392 Medium Bronze is what I picked for my NC30/35 skin tone. Perfect blend of neutral and warm which balances out beautifully. The formula is buildable so intensity can be adjusted with each shade
RECOMMENDED FOR: All skin types. Those who are after a natural yet buildable finish
OVERALL: I cannot fault this product. Yes the color range is still limited but the formula being buildable gives some play room for different skin tones. My longest wear time was around 8hrs and it did not budge, or disturb the products I used with it such as my foundations, blush or highlighters
ROSE INC SOLAR INFUSION ILLUMINATING SOFT FOCUS CREAM BRONZER – $36 (0.52oz/15g)
Latest release for Rose Inc, I wanted to get my hands on this bronzer as soon as it launched. And so I got the medium shade Kauai.
They currently have 4 shades, and this range was released along with new cream highlighters, which are also beautiful.
Rose Inc Solar Infusion Soft-Focus Cream Bronzer in Kauai
FORMULA: very smooth and light
FINISH: satin/powder – definitely has that silicone feel when blended
APPLICATION: Blends easily, however it took quite a few going back and forth to get the desired intensity
COLOR: Kauai is what I picked as I wanted a medium shade with a warm undertone, but it still has a slight coolness especially compared to Chanel. Lightest shade Parrot Kay still has warmth for fair skin tones and the next 2 deeper shades also provide a warm base
RECOMMENDED FOR: All skin types. Those who are after a soft finish that’s particularly good for fuss-free everyday wear
OVERALL: Beautiful product. I like the light/airy feel. I wasn’t wowed about how many dips it took to build up the intensity I personally prefer, but this could also be an advantage allowing a more controlled application, especially if you’re new to cream bronzers
CHARLOTTE TILBURY BEAUTIFUL SKIN SUNKISSED GLOW CREAM BRONZER – $56 (0.74oz/21g)
This was another bronzer that I had my eye on. But I had a few question marks in terms of the formula/finish.
Once I got to try it out, I decided not to purchase it, because the formula is too powdery and too matte for my personal preference.
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sunkissed Glow Cream Bronzer – Fair, Medium, Tan and Deep
FORMULA: Smooth but dry
FINISH: Flat matte
APPLICATION: Blends well but it’s prone to getting muddy/patchy. Even as a swatch, it collected in certain spots compared to the Chanel & Rose Inc
COLOR: Available in 4 shades: Fair, Medium, Deep and Tan. Medium would have been the right category for me, however it still had quite a cool, almost gray undertone. Fair is also very cool toned so I would recommend to color match this product in store
RECOMMENDED FOR: Medium/Oily skin types. Those who prefer a super matte finish
OVERALL: Because I prefer a more natural, satin finish formula, this bronzer was way too ‘flat matte’ for my liking. Plus the undertones did not suit me so I had to pass. It’s also the most expensive out of the list and still less in quantity than Chanel so that’s something to note
MAKEUP by MARIO SOFT SCULPT TRANSFORMING SKIN ENHANCER – $30 (0.18oz/5g)
Released as a base product to be followed along with the powder version, this cream bronzer from Makeup by Mario is marketed as a “color balm” to frame the face and add dimension – hence the name soft sculpt.
If you’re after a ‘one-swipe and out the door’ type of cream bronzer, this one will definitely require more work. The size of the compact is quite small (although it’s also more affordable compared to other brands).
The powder version is made up of 3 gradient shades merging from a bronzer to a soft shimmer in the middle and finally fading into a light powder for a brightening effect.
Makeup By Mario Skin Enhancer Creams and Powders
FINISH: Dewy and very sheer; slightly sticky/tacky
APPLICATION: A little tricky if you’re new to cream bronzers
COLOR: Available in 6 shades. If you want both the cream and powder versions, be mindful that they do not necessarily correspond (even thought they’re named the same). Best to try and color match in store
RECOMMENDED FOR: Dry/Normal skin types. Those with oily skin would most likely need the powder version, or other powder products to set it with
OVERALL: The sheer/balm finish is what steered me away from this product. I can see how it would look amazing over tinted moisturizer for an effortless glow/warmth to frame the face; however I can also see it become quite messy when used over different bases
It’ll take some trial and error both in terms of application and which tools work best for you; as well as over different base products
NARS LAGUNA BRONZING CREAM – $38 (0.6oz/19g)
Another classic product by NARS, their best selling bronzer color Laguna now comes in 5 different shades. Yes, there are now 5 Lagunas!
Sold out as soon as the original color was released, it makes sense why NARS would expand on this popular product by releasing more shades.
NARS Laguna Cream Bronzer Range
FORMULA: Very buttery
FINISH: Satin – I would say closest to the Chanel bronzer
APPLICATION: Applies and blends flawlessly
COLOR: Numbered 1 to 5, I’m glad this range is now available in different undertones. I’m still the original shade which is Laguna No:2. I could also do #3 for a more contoured/structured finish. The deepest shade #5 has a good cool-red undertone for deeper skin tones
RECOMMENDED FOR: All skin types
OVERALL: I’m a huge fan of almost everything NARS so I can comfortably recommend this cream bronzer too. It’s probably the closest to the Chanel bronzer in terms of formula and finish; maybe slightly more satin-matte than satin
AND MY TOP PICK IS…
I think given my purchases based around my personal preferences and the details I’ve listed, it’s quite apparent that Chanel Les Beiges Cream Bronzer is a clear winner for me.
From the formula to the color and performance – and the luxurious look and feel of the product, it definitely ticks all the boxes.
I would love to see more shades with different undertones added to this line but it’s still better than the previous one-shade (that didn’t fit all).
If Chanel is not the right brand for you, then NARS followed by Rose Inc would be my list of preference.
While we’re at it, I’ll also include an honorable mention for Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer which a lot of people have been raving about. However I haven’t tried it personally so I can’t comment much on application and performance.
Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these bronzers; or which one you’re interested in xo