I’m A Cream Bronzer Fanatic – These Are The Best Formulas For The Ultimate Sunkissed Glow

Your guide to bronzed, dewy skin.

selena gomez bronzer

by Georgia Scott |
Updated on

Let's talk cream bronzer - the ultimate beauty secret that naturally adds a bronzy-radiant finish to the skin. Gone are the days of those chalky, hard-to-blend powder bronzers which, for a lack of better words, resemble a mud-like texture. Cream bronzers have since taken over the world of beauty with many looking to achieve that iconic bronzed glow JLO all but invented.

What makes a cream bronzer a better alternative to the typical powder formula? With a range of formulas, textures and finishes, a cream bronzer can help you achieve a dewy, sun-kissed glow with an incredibly natural finish. Similar to the typical powder bronzer, cream bronzers can have a matte, dewy or shimmery finish depending on your preference.

Best cream bronzers at a glance:

Best affordable cream bronzer: REFY Cream Bronzer, £18 on REFY Beauty

Best cream bronzer for glow: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Glow Bronzer, £45 on Charlotte Tilbury

Best lightweight cream bronzer: NARS Bronzing Cream, £34 on LookFantastic

Lucky for us, many brands have jumped on the cream bronzer bandwagon. From the classic Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream that initially paved the way for the adored cream bronzer (so much so that it is only available on waitlist) to REFY's Cream Bronzer, there are countless brands offering up a cream bronzer formula to emulate the perfect sun-kissed glow.

Depending on whether you're looking for a cream, stick or liquid bronzer, we have rounded up the best cream bronzers available. Shop the best cream bronzers from brands like REFY, Rare Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury.

SHOP: The Best Cream Bronzer

Best affordable cream bronzer

If you've ever seen a picture of REFY's Co-founder looking glowing and bronzy, she's most likely wearing the brand's cream bronzer. We love the creamy formula that simply glides over the skin to naturally enhance without looking muddy. At a great price point, the bronzer is available in four shades to recreate natural warmth on the skin. We tested REFY's Cream Bronzer and found the formula to work well with dry, blemish-prone skin. The product glides over the skin evenly and can be built up easily to leave a soft yet sunkissed finish.

Pros

  • Available in four shades
  • Great value for money
  • Works well on blemish-prone skin

Cons

  • Some reviews say product runs out quicker than hoped

Best cream bronzer for glow

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-kissed Glow BronzerCharlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury knows a thing or two about glow. Part of the Beautiful Skin range, the Sunkissed Glow cream bronzer is your summer essential to bronze up the face and body. Infused with hyaluronic acid, we found this formula feels super lightweight on the skin and has a blurring effect to hide imperfections. Designed to last on the skin for up to 16-hours, proving to be both sweat and humidity proof, this bronzer is perfect for your summer make-up look.

Pros

  • Four shades available
  • Lasting power of up to 16 hours
  • Sweat-proof

Cons

  • Bulky to travel with

Best lightweight cream bronzer

We all know and love the classic Laguna bronzer from NARS, but now we can get the famous shade in a cream formula. Not only is the shade Laguna available in cream format, but it's available in five shade variations to suit a range of skin tones. Great for dry skin tones, we love the moisturising texture this bronzing cream leaves on the skin, feeling super lightweight. Simply blend with a buffing or stippling brush for a sun-kissed glow or use a more dense brush for a defined finish.

Pros

  • Five shades available
  • Second-skin finish
  • Great for dry skin types

Cons

  • Slightly fragranced

Best cream bronzer for a natural finish

Glossier Cloud Paint BronzerGlossier

We love the formula of Glossier's Cloud Paint Blush so when the Bronzer launched, we had to get our hands on it. The whipped, 'clean-girl' formula adds glow to the skin alongside keeping the skin hydration. Much like the blush version, the bronzer can be easily built up on the skin depending on your desired look without looking muddy or orange. We found that the gel texture works on all skin types and particularly those with drier skin to add moisture and glow.

Check out our full Glossier Cloud Paint Bronzer review.

Pros

  • Five shades available
  • Gel-texture feels lightweight to wear
  • Great for dry skin types

Cons

  • Applicator not included

Best travel cream bronzer

Milk Makeup Matte BronzerMilk Makeup

We love the creamy formulas Milk Makeup offer, and the matte cream bronzer certainly doesn't disappoint. This matte yet blendable bronzer works to bronze and contour the skin in one handy formula. The compact, retractable product is ideal for on-the-go touch-ups to easily add colour and definition to the skin without too much sparkle. If you love a creamy bronzer that promises to last on the skin, we recommend picking up this one from Milk Makeup.

Pros

  • Compact packaging makes it perfect for travel
  • Works to bronze and contour
  • Highly pigmented

Cons

  • Not a great option if you love a dewy finish

Best luxury cream bronzer

Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing CreamChanel

We couldn't not include Chanel's Les Beiges Bronzing Cream. One of the first of it's kind, this cream bronzer has been reformulated since the launch of the original and is still going strong. Although this iconic product is currently hard to find in stock, we couldn't not include this classic. The cream-gel bronzer leaves a velvet finish on the skin, feels lightweight and looks effortless.

Pros

  • Available in three shades
  • Blurring effect on the skin

Cons

  • Currently on a waiting list

Best stick cream bronzer

Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless BronzerRare Beauty

As the name would suggest, Rare Beauty's Effortless bronzer is a super easy to use, creamy stick that glides over the skin. If you're looking for a stick bronzer which allows you to tailor your bronzer placement, this one is a great option. The liquid-like formula melts into the skin and can be easily blended to build up to your desired look. Plus, love the water-resistant formula for summer as there's nothing worse than your bronzer looking streaky.

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Buildable pigment
  • Water-resistant formula

Cons

  • Reviews say product needs blending quickly

Best cream bronzer for contour

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream BronzerFenty Beauty

This multi-purpose product is available in a range of shades perfectly suited for your skin tone to bronze, sculpt and define. The sweat and water-resistant formula has been made to last for hours on the skin without worrying about any smudging. Reviewers have been raving about how easy it is to blend into the skin, which is essential to a great cream bronzer.

Pros

  • Seven shades available
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Very easy to blend

Cons

  • Might be too sheer for some

Best blurring cream bronzer

Rose Inc Solar Infusion Soft-Focus Cream BronzerRose Inc

Combine powerful skincare ingredients with a blurring, soft-focus cream bronzer with Rose Inc's Solar Infusion. Designed to add tonnes of radiance to the skin, this bronzer revives lacklustre skin with the added vitamins C and E. The creamy formula can be built up on the skin to your desired finish, and reviewers have called it a great option for fair skin tones.

Pros

  • Blurring effect on the skin
  • Rich in skincare ingredients
  • Great for fairer skin tones

Cons

  • No compact mirror included

How should I apply cream bronzer for the best results?

Start by dabbing a small amount onto the areas where the sun naturally hits your face: the cheekbones, forehead, nose, and jawline. Use a synthetic brush or your fingertips to blend the product in circular motions, ensuring there are no harsh lines. Remember, the key is to build up gradually rather than applying too much at once.

Can I use cream bronzer on top of powder foundation?

While we generally recommend applying cream products over liquid or cream foundations to maintain a smooth texture, you can still use cream bronzer over powder foundation with a few careful steps. To avoid a patchy finish, ensure your skin is moisturised before applying any makeup.

Georgia Scott is a Beauty & Fashion Product Writer for Bauer Media, writing for Grazia, Closer and heat. Georgia specialises in beauty writing and spends her days hunting for the latest trending beauty products to get her hands on and review.

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