The Best Bronzers for Pale Skin

This post was meant to go up last Thursday, but I didn't get around to writing it. But this works out nicely because I feel like it's a good followup to my review of the Glossier Invisible Shield from yesterday - they just did a post about bronze-y looks yesterday on Into the Gloss, too.

If you've met me/seen a picture of me, you'll probably know that I'm super pale and also quite pink-toned (those Irish genes though). If I don't put some kind of color on my face, I tend to look sick/dead, so I always make sure to use a blush or bronzer or both when I'm wearing makeup. I feel like it's been easier to find flattering shades of blush (especially when I've got my favorite Glossier Cloud Paints to play with), but bronzer is a different story - it's too dark, too orange, too yellow, too muddy. I've finally found a few that I love and that mimic the look of catching a little bit of a tan without even needing to go out into the sun.

The Warm Ones

I have to be careful with warm tones - if I go too far, it's really easy for me to go into Oompa-Loompa territory. A super blendable formula that's not too deep is perfect here, because you need the ability to add just a touch of warmth without going overboard. I've loved the Guerlain Terracotta 'Joli Teint' Bronzing Powder in 00 since I got it last fall. It's a nice shade that adds just a touch of color to the cheeks, and I love swirling the blush shade into it, too, to add a bit of a flush. A stunning and spendy option I couldn't resist was La Mer The Bronzing Powder - it's quite a bit warmer than I was expecting, but it doesn't cross the line into unwearable for me. This is one of the most stunningly blendable powders I've ever tried. I love that there's different sections to mix together - sometimes I avoid mixing in a lot of the second shade to tone down the warmth. If you've been wanting to treat yourself, this is a must for sure. Do be aware though that both of these options are quite fragranced, in case your skin is sensitive to that.

The Neutral Ones

Because of my cool tones, neutral bronzers are the easiest for me to wear. They still add warmth in comparison to my skin, but it never verges on orange. I'm always drawn to cream products, so the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked is one of my favorite bronzers. It melts into the skin and blends out super easily with fingers or a brush, so it's perfect on the go. A new addition is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Nude Bronze Light - this is their new shade meant for fair/light skintones. It adds such a lovely luminous look to the skin, so it's the one I always reach for in a rush. It really eliminates the need for extra blush and bronzer, and it just makes the skin look "done" in one swipe. A foolproof option is the Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion - they're quite sheer, so it's virtually impossible to go overboard. They have so many shade options, too, so it should be easy to find a good match. I have the shade 15I, which is the lightest luminous one, and they have matte choices as well (they have an M in the shade name).

The Red Ones

Hear me out - you'd probably think you'd want to steer clear of red tones, but if you're pale like me, you might tend to go a little red rather than tan. So a bronzer with more of a red tone is really the most natural-looking option. I've been singing the praises of the Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed since I got it last summer - not only is the compact beautiful, but the product inside is as well. This is the one that turned me on to red-toned bronzers. It gives my skin the most beautiful, just-got-back-from-the-beach flush. My favorite of them all, I think, is the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder. Again, there's many shades in the line, but I have Elvis Duran. This is also specifically formulated with red tones to emulate the most natural tan. Again, it's actually super flattering on my skin and leaves me looking sunkissed rather than sunburned. The formula is beautiful, pigmented, and blendable as well.

What are your favorite bronzers? What kinds of shades are you normally drawn to?