I always thought bronzers were for the sole purpose of looking unnaturally and orangey tan.  Or for trying to look over-madeup.  That it isn’t necessary for every day and should be saved for models and celebreties.

WRONG-O.

Since indulging in the world of online swatches and beauty tutorials, I’ve come to embrace bronzer as a little miracle worker.  Here are my favorites:

A bit on the messy side!

I actually have another favorite (not pictured because it sits in a giant palette) so I’ll begin there.

These were done with my fingers, which give a much MUCH heavier application than I’d ever wear.

1. Jemma Kidd Showstopper Water Resistant Bronzer – A matte terra cotta bronzer.  I use this sparingly all over, or solely under my cheekbones for contour.  To apply I use either a large fluffy tapered brush or medium angled brush with a medium hand as its pigment is easy to work with.  I’m excited to see how it wears in the summer months with its “water resistant” qualities.  I’m assuming this is just a polite way of saying “Ladies, it holds up to the sweat!”

A major downside to this is how soft it is. V got into it and had no trouble taking a couple chunks out.

2. theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer – ($19.00)  This is also matte and I apply it very lightly and only with a fluffy tapered brush as it’s easy to go overboard. This is a great bronzer for someone with a medium to deep skin tone.  The deeper your shade, the more dense your brush should be.  I almost always use this for contouring my cheek bones.

Dropped a few times caused the cracking. At least it can hold up to my clumsiness!

3. Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Bronzer – ($9.99)  The easiest to wear of the four, I use this one for an all over healthy glow.  It has to be built up quite a bit for me by the end of summer, so I don’t use it often for contouring.  I like it most to add a bit of golden light.  For fair-skinned beauties who want some color, look no further. Simply use a duo fiber brush for a light application.  It’s natural enough for the fairest of them all!

In unison now, “Ooooo…aaaaahhhh.”

4.  Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer in Goddess –  ($12.99)  As evidenced by the photos, I just purchased this.  (It only hit stores a few days ago.)  But I’m already in love!  This too runs in the terra cotta family but has a stunning illuminating finish (…duh).  I swatched it heavily so it would photograph visibly.  But when using a fluffy brush, it applies sheer and flawless.  “Goddess” is the perfect word for this powder.  It reminds me of all the models in beach photo shoots that make you scowl.  You know the ones… With the glistening airbrushed skin.  This bronzer is how normal people do it.  Bonus that the detail on it is gorgeous!  Double bonus that it claims 12-hour wear!