The Best Drugstore Bronzer for Fair Skin – 2017 Reviews & Top Picks

In order to help you unleash those fresh, beachy looks to add some glam on the face, we’ve gathered and reviewed 5 of the best drugstore bronzers for fair skin. The products presented in this list were carefully chosen based on their active ingredients, performance, and our overall impression . We believe these products deserve a place in your beauty collection.

Being fair-skinned has its ups and downs, but when it comes to makeup, things can get a little tricky.

If you have a pale appearance, every little mistake is visible and easy to notice. Thus, the chances to look artificial are higher compared to individuals with olive skin.

So no matter how many tutorial videos we watch, we can never be completely prepared for the outcome.  

However, bronzers can help us get a sun-kissed glow. They serve to add definition and to frame the face so that we won’t appear too porcelain-like.

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Quick Overview: Our Top Picks of the Best Drugstore Bronzers for Fair Skin

OUR TOP #1 PICK - Our first top pick is the Neutrogena Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer. We love that this bronzer is non-comedogenic, so it is less likely to block the pores and cause breakouts. The inclusion of Aloe vera extract and Retinyl Palmitate can contribute with a brightening and soothing effect on the skin.

OUR TOP #2 PICK - second top pick is the Covergirl Queen Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer. Upon testing it out, we like that this product can give a sun-kissed glow. We also appreciate that it is hypoallergenic, which can make it suitable for most skin types. It has a mineral based shimmer without making the face too shiny. 

OUR TOP #3 PICK - Third on our list is the N.Y.C. New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzer. We chose this bronzer because we like how it gives a sun-kissed look that is good to wear every day. It has a sheer, matte finish which highlights the facial features. The inclusion of Talc helps much for the absorbing properties of the powder. 

OUR TOP #4 PICK - Our fourth pick is the W7 Cosmetics W7 Bronzing Face Powder. We find this handy bronzer can be great for shaping and adding color to the face. Moreover, we fell in love with its warm shade, which has no orange or copperish tint. As we discussed, carroty nuances should be avoided by people with fair complexion.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - The fifth top pick is the E.L.F Sun kissed Glow Bronzer. After testing it out, we were delighted with the subtle glow it provides on the face. Nevertheless, we further appreciate its nourishing properties and the inclusion of Vitamin E to the formulation.

Reminders When Using and Applying a Bronzer

Makeup experts usually suggest going for a product that is two shades darker than your skin tone (source).

Most people with fair skin can go well with warm nuances. Especially those having hints of peach and rosy colors.

Using sheer bronzers for those with fair skin can be easier than applying and blending a product with shimmer.

It is not impossible, though, as highlights can look great on anyone, but it can be a bit tricky. 

We also don’t want a strong bronzer that can be difficult to wash off, as well as maintain.

It is also advisable to wear bronzers rather than contouring the face every day. When it comes to fair skin, we can consider it as a softer and more subtle version of a contour.

Further below, you can find some tips on how to properly use and wear a bronzer.

Remember that bronzers are supposed to give a sun-kissed glow. That’s why we should apply the product on areas where the sun would usually hit us.

Sometimes for a more framed look, you can use the bronzer as a soft eyeshadow, but we will get to that in a bit.

Bronzer products often come with a straight brush and usually, these types of brushes have stiff bristles.

These brush can be a bit difficult to maneuver. When tapping it on the product, that may result in an intense streak rather than a natural and subtle one.

Also, you might just end up scooping a lot of product onto that brush only to pat it away and wasting it. We recommend using a good, fluffy brush with a rounded top.

How To Apply A Bronzer

When applying a bronzer, always use a light hand. Below are steps on how to properly apply a bronzer (source).

1. After coating your brush with barely enough product on it, start by sweeping on your temples downwards, slightly sliding your brush down just on top of your cheekbones. 

2. Slide down the brush in an inverted “C” to your jawline. Imagine you are drawing a number 3 on the side of your face.

3. Apply bronzer on the other side of you face the same way. It’s okay to use less product at first rather than going overboard and messing it all up.

Assuming that you already have a subtle number 3 on both sides of your face, you can proceed on blending the product thoroughly.

That can allow the product to blend well into the skin, while also help to make it appear more natural.

We recommend using a different blush when you blend the product in for a cleaner and even shade. That can help to avoid unwanted shading.

Assuming that you already have a subtle number 3 on both sides of your face, you can proceed on blending the product thoroughly.

That can allow the product to blend well into the skin, while also help to make it appear more natural.

We recommend using a different blush when you blend the product in for a cleaner and even shade. That can help to avoid unwanted shading.

4. With a different brush, gently buff the product lightly onto the skin, the same way you applied it. It’s up to your judgment to even it out and make sure you are not totally erasing it.

5. Make sure to go over the cheeks to get that dash of glow. Include buffing out your jawline to frame your face well. Once you have buffed the bronzer thoroughly, you can use the same brush to go over the eyelids.

6. The result is just a bit of color. That can be suitable in case you intend wearing this as an everyday look without using a proper eyeshadow product. You can also go over the sides of the nose but make sure that the product does not leave a streak.

Remember that you are already using the buffer brush for your eyelids and nose.

Applying any makeup can be difficult at times, but with a little practice and improving the technique, you’ll be on the way to becoming your professional makeup artist.

Now let's check out five of the best drugstore bronzers for people with fair skin.

Product Reviews: Our Top Five Choices of the Best Drugstore Bronzer for Fair Skin


Quality


Price


Our Rating


The first product for our selection is the Neutrogena Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer.

We notice it contains a subtle shimmer, so we recommend blending it well.

One significant trait is that it possesses is the non-comedogenic property. That lessens the chance for skin irritation or triggering breakouts.

We love that it can be used every day as it comes out naturally without caking the makeup.

It is also enriched with Vitamin C which is an antioxidant powerhouse for the skin.

What we did not like about this bronzer is that it does not exactly stay on throughout the day.

If you have outside activities that would cause you to sweat a lot, we do not recommend putting it without the help of a setting spray and a primer.

Talc is one of its active ingredients, and that can be harmful in case of misuse. To avoid unpleasant reactions connected to Talc, we advise you always to wash off any traces of makeup properly.


What We Like

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    Blendable colors
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    No orange tints
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    Can be used all-year-round

What We Don't Like

  • Requires reapplication
  • Inconvenient brush

Quality


Price


Our Rating


The Covergirl Queen Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer is our second top pick for the best drugstore bronzers for fair skin.

We like that it comes in different shades. Even though the nuances are more on the dark side, the undertone is warm, and we find it suitable for accentuating fair skin.

It can be great for contouring. However, it does contain some shimmer.

When applying the product, a little goes a long way as it is very pigmented. But we were glad it could last throughout the day.

Anyway, it might not be a good idea to wear it alone. Nevertheless, the hypoallergenic formulation can make it a match for people with sensitive skin.

This bronzer has coconut oil to keep the skin moisturized and supply vitamins and nutrients.

A particular feature that we didn’t like is that the shimmer is a bit difficult to control, at times it just leaves a trail of glitter on the face if it is not blended well.

What We Like

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    Long-wearing
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    Warms the skin tone

What We Don't Like

  • Very heavy pigmented
  • Shimmer might be hard to control

Quality


Price


Our Rating


Number three on our roundup is the N.Y.C. New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzer.

This bronzer comes in a matte and velvety finish. It is very pigmented, so we recommend to blend it in as much as possible.

There is a slight orange tint which can disappear with the use of a suitable foundation. We like that it is not shimmery, and doesn’t cause the face to shine.

The powder is very fine, and it does not cling into the pores. However, it is still essential to cleanse the face thoroughly to remove any makeup and avoid breakouts.

We notice that the product can stay on the face during the whole day, and a little can go a long way.

What we do not like about it is that the color can be too intense. It requires very light and controlled strokes to the skin.

Thus, it can take more time and patience to disperse it properly. And though it is not impossible, it might not be the best product to use on a daily basis.

What We Like

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    Long lasting
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    Mattifying

What We Don't Like

  • Can be difficult to blend
  • Has an orange tint

Quality


Price


Our Rating


The W7 Cosmetics W7 Bronzing Powder spots the fourth position for the best drugstore bronzers for fair skin.

Zinc Stearate is approved by the FDA and is mostly used for its lubricating properties. It can enhance the texture of a product.

It can also serve to prevent the liquid and oily parts of an emulsion from separating. Palmitic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid that can be found in plants and animals.

The Ethylhexyl Palmitate is an excellent skin conditioning agent. It carries potent emollient features to hydrate and smooth the skin.

Unlike other bronzers, this product does not contain talc. Upon trying it out, we still experienced a matte finish, which is mostly due to the presence of Mica and Dimethicone.

What we did not like about this bronzer is that it does not last very long. It tends to disappear at the end of the day.

It comes with a small synthetic brush, so you might need to use bigger one for a more even distribution on the face.

What We Like

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    A little goes a long way
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    Prevents excessive shine

What We Don't Like

  • Does not last long
  • Might appear muddy
  • Very pigmented

Quality


Price


Our Rating


And finally, our last top pick is the E.L.F Sun kissed Glow Bronzer. We love that it has infused Vitamin E to help keep the skin radiant with each use.

Because it is shimmery and translucent as opposed to matte, you might need to put more than usual to make the color pop for a bit.

However, we did not notice an orange or dark brown side to it, and it has a buildable pigmentation.

Our favorite features about this product is that it is lightweight, covers well, and helps to keep greasy residue at bay.

Unfortunately, it can be a bit difficult to work with since it does not transfer very well.

Instead of just lightly tapping the brush, we have to swirl it in. But once we did succeed to perform the right moves, it did blend okay.

What we didn’t like about the product is that aside from it not transferring well, it can look a bit cakey.

If you add one layer over the other without blending thoroughly, it can look thick and blotchy.

What We Like

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    Lightweight
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    Medium coverage

What We Don't Like

  • Does not transfer well
  • Not suitable for contouring

The Bottom Line

We think that bronzers are often underappreciated. When in fact, using one is among the simplest ways to bring out the wow factor even for an everyday look.

That is why we have chosen the Neutrogena Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer as our ultimate pick for the best drugstore bronzers for fair skin.

The first two features to capture our attention is that it is sheer and does not settle in pores.

We love how we can choose to apply it daily or to add a bit more glow on our makeup style.

But we adore that it can perform great for some special occasions when we need a bit more depth of the color to sculpt the face.

Nevertheless, we believe all the products that made it through our selection can become a suitable match to enhance fair appearance.

Our best advice is to keep on practicing the bronzing techniques. That can help you create an extra oomph glow with less effort in time.

We also made a roundup of the best bronzers for oily skin, you may also want to check it out.