There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who can sweat it out in the sun and catch a gorgeously glowing tan (wearing a good SPF, of course), or those who can’t think of anything worse. I’m the latter in this scenario: not even a major playlist, magazine or cold drink is enough to hold me down once the temperature tips 25.
But, even if I did enjoy soaking up the rays, too much sun exposure is just not worth it, which is why a bronzer is always a trustworthy member of my makeup bag. When my skin is lacking that golden glow that only a tan can provide, I always rely on a cream bronzer to inject a dose of healthy colour.
Cream vs powder bronzer: which one is better?
While I do love a soft powder bronzer (I often reach for the Westman Atelier Butter Powder Bronzer), I find creams just hit differently – and turns out Bobbi Brown make-up artist, Amalie Russell, seems to agree with me.
Okay, it may sound obvious what the difference is between a cream and powder, but Amalie says it’s not only in the formula, but the finish also. 'Cream bronzer has a whipped and satiny feel that glides onto the skin which makes it appear dewy, glow-y and hydrated, while powder bronzers tend to be denser in formula and give the skin a matte, shine-free finish'. If you have a drier skin type, cream bronzers are a great option as they won’t turn cakey during the day (especially great if you want to avoid touch-ups).
A top tip from Amalie: she recommends dusting a sheer coat of powder bronzer on top of a cream bronzer for a longer-lasting effect.
How to apply cream bronzer
Where you apply your cream bronzer really depends on the kind of look you’re going for. Are you heading out for a dog walk in the park, or a dinner with friends? For a glam night-time look, Amalie suggests using a ‘blend upwards and outwards’ technique on the areas you want to contour, such as the chin, cheekbones and temples.
Alternatively, a cream bronzer can be used to achieve a diffused sun-kissed look with lighter application. 'Cream bronzers should look like you have spent the day out on the beach or outdoors,' says Amalie. She suggests placing your formula on the high points of your face where the sun would catch, like your forehead, cheeks, nose bridge, brow bone and chin.
Despite what you may believe, cream bronzers are actually very easy to apply (no, you don’t need some fancy brush to blend yours out). According to Amalie, using your fingers or a flat foundation brush will do the job. 'The best tools to blend cream products are synthetic-based because they don’t absorb oils or powders from the product, meaning they diffuse cream products beautifully.'
Annnnd, if you’re looking for a super-natural result, try Amalie’s clever hack: mix a pea-size amount of cream bronzer into your moisturiser for a soft-focus, bronzed from within kinda glow.
Now, onto the main event. From a luxurious cult classic to my budget hero for under a tenner, here are the 10 best cream bronzers that I’ve tried (and surely you’ll want to delve into too).