Summertime is all about that bronze-y, healthy, and lit-from-within glow, you know — like J.Lo! We all aim for that effortless look year-round, especially during the months of June, July, and August. Unfortunately, a lot of us won’t be sunning in Barbados or renting that beach house in Malibu. But we can totally have the look!
It’s all about using luxuriously-pigmented bronzers and highlighters to mimic the look of being a sun-kissed beach babe. To add a glowy pop of light to your features, while simultaneously knocking years off your face. There are some bronzers and highlighters that have been named as iconic must-haves year after year, and others that have recently hit the market to rave reviews — and we’re sharing both with you, right now. Get ready to stock your online shopping bag with these amazing bronzers and highlighters, guaranteed to give you that sunny summer shine.
L’Oréal Paris Summer Belle Bronze Please! Bronzer
NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick
Highlighters instantly give the face a healthy, youthful, and ethereal glow. They will make specific points of your face pop, and draw everyone’s eyes there. You want a highlighter that will work the best. NYX’s Bright Idea Illuminating Stick comes in 12 shades (four highlighters, four blushes, and four bronzers), and gives a long-lasting, pretty glow.
“I started using the topaz tan about a month ago as a contouring stick on medium-dark skin. I rub the stick right under the cheekbone to create a soft golden brown contour line that I blend it out with a brush or beauty blender and it looks amazing. I then use one of the lighter illuminating sticks as a highlighter on the cheekbone. These sticks are perfect and you can’t beat the price.”
Available at nyxcosmetics.com, $6
Tarte Cosmetics Sugar Rush Sun & Fun Baked Bronzer
A new arrival in the world of bronzers comes from Tarte Cosmetics, who we know wins in the category on a consistent basis. Their newest addition is their Tarte Cosmetics Sugar Rush Sun & Fun Baked Bronzer. The vegan, gluten-free formula is baked in a “terracotta pan for a creamy, multi-dimensional finish–no two are exactly alike!”
“Tried this on a whim and couldn’t be more happy! The colour, consistency, and texture are a dream. Velvety smooth with a sun kissed glow without looking orange or cakey. Would highly recommend for summer or as a beautiful contour colour.”
Available at tartecosmetics.com, $24
FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick, in Unicorn
If you’re looking for color with luminous shimmer, Rih Rih’s got you with her Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick. There are 10 great shades, but their Unicorn is a fun platinum lilac that looks dreamy and futuristic, while also giving off retro vibes.
“‘I like to look at these Shimmer Skinsticks like I look at my clothes in the closet. Am I doing fun? Am I doing alien? Am I doing weird? Am I doing sexy? Am I doing extra? Am I doing girl next door? You choose. The point is, there are so many and they’re so fun. You can just collect them, magnetize them, and use them as you please, depending on your mood, your outfit, and where you’re going, the occasion.’— Rihanna, Brand Founder”
“I have several of these shimmer sticks and I Loooove them! You can swipe your cheek and buff it out with one of her brushes. The colors are very fun and vibrant. I highly recommend these because I’ve used them so much to where I hardly use my other highlighters and blushes #oops.”
“I swatched starstruck, confetti, and unicorn. starstruck was a nice pinky fine shimmer. Confetti was so beautifully extra; holographic with chunkier blue pink glitter. Unicorn was the winner for me, it has a fine very light violet shimmer and left a light purple pigment when the light wasn’t reflecting on it. I thought unicorn would be more extreme vs confetti, but unicorn is actually a very tame wearable highlight. Confetti I would only wear on a night out. I’m a big fan of stick highlight, I feel it lasts longer than powder.”
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick, in Unicorn, $25, sephora.com
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
You know a bronzer is good when Allure names it a Best of Beauty Award Winner. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, infused with 100% real cocoa powder, also has a whopping 3,000 reviews and 210,000 loves on Sephora, proving it is a tried-and-true bronzer fave.
“I’ve finally found a bronzer that doesn’t make me look orange but just *bronzed!!* It’s like a dream!! It also blends super well and doesn’t look muddy. Just a note though, the “medium to deep” label on the regular chocolate color is misleading. I’m not super pale or anything, but I have fairer skin that’s nowhere near a typical “medium” – and if this bronzer was any lighter I wouldn’t like it. I would swatch in the store if you’re not sure but the “milk chocolate” would only really work for very pale skin. But yeah, this product also smells super yummy which is a plus. Definitely repurchasing — my new holy grail!!!! :)”
Available at sephora.com, $30
Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Satiny Pink Complexion Liquid Highlighter
Benefit’s High Beam has been an OG in the highlighter game. The light pink highlighter is packaged in a nail polish-like container with a brush that allows you to place some glow exactly where you want it on your face.
“I have been using High Beam for almost 3 years now, and I love it more than the first day I purchased this product! The versatility of it is amazing! THIS IS HOW I USE IT: -I use this mostly on my cheekbones to highlight them. -Under my brows as a highlighter -Inside corner of my eyes -As an eyeshadow base -Sometimes on the bridge of my nose (to elongate the nose) -Middle of my lips on top of my matte lipstick as a highlighter. I swear by this product. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. This may look like a little product but it really lasts a long time. I have gotten my mother (in her late 50’s) hooked on this product, I’ve gotten my sister-in-law hooked on this product and my niece! It is very sheer, and has a soft shimmer to it. This product is NOT glittery and does not go on like it is some childish craft store glittery mess. It makes you feel like you are dewy, fresh, and just stunning. I love this product, it is my favorite! Would totally recommend this product to anyone and everyone!”
Available at sephora.com, $26
Milani Baked Bronzer
Milani consistently proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on amazing cosmetics. Just take their baked bronzer, for example. At only $8.99, their Baked Bronzer delivers a desirable sunny effect with a shimmery finish.
“This bronzer is so pretty. I have light-medium olive toned skin and the Dolce shade looks awesome. It’s so easy to apply and is so natural looking – a nice bronze perfect for the workday. The formula is also not cakey and doesn’t fall apart. Love Milani.”
Available at ulta.com, $8.99
Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Blush, in Luminous Flush
You want your blush to work its hardest to give you a gorgeous flush and lit-from-within glow. Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Blush does just that, with “a groundbreaking hybrid that combines the customized lighting effects of Ambient Lighting Powder or Strobe Powder with a spectrum of breathtakingly modern hues.” Luminous Flush, a champagne rose fused with Luminous Light, a is a noted fave.
“Did you ever have a daydream that your skin looked completely amazing with a luminous aura and an alluring glow that was as if it was lit from within? Yes? Me too! However, no product could meet my lucid dream-like expectations. And then Hourglass created this “must have” blush. (Of course, the packaging is divinely glamorous too.) I bought Luminous Flush and it gives me a very natural golden rose glow. My skin is quite fair. Nevertheless, I found this product has great staying power, pigment, and a beautiful radiance that gives my skin a classic, elegant yet healthy appearance. I absolutely LOVE it!”
Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Blush, in Luminous Flush, $40, hourglasscosmetics.com
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
Another drugstore product that has caught the attention of beauty writers is Physicians Formula’s Murumuru Butter Bronzer. It provides the best of both worlds when it comes to cream and powder blushes, bronzes the skin, and has been reviewed over 1,300 times on Amazon, where it’s a #1 Best Seller).
“I’ve purchased so many bronzers in every price range and didn’t have high hopes for this one…but based on the reviews and price I thought I’d give it a try. This is the first bronzer that doesn’t make me look like I applied bronzers. It’s just a subtle bronze glow and I love it! I like it so much that I’m thinking of stocking up in case the mfr decides to discontinue it one day. :)”
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $9, amazon.com
NARS Bronzing Powder
NARS is another brand who has proven they know what they’re doing when it comes to providing the best, most flattering washes of color for the face. Their Bronzed Powder comes in two colors, both giving off a golden shimmer in addition to a bronzed glow.
“I own both Laguna and Casino. They are very similar in hue, only Casino is darker, thus more pigmented on darker skin tones. Both can be used on light skin tones but a lighter hand is required when using Casino. Both also have a golden glow that is not too shimmery and appropriate for everyday use. Overall, they’re great for anyone who wants a sun-kissed look!”
Available at sephora.com, $40
Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit
With over 120,000 loves on Sephora, Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Sugar Glow Kit is a highlighter winner. You get four metallic highlighter colors that look fabulous and can be applied either wet or dry. They are also made without parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.
“Stopped in Sephora the other day and seen this beauty and OMG I’m in love!!! The colors are super cute and flattering to any skin tone. I am a chocolate girl and none of the colors made me look ashy. You will be able to GLOW for your life.”
Available at sephora.com, $40
Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder
We told you Milani has great products! We also had to include their Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in this roundup. It contains light-reflecting pearls, that help to create a pretty, bold glow.
“This is so good for a drug store product. This is one of my all-time favorite highlighters. It is super blinding but can be toned down if you want. It looks great on the skin and blends in great.”
Available at ulta.com, $9.99
Milk Makeup Holographic Stick, in Supernova
Makeup in the form of sticks are easy to apply and travel with. And, you don’t need a brush to apply. Milk Makeup’s Holographic Stick in Supernova is the handy beauty product you reach for when you want your summer glow to look more intergalactic.
“If you’ve ever wanted to feel ethereal, like a fairy, a mermaid, or something a little otherworldly, the holographic stick in Supernova is definitely for you. I love the buildability and the sheen of this product; you can swipe it on quickly for a subtle lavender pop or layer it on for a dazzling highlight that catches everyone’s eye. I have yellow undertones and I was worried that this would bring them out too much, but the color really complements my skintone and doesn’t oversaturate my undertones. The pigment is pretty long-lasting; as a uni student whose classes are located across slopes, I swipe this on and blend with my fingers on the way to a 10am class and it lasts until I take it off back at the dorms around 10-11pm. The creaminess of the product is really nice as well, but if your pores tend to be sensitive/easily clogged, be wary of wearing this too much. I don’t usually wear cream products, so that could be why, but I do feel that the Holographic Stick can be a little heavy on my skin. However, I haven’t had any problems with breakouts since I started wearing it. It also looks fantastic as an eyeshadow base/alone or on the cupid’s bow. I love how easy it is to apply, its versatility, and the gorgeous iridescent look I get. Seriously, if you love adding a little fantasy to the mundane, check this product out. It’s wonderful!”
Available at sephora.com, $18
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer
Benefit is another brand we trust to give us a healthy glow, in several different colors and forms. Their Hoola Matte Bronzer, available in four different colors, is a tried-and-true, much-loved bronzer because it delivers that beachy look we strive for during the summer, and beyond.
“I have Nc45 skin and this is the PERFECT matte bronzer!! I can get powdery in the pan, however, it is easy to blend and looks super natural. So happy Benefit has come out with darker shades!!”
Available at sephora.com, $30
Rimmel London Natural Bronzer
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Rimmel is a fabulous drugstore brand, made up of products that deliver high quality and color. Available in four different hues, their Natural Bronzer is a proven winner in the bronzer category.
“Love love love this bronzer it is so flawless on skin and looks so natural if you use a light hand it is pigmented and beautiful on all skin shades i recommend this to anyone for a very affordable beautiful looking bronzer I paid $8 on special for mine which is so affordable for the quality”
Available at walgreens.com, $5.79