You never know when the sun is going to shine in our small country but luckily for us, you can create a sun-kissed glow anytime you want with bronzing powder. We put five fragrance-free ones to the test.
Most bronzing powders have a sunny holiday fragrance – like Guerlain’s iconic Terracotta – but luckily for us, the not that small community of people allergic to fragrance or the people who want to avoid it in their cosmetics, you can find fragrance-free options. If you know where to look. Cult classic Hula by Benefit is a good example. Or one of these five powders.
Good to know: they all contain talc, an ingredient some people with acne like to avoid because it might lead to an outbreak.
Or you might want to avoid it because you are afraid it contains asbestos fibers. (In principle, cosmetics you buy in the EU via official channels are safe and you should not worry about it.)
Good to know, part 2: the daylight during the testing was not great – I tested these when it was still rainy and gloomy in Belgium – so the pictures could have been a bit better.
Make-up tip: I like putting bronzer on in the classic way. You make a big 3 shape from the hairline to the cheekbone (the upper part of the 3) and from the cheekbone to the jawline (the lower part). And blend everything well. I sometimes add a bit on my nose with the leftover powders in my brush.
Bourjois’ Always Fabulous Bronzing Powder, 16,99 €, at Di
This is a nice bronzing powder if you like your bronzer with a bit of glitter. It comes in two universal hues (001 Medium and 002 Dark), promises to be long-lasting and easy to apply.
Luckily for me, the glitters are very small, not chunky: they add a nice glow to the skin but I do not feel like I am a disco ball or Edward Cullen in the sun. I tested the 001 Medium powder, which makes my skin look pretty tan but still pretty natural. By the end of the day, the powder has faded, it is not as long-lasting as the GloWish or Max Factor one.
Max Factor’s Facefinity Bronzer Powder, 14,99 €, at Kruidvat
The press release praises the powder’s blurring technology and its soft, light texture. And that you can easily blend the powder and build up its intensity, that it’s long-lasting and does not gather in fine lines. I think all of that is true.
A little goes a long way to give my (pale) skin a sunny tan and I can easily build up the intensity. My face looks sunny all day long, too.
According to the brand, the two colours, Light Bronze and Warm Tan, match with a lot of skin tones. I use the lightest one and I think it might be a bit too dark on very pale skin.
I also like that this is a matte powder: I personally think that a matte bronzer looks a lot more natural than a glittery one. (As Linda Cantello of Armani Beauty once said during an interview: nobody gets a natural tan with glitters in it.) Plus, you could also use a matte bronzer to contour, if you (still) are into contouring.
Huda Beauty’s GloWish Soft Radiance Bronzing Powder, 31 €, at Ici Paris XL
This bronzing powder is one of the two products Huda Kattan launched her GloWish range with. (More on that here and here.) The bonus: it contains skincare ingredients like nourishing shea butter and antioxidant vitamin E.
This bronzer gives my skin a nice, sunny glow that is enhanced by tiny shiny particles and it easily blends into skin. I tested both the Light and Medium colour and thought the Light one was a bit too discrete for my skin tone. Medium made me look all glowy and sunny. And this powder stays put all day long, too.
I know you do not buy make-up for its packaging (well, most of us wouldn’t) but I really like this one. Plus, it contains 30% PCR material. (That post consumer recycled.)
Dr. Jetske Ultee’s Bronzer, 29,95 €
The Dutch Jetske Ultee not only blogs about skin and skincare (myths), she also has her own range of skincare and make-up. The price of this bronzer is pretty steep but you get a sleek and chic looking powder and a formula that contains nourishing ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil that make this bronzer suited to dry and sensitive skin, too. Its promises: a subtle, sunny tan and subtle glow.
If you love a really tan look, this powder won’t be a good match. It gives the most transparant result of all bronzers and creates a very light tan. Mica provides a subtle glow and the formula feels silky soft on skin.
It comes in one universal shade. This is a nice bronzing powder for (very) light skin but if you have a darker skin tone you would not notice it.
Good to know: you can test Ultee’s products for 30 days. If you aren’t happy with them, you get your money back.
Sofie: The new make-up range of Zara also offers a bronzing powder. It looks almost matte in its packaging but leaves behind a nearly invisible shimmer on skin, just enough to make the colour come to life and give a velvety finish. This bronzer is well pigmented: so tread carefully when you apply it. A little goes a long way.
The formula is vegan and not tested on animals (like all cosmetics in the EU since 2013). A great bonus: this is a refillable bronzer, just like the other Zara Beauty make-up.