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Who Needs a Tan when These Seven Bronzers Are Just as Good?

These are our editors' absolute favorites for when vacation *just* isn't an option.

Who Needs a Tan when These Seven Bronzers Are Just as Good?
Meagan Wilson

The beginning of spring and summer is funny in that people seem to forget about winter entirely. The first day it gets above sixty degrees in New York, most people throw on shorts, sunglasses, andsunscreen. Snow is a distant memory and everyone is like, sweaters,what? But even though we’ve just spent months inside under blankets, we still wonder why we aren’t immediately tan upon warm weather’s arrival.

When we don’t have time to lay out in Central Park for hours, or have a vacation booked for the near future, these bronzers are essentially all the summer we need in a pretty little bottle. They make us feel like bronzed goddesses–and they might just do the same for you.


In my eyes, this is the OG bronzer. I’ve been using it for years, and although I have tried many others over the years, no other brand gives me a perfectly tanned, matte finish like this one does. Hats off to MAC for this one—please, never discontinue it.


The sign of a good bronzer, for me, is to look like I have nothing on, meanwhile my face is mysteriously tan and glowy. Tarte’s Clay Bronzer has zero sparkles or other clues that I didn’t just spend a weekend in Jamaica, and it layers perfectly over my moisturizer and sunscreen. The Park Avenue Princess (I know, I know) shade is my ride-or-die.


I hate shimmer in bronzer. Hate! This one is perfectly matte and smells ever so slightly of coconuts. I dust it all over my cheeks, forehead, and across my chest, and suddenly I look like its the end of August instead of the end of April. 


Although this isn’t really a bronzer, I use a darker shade of this foundation (two shades higher than my natural tone) on my cheekbones and in the creases of my eyelids when I need to look more...alive. It immediately brightens up my face and makes me look naturally sun-kissed. It’s also SPF 15, and the half-moon Chanel brush makes me feel fannncy fancy.


Because I’m completely incapable of making any single decision, I’ve chosen not one, but two favorite bronzers. Up first: Benefit’s Hoola, to which everyone’s all, same. If you haven’t used one of these cute lil’ boxes until it literally rips off the hinges, you haven’t lived, IMO. My *other* favorite is Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer.


I’ve really been trying to take care of my skin by applying SPF religiously. But even so, my skin gets a little bronzed from the sun depending on the season. That’s why I love Guerlain’s quad of four different bronzer shades—I don’t have to carry multiple bronzers and can swipe a lighter or darker bronze based on how tanned I get. It’s also great for contour—although 99% of the time I’m too lazy for it.


Photo: Shot on-site at 6 Columbus, a Sixty Hotel. On Jonelle: Necklace, Baker & Black; Rings, Catbird; Hair, Angela Soto; Makeup, Andriani.

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