(Beauty)

The Best Bronzer Palettes

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By Marissa DeSantis
The Zoe Report/Amazon

Because bronzer is such a versatile product — it can be used all over your face, in lieu of contour, or even as eyeshadow — a palette that includes multiple bronzers is one of the most important tools you can keep in your makeup arsenal. The best bronzer palette for you will mainly depend on your skin tone, budget, and formula preference (i.e. powder versus cream), but you’ll also want to consider whether you want a palette that includes other makeup, like blush or highlighter.

When it comes to choosing a texture for your bronzer, powders are typically the easiest formula to work with (all you’ll need is a fluffy, rounded brush). You can apply a pressed powder bronzer as a neutral eyeshadow, concentrating your application along the contour of your eye, or along your neck and chest to ensure an even skin tone from face to chest. But, when used for an all-over glow, you'll want to concentrate on buffing your bronzer over the places where the sun would naturally hit your face (your temples, the tops of your cheeks, and the bridge of your nose).

A cream bronzer palette is a great choice for anyone who contours as a part of their daily makeup routine, as they're more pigmented and tend to be longer lasting than powders (personally, I like to use a cream bronzer paired with a powder bronzer to set the contour for even more staying power). Generally, you'll want to apply cream bronzer at the hollows of your cheeks, along your jawline and hairline, and down the sides of your nose, using a dense, angled brush for blending.

Depending on your palette, you can use lighter, matte colors to create more dimension at the middle of your forehead and chin, or shimmery shades down the bridge of your nose, above your cupid's bow, and along the tops of your cheekbones for a subtle highlight. And for anyone who prefers their sun-kissed glow sans shimmer, there are plenty of matte bronzing powders and creams to choose from — and you’ll find several, just ahead.

1. The Overall Best Drugstore Bronzer Palette

If your skin is on the light or medium side, the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer Palette is a great choice at a great price. The palette includes three shades of the brand's cult-favorite Murumuru Butter Bronzer: light, medium, and deep. Each one of the tropically scented bronzers applies like powder, but has a smooth, silky finish thanks to the murumuru, cupuacu, and tucuma butters in the formula. The bronzers have a slight shimmery finish to them for an added glow, but note that this palette won’t be the best choice for you if you have very tan or dark skin.

2. The Overall Best Prestige Bronzer Palette

LORAC’s PRO Contour Palette contains six super-pigmented powders meant for contouring and highlighting, but the darker shades work just as well for bronzing. The four smaller sized pans in the palette include two matte highlighters and two matte powders for contouring/bronzing, while the two larger sized pans house a shimmery highlighter and a medium matte color, which also works great for contouring and bronzing. The palette also has its own mirror and comes with a brush, so it’s a great choice for keeping in your bag for midday touchups.

3. Best Cream Bronzer Palette For Dark Skin

Finding bronzers that are deep enough for darker skin tones can be a challenge, which is why Black Radiance created their True Complexion Creme Contour Palette. Though it’s marketed as a contour palette, the creamy shades inside work just as well for bronzing. The three-shade palette, which comes in options for light to medium and medium to dark skin tones, includes two matte cream colors for sculpting and a shimmery highlighter for illuminating. They’re a dream to blend, whether you use your fingers, a makeup sponge, or a brush, and can be layered on for more intensity, too.

  • Available shades: 2

4. Best Prestige Bronzer Palette With Blush

Inspired by the real glow you'd get on a tropical vacation, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Face Palette comes with everything you need to enhance a natural tan or create a convincing faux glow — at home or on-the-go. The compact features a mirror on one side and a bronzer, highlighter, and blush on the other. Each of the shades have a shimmery finish, and the palette comes in three variations to complement light, medium, and dark skin tones.

  • Available shades: 3

5. Best Drugstore Bronzer Palette With Blush

For a more budget-friendly take on the all-in-one palette, try Maybelline's FaceStudio Master Face Contouring Kit. With two options curated for light to medium and medium to deep skin tones, the palette comes with a highlighter, blush, and contouring/bronzing shade, labeled by name and number to eliminate any guesswork when it comes to application. Each of the shades has a shimmery finish, and the palette comes with a mini brush that tucks away neatly into the compact.

  • Available shades: 2

6. Best Bronzer Palette With Highlighter

Each Haus Laboratories Heat Spell Bronzer + Highlighter Duo features two powders — a matte bronzer and a complementary shimmering highlighter — housed in a mirrored compact. But the palette takes things a step further by offering options for a range of skin tones (light, medium, tan, and dark) and undertones (cool, warm, and red). All of the powders are buildable, smooth, and comfortable on skin, thanks to ingredients like vitamin E and sunflower seed oil. At under $20, it’s a great price for such a gorgeous, high-quality palette.

  • Available shades: 5

7. Honorable Mention

For light to medium skin tones, this Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Shading palette is the most compact option of them all. With a mirror included on one side, the circular palette features three cool-toned matte powders, which can be used separately for contouring and targeted bronzing, or mixed together to give your skin an all-over glow. The Artclass By Rodin palettes are also offered in highlighter- and blush-themed versions, while the ‘Blusher De Ginger’ palette would work nicely as bronzer for already tan skin.