In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our editor is testing the new Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Bronzer.
Bad beauty editor admission: I didn't really know what bronzer was until about a year ago — granted my steez when it comes to beauty is much more skewed toward skin care. I do have a deep appreciation for makeup however, and over the past year or so I’ve found myself on beauty TikTok, immersed in all the latest makeup trends and viral products of which Charlotte Tilbury is always a top name.
Trends like over blushing and face lift concealer placement have leveled up my makeup game significantly, and now another not so new trend prompted me to try the new Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer. I’ve never used a bronzer but the makeup crew on TikTok swears that adding one into your routine will deliver a sun-kissed, just-off-the-beach glow that also snatches your face to perfection — and who doesn’t want that? So I put the new launch to the test to see if it would give me that coveted bronzy glow.
The brand really needs no introduction as it’s become one of the biggest household name makeup brands on the market — beloved by celebrity makeup artists, influencers, and everyday makeup lovers alike. It’s complexion products, including the latest Beautiful Skin Foundation, received rave reviews and the Flawless Filter Primer is sure to be found in every makeup aficionado’s stash. With all this in mind, I went in with high hopes for the brand’s newest cream bronzer.
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- Best for: Fair to tan skin tones
- My rating: 3/5
- Brand: Charlotte Tilbury
- Clean: No
- Cruelty-Free: Yes
- What I like: Luxe packaging, lots of product quantity
- What I don't like: Tone isn’t warm enough, there are only four shades
I have oily-combination skin and when I wear makeup my main goals are to even out my skin tone, brighten my under eyes, add some color to my cheeks, and define my cheekbones and jaw. I usually turn to the basic highlight (with concealer) and contour (with a darker shade of foundation) combo to accomplish the naturally snatched look but I never quite understood the purpose of bronzer, which as celebrity makeup artist Alexx Mayo explains is to “add warmth and enhance the skin tone.”
Another reason I steered clear of bronzers is because many on the market weren’t dark skin friendly — since bronzer is usually meant to be darker and warmer than your natural skin tone it’s difficult for those with much darker complexions to find a bronzer that shows up on their skin tone (I’ve certainly had this issue).
The Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer
This is the brand’s second bronzer but the first cream bronzer. This new bronzing formula “gives skin a healthy, sun-kissed glow while also improving the look of skin with the help of ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid (to add hydration to the skin) and Provitamin D3 (which converts to Vitamin D on exposure to sunlight for an even sun-kissed glow),” according to the brand. When applied correctly (more on that ahead) the bronzer should result in a “sun-kissed, beachy bronzed glow”.
“The benefit of having a cream bronzer is that it is more hydrating to the skin and gives more of a realistic blend into the skin,” explains Mayo. The brand is also launching the Beautiful Skin Bronzing Brush which is meant to be used to apply the bronzer and features ultra-soft synthetic fibers, and densely packed bristles designed to pick-up the perfect amount of product.
The cream bronzer comes in four shades:
I went with the darkest shade in the range and right off the bat I did a mini swoon over the packaging. The brand is known for their luxe gold-hued packaging but this compact feels extra glossy and expensive. The look of the actual cream bronzer is a dark, rich chocolatey shade that looks buttery and smooth.
Applying The Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Bronzer
I fell in love with the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin foundation upon application (see TZR’s full review here) so I had high hopes for this bronzer, which was inspired by the foundation. I did my makeup using a few Charlotte Tilbury products to really enhance the bronzer (though you don’t have to, I just imagine the bronzer will look extra good within the family of CT products). I primed with the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Face Illuminator followed by the Beautiful Skin Foundation in the shade 15 neutral. I then continued with the rest of my makeup routine, using concealer to brighten my under eye area, adding a terracotta-hued blush on my cheekbones and setting the top half of my face with a powder.
I then went in with the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Bronzer, swirling the bronzing brush into the pan a few times and gently pressing it into the hollow of my cheekbone where I have a natural contour, and blending the product upward. I also applied it using the same method around my temples and both sides of my jaw. Mayo recommends applying this product “to the perimeter of the forehead, under the cheek bones, and down the neck.”
Off the bat, I like how pigmented the product is — I actually picked up a bit too much product so beware that a few swirls in the pan will pick up lots of product. I was a bit disappointed by the effect after blending in the bronzer. The product promises a “sunkissed glow” but I found that this bronzer had the same effect as a cream contour. It subtly defined my jawline and cheekbones for sure but my face was missing that warmth that bronzers are known to give. The color felt a bit harsh on my face and created a stark contrast between the rest of my makeup even after blending.
This product makes for a great cream contour for me but missed as a bronzer mainly due to the lack of warmth in the undertone of the shade. The shade range also leads me to conclude that anyone even one shade darker than me would not be able to use the bronzer for the purposes of adding warmth to the face. The application was seamless and throughout the day it wore well and didn’t pill, separate or add any oiliness or shine. I was even able to use it as a dark brown eyeshadow to create a subtle winged liner one one occasion. It’s definitely something I’ll reach for to contour but as far as using it as a bronzer to add warmth to the face for that sun-kissed effect, this ultimately just isn’t dark skin friendly.
BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.