There once was a time when bronzer was the sole reserve of those of us whose skin falls into the "medium" category. For years, fair-skinned ladies feared being left with harsh muddy stripes down their cheeks, and those with darker skin tones felt hard-pushed to find a shade that would actually show up on their faces. Thankfully those frustrating days are over, and it's all down to an influx of realistic-looking bronzers with wider-than-ever shade ranges.
And we're not just talking big-budget luxury brands here. No, you can find a bronzer that will flatter the colour of your skin—no matter what colour it is—on the shelves of the nation's most-loved drugstore brands. And when you take into account the fact that bronzer is one of those wonder products can dial up the warmth of a drained winter face in a few seconds flat, this is quite frankly cause for celebration. So let us show you the ropes.
Keep scrolling to see our roundup of our favourite under-$14 drugstore bronzers, from shimmer finishes to matte textures.
Somedays we want to look like KiraKira has thrown up all over us; other days, we don't. For the latter, there's this bronzer: a completely matte (not to be confused with flat) powder that adds warmth rather than shimmer. It's so finely milled that it feels like nothing on the skin and comes in three shades, finally filling that gap for a bronzer that flatters darker skin tones.
When it comes to a just-back-from-Tulum glow, Maybelline has authentic bronzing nailed. We love brushing this terra-cotta shade not only along cheekbones and in the hairline but across the décolletage and the front of shins too.
This bronzer has really flattering warm undertones, which add a shot of healthy-looking flush as well as the expected sun-kissed glow. This rich burgundy shade looks especially realistic on deeper skin tones. Oh, and it smells like coconuts. Dreamy.
Liquid formulas are particularly good on drier skin types, as they meld into the skin rather than gathering in the grooves. This one has added brains too: It's so sheer that it works on basically every skin tone, taking the guesswork out of shade-matching.
Speckled between the soft sepia pigments of this bronzer lie teeny-tiny flecks of silver shimmer that make skin look almost luminescent. This shade (103) is light enough that it won't weigh down even the fairest complexion.
Want more drugstore beauty? These affordable dupes are just as good as their luxe counterparts.