Though we’re slowly approaching the end of summer, who’s to say we can’t prolong our healthy glow a bit into fall?
Instead of fake-baking or spending way too much time out in the sun during the last few weeks of hot weather, it’s far easier to build a little more color into your skin with nontoxic, natural bronzers.
I’ve got a crazy collection of pressed bronzers, mineral bronzers, cream bronzers and liquid bronzers to choose from — but some get used more than others.
Here’s my candid take on these 11 nontoxic, natural bronzers. Here’s to a never-ending summer glow!
*Indicates press sample
*bareMinerals READY Bronzer in “The High Dive” ($24)
With just a touch of shimmer, bareMinerals READY Bronzer in “The High Dive” is a perfect pressed bronzer for someone looking for deep color and just a touch of fairy dust (aka mica).
I reach for this one every once in a while; it’s nice for contouring as well as for bronzing. I’m also partial to pressed bronzers. (I am messy.)
I don’t think it’s a repurchase for me, though, because I could easily go cleaner with my pressed bronzer.
If you’re sensitive to bismuth oxychloride, you’ll want to skip this one.
Mica, Lauroyl Lysine, Boron Nitride, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Calcium Ketogluconate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Silica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).
*Living Nature Summer Bronze Pressed Powder ($50 NZD)
Living Nature’s Summer Bronze Pressed Powder has been my summer staple. I adore the packaging and whimsical swirl design of the pressed powder, and while it has shimmer as well (thanks to mica), it’s extremely subtle.
This pressed bronzer powder also comes with a mini brush, which makes it excellent for travel.
This is definitely a repurchase for me. Here’s a list of stockists in the United States.
If you’re sensitive to talc, you’ll want to skip this one. (But you should also read Living Nature’s take on talc.)
Talc (CI 77718), Mica (CI 77019), Squalane, Titanium dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc stearate, Zea mays (corn) starch, Iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492), Magnesium stearate, Hydrated silica, Iron oxide (CI 77499), Tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), Olea europea (olive) fruit oil, Glycine soja (soybean) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Sorbic acid. **Certified organic
Mineral Fusion Bronzer Duo in “Luster” ($29.99)
I’ve had Mineral Fusion’s Bronzer Duo in “Luster” for quite a while, and it’s an oldie-plus-goodie that gives you two nice options in one: a darker, less-shimmery bronzer that’s great for contouring and a golden, more-shimmery bronzer that’s perfect for getting that sun-kissed look.
I haven’t reached for this one as often this summer because I’ve been so distracted by my Living Nature bronzer, but I love that Mineral Fusion is cruelty-free, gluten-free, talc-free, fragrance-free and free of artificial colors.
Plus, this line is readily available at Whole Foods, so it’s much more accessible to me than Living Nature, and it’s a cleaner option than the bareMinerals bronzer listed above. This is an easy repurchase.
Mica, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Lauroyl Lysine. MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Iron Oxide (CI 77491, 77492, 77499).
*Alima Pure Matte Contour Powder in “Sombra” ($18)
This is the one true contouring powder in my collection, but Alima Pure’s Matte Contour Powder in “Sombra” is the perfect shade of deep tan that I love using it to even out my sometimes-spotty summer glow.
As I mentioned above, though, I’m partial to pressed powders, so it’s a chore for me to use mineral anything (though I’ve gotten a lot better with mineral foundations).
For mineral bronzers and contouring powders, I have to be extra precise in my application, so this is one that I save for weekend when I have more time to apply and perfect my makeup.
I’m just not into mineral makeup unless it’s foundation and some blushes, though, so I wouldn’t repurchase this mineral bronzer (unless someone wants to teach me their mineral makeup ways).
Choose this one if you want something simple and clean with a very fine touch of shimmer.
Mica (CI 77019). May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
*Jing Ai Sierra Glow Duo Bronzer in “Halo Sunset” ($28)
I’ve had Jing Ai’s Sierra Glow Duo Bronzer in “Halo Sunset” (which seems to be discontinued?!) for a long time, but I only reach for it when I want a very daring shimmer — and that’s usually for summer nights.
One side of the duo is a darker, more matte pressed powder that’s great for contouring and evening out your summer color.
The other side of the duo is shimmer city, but can be applied quite tastefully and looks sexy on the shoulders and chest. Just apply sparingly and build, build, build!
Because this color seems to be discontinued, it’s not a repurchase for me.
If you’re avoiding phenoxyethanol, this isn’t the bronzer for you.
Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Dimethicone, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Zea Mays, (Corn) Starch, Zinc Stearate, Tapicoa Starch, Zinc Oxide, Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Phenoxyethanol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (In Shade Pink Only), Caprylyl Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbic Acid, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract*, Tin, Oxide (In Shade Pink Only), Tocopherol
*Simple Beauty Minerals Bronzer in “Glimmer Bronze” ($16)
If you’re looking for high-impact, party-girl shimmer, you need Simple Beauty Minerals’ “Glimmer Bronze.”
Holy wow does this mineral bronzer give you a glimmer. This one is definitely a nighttime-only bronzer and looks sexy on shoulders and chest as well. As with the bronzer above, apply sparingly and blend, blend, blend!
I think I could get away with justifying a repurchase on this because I’d use it more on my arms and chest than my face. And my arms and chest don’t require as much attention as my face does.
Mica; titanium dioxide; magnesium stearate; oxides; may contain: ultramarine blue; chromium green.
*Purely You Minerals Purely Bronze Bronzer ($7)
Purely You Minerals makes some beautiful, budget-friendly mineral makeup — a full size of this bronzer is $7!
As with basically all of this, yes, it has mica, but it’s extremely subtle — this makes for a great contouring mineral bronzer that imparts just a small shimmer.
I’m most impressed with the minimalist ingredients list (OK, and again, the crazy-inexpensive price!).
While the price is attractive, again, loose mineral bronzers aren’t really my thing. But if they ever become my thing, I’m buying this one.
Mica, Titanium dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Zinc stearate, Iron oxide
Christopher Drummond Beauty Sol Bronzer ($35)
While I’ve had this Christopher Drummond bronzer sample (it was a gift with purchase at a Vegas skincare and makeup boutique), I’ll admit it’s not one I reach for that often.
The color is gorgeous (deep, Brazilian tan) and the shimmer is abundant (hello, mica), but there’s just something about the application of it that doesn’t work for me. Call it user error, but I find it a bit streaky and just difficult to control.
Again, I’m not really a loose minerals kind-of-gal, but I haven’t had this issue with the other loose mineral bronzers. It’s just not meant to be, Christopher.
So, obviously, not a repurchase for me.
Sericite, Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide*, May Contain: Ultramarine Blue, Ferric Ferrocyanide. *This formulation does contain minimal amounts of Titanium Dioxide to maintain the quality of the product.
RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer ($28)
I was late to the Buriti Bronzer game, but finally gave in and shelled out for it — and I’m glad I did!
Though I typically don’t do cream blushes or bronzers (I’m oily), I’ve been slowly warming up to them this summer, and I’ve found that this formulation, consisting of coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba oil and buriti oil doesn’t slip around too much on my face and adds a warm, believable glow to my face.
The coloring isn’t severe at all, and it blends very well with my cream blushes and atop a cream foundation (if I’m wearing one).
You’ll want to avoid this bronzer, though, if you’re vegan (beeswax!) or if your skin is sensitive to coconut oil.
I’d repurchase this. It’s basically foolproof. Dab on, blend a bit and go.
*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,*Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, * Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit (Buriti) Oil, Tocopherol(non-GMO), *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019
Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint (formerly called Bronze Concentrate) ($39.95)
Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Bronzing Tint is my No. 1 pick for a year-round bronzer.
You can easily use this on bare skin that just needs a little evening-out and you won’t be left with thick patches of shimmer anywhere — seriously, this is shimmer-free yet offers every bit of sexiness minus the mica.
My favorite thing about the Translucent Bronze Concentrate, though, is how easily it can be mixed with your daily liquid foundation. I like to add half a pump to my foundation and blend it into my skin, watching how I slowly transform into a subtly darker version of myself.
Another reason this is my favorite is because it has beneficial skincare ingredients — anthyllis and witch hazel — packed inside, helping tone and firm the skin.
In case I wasn’t clear — YES! This is a repurchase.
You’ll want to avoid this if you’re vegan (beeswax).
Water (Aqua), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Alcohol, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract, Lysolecithin, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Fragrance (Parfum), Citral*, Linalool*, Farnesol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Limonene*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Coumarin*, Eugenol*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Algin, Silica, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)
Have you tried any of these bronzers and contouring powders? What are your favorites? Tell me in the comments section!