This article was first published on 9 November 2022.
Want to look like you’re sun-kissed all year long? Try dusting some bronzer on your face. It gives your complexion warmth and colour like you've been spending some time in the sun. If you want to achieve that sun-kissed look, a bronzer is your best friend. The best bronzers for Asian skin tones will have a neutral-to-cool muted brown colour.
What's the difference between contour and bronzer?
If you're confused between the two products, let's break it down for you. A bronzer adds warmth and colour back to your face after evening it out with your foundation, concealer, or BB cream. Contour, on the other hand, is for creating dimension and shadow.
Bronzer is placed in areas where the sun naturally hits your face. That's your temples, hairline, cheekbones, and even your eyelids. You can dust some on your collarbone too to look like you just came from a beach getaway.
Meanwhile, your contour is a cool- or neutral-toned colour that needs to be strategically placed in areas where you want to create an illusion of a shadow to sculpt your face. That's underneath your cheekbone, jaw, on your nose lines, and near your hairline, if needed.
There's some overlap between the two, so makeup artists also tend to use bronzers as contour. If you're going to do this, use a light hand and a big fluffy brush so it won't look muddy.
Now that you know what a bronzer actually does, get to know the best bronzers for Asian skin tones that you can find in Singapore.
1. NARS Bronzing Powder
NARS’ bestselling bronzing powder is formulated with finely milled powders that fill in the lines and pores on your face, creating a smooth, even-looking appearance. It adds a golden sheen to your skin that subtly warms up your face. According to the brand, you can also use it as a contour powder.
Try the shade: Laguna, the bestselling bronzer shade that NARS describes as a diffused brown with a golden sheen. It suits light to medium skin tones, but if you have a pale complexion, the shade San Juan may be closer to the effect you want.
It's available at NARS boutiques in Singapore and at Sephora for SGD66.
2. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder
The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder gives a sun-kissed glow to your skin. It's formulated with sheer mica powders and micro-pearls that reflect light and give a luminous effect.
Try the shade: Antigua, which is a unique light pink bronze perfect for fair Asian skin tones.
It's available on the brand's Lazada shop for SGD77.
3. Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer
Benefit's Hoola Bronzer is the quintessential beach tan bronzer. It's completely matte and comes with a brush that disperses the powder evenly on your cheeks and hairline. If you want a little hint of glow, there's the Benefit Hoola Glow Bronzer too.
Try the shade: Lite, if you're fairer-toned, or the original for medium skin tones.
4. NUDESTIX Nudies Matte All Over Face Color Bronze
Looking for a multitasking option? The Nudestix Nudies Matte All Over Face Color Bronze stick comes with a bronzer shade that you can apply to your cheeks, eyes, and lips. The creamy formula is easily blended out with your fingers or the built-in brush.
Try the shade: Bondi Bae, a neutral soft tan, for fair to medium Asian skin tones; or Deep Maple, a warm brown bronze for tan to deep complexions.
5. Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
Get that Barbados glow like Rihanna with her Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer. The non-greasy cream bronzer formula comes in sheer, buildable shades that work well with most skin types and tones. It's formulated to be light-as-air, sweat- and water-resistant.
Try the shade: Macchiato, a light-medium brown bronzer shade with a warm undertone that matches most Asian skin tones that fall in the medium to tan range. The shade Butta Biscuit is lighter with a neutral undertone if you have a fairer complexion.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow is a red-carpet-ready bronzing palette that's well-loved by makeup artists. It's a pressed powder formula that is completely matte, but the combination of pearl and pigment creates the illusion of glowing skin. It also comes with a highlighting shade with Light Flex Technology that's designed to capture and reflect the light that grazes your skin.
Try the shade: Light/Medium, which will suit most Asian skin tones that range from fair to medium.
It's available on Sephora for SGD50.
7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer
Achieve that LA girl glow with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer. Its creamy formula dries down matte after blending and promises to not streak, patch, oxidise, or smudge the complexion products you wear underneath it.
Try the shade: Sun Kissed, the lightest option in the range. It suits fair to light complexions with neutral undertones.
You can find it at Sephora for SGD52.
8. Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
Don't let its name fool you — this is a drugstore powder bronzer that delivers a soft swash of warmth to your skin. Aside from its main ingredient murumuru butter, the "butter" moniker is for its smooth application and blending since it melts into a skin-like finish. It's also infused with fatty acids and pro-vitamins to soften, condition and moisturise your skin.
Try the shade: Light Bronzer which is the lightest shade and has the slightest hint of pink for colour.
You can find it in Singapore on iHerb for SGD22.19.
9. Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Stick
This cream stick bronzer offers a non-greasy, water-resistant formula that seamlessly blends with your other liquid products. It glides on smoothly because of its liquid-like cream consistency — no skin-tugging here — and can be built up to your desired finish. The cream bronzer is infused with Rare Beauty's signature botanical blend of lotus, gardenia, and white water lily to soothe and nourish your skin.
Try the shade: Happy Sol, which is the second to the lightest in the range. It has a light brown shade with cool undertones that flatters fair to fair-medium Asian skin tones.
You can find it at Sephora where it's priced at SGD38.
10. Patrick Ta Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo
If you don't want to choose between cream or powder, the Patrick Ta Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo has the best of both worlds. The cream shade is for precise shaping and contouring. Afterwards, go in with the powder to set the cream product and add a hint of glowy warmth to your look.
Try the shade: She's Statuesque, the lightest in the range.
It's available in Singapore at Sephora for SGD58 each.
11. Gucci Beauty Poudre De Beauté Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder
The Poudre De Beauté Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder from Gucci Beauty promises to blur fine lines and pores while adding a luminous and natural glow to your skin. Its pressed powder formula makes it easy to blend.
Try the shade: Shade 3, which is the medium shade in the range.
It’s priced at SGD105 at Gucci Beauty boutiques and Sephora.
12. ONE/SIZE Made For Shade Sculpting Bronzer Trio
Do you find your skin changing tones throughout the year? You may find your go-to shade to be too dark or too light depending on the seasons. This bronzing palette solves the problem by having three different shades to mix and match. Each shade also has a different undertone: Shade is neutral and perfect as an all-over bronzer; Bronze is warm and gives the skin a non-shimmery glow; and Sculpt is cool-toned and perfect for defining the contours of your face.
Try the shade: Medium for just the right amount of warmth on your skin.
It’s priced at SGD60 at Sephora.
13. Clinique Powder Pop™ Flower Bronzer
This soft matte bronzer will definitely bring out the sunkissed goddess in you. It's lightweight, buildable, and quite versatile for both fair and deeper skin tones, making it a summer staple for many Asian girls.
Try the shade: Solar for that natural flush of colour.
Get it at Sephora for SGD40 per 9G here.
14. Natasha Denona Mini Bronze & Glow
If you need a travel-friendly bronzer paired with a stunning highlighter, make sure you grab this duo from Natasha Denona. The bronzer has neutral undertones that complement medium to tan skin. It can also double as a contour for those with lighter skin tones. Matched with the highlight, this can also be used on your lids to add more dimension to your look.
The product only has one shade.
Get it at Sephora for SGD31 per 4G here.
15. Pixi On-The-Glow Bronze
This multi-use bronzing stick will give your skin more depth and colour in one swipe. It's easy to blend, doesn't ruin your base makeup, and has soothing and nourishing skin properties because of aloe vera, ginseng, and other fruit extracts.
Try the shade: BeachGlow for that ready-for-summer skin.
Get it at Sephora for SGD30 per 19G here.
Pair your bronzers with the right shade of pink blush for a full look.
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