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10 Best Bronzers for Dark Skin 2023 | UK Makeup Artist Reviewed

A good powder or liquid bronzer can bring out the best in a naturally tanned or deep completion, adding depth, tone and colour for gorgeous skin with a golden glow. This article will show you how to choose a bronzer that beautifully complements deep skin tones. We've got plenty of advice, including how to find your perfect shade, tips for highlighting and contouring, and whether you should go for shimmer or matte.


We've also ranked our top 10 favourite bronzers for dark skin available in the UK, featuring much-loved luxury and drugstore brands for all budgets, which are available to order online from Amazon, Boots and John Lewis. We've also partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer to ensure our buying guide is extra informative and valuable to you.

Last updated 07/06/2023
Marie Dancer
Expert
Makeup Artist
Marie Dancer

As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.

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Fact-Checked & Approved by Makeup Artist Marie Dancer

Fact-Checked & Approved by Makeup Artist Marie Dancer

As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.


Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.

How to Choose a Bronzer for Dark Skin in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Find a Bronzer With Red Undertones That’s One Shade Darker Than Your Natural Skin Tone
  2. Pick Red and Brown Shades for Warmer Undertones, or Pink Shades for Cooler Tones
  3. Choose a Cream Bronzer for a Translucent Finish, or Go for a Powder for Contouring
  4. Look for a Shimmer Bronzer for a Luminous Glow, or Add Definition With a Matte Bronzer
1

Look for a Bronzer With Red Undertones That's One Shade Darker Than Your Natural Skin Tone

Look for a Bronzer With Red Undertones That's One Shade Darker Than Your Natural Skin Tone

When choosing a bronzer for dark skin, it can be difficult to know which shade will have the subtle, yet noticeable effect you're looking for. Lighter shades of bronzer designed for pale or medium skin simply won’t show, but if you pick a shade that’s too deep, it can end up looking muddy or too harsh.


For the best results, we recommend opting for a bronzer that’s only one shade darker than your natural skin tone. Additionally, bronzers with a hint of colour will add an extra dimension to dark skin. Our advice? Avoid anything orange, and instead, look for bronzers with red undertones as these are generally the most flattering.


Get the most out of your bronzer. Take a look at the Best Bronzer Brushes.

2

Pick Red and Brown Shades for Warm Undertones, or Pink Shades for Cool Undertones

Pick Red and Brown Shades for Warm Undertones, or Pink Shades for Cool Undertones

If you’re unsure which shade will suit you, the biggest clue will be your skin’s undertone. Knowing whether you have warm or cool undertones will help you to select the best shade for enhancing your natural beauty. Remember, your skin tone and undertone are two different things, and contrary to what many people assume, those with dark skin can still have cool undertones. 


The first way to deduce your skin’s undertone is by taking a look at your veins. If they appear blue or purple under your skin, you have cool undertones, and if they're more green, you probably have warm undertones. Next, try the jewellery test: gold jewellery tends to better suit warm skin tones, whilst silver stands out on cool skin tones. 


Sticking to the previously mentioned reddish-brown shades, warm tones will benefit from the darker, burgundy side of the spectrum, whereas those with cool tones may want to give more pink-toned bronzers a go.

3

Opt For a Cream Bronzer for a Translucent Finish, or Powder for Contouring

Opt For a Cream Bronzer for a Translucent Finish, or Powder for Contouring

Bronzers usually come in the form of a powder, a cream, or a liquid. Which one you choose comes down to the application and the results you wish to achieve.


A powder bronzer:
  • Carries more pigment
  • Ideal for contouring or adding colour
  • Best applied gradually

A liquid bronzer:
  • Can be a little tricky to apply
  • Will provide a seamless, translucent finish
  • Lightly pigmented and will give your skin a subtle radiance

A cream bronzer:
  • Has a soft consistency that moisturises dry skin
  • Can be applied using fingers or a brush
  • Lightly pigmented, letting your natural colour shine through

When deciding which formula think about your skin type and how much make-up you're comfortable wearing. A liquid or cream will benefit dry and textured skin, but oily skin will find a powder the smoothest and most long-wearing powder. Some bronzers have smoothing powders included to fill in pores and give even texture.

4

Choose a Shimmer Bronzer to Give Skin a Luminous Glow, or a Matte Bronzer to Add Definition

Choose a Shimmer Bronzer to Give Skin a Luminous Glow, or a Matte Bronzer to Add Definition

The last decision to make is whether you'd prefer a matte bronzer, or one with a bit of shimmer. Want our advice? Because shimmer bronzers reflect light, they automatically look incredible on dark skin – lucky you! 


If you want to go glam, you can search for one that's extra-sparkly, but for day-to-day looks, you may prefer to stick to something more subtle. Unfortunately, shimmer bronzers tend to highlight blemishes, which is something worth being aware of if you have acne-prone or textured skin.


Matte bronzers are your best bet for that show-stopping contour. They're great for adding depth and definition to your features, and do look more natural on dark skin, but the downside is they're less forgiving than shimmer shades. When contouring dark skin with a powder bronzer, make sure to tap off any excess product from your brush to avoid harsh streaks! 

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10 Best Bronzers for Dark Skin in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Bobbi Brown

Bronzing Powder

Bobbi Brown  Bronzing Powder 1枚目

Top Choice for a Natural Bronzed Look

2

Fenty Beauty

Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer 1枚目

A Sheer Bronzer for Buildable Definition

3

BECCA

Sunlit Bronzer

BECCA Sunlit Bronzer 1枚目

Powder Bronzer That Feels like a Cream

4

Sleek MakeUP

Cream Contour Kit

Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit 1枚目

Affordable Drugstore Bronzer Palette for Contouring

5

NYX Professional Makeup

Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

NYX Professional Makeup  Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator 1枚目

Highlight and Bronze All in One

6

bareMinerals

Endless Summer Bronzer

 bareMinerals  Endless Summer Bronzer 1枚目

Mineral Bronzer for Sensitive Skin

7

TOM FORD

Skin Illuminating Duo

TOM FORD Skin Illuminating Duo 1枚目

Create the Illusion of Soft Natural Light on the Skin

8

Benefit

Hoola Matte Bronzer

Benefit  Hoola Matte Bronzer 1枚目

The Perfect Contour Shade for Dark Skin

9

Guerlain

Terracotta Light Bronzer

Guerlain  Terracotta Light Bronzer  1枚目

Matte Daily Bronzer for Cool Toned Skin

10

NYX Professional Makeup

3 Steps To Sculpt

NYX Professional Makeup 3 Steps To Sculpt 1枚目

A Trio of Sensational Shades for Contouring, Highlighting and Illuminating

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

Bronzing Powder Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£43.04
Reference price
£43.04

Top Choice for a Natural Bronzed Look

Founded in 1991, Bobbi Brown is a trusted name among beauty fanatics. With a company ethos centred around enhancing natural beauty, their bronzing products are formulated to replicate the brown and red tones found in a true tan for an organic glow.


A top-quality, bronzer that's guaranteed to bring out your best side, we like the shade 'Deep' as it has the highest concentration of red pigment, ideal for warming up dark complexions. Using a brush, sweep onto the apples of the cheeks forehead, nose, and chin blending out towards the perimeters of the face.

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No.2

Fenty BeautyCheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer Image 1
Source:boots.com
Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer Image 2
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£29.00
Reference price
£29.00

A Sheer Bronzer for Buildable Definition

Fenty Beauty are known for their inclusive range of shades that cater to all skin tones, so there was no way this bronzer wasn't going to make it onto the list! For this entry, we've actually chosen two shades, with Chocolate for cool complexions, and Toffee Tease for warm undertones.


If you're looking for a bronzer that does it all, this one does the most. The sheer cream application can be gradually built up, taking you from barely-there definition, to a full on contour depending on your preferred look.

No.3

BECCASunlit Bronzer

Sunlit Bronzer Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£44.99
Reference price
£44.99

Powder Bronzer That Feels like a Cream

The BECCA Sunlit Bronzer is certainly one that’ll have you questioning whether it's a powder or a cream, but liking it either way! Combining the benefits of both, this product applies like a powder with the soft, blendable consistency of a cream.


It's a fantastic choice for those looking for a subtle everyday shimmer shade. In terms of glow, it's the perfect in-between buildable bronzer that’s not too shiny, but not quite matte, thanks to BECCA's signature formulation that reflects light for a warm radiance without being glittery

No.4

Sleek MakeUPCream Contour Kit

Cream Contour Kit Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£10.99
Reference price
£10.99

Affordable Drugstore Bronzer Palette for Contouring

When it comes to fantastic, affordable makeup Sleek MakeUp always has you covered. This beginner-friendly contour kit features 6 sheer, blendable cream shades for expertly creating shadows and highlights on the face.


The formula makes it easy to apply just the right amount, whether you are using a brush, sponge applicator or fingers. You can also mix the shades together to achieve the perfect tone, though be aware that the lightest shade may be a little bit too orange for some.

No.5

NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£8.00
Reference price
£8.00

Highlight and Bronze All in One

For those of you wondering why there's a highlighter on this list, we're here to let you in on a little secret. NYX's Liquid Illuminator is simply divine for adding a subtle bronzed shimmer to dark skin! We recommend the shade Sun Goddess for adding an extra dimension to warm toned complexions. 


Best of all, you don't need to be an expert when it comes to application. It doesn't matter if you prefer using a brush or applying with fingers, you can afford to be a bit heavy handed as the lightweight formulation blends readily into the skin.

No.6

bareMinerals Endless Summer Bronzer

Reference price
£26.00

Mineral Bronzer for Sensitive Skin

For those with acne-prone or sensitive skin, finding makeup that won't cause you to breakout can be a nightmare. That's why we've chosen bareMinerals' Endless Summer Bronzer. It's a talc-free mineral powder that won't clog pores, or irritate skin.


The shade Warmth will be the most complimentary tone for adding a natural glow to dark skin. It allegedly has skin blurring properties too, so you can skip the Facetune next time you take a selfie!

No.7

TOM FORDSkin Illuminating Duo

Skin Illuminating Duo Image 1
Source:tomford.co.uk
Reference price
£64.00
Reference price
£64.00

Create the Illusion of Soft Natural Light on the Skin

Tom Ford’s Skin Illuminating Duo bronzer is our top pick for dark skinned babes who like a little bit of glitz and glamour. The twin metallic shades are designed to create the illusion of soft natural light on the skin for a multi-dimensional glow.


Although a bit pricier, this multi-functional product can be used as a bronzer, highlighter or eyeshadow. Layer the pressed powder gradually to take it from a translucent shimmer to a beautiful almost-opaque.

No.8

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

Reference price
£27.00

The Perfect Contour Shade for Dark Skin

Benefit’s best-selling Hoola bronzer in the shade 'Toasted' is the ultimate product for achieving seriously chiselled cheekbones. Our favourite for contouring darker skin tones, this bronzer is ultra-pigmented for a dramatic, show-stopping look.


Use with either an angled brush, or with the mini brush that comes included inside the compact, to seamlessly carve out the hollows of the cheeks, as well as along the sides of the nose and jaw line.  

No.9

Guerlain Terracotta Light Bronzer

Terracotta Light Bronzer  Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£40.72
Reference price
£40.72

Matte Daily Bronzer for Cool Toned Skin

Guerlain’s Terracotta Light Bronzer in shade 05 Deep Cool reveals a pinwheel of versatile brown tones enhanced with vibrant pink, adding a youthful flush to cool-toned dark skin.    


Mostly matte with a touch of shimmer, use this bronzer in lieu of a blusher for sun-kissed daytime looks. While you won’t get much of a contour from this product, it’s one of the best bronzers for adding vibrancy to the skin without appearing too harsh.

No.10

NYX Professional Makeup3 Steps To Sculpt

Reference price
£10.35

A Trio of Sensational Shades for Contouring, Highlighting and Illuminating

NYX’s 3 Steps To Sculpt contouring palette presents a trio of sensational shades for contouring, highlighting and illuminating. First, use the two matte shades to sculpt and tone, then follow by applying the shimmer shade to the high points of the face for a golden finish.


It's a great compact option to stow in your makeup bag for when you need a little touch up during the day, especially as it's effectively 3 products in one! The only downside is that this product may come up a little too light on some deeper skin tones.

Written and researched by Wren Mann

About Specialist Fact-Checked Articles

Marie Dancer
Makeup ArtistMarie Dancer

We partner with specialists across various fields to proof-read our buying guides to deliver accurate and reliable information. Our specialists do not endorse any products that we recommend.


- mybest UK

Top 5 Bronzers for Dark Skin

No. 1: Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

No. 2: Fenty BeautyCheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

No. 3: BECCASunlit Bronzer

No. 4: Sleek MakeUPCream Contour Kit

No. 5: NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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