The Best Bronzer Brushes

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There are plenty of makeup products that don't require any brushes or fancy tools at all. But others, like bronzer, are only as good as the makeup brushes you use to apply them with. The best bronzer brushes will save you from a patchy, uneven finish, and will instead ensure that all of the bronzer is perfectly blended for a natural, sun-kissed glow. The exact brush to reach for will depend on the type of bronzer you’re using, which could be a powder, a cream, or a liquid. For powder bronzer, always opt for a large, fluffy brush with a dome-like shape, which will help to diffuse the pigments more evenly. With cream and liquid bronzers, you'll want a denser brush that's either flat or angled, especially if you like a more sculpted look.

How To Apply Bronzer (The Right Way)

As for how you apply your bronzer, every makeup artist has a different technique, but a general rule of thumb is to apply it where the sun would naturally touch your face. (Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has a great YouTube video on bronzing and contouring basics, FYI). After you have your base makeup on, use your bronzer along your cheeks, sweeping the brush up towards your temples in a 'C' shape. You'll want to sweep the bronzer across your forehead, as well as across the bridge of your nose, and you can bring your bronzer down your neck to ensure that the skin there is the same shade as your face. No matter which bronzer or brush you use, you always want to start with less product on your brush, building up the color intensity and thoroughly blending the makeup into your skin as you work.

Shop The Best Bronzer Brushes

In a hurry? Here are the best bronzer brushes:

  1. Best Under $5: e.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Face Brush
  2. Best Powder Bronzer Brush: Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Makeup Brush
  3. Best Liquid Bronzer Brush: Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Kabuki Brush
  4. Best Cream Bronzer Brush: EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Brush
  5. Best Travel-Size Bronzer Brush: Laura Geller Retractable Airbrush Kabuki Brush
  6. Best Body Bronzer Brush: GOERTI Professional Body Makeup Brush
  7. Best Splurge: Artis Elite Rose Gold Oval 7
Best Under $5

This fan-favorite brush is proof that you can find quality makeup products at affordable prices. The e.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Face Brush has more than 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with dozens of reviewers noting that it works particularly well with powder products like bronzer. The cruelty-free and vegan brush uses ultra-soft synthetic bristles that let you deposit a sheer layer of product that's easy to blend out. As e.l.f. points out, you can use this brush for powder foundation, blush, and setting powder, too.

Relevant Review: “Great brush for an affordable price. Very soft bristles that don't fall out. I've been using it for bronzer, and it picks up product easily with a flawless application. Easy to clean, too."

Best Powder Bronzer Brush

Priced at just a few dollars more than the e.l.f. brush, this Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Makeup Brush was designed by makeup artists to perfect the application of powder products. It's also another highly rated product on Amazon, with more than 8,000 five-star reviews thus far. The oversized, dome-shaped brush is made with synthetic, hand-cut bristles that work best with powder and mineral makeup. To ensure the smoothest, most even finish, always tap off any excess powder from your brush before you sweep it across your face.

Relevant Review: “Amazing brush for the price. This brush allows you to build your bronzer. I have had the problem with other brushes where my bronzer comes out streaky and too bold. This brush really impressed me. My bronzer came out great today!”

Best Liquid Bronzer Brush

Whether you like to mix your bronzer in with your foundation for an all-over glow, or you take a more targeted approach, a liquid bronzer is great for dry skin types that prefer more of a dewy finish. This Sigma Beauty F80 Air Flat Kabuki Brush uses wispy duo fibers that help sheer out liquid formulas, resulting in a more natural, light-to-medium coverage. The synthetic bristles are also antimicrobial to help repel bacteria (though that doesn't mean you don't need to still clean them on a regular basis).

Relevant Review: “This brush is truly perfection! It's so dense! It blends my bronzer so well. I own many Sigma brushes and this is my favorite so far!”

Best Cream Bronzer Brush

Cream bronzers are also great for dry skin, but they're particularly helpful for anyone who is opposed to shimmer (and depending on the shade you choose, they can pull double duty as a contour, too). EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Brush can be used to apply cream and liquid bronzers, but because of its angled shape, it works especially well at blending in creamy contour products. You can use the brush dry for fuller coverage, or if you want a sheer, sun-kissed bronze, simply dampen the brush before you go in with your bronzer.

Relevant Review: “It’s perfectly dense and nicely packed to hold enough of the product and spread it out smoothly without absorbing it all. I love the shape of it, helps to get into the corners around my nose easier too. It really leaves my makeup looking gorgeous, couldn’t be happier with my purchase!”

Best Travel-Size Bronzer Brush

For traveling or on-the-go touch-ups, it can be helpful to have something more compact, like this retractable brush from Laura Geller. The densely packed bristles help to buff out powder bronzers into a natural finish (though the brand notes that the brush can be used with liquid makeup, too). And the retractable brush is not only convenient for tossing in even the tiniest of makeup bags, but it also allows you to make your bronzer application more customizable: For light coverage, slide the protective sleeve all the way down so that the brush is at its fullest point and the bristles are fluffy, and then adjust the sleeve further up for medium and full-coverage finishes.

Relevant Review: “The brush is really convenient. It has a cover and and a twisting feature to move the brush up & down. The brush has very soft bristles. It is excellent for applying blush, bronzer and any other powder can be also be used for foundation. With this brush, my makeup applies flawlessly.”

Best Body Bronzer Brush

If you're someone who loves a body bronzer or highlighter, a tool like this body makeup brush makes the application process mess-free. The wide, curved shape of the brush makes it easier to blend along large areas of your body like your legs and clavicle, and the brand notes that you can use it with both liquid and powder formulas. Multiple Amazon reviewers also note that the brush works well in place of a tanning mitt to more seamlessly blend in tanning lotions and mousses.

Relevant Review: “Excellent large size that's easy to hold and brush onto skin. I use this for bronzing spray and it makes for a perfect smooth application, fast and easy and uniformed on legs and arms. Love that I don't have to apply the bronzer by hand and then have to wash my hands [...]”

Best Splurge

Though they don't come cheap, I swear by Artis brushes for any and every makeup need. The Elite Rose Gold Oval 7 can be used for any type of base or face makeup, including liquid, cream, or powder bronzer. In addition to being easy to handle and feeling super smooth on skin, Artis' brushes are also vegan and cruelty-free. Additionally, every fiber on the brush has a microscopic, tapered tip, which Artis credits with blending makeup in better. The brushes are also chemical- and UV resistant, which helps them hold up against frequent brush cleanings (for reference, I've had mine for five years now and *try* to wash it every week).

Relevant Review: “This brush is beautiful! I normally use a [BeautyBlender] to apply my foundation and other [makeup] but I wanted to try a brush like this. I'm so glad that I did! It also works great for blush, contour, highlighter, powder or bronzer. This brush is a bit pricey but like they say, you get what you pay for. The bristles are so soft and dense so it blends makeup products, very well. The handle is easy to hold, while using and it feels nice in my hand.”

About The Author:

Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.