The Best Matte Bronzers

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There will never be an easier way to fake sun-kissed skin than with bronzer — but if you've been on the hunt for a matte bronzer, you know that finding an option that's not loaded with shimmer is actually quite difficult. But no matter: The heavy lifting has already been done for you, and you’ll find five of the best matte bronzers ahead. When shopping for a matte bronzer, you’ll have two types to choose from: powder bronzers and cream bronzers, the latter of which typically comes in the form of a stick. Powder formulas allow for more control when it comes to applying and layering your bronzer, while cream formulas give your skin a dewy sheen without the shimmer. For a natural-looking glow, always aim for a color that's one to two shades darker than your skin tone.

Just as important as the type of bronzer you choose is your application technique. Apply your bronzer after foundation and concealer, if you’re wearing any, using a fluffy, angled brush (though with a cream formula you can also apply it straight from the stick and use your fingers to blend). The easiest bronzing tip I've learned over the years is to apply along the hollows of the cheekbones, the outside of the forehead, and the jawline in the shape of the number '3.' Use any excess bronzer left on your brush across your nose or along each side to give it a contoured effect, and don't forget to blend a light layer of bronzer down your neck. To add more sculpted definition, you can double up by setting your cream bronzer with a powder formula (full disclosure, I stole this tip from makeup artist Hung Vanngo). And because less is more when it comes to bronzer, start off with a light layer (if you're using a powder, this means tapping the excess product off your brush before applying it), and gradually build up to your desired intensity.

For a shimmer-free faux glow, these are the best matte bronzers to add to your makeup kit.

Best Powder Bronzer Under $10

Pressed powders tend to be the most popular type of matte bronzer, and NYX’s matte bronzer is a budget-friendly option with over 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. The formula includes talc, which helps absorb excess oil, and it comes in shades ranging from ‘Light’ to ‘Deep Tan.’ Use it with the brand's Pro Multi-Purpose Buffing Brush to seamlessly blend a light layer of bronzer over your skin, or build up the color for a shine-free contoured effect.

  • Available shades: 5
Best Prestige Bronzer

This compact from Anastasia Beverly Hills contains a buildable matte powder on one side and a mirror on the other for easy, on-the-go application. The formula comprises finely milled bronzing powder that feels buttery smooth as you blend it into your skin, and it includes oil-absorbing aluminum starch octenylsuccinate. In addition to bronzing your face, your matte powder bronzer can also be used as a complementary, shimmer-free eyeshadow when blended along the creases and lids of your eyes (another trick I stole from pro makeup artists).

  • Available shades: 6
Best Loose Powder Bronzer

For the palest of skin tones, even the lightest bronzers can be too intense. Alima Pure Bronzer is a loose mineral bronzer that comes in three shades suitable for light skin tones and is completely free from any orange tones that can quickly take you into Oompa Loompa territory. Alima Pure's products are formulated without common irritants like fragrance and dyes, in addition to being cruelty-free and vegan. As a certified B Corporation, the brand is also environmentally conscious, offsetting 100% of their corporate carbon emissions through the Carbon Fund, using renewable energy through the Green Source Renewable Power Program, and donating 1% of their yearly gross sales to environmental organizations.

  • Available shades: 3
Best Matte Bronzer Stick Under $10

This stick bronzer is creamy and easy to blend (whether you’re using your fingertips or a brush), and it dries down into a soft powder. That said, while it’s not at all shimmery, it won’t exactly mattify your skin or soak up oil. It’s formulated with several moisturizing ingredients, including grape seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and shea butter, so it won't leave your skin feeling tight or stick to any dry patches.

  • Available shades: 2
Best Matter Bronzer Stick For Black Skin

Sadly, trying to find a matte bronzer for Black skin makes the already-difficult task even more difficult. But since most people use bronzer to give their skin a contoured effect (in addition to some added warmth), and since this Black Radiance foundation stick is great for contouring, it can also be used in lieu of a matte bronzer. What’s really great about this stick is that it has an angled brush built into one side, which makes it easy to diffuse the product onto your skin. It’s sold in five shades, from ‘Bronze Glow’ to ‘Cocoa Bean.’

  • Available shades: 5
Best Bronzer Stick For Light To Tan Skin

Cream bronzers are especially great for a contoured look; plus, they often contain more nourishing ingredients if your skin is on the dry side. Kiko Milano’s contour stick is a non-comedogenic, multi-purpose stick infused with vitamin E-rich walnut oil and pistachio extract. Though not technically a bronzer, it can absolutely be used as one. The formula is creamy enough to swipe directly onto your skin for the fuller coverage typically associated with contouring, or you can apply the bronzing cream onto a blending brush first for a more subtle hit of warmth.

  • Available shades: 2
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Just as its name implies, Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless powder is a matte, multi-purpose powder that can be used for a variety of purposes, from contouring to bronzing to concealing. You can apply it all over your face like a powder foundation, use it to add some warmth and dimension to your face, and use it to soak up oil throughout the day. It gives your skin a smooth, shine-free, pore-blurring effect, so it’s an especially good choice for people with oily and combination skin. Plus, it comes in over 24 shades for super-fair and dark skin alike.

  • Available shades: 24