The Best Types Of Bronzer To Wear To The Beach In 2023

The beach is one of the most satisfying summer hangout spots, where we soak up much-needed Vitamin D, exfoliate our feet in the sand, and feel the exhilaration of dunking in cool water. Even if you'd rather chill on your beach towel than go for a dip, you can be satisfied bringing a book or activity, a source of hydration, and plenty of sunscreen to share between you and your friends.

But makeup on the beach can be a more complicated story. Whether you're still figuring out the most important place to use bronzer or are still clarifying the truth of bronzer vs contour, having a natural glow will kick start your summer, and you won't feel the need to let your face get unnecessary sun to match your body.

If you've put together a killer summer makeup look, the beach may feel like a major roadblock on a beautiful but scorching day. Luckily, there are ways to apply your bronzer and other makeup that will help you hold onto your glow. And using the right products in the right order can keep you from getting burned by the sun, spoiling your look, or wasting product.

Be clear about your products' compatibility

Celebrity makeup artist Hung Vanngo explained to Cosmopolitan, "You're looking to add warmth with bronzer, not color." He added, "Bronzer is all about making the skin look healthier," clarifying that bronzer is best used to attain a warm glow without having to risk long-term sun damage for a sun-kissed tan.

Starting with sunscreen is your best bet for making sure that damaging rays can't break through. Either moisturizer, then sunscreen, or a combination cream can work well. A tinted BB cream can also help you skip foundation altogether while still attaining a smooth-skinned look. When you want to add contouring bronzer, it's best to reach for products that work well with what's already on your face.  Water-based bronzer is a good choice if you're looking for something super compatible with other water-based products you use. Staying away from added shine in your products will also be helpful for maintaining a smooth canvass, since you'll probably already be sweating in the sun.

Honor your natural coloring with your glow

Finding the right shade of bronzer is crucial to keeping your beach look natural and stunning. Bobbi Brown artist, Amalie Russell, told Elle, "Making sure you get the right bronzer for your skin tone is so important: the wrong one can either make you look orange, ashy or like there's no make-up on you." 

Your best bet is using bronzer no more than three shades darker than your natural skin tone. Hung Vanngo shared with Cosmopolitan, "I use a semi-matte bronzer in a neutral shade on lighter complexions to help give more definition to the face." The cream bronzer from Fenty beauty is highly rated and comes in an all-star range of shades that suit any skin tone, while the matte cream bronzer from Milk is another strong choice for easy application and blendability. A liquid bronzer is also super versatile, and you can add a couple of drops to your liquid foundation or even moisturizer to get your glow.

Still, powder products have one major leg-up on liquid or cream products when it comes to the sweaty sheen you'd rather live without. Guerlain's terracotta matte bronzer has contouring power, and its best match for application is a plush makeup brush. The bronzer powder from Charlotte Tilbury can be applied to your face and body and even has hyaluronic acid with moisturizing benefits. Plus, applying bronzer powder to your forehead, cheekbones, and chin will fight the t-zone oil that builds up naturally and worsens on a sweaty day.