The 14 Best Bronzer Sticks for a Sunkissed Glow, Starting at Just $4

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Eight celebrity makeup artists recommend bronzer sticks from brands like Rare Beauty, Makeup By Mario, Merit Beauty, and more

<p>People / David Hattan</p>

People / David Hattan

Everyone loves the effortless glow that the first tan of the summer brings, but unfortunately, it’s usually accompanied by a slight sunburn and requires a lot of upkeep (a.k.a. tanning beds or spray tans, which are either dangerous or messy). Instead of playing with the fires of sunscreen-free tanning or waiting eight hours for a your favorite self-tanner to dry, there’s a simple product that you can implement into your makeup routine that mimics the sun without sacrificing your skin, and it comes in the form of a bronzer stick.

A bronzing stick is a cream-based bronzer formula that you can use to add dimension, depth, and warmth to the face,” says Kasey Spickard, celebrity makeup artist to The Bachelorette's Tayshia Adams and social media influencer Remi Bader. Basically, it's a solid form of cream bronzer that allows you to better control your application with its easy grip.

“Bronzing sticks are often applied to specific areas of the face where the sun naturally hits, such as the cheekbones, forehead, and nose, to create the illusion of a natural tan,” says Rare Beauty global makeup artist Cynthia Di Meo. “People use bronzer sticks to add warmth to their skin or adjust their makeup shade to match their tan during the summer months.” A faux-glow, so to speak.

But shade ranges and formula varieties are essential when finding the right product for your skin, making this product a widely replicated one among most beauty brands. “There are so many options — some are more shiny, some are more pigmented, some come in cooler tones, and some warmer,” says Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila Cosmetics and Neen. “It’s a lot to figure out.”

Wading through the waters for you, we talked to celebrity makeup artists, brand founders, and conducted our own research to see which bronzer sticks are really worth the hype. Read on to discover which ones made the cut.

Best Overall: Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Stick

$26 at

$26 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This buildable, ultra-blendable bronzer stick is great for makeup users of any skill level who want to achieve a beautiful bronze.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Because of how fool-proof this product is, we think it’s pretty much good for anyone.

Rare Beauty is known for many things: its mental health awareness initiatives, its celebrity founder Selena Gomez, of course, and now, its bronzer sticks. “I love Rare Beauty's Warm Wishes Bronzer Stick because it takes the intimidation out of using a cream formula,” says Di Meo. “It really is a product made with a makeup novice in mind.” The Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Stick is a creamy (but never greasy), effortlessly blendable product that can be buffed into your skin with your fingers, a brush, a sponge — you name it. Though it comes in a solid stick, the formula glides onto your skin like butter, melting into the contours of your face to create a sunkissed glow.

“While powder bronzer has historically been favored by those with oily skin, the evolving and innovative formulas in the beauty industry are reshaping these preferences,” celebrity makeup artist Renee Sanganoo says of the Rare Beauty bronzing sticks. Though these sticks are liquid-like upon application, they don’t become greasy after blending or elongated wear. Plus, their shade range is pretty impressive — eight hues that can be built up to achieve a customizable depth. Whether you’re a beauty amateur or a skilled artist, there’s something for everyone to love when it comes to this product because of its buildable formula and natural finish.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Natural | Coverage: Light, buildable | Size: 0.25 oz.

Best Budget: Wet n Wild MegaGlow Makeup Stick Conceal and Contour

$3 at

$10 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This creamy bronzer is great for the makeup novice who wants to try their hand at the contour craze without splurging on a pricey product.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • We wish that this formula came in a few extra shades (namely, those for deeper skin tones).

If you’ve ever shopped for makeup, you’ll know how quickly things can get pricey — which is why a budget-friendly buy like the MegaGlo Makeup Stick from Wet n Wild is a great option for someone who just wants to test the waters. While this formula glides on in a creamy swipe, it blends out into an almost self-setting powder, which helps the product stay put throughout the day. Plus, it’s infused with Vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory agent that calms and firms the skin.

It also comes in a blush and concealer form, which can result in a full face of makeup for only $4 a stick — but despite the versatility of this product, we do wish that it came in a few deeper shades for those with darker skin tones. All this to say, we still think $5 is a steal for a decent bronzer stick, especially when you can snag it on sale.

Shades: 3 | Finish: Matte | Size: 1.1 oz.

Best Matte Finish: Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick

$24 at

$24 at

Who It’s Good For

  • The formula of this highly blendable bronzer is great for someone who wants a product that can hydrate the skin while still setting into a natural, matte finish.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Since this bronzer has a non-reflective, matte finish, it’s not ideal for someone who wants more of a radiant and glowy look to their skin.

A celebrity makeup artist favorite is the Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick — a hydrating, lightweight product that blends beautifully into the skin and leaves a beachy bronze behind. Both Spickard and Lobell sing praises for this creamy bronzer, and we also appreciate the many perks of this product. Not just because of it natural finish, but also because of its nourishing ingredients of mango and apricot extracts (natural essences that boost hydration in and sustain the skin) and pretty reasonable price tag.

“These have such a lovely natural finish and are the perfect amount of warmth without being too orangey,” says Spickard of the hue of the bronzer. With its vegan formula, fairly inclusive shade range, and wearable, everyday finish, there’s so much more to love about this little Milk Makeup bronzer.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Matte | Size: 0.19 oz.

Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

$32 at

$49 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This contour stick is particularly great for anyone with a skin tone that is hard to find suitable matches for due to lack of shade diversity — they won’t have that problem here.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Because this product has a cream-to-powder consistency, it may feel a bit too dry on dehydrated skin.

If there’s one thing about Rihanna’s renowned makeup brand Fenty Beauty, it’s that each product will have quality to the upteenth degree — and a wide variety of shades for each and every one. Fenty Beauty’s Match Stix Contour Skinsticks are a beacon of this example, providing nine hues for skin tones from fair to very deep, to achieve a shade that mimics that natural shadows of your face. Its formula is super lightweight and blendable, going from a creamy consistency in a stick to a powder-like product as soon as it’s buffed into the skin.

Because of this powder finish, there’s the potential that this product could feel a bit too stiff on dry skin — but more often than not, it will just leave your skin looking matte instead of glowy (not necessarily dry). And if you want to really apply it like a pro, you can use your fingers to make small circles on the back of your hand, warming up the product before softly tapping it onto the hollows of your cheekbones and near your temples. (Fun fact: Rihanna’s go-to shade is “Truffle.”)

Shades: 9 | Finish: Matte | Size: 0.25 oz.

Best for Contouring: Makeup by Mario Softsculpt Shaping Stick

$32 at

$28 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This dual-ended product has a slightly cooler undertone than most of the other products, making it great for both natural-looking bronzing and contouring.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who wants a super warm bronzer might think these tones are a little too ashen for their liking.

Oftentimes bronzers and contour products can go hand-in-hand, and in Makeup by Mario’s case, the two unite into a single entity in the SoftScuplting Shaping Stick. This chubby stick is not only a two-in-one in terms of makeup function, but also in design, featuring the stick product on one end and a dense buffing brush on the other.

Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg calls this one out as one of her favorites, and we can see why — the formula is ultra blendable and its cooler undertones are more shadowy than your typical bronzer, which is perfect when creating more dimension on your face. The brand promises that each shade is never “orange or muddy” on any skin tone, a common pitfall for many bronzer-contour combos, but not for this tried and true product. We find that this option is great for winter skin as well, when our complexions are at their palest and our summer bronzers may be a bit too warm.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Matte | Size: 0.37 oz.

Best with Blush: Dibs Beauty Desert Island Duo

See at

$36 at

Who It’s Good For

  • Equipped with both a bronzer and blush in one product, this double-ended stick is perfect for someone who wants to condense their makeup stash.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who has too many blushes to count (or isn’t the biggest fan of cream blush) won’t feel the need for this component as part of their bronzer stick.

Think of all the times you wish you could mash your beauty essentials into one pocket-sized product: packing for vacation, running late and doing your makeup on your commute, throwing a small product in your purse for midday touch-ups. Thankfully, that product now exists — and it’s the Dibs Beauty Desert Island Duo. “My go-to is definitely Dibs Beauty Desert Island Duo in Shade 2,” says Emma Willis, makeup artist to celebrities like Shawn Johnson and Jessie James Decker.

This beachy combo features a buttery bronzing shade on one end and a baby pink option on the other, making this product a one-stop-shop for “lazy girl” makeup. Simply swipe on, tap it out, and head out the door. “I love it because it suits so many skin tones, is super blendable, and also has the prettiest cream blush on the other end of it,” she adds. “Win, win!”

Shades: 9 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.30 oz.

Best with Highlighter: Jouer Cosmetics Bloom, Bronze & Glow Bronzer + Highlighter Duo

$36 at

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • The two-in-one function of this product is another product that is great for someone who prefers a multi-use stick instead of multiple separate products.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People who don’t like the shimmery look of a highlighter won’t be too keen on tacking this product onto the end of their bronzer.

Yet another do-it-all product is the Jouer Bloom, Bronzer, and Glow Stick — a two-in-one consisting of a light-catching highlighter and a warm bronzer. With a few quick swipes and finger pats of this highly blendable product, you can look like you just stepped off the beach (even if you’re just hopping out of your car). “I love a dual ended product — you have bronzer on one end and a cream highlighter on the other,” says Spickard of this double-ended stick. “These blend out beautifully and have a velvety texture,” he adds, no doubt a result of the creamy formula infused with jojoba, rose hip, and squalane oils, plus several other vitamins and butters. Whether you want to use a dense brush, damp sponge, or just the pads of your fingertips, it’s practically effortless to achieve a sunkissed glow.

Shades: 3 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.29 oz.

Best for Deep Skin Tones: Blk/Opl True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15

$14 at

$11 at

Who It’s Good For

  • The vast variety of shades that this product comes in for those with deeper skin makes this a great product for people with more melanin.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • This isn’t the best product for someone who wants a sheer formula, as this product is admittedly full-coverage.

It’s a well-known fact that beauty lovers with darker skin have more trouble than people with lighter skin when finding the right shade matches when it comes to makeup. Blk/Opl is changing this one product at a time, especially with its True Color Skin Perfecting Stick — a foundation at its core, but also a fantastic bronzing product for those who want to find their perfect shade no matter the depth of their skin tone.

With 23 hues to choose from, this product certainly beats out our “best shade range” winner, the Fenty Beauty Match Stix, though they're all made for deeper tones, which earns its own spot here. From warm-toned medium shades to neutral, ebony brown hues, there’s a color fit for bronzing and contouring on any skin tone. And did we mention that it even comes with SPF 15? Talk about a product that can do it all. Plus, it's one of the biggest sticks we’ve included thus far — 0.5 oz. for around $14.

Shades: 23 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.5 oz.

Best for Light Skin Tones: Freck Beauty Face Hack Precision Sculpting Cream Contour Bronzer Stick

$18 at

Who It’s Good For

  • As this product is fairly sheer (yet buildable), it’s great for people who have very fair skin and find that most bronzers look too harsh on their skin.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • With its natural finish, this bronzer may not be the best for someone who wants a matte, no-shine look to it.

Though this bronzer comes in a wide range of shades and works for several skin tones, it’s the coverage of this product that makes it more attractive to someone with lighter skin. It’s easy for bronzers to look too harsh or muddy on porcelain skin, which is why this product’s light yet buildable coverage is ideal for someone with this coloring.

One swipe might bring a perfectly natural flush of color to someone’s cheeks, while a few more layers will create a more dramatic look for a full-glam look — either way, its sheer coverage and buildable formula is what makes this one a winner for people with fairer complexions.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.13 oz.

Related: These Are the 10 Best Freck Beauty Products

Best Blendable: Merit Bronze Balm Sculpting Bronzer

$30 at

$30 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This product is perfect for someone who prefers to apply makeup with their fingers.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone with oily skin may find this hydrating product to be a bit too slick for their skin.

Coming in hot with all of its golden glory is the Merit Beauty Bronze Balm — a bronzer that’s easy to hold thanks to its ovoid shape and even easier to blend due to its ultra-creamy formula. It's chock-full of fatty acids to nourish your skin while also adding a pinch of color, so as to be sure to not diminish your skin’s natural texture. Spickard names this sculpting stick as one of his favorites for its “beautiful shade range and rich, silky texture that gives a nice glow” — adding a kiss of warmth to the face while still letting the natural skin shine through.

It’s available in five light to dark shades and can be built upon thanks to its sheer formula, making fewer shades apply more generally to a wider group of skin tones. But sheer coverage means that sometimes extra layers of application may be necessary, and because this is a rather hydrating formula, this may become too slick for those with oily skin. However, its skin-loving ingredients are sure to play nice with most skin types — and besides, a little can go a long way.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.44 oz.

Best Luxury: Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Twist

$80 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This transformative bronzer is great for someone with dry skin who wants an extra dose of hydration in their facial makeup without looking greasy or oily

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Anyone with a deeper skin tone won’t be able to get the full effects of this deep blush-turned-bronzer

When any makeup product is $80, it better be worth it — and celebrity makeup artist and founder of BakeUp Beauty Jo Baker can confirm that this one’s the real deal. Baker prefers using the rather pricey Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Twist, which is available in several pinky-blush shades before getting to shade number 5, simply named “Contour.” However, Baker argues that it’s “a bronze, sun-kissed kind of tone” rather than the typical shadowy hue that most contour sticks have.

Though super hydrating with a base of vitamin E and shea oil, this contour stick applies like a cream and transforms into a powder upon first contact with the skin, making it super easy to blend out with fingers or a brush. Baker’s approach to this product is by dusting a fan brush across the top of the stick and blending it onto the bridge of the nose, across the cheeks, and horizontally across the face. “I like to do that on my clients so it gives the appearance of a real, caught-in-the-sun, sun-kissed moment,” she says. We’re putting our self-tanners away after this one.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Light, buildable | Size: 0.19 oz.

Best with Brush: NudeStix Nudies Bronzer Stick

See at

$35 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This bronzer stick is great for someone who struggles to blend their makeup with their fingers, as this one comes with a built-in brush on the opposite end.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who already has a favorite blending tool (or wants it to be a highlighter or blush if there’s gonna be anything on the other side) may not want the built-in brush that this product comes with.

Who wants to carry around a bronzing stick plus another brush in the bottomless pit that is a purse? If this sounds like a question you’d ask yourself, then you’re in the right place. Enter: the Nudestix Nudies Matte Cream Bronzer — a lightweight, multipurpose product that adds a sunkissed glow to your skin or can even be added to the eyes and lips to craft a fully-bronzed look. Buster Knight, makeup artist to Kris Jenner, Millie Bobby Brown, and more, calls this particular products one of his favorites for a few reasons. “They come in a huge range of shades and blend effortlessly into the skin,” he says, complimenting the formula’s pigmentation and high-quality brush.

We also appreciate how long-wearing this product is, lasting all day on one PEOPLE writer’s skin while remaining lightweight and matte all at the same time. While you could easily tap this product out on your skin with your fingertips, its short-haired, densely-packed brush makes it easy to get your perfect blend in no time without the extra baggage of a brush. Talk about a two-in-one!

Shades: 8 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.25 oz.

Best for Oily Skin: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour

$30 at

$30 at

Who It’s Good For

  • Someone who has naturally oily skin will benefit from the shine-free finish of this easy-to-apply bronzer.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Anyone who likes a bit of dimension and shimmer in their bronzer won’t be fans of the matte look of this product (and did we mention there’s only one shade?).

While dewy skin is as in as ever, it can be hard for people with naturally oily skin to embrace their natural texture while also keeping their makeup in place. Fortunately, this formula is ultra-matte and absolutely oil-free, which allows the product to wear for longer periods of time and work well with dewier skin, even if your skin tends to get a little slick throughout the day.

Our one concern with this product is its lack of shade range, even though it can be easily sheered out to work with several different skin tones — however, this lack of shade diversity does make it hard for people with deep skin to click “add to cart.” But if you experience oily skin and still want to achieve a “snatched” look, then this bronzer stick could be a great place to start.

Shades: 1 | Finish: Matte | Size: 0.21 oz.

Best for Dry Skin: Well People Supernatural Stick Bronzer

$20 at

$24 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This ultra-hydrating stick is great for people who experience dry skin or want to revive dull-looking skin.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those with oilier skin might find this product to have a bit too much slip for their particular texture.

“I love the Well People Supernatural Stick Bronzer, because it’s the perfect dewy glow,” says Greenberg, who’s known for crafting the warm glow on Parks and Rec alum Rashida Jones. With a formula pumped full of organic jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and green tea, this product works overtime to keep your skin hydrated and protected while still looking healthily tanned at the same time.

We appreciate the plant-powered essence of this product and with its Leaping Bunny (a.k.a. cruelty free) certification, all which make us feel better about using this product everywhere that we want a little extra warmth — from our eyelids to our lips and our cheeks. Just be prepared for the shimmery aftershock of this product, because you’ll certainly be glowing after a few swipes.

Shades: 4 | Finish: Glowy | Size: 0.15 oz.

How to Pick the Right Bronzer Stick

Skin Type

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, most skin types fall into five categories: normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and combination. While most bronzer sticks are agreeable with all skin types, many artists agree that a creamy stick formula is best suited to drier skin — though that’s not always the case with every product.

“If you have dry skin, a cream stick bronzer or liquid will look more natural and has more slip, making it easier to blend,” says Sanganoo. “However, if you are concerned [that] you're oily, I recommend getting a nice silicone-based formula and gently setting [it] with powder if you want to avoid looking like an oil slick,” Spickard adds.

Baker agrees with this last sentiment, recommending that people looking to control their natural shine should stick to “a bronzing powder so that you [don’t] add any more grease, sheen, hydration, or emollient texture to your makeup.” But this isn’t to say that radiant formulas are incompatible with all oily skin tones — in fact, Knight believes that cream stick bronzers are better for people with acne-prone or textured skin than anything else. “A cream will always bounce more light away and create less shadow, creating a perfected base,” he says.

Willis explains that the same goes for those with combination skin. “Cream [formulas] will keep the skin looking more fresh and youthful rather than using powder bronzer.”

To put it plainly, we recommend the following formulas for each skin type:

  • Normal: Any bronzer stick

  • Dry: Radiant finish/hydrating bronzer stick

  • Oily: Matte finish bronzer stick, or powder bronzer

  • Sensitive: Any bronzer stick (consult with your dermatologist first)

  • Combination: Any bronzer stick


It’s hard to pinpoint your exact shade of suntan on a lineup of makeup shades, but there’s a general rule of thumb that can help you ballpark your correct hue. “Your bronzer shade should typically be about two shades deeper than your foundation shade,” Spickard recommends. “I typically like to look for warm undertones, but not too orange.”

“Think of how your skin behaves when you’re in the sun,” Sanganoo adds. “Bronzer adds warmth back to the skin, the goal is to look healthy and radiant without actual sun exposure.” But in the quest for your shade of sunkissed, you don’t want to end up looking muddy. “Lighter, pale skin tones should avoid anything that looks too orange and opt for more of a neutral brown,” guides Lobell. “Darker skin tones can go deeper and warmer.” Going into the store to swatch these shades is ideal, but if you know your typical foundation shade, going two options deeper is the best bet for online ordering.


While certain skin types may play nicer with different bronzer finishes, these recommendations are not the end-all-be-all. If you have oily skin and favor a radiant finish, no guardrails are keeping you from adding a little extra glow. Most bronzers will either have a matte (shine-free), radiant (glowy), or natural (somewhere in the middle) finish, and each bring a little something different to the table.

Matte products, like the Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick, will deliver more of a full-glam look as opposed to the natural, bit non-oily sheen that the Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Stick provides. On the other hand, bronzers with a radiant finish such as the Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Twist usually include micro glitters and purposefully reflect light off of your skin to enhance your natural luminosity. This choice usually comes down to preference, as any kind can be used for everyday makeup. Typically, matte products are best for long wear and glamorous looks, natural bronzers are great for everyday use, and radiant bronzers can swing to either full-glam scenarios or natural — just to add a dusting of light on your bare skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use a bronzer stick?

You may be thinking to yourself, how hard can it be? All you have to do is blend it into your skin. But our makeup artists have proved that no, while it’s not hard, there’s certainly a process. “Due to its stick form, my instinct is to apply it directly to my cheek,” says Di Meo. However, this can lead to the removal of your foundation underneath, and can even lead to the over-application of pigment, which results in additional blending. “Instead, I like to apply the bronzer by using a brush or sponge to pick up the product directly from the stick and then gently stipple or pat it into place,” she adds, explaining that this allows you to control the amount of product that goes onto your skin (and how much you want to build upon it afterward).

Now, where do you actually apply it? “For basic bronzer, I just think about where the sun naturally hits my face,” says Greenberg. “I love using it to warm up the edges of my face, using a brush to swipe in a ‘3’ shape around my forehead, cheekbone, and jawline, and brushing a little across my nose.” Generally, the idea is to apply bronzer where you’d like to minimize your features. “Applying it by the hairline shrinks the forehead, and applying it under my cheeks pulls the cheekbone hollows in. Applying it around your jawline makes the jaw appear less round, and applying it on either side of your nose makes your nose look thinner,” Greenberg adds.

When highlighting parts of your face, you create the illusion of those features standing out, whereas darkening other areas draws them away. “When you think of it that way, you can make adjustments based on your own face shape and what you want to accomplish with the bronzer,” Greenberg explains.

When should you use a bronzer stick over powder?

“Bronzer sticks are great if you want a fresh, dewy look that a typical bronzing powder isn't able to provide,” says Spickard. However, he recommends adding a bronzing powder on top to lock in your makeup to increase the longevity of the product throughout the day. He also lets us in on a little secret: Cream bronzers, like bronzer sticks, are the key to better results on faces with fine lines.

“I use bronzing sticks on my more mature clients, as you want to be more sparing with powder on mature skin as it can accentuate texture and wrinkles,” he says. Instead of letting powder sit on top of textured skin, cream formulas will melt into your skin to fill those gaps.

However, that’s not to say that there aren’t merits to powders. “Powder bronzers are great as a two-in-one product because they look beautiful as eyeshadow, too,” says Sanganoo. She points out that powder bronzers tend to be a little less time-consuming, too. “You can give yourself a quick dust and be on your way,” she explains.

If you’re looking for a more realistic, skin-like look, then a bronzer stick is your best bet. Ultimately, you’ll most likely need to finish off with some form of a setting powder, anyway.

Can you explain what differentiates a bronzer stick from a contour stick?

We know that bronzer sticks are meant to add warmth to your skin and are meant to be applied in the places where the sun naturally kisses your face, but what makes this different than a contour stick? “Contour sticks have cool, gray tones and are placed in areas to build or accentuate the natural shadows of the face,” Spickard explains. “If you put contour stick where you place a bronzer you'll end up looking dead!”

Di Meo points out that both can be used to sculpt the face, but they serve different purposes. “It's important to remember that there are no rules when it comes to makeup — use them in any way that suits your preference and makes you feel your best,” she says.

Another differentiation between these two products are their finishes. “Some bronzing sticks have shimmer in them to give you the bronzed glow effect, [while] contour colors have more of a cool undertone and no shimmer,” Sanganoo explains. Since contour products are meant to deepen the hollows of your facial structure and emulate shadows, these products will typically not have shimmery finishes, as those tend to throw light rather than absorb it (like a shadow). If you see some sparkle, you’ve most likely picked up a bronzer stick — and with that, we say bronze away.

Take Our Word For It

Alyssa Brascia is a shopping writer for PEOPLE specializing in fashion and beauty. She has also written shopping stories for other Dotdash Meredith brands such as InStyle, Shape, and Southern Living. For this piece, she gathered the insights and advice from eight celebrity makeup artists to get the best advice and product recommendations for bronzer sticks. Brascia conducted her own market research to assess the most popular products available today, cross-referencing them with the advice of our contributing experts to ensure that each fit the mold for the ideal bronzer stick.

Meet Our Experts

  • Cynthia Di Meo is the Global Stylist at Rare Beauty and simultaneously a celebrity makeup artist, glamming the faces of Ashanti, Iggy Azalea, and of course, Selena Gomez throughout her career.

  • Kasey Spickard is a New York-based celebrity and editorial makeup artist who originally hailed from the tech world, working at Google and Pinterest before moving into full-time makeup artistry. His clients include The Bachelorette alum Tayshia Adams and influencer Remi Bader.

  • Renee Sanagoo is a celebrity makeup artist based in New York who has worked with the likes of musician H.E.R. and actress Garcelle Beauvais.

  • Buster Knight is a London-based celebrity makeup artist known for his editorial and celebrity work, namely with household names such as Kris Jenner, Millie Bobby Brown, and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, to name a few.

  • Jeanine Lobell is first and foremost a New York-based, Sweden-grown makeup artist who went on to become the founder of Stila Cosmetics and creative director of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty before starting her latest beauty company, Neen. In her illustrious career Lobell has worked with countless celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, and so many more.

  • Emma Willis is a Los Angeles-based, London-made makeup artist to celebrities like Shawn Johnson, Ariana Madix, and Jessie James Decker — often giving them the same bronzed looks that we aspire towards with these bronzer sticks.

  • Jamie Greenberg is a Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist with experience crafting red carpet and editorial beauty looks for celebrities like Kaley Cuoco, Rashida Jones, and Kristen Stewart. The makeup artist launched her own brand, Jamie Makeup, in 2020 with its debut product being the "Blighlighter." Greenberg also creates beauty content on her social media channels and has also contributed to several digital publications such as PopSugar, Refinery29, and E! News.

  • Jo Baker is also a London-born, Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist with her own beauty line, BakeUp Beauty, which launched in August 2022. Her impressive client list includes Olivia Wilde, Natasha Lyonne, and Gal Gadot.

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