These Under-$20 Bronzers Will Give You That Got-Out-Of-The-House Glow

Refinery29
·3 min read

For those of us who don't have the luxury of letting our limbs fry poolside at the Hamptons or on a beach in Santorini, bronzers are the next best thing. A generous dusting on the forehead, cheekbones, and bridge of the nose can give you the fresh-off-the-beach glow of your dreams — even if you've been in the house for the past year. What's more? You can do it on the cheap.

Ahead, our editors share their favorite drugstore bronzers. All under $20, they're a lot cheaper than a summer share — and all those future dermatologist visits.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h3><strong>Rimmel</strong> Natural Bronzer</h3><br>"This bronzer works beautifully for warming up fair to medium skin tones without looking artificial. The color is a lovely, natural golden brown that's perfect for those who are afraid of bronzers that are too orangey. The formula blends easily and is waterproof, so it's great for those hot summer days." — <a href="https://www.instagram.com/elisaflowersmakeup/?hl=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Elisa Flowers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Elisa Flowers</a>, makeup artist<br><br><strong>Rimmel</strong> Natural Bronzer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Frimmel-natural-bronzer-sunlight%2F-%2FA-13991771" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Rimmel Natural Bronzer


"This bronzer works beautifully for warming up fair to medium skin tones without looking artificial. The color is a lovely, natural golden brown that's perfect for those who are afraid of bronzers that are too orangey. The formula blends easily and is waterproof, so it's great for those hot summer days." — Elisa Flowers, makeup artist

Rimmel Natural Bronzer, $, available at Target
<h3><strong><h3>Maybelline Face Studio City Bronzer</h3></strong></h3><br>"I used to use Benefit Hoola and truly thought it was the best bronzer ever made. However, I’ve come to be more discerning when it comes to shade and pigmentation, understanding that my fair, freckled skin looks more naturally tanned when I stick with a softer formula. This powder bronzer doesn’t make me look tan, per se, but it offers believable dimension to the sides of my forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. Also, in my experience, it plays really well with the Cheek Heat liquid blush." — Megan Decker, beauty editor<br><br><strong>Maybelline</strong> City Bronze 200 Medium, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fmaybelline-face-studio-city-bronze-200-medium-0-24oz%2F-%2FA-75561501%23lnk%3Dsametab" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Maybelline Face Studio City Bronzer


"I used to use Benefit Hoola and truly thought it was the best bronzer ever made. However, I’ve come to be more discerning when it comes to shade and pigmentation, understanding that my fair, freckled skin looks more naturally tanned when I stick with a softer formula. This powder bronzer doesn’t make me look tan, per se, but it offers believable dimension to the sides of my forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. Also, in my experience, it plays really well with the Cheek Heat liquid blush." — Megan Decker, beauty editor

Maybelline City Bronze 200 Medium, $, available at Target
<h3>Wet n Wild Mega Glo Makeup Stick Bronzer<br></h3><br>"With one easy swipe of this stick and a few dabs of the finger, my cheekbones are ready to go. The cream-to-powder formula makes it easy to blend and I feel like I have more control over my contour than I do with regular powders." — Thatiana Diaz, senior editor, Somos, and beauty contributor<br><br><strong>Wet n Wild</strong> Wet n Wild Mega Glo Makeup Stick Bronzer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fwet-n-wild-mega-glo-makeup-stick-bronzer-call-me-maple-21oz%2F-%2FA-51293848%3Fref%3Dtgt_adv_XS000000%26AFID%3Dgoogle_pla_df%26CPNG%3DPLA_Health%2BBeauty%2BShopping%26adgroup%3DSC_Health%2BBeauty%26LID%3D700000001170770pgs%26network%3Dg%26device%3Dc%26location%3D9067609%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjwsdfZBRAkEiwAh2z65n8aQ1I81UwCS-8nvWDTUIXm86ZEO2VtvfDKCkQea9StBbRNanceThoCvRgQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Wet n Wild Mega Glo Makeup Stick Bronzer


"With one easy swipe of this stick and a few dabs of the finger, my cheekbones are ready to go. The cream-to-powder formula makes it easy to blend and I feel like I have more control over my contour than I do with regular powders." — Thatiana Diaz, senior editor, Somos, and beauty contributor

Wet n Wild Wet n Wild Mega Glo Makeup Stick Bronzer, $, available at Target
<h2><h3>NYX Cosmetics Matte Bronzer</h3></h2><br>"A quick dusting of this powder with an angled brush picks up all the pigment I need to wake up my face without looking overly contoured. Of course, there's the option of layering if you need a little more chisel, which is why I love this $10 bronzer — it does it all." — Aimee Simeon, senior beauty writer<br><br><strong>NYX Professional Makeup</strong> Matte Bronzer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fmatte-bronzer%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod4141595" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta</a>

NYX Cosmetics Matte Bronzer


"A quick dusting of this powder with an angled brush picks up all the pigment I need to wake up my face without looking overly contoured. Of course, there's the option of layering if you need a little more chisel, which is why I love this $10 bronzer — it does it all." — Aimee Simeon, senior beauty writer

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer, $, available at Ulta
<h2><h3>Essence Sun Club Mat Bronzing Powder Palette</h3></h2><br>"You have plenty of options with this quad in your arsenal. I like to mix shades depending on the intensity I'm looking for. Each pan has a rich, warm consistency that creates a natural, never murky-looking glow." — Simeon<br><br><strong>Essence</strong> Sun Club Mat Bronzing Powder Palette, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fsun-club-mat-bronzing-powder-palette%3FproductId%3Dpimprod2013569%26sku%3D2558440%26cmpid%3DPS_Non%21google%21Product_Listing_Ads%26cagpspn%3Dpla%26CATCI%3Dpla-298255136569%26CAAGID%3D107718645756%26CAWELAID%3D330000200002103561%26CATARGETID%3D330000200002459491%26CADevice%3Dc%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjw9MuCBhBUEiwAbDZ-7otO4mTJZZmMKI5D13kuKEE-npDB-qKVvoBUp2wC1YTEyGL5jrGhxhoC-K8QAvD_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta</a>

Essence Sun Club Mat Bronzing Powder Palette


"You have plenty of options with this quad in your arsenal. I like to mix shades depending on the intensity I'm looking for. Each pan has a rich, warm consistency that creates a natural, never murky-looking glow." — Simeon

Essence Sun Club Mat Bronzing Powder Palette, $, available at Ulta
<h2><h3>Black Radiance Pressed Powder</h3></h2><br>"In addition to being ridiculously pigmented — don’t get heavy-handed with this product, folks — this powder runs deep enough for the makeup lovers who usually can’t find their shade even in high-end brands." — Ineye Komonibo, entertainment writer<br><br><strong>Black Radiance</strong> Pressed Powder, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fblack-radiance-pressed-powder-0-28oz%2F-%2FA-14986457%3Fref%3Dtgt_adv_XS000000%26AFID%3Dgoogle_pla_df%26fndsrc%3Dtgtao%26DFA%3D71700000012735304%26CPNG%3DPLA_Beauty%252BPersonal%2BCare%252BShopping_Local%26adgroup%3DSC_Health%252BBeauty%26LID%3D700000001170770pgs%26LNM%3DPRODUCT_GROUP%26network%3Dg%26device%3Dc%26location%3D9073479%26targetid%3Dpla-897661776657%26ds_rl%3D1246978%26ds_rl%3D1248099%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjw9MuCBhBUEiwAbDZ-7imuKTE37jRzESGPIMLs_hboU_Jt3pKbKMqdD-zWniI3VwHxfMm7YxoCAPsQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Black Radiance Pressed Powder


"In addition to being ridiculously pigmented — don’t get heavy-handed with this product, folks — this powder runs deep enough for the makeup lovers who usually can’t find their shade even in high-end brands." — Ineye Komonibo, entertainment writer

Black Radiance Pressed Powder, $, available at Target
<h2><h3>Milani Baked Bronzer<br></h3></h2><br>"This bronzer goes on super smooth and doesn’t require you to use a lot of product. I love that it provides a natural highlight and glow that lasts all day. I have very sensitive skin, and the quality of the bronzer is excellent and has never caused me to break out. It also comes with a brush and mirror component for you to use on the go, which is a nice bonus." — Jasmine Johnson, media strategist <br><br><strong>Milani</strong> Baked Bronzer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fbaked-bronzer%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod17081059" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta</a>

Milani Baked Bronzer


"This bronzer goes on super smooth and doesn’t require you to use a lot of product. I love that it provides a natural highlight and glow that lasts all day. I have very sensitive skin, and the quality of the bronzer is excellent and has never caused me to break out. It also comes with a brush and mirror component for you to use on the go, which is a nice bonus." — Jasmine Johnson, media strategist

Milani Baked Bronzer, $, available at Ulta

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