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Is cream bronzer better than powder bronzer?

Bronzer is a makeup staple, adding warmth and dimension to the face for a sun-kissed look. But within the bronzer world, cream formulas stand out, offering a unique set of advantages. I want to hone in on the reasons why cream bronzer might be your new makeup must-have - and take a look at some of the best and most affordable options.

Before we go into brand specifics, let’s get a handle on why creams are totally trending this year.

First up, they deliver a flawless sun-kissed look. Unlike powder bronzers, which often appear flat or cakey, cream bronzers boast a natural, dewy finish. Their creamy texture blends seamlessly into the skin, mimicking a healthy, sun-kissed glow. This is particularly beneficial for those who prefer a more natural, everyday makeup look. It’s universally flattering, too - even on mature skin.

Cream bronzers on a pink background

Cream formulas are also a hydration hero for dry skin. If you’ve got dry skin, take note! Cream bronzers are often formulated with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or squalane. These ingredients plump up the skin, offering a much-needed moisture boost while adding warmth. Additionally, the creamy texture avoids clinging to dry patches, which can be a common issue with powder bronzers.

You also benefit from flawless application and blending. Cream bronzers are revered for their butter-like blendability. Their smooth texture allows for seamless blending with your fingers, a makeup brush or even a beauty blender. This makes it easy to create a diffused, natural-looking contour or a light bronzed glow, depending on your desired effect.

Say goodbye to cakeyness! Powder bronzers can sometimes settle into fine lines and wrinkles, creating a cakey appearance. Cream bronzers, on the other hand, tend to be more forgiving on mature skin. Their emollient properties can actually help to smooth out the appearance of fine lines, promoting a more youthful look.

Cream bronzer: the multitasking marvel

Cream bronzers can be surprisingly versatile. While their primary function is to add warmth to the face, many formulas double up as a cream blush or contour shade. Look for shades with cooler undertones for contouring and warmer tones for a bronzed effect. This versatility makes cream bronzer a space-saving addition to your makeup bag.

Unlike powder bronzers, which can deposit a lot of colour at once, cream bronzers allow for more control over intensity. You can start with a light layer and gradually build it up to your desired level of warmth. This makes cream bronzer perfect for beginners who are still learning how to apply bronzer.

While cream bronzers are generally fantastic for dry skin, those with oily skin might need to be a bit more cautious. Cream bronzers can sometimes add unwanted shine to oily complexions. However, there are oil-free cream bronzer formulas available, and setting your bronzer with a translucent powder can help to control shine.

Tips and tricks for cream bronzer success:

  • Prep: To ensure a smooth application, make sure your skin is well-hydrated before applying cream bronzer. A moisturizer will create a canvas for the bronzer to blend seamlessly.

  • Shade match: Choosing the right shade is crucial. Opt for a shade one to two shades darker than your skin tone for a natural-looking bronzed effect.

  • Application techniques: Cream bronzers can be applied with your fingers, a brush or a beauty blender. Fingers offer the most natural finish, while a brush provides more control for targeted application. A beauty blender is great for a sheer, diffused effect.

  • Setting: If you have oily skin, consider setting your cream bronzer with a translucent powder to prevent it from creasing or smudging.

Bronzer shades in the Make Face cream complexion palette by Beauty Bay

Recommended cream bronzer products 

Beauty stores are currently brimming with cream face products, and bronzer is no exception. Finding the formula and shade that is right for your skin, not to mention priced within your budget, should be your priority as you navigate this booming cosmetic trend.

My top pick for value and performance is the Ultra Cream Bronzer from Revolution Beauty London. Retailing at up to £6, this formula is super-easy to apply, looks natural and comes in no-fuss compact packaging. For effortless diffusion, it can be applied anywhere on the face to add a warm glow. I rate this as an inexpensive alternative to Pink Honey’s viral Face Frosting. I purchased this product from Amazon for under £5, but it is also available to buy directly from Revolution as well as other beauty retailers. 

Swatch of Ultra Cream Bronzer by Revolution Beauty London

If you want to experiment with cream bronzers, Beauty Bay’s new Make Face complexion palette is worth a look. It includes contour and sun-kissed shades in a choice of palettes curated to cater for specific skin tones. This product is only available from Beauty Bay, as far as I can tell, and is currently priced at £18. The formula is light and sheer, and applies effortlessly.

If a cream doesn’t totally appeal to you, a good alternative is a liquid bronzer with application from PLouise’s The Cheek Of It collection. 

Want to go all-out for cream? Invest in Face Frosting by Pink Honey. Available in multiple shades, this product is industry-leading and retails for £17 or less. 

Cream or powder bronzer?

Cream bronzer is better than powder bronzer for ease of use, in my opinion. It blends effortlessly and delivers a truly natural finish with no harsh lines. If, like me, you really struggle to diffuse a powder product and end up looking like you've fallen in mud, cream really is the way to go. It's made my makeup routine less stressful and saves time.

If you struggle to blend powdered products, make the switch to cream! It offers a unique set of benefits, ensuring it is a valuable addition to your makeup arsenal. From its natural, dewy finish to its hydrating properties and easy blending, cream bronzer can elevate your makeup routine. So, ditch the cakey look and embrace the sun-kissed glow with the magic of cream bronzer!

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