Fenty Cream Bronzer Review

INDUSTRY STANDARD :Fenty Cheeks Out

Price: $35.00

Milabu Rating

(4.1)

Performance Rating

(4.2)
Saie Beauty Sun Melt Bronzer review

BEST VALUE:Saie Beauty Sun Melt

Price: $32.00

Milabu Rating

(4.8)

Performance Rating

(4.7)
e.l.f. Putty Bronzer

BEST DRUGSTORE:e.l.f. Putty Bronzer

Price: $7.00

Milabu Rating

(4.4)

Performance Rating

(4.4)
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Cream Bronzer review

BEST LUXURY:Chanel Les Beiges

Price: $50.00

Milabu Rating

(4)

Performance Rating

(4.1)
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Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick review

BEST SELLING :Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer Stick

Price: $24.00

Milabu Rating

(4.1)

Performance Rating

(3.6)
Merit Bronzer Stick Dupe

MOST FOOLPROOF:MERIT Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer

Price: $30.00

Milabu Rating

(4.7)

Performance Rating

(4.4)

BEST BRONZER STICK:Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt

Price: $28.00

Milabu Rating

(4.6)

Performance Rating

(4.4)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer Reviews

MOST INCLUSIVE:Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer

Price: $35.00

Milabu Rating

(4.3)

Performance Rating

(4.1)
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EM COSMETICS bronzer review

BEST INDIE BRONZER:EM Cosmetics So Soft

Price: $30.00

Milabu Rating

(4.4)

Performance Rating

(4.3)

BEST PALETTE:Patrick Ta Major Sculpt

Price: $30.00

Milabu Rating

(4.5)

Performance Rating

(4.6)

BEST GLOWY BRONZER:Tower 29 Bronzino

Price: $20.00

Milabu Rating

(4)

Performance Rating

(3.9)
Huda Beauty Tantour Review

BEST 2-IN-1:Huda Beauty Tantour

Price: $30.00

Milabu Rating

(4.2)

Performance Rating

(4.5)
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Meet our best cream bronzer, AKA the best bronzers.

If we can tell you one thing, it would be this: Don’t sleep on cream bronzer. Yes, they can look intimidating with their pigmented formulas, but they are truly the most user friendly bronzer option. The cream formula makes them easier to blend out if you apply heavy handed, whereas powder can cling and be hard to take away if you apply too much. Cream bronzers are buildable, often can bridge the gap between bronzer and contour, and usually wear longer than their powder counterparts. Personally, we think best cream bronzer formulas will be the best bronzers, generally speaking.

To break it down for you, here’s what each bronzer type is best for.

As we’ve established, cream bronzer is user friendly and foolproof. They give a natural, skin like finish and really melt in to become “one with the skin.” With their blendable and buildable formulas, they are easy to use even as a beginner. And, they’re extremely versatile with application: Most can be applied with a brush, sponge, or even fingers. Obviously, we have the list of best cream bronzer formulas below.

Powder bronzer is the OG formula that we all know and love (give it up for the iconic Hoola Bronzer). There is a time and a place for powder bronzer, for example, if you have super oily skin or are applying on top of a powder foundation. Our favorite way to use powder bronzer is as a topper to lock in our cream contour and/or bronzer to get an airbrushed, diffused look.

Then, we have liquid bronzer. This one isn’t as popular as powder and cream, and really there’s only one iconic liquid bronzer: the coveted Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand. It gives a natural glowy bronzed-contour look. There’s a reason this one is always sold out! Liquid bronzer is best blended out with a sponge for a natural, lightweight look. This formula is really long wearing and dry down fast! They stay in place once they are blended out and don’t require any setting.

Suggested Tools

Sponges We Love

beautyblender pro ($20)

e.l.f. Total Face Sponge ($6)

Brushes We Love

Makeup By Mario F1 Makeup Brush ($28)

MERIT Blending Brush ($30)

Real Techniques Tapered Cheek Brush ($7.99)


Industry Standard: Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer is Glow
Fenty Beauty
Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
MILABU RATING
(4.1)

VALUE
(4)

APPLICATION
(4.2)

FINISH
(4.2)

LONGEVITY
(4.3)

Price: $35.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 7

Finishes Available: Natural

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Sweat and water resistant; Silky smooth texture that doesn’t feel sticky or greasy; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: So why does this bronzer belong on the list of ‘best cream bronzer’ formulas. Fenty’s Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer is the industry standard cream bronzer. To start, its inclusive shade range makes it perfect for all skin tones. It has a creamy texture that blends easily without disrupting makeup below, and can be built from a subtle sunny glow to a deep contour. The sweat and water resistant formula wears beautifully with minimal fading, settling, or accentuating skin texture. If you are new to cream bronzer, this would be a great one to start with.


Best Value Bronzer: Saie Sun Melt

Saie Beauty Sun Melt Bronzer
Saie Sun Melt Cream Bronzer Review
MILABU RATING
(4.8)

VALUE
(5)

APPLICATION
(4.7)

FINISH
(4.7)

LONGEVITY
(4.6)

Price: $32.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream-balm

# Of Shades: 6

Finishes Available: Natural

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Bronzes and defines the complexion; Moisturizing and nourishing; Gluten free; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush

Why We Love It: Here at Milabu Co., Saie Sun Melt is collectively one of our favorite bronzers, and the best cream bronzer in clean beauty. This formula is dreamy, from its beautiful creamy pigment to its effortless application, and long wear. The shades of Sun Melt are the perfect blend of bronze and contour, giving a warm sun kissed glow while also defining the face. It can be blended out with the fingers, a brush, or a sponge, applying without disrupting any makeup below. Sun Melt doesn’t fade, settle, or accentuate skin texture and truly looks like a second skin for a full 8+ hours of wear.

Honorable Mention: At the drugstore, Physician’s Formula Bronzing Sculpting Stick ($12.49) is a great option and deserves a mention on the best cream bronzer list. If you want a more glowy bronze look, this one will deliver. The creamy formula provides buildable sheer to medium pigment and gives a warm, sun kissed glow. Because it is so creamy and not very pigmented, it isn’t the longest wearing (you’ll get about 6 hours before it starts to fade away). Despite its name, it doesn’t give much sculpting – but the bronze is beautiful.


Best Drugstore: e.l.f. Putty Bronzer

e.l.f. Putty Bronzer
e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Bronzer Review
MILABU RATING
(4.5)

VALUE
(4.9)

APPLICATION
(4.6)

FINISH
(4.5)

LONGEVITY
(4.2)

Price: $7.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream-to-powder

# Of Shades: 8

Finishes Available: Semi-matte

Pigment: Buildable sheer to medium

Extra Benefits: Smooths and evens out complexion; Lightweight; Non greasy wear; Enriched with argan oil and vitamin E to hydration; Cruelty free; Vegan

Best Applied With: Brush or fingers

Why We Love It: e.l.f. cheek products are some of our favorites at the drugstore and Putty Bronzer is no exception! In our opinion, not only is this a standard bronzer at the drugstore, it is one of the best cream bronzers, value speaking. It continues to stand out amongst its competition. At $7, it is truly a steal. Putty Bronzer has a great shade range, with 8 to choose from. The cream-to-powder formula is incredibly easy to apply, without disrupting any makeup below when applying. It feels lightweight on the skin, and has a decent wear time of around 6-8 hours. This formula reminds us of another one of our favorites, Patrick Ta Major Sculpt – just much more affordable!


Best Luxury: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Cream Bronzer Bronze Skin
MILABU RATING
(4)

VALUE
(5)

APPLICATION
(4.5)

FINISH
(4.1)

LONGEVITY
(3.7)

Price: $50.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream-gel

# Of Shades: 3

Finishes Available: Velvet matte

Pigment: Buildable sheer to medium

Extra Benefits: Smoothing effect; Light-reflecting pigments for natural radiance; Noncomedogenic

Best Applied With: Brush or sponge

Why We Love It: Oh, the iconic Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream. This might be one of the best iconic cream bronzers of all time. The original formula was so coveted, but since they updated the formula it can disrupt makeup underneath. Its creamy formula is easy to apply for buildable sheer to medium pigment with a soft matte finish that gives skin a lit-from-within glow. Now, is this our favorite cream bronzer? Let’s just say it’s the best in luxury, as many luxury brands don’t have cream bronzers. We have found others we like better in this pot format, and our favorite is Saie Sun Melt cream bronzer because it is more pigmented, has a better shade range, and a longer wear time.

Tip: A dampened sponge is the best tool to apply this Chanel bronzer. It gives the most beautiful, natural bronze look.


Best Selling: Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick

MILABU RATING
(4.1)

VALUE
(4.4)

APPLICATION
(3.6)

FINISH
(3.8)

LONGEVITY
(3.5)

Price: $24.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 5

Finishes Available: Matte

Pigment: Buildable

Extra Benefits: Formulated with hydrating ingredients; Gluten free; Paraben free; Cruelty free; Vegan

Best Applied With: Brush, sponge, or fingers

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: One could say the Milk Makeup Bronzer Stick is the trailblazer for cream bronzer because of its user-friendly formula. Simply swipe the stick on the hollows of your cheeks, down the sides of your nose, and around your hairline. Then, use a brush or your fingers to blend in and watch the magic happen! You’ll be left with a beautiful summer glow that also gives a subtle contour. It’s a great beginner cream bronzer and is nearly foolproof. Consumer spoke on this one, it is the best selling cream bronzer and belongs on our list.

Honorable Mention: NARS Laguna Bronzing Cream ($38) brings the cult favorite powder Laguna Bronzer shade to the cream bronzer world. It’s a newer launch, but because it is the iconic NARS bronzer shades, we anticipate this becoming a best seller. This one has a creamy texture that blends effortlessly with a brush. It gives a more natural finish and a bit more glow than Milk Makeup too. See NARS Bronzer In Action ▶️


Most Foolproof: MERIT Bronze Balm

Merit Bronzer Stick Dupe
Merit bronzer stick Review
MILABU RATING
(4.6)

VALUE
(4.6)

APPLICATION
(5)

FINISH
(4.8)

LONGEVITY
(3.5)

Price: $30.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 5

Finishes Available: Satin

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Oval shape for easy application; Skincare benefits; Free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates and more; Acne-safe; Cruelty free; Vegan

Best Applied With: Brush

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: MERIT describes Bronze Balm as the “easiest bronzer ever” that’s “impossible to mess up,” and we agree. This cream bronzer has a balmy texture that glides over any makeup, effortlessly blending out to a sheer wash of color. But, don’t let the sheer pigment fool you because it can be built up in intensity for more sculpt or more warmth. Its satin finish gives skin a beautiful warm glow and second skin look that’s never cakey. Bronze Balm is formulated without any acne-triggering ingredients, as well as fatty acids that condition skin + lock in moisture. Oh, and we can’t forget about the shape of Bronze Balm! Its designed with ease of use in mind with its oval shape. This is a definite yes for those who want a no nonsense type of makeup, this is the best foolproof cream bronzer.

Tip: For more longevity, set Bronze Balm with your favorite powder bronzer (we love ILIA Nightlite).


Best Bronzer Stick: Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Shaping Stick

MILABU RATING
(4.5)

VALUE
(4.9)

APPLICATION
(4.5)

FINISH
(4.5)

LONGEVITY
(4.3)

Price: $30.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 6

Finishes Available: Soft matte

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Included angled buffing brush; Lightly sculpts and warms up the complexion; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush, sponge, or fingers

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: Makeup by Mario’s SoftSculpt Shaping Stick bronzer adds both definition and warmth to your complexion. The cream-to-powder formula is easy to blend and comes with an attached brush for even more convenience. It gives a natural to soft matte finish that is long wearing without having to set. If you love Huda Tantour, this is that in stick form making it all the more foolproof!

Tip: SoftSculpt can dry fast and look patchy when applied directly to the face. It applies best on top of a cream or liquid base. If you have trouble blending, use a damp makeup sponge to help.

Honorable Mention: Rare Beauty Warm Wishes ($23) is a sunkissed bronze without the glow and shimmer. This is another cream-to-powder formula that is easy to blend with a brush, sponge, or fingers. Warm Wishes won’t give you that chiseled, sculpted look, as this is definitely your true bronzer, hence its name!


Most Inclusive Shade Range: ABH Cream Bronzer

MILABU RATING
(4.3)

VALUE
(5)

APPLICATION
(4.1)

FINISH
(4.3)

LONGEVITY
(3.9)

Price: $35.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 10

Finishes Available: Natural matte

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Gives dimensional warmth and sculpting; Non greasy; Flexible hold that doesn’t streak, patch, oxidize, settle, or smudge; Free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, fragrance, oil, and sulfates; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush, sponge, or fingers

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: ABH Cream Bronzer has the most buttery soft texture that melts into skin effortlessly. It blends in seamlessly with any tool (we prefer a brush) without looking patchy or disrupting base makeup. Its formula is super pigmented, though it is buildable for a customizable bronzed and sculpted complexion. But, where does ABH Cream Bronzer shine? The shade range. It is *chefs kiss*. There’s 10 shades to choose from, with shades for the fairest to deepest of skin tones. Though, we do recommend swatching these in person as they can pull olive toned.


Best Indie Brand: Em Cosmetics So Soft Multi Faceplay Bronze + Sculpt

EM COSMETICS bronzer review
MILABU RATING
(4.4)

VALUE
(4.5)

APPLICATION
(4.7)

FINISH
(4.5)

LONGEVITY
(3.7)

Price: $30.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 4

Finishes Available: Natural

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Bronzes and contours; Enriched with squalane and vitamin E; Creamy, mousse-like texture; Free of PFAs/PFOs, parabens, fragrance, and gluten; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush, sponge, or fingers

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: We love all of the indie brands entering the makeup world! EM Cosmetics was created by the OG YouTube Guru Michelle Phan and the line is home to phenomenal products that have become some of our favorites. One of these favorites is So Soft Multi Faceplay Bronze and Sculpt. This cream bronzer stick glides on easily, blending out seamlessly with any tool. It looks very skin like on the skin, giving a subtle contour and a warm, sun kissed complexion. This formula isn’t the longest lasting on its own, but paired with a powder bronzer on top you’ll get an all day bronzed glow.

Honorable Mention: Dibs Beauty is another indie brand that we have been loving lately. Their Desert Island Duo ($34) is a double-ended blush and bronzer stick that can be used on cheeks, eyes, and lips. This ultra creamy formula blends easily with a brush or fingers, giving a natural bronze glow. The one downside of this one is it is not humidity friendly. It can slip and slide off the face, and is best paired with a powder bronzer on top to lock it in place.

Tip: These bronzer sticks are perfect for that ‘clean girl makeup’ look that has become increasingly popular. They are skin like, giving the prettiest natural glow.


Best Palette: Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Creme Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo

MILABU RATING
(4.5)

VALUE
(3.9)

APPLICATION
(4.8)

FINISH
(4.6)

LONGEVITY
(4.5)

Price: $40.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream and powder palette

# Of Shades: 3

Finishes Available: Natural cream; Luminous powder

Pigment: Buildable sheer to bold

Extra Benefits: Long wearing; Free of sulfates, SLS/SLES, parabens, and gluten; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: We are so not surprised that this Patrick Ta Bronzer Palette, Major Sculpt, made Allure’s Best of Beauty 2021 list. Likewise, it made it on our best cream bronzer list. Yes, it’s that good. Housed in a sleek, portable palette are complementary cream contour and powder bronzer shades. First, apply the cream contour to add definition to your face. Then, warm up your complexion with the powder bronzer. The formulas are super blendable and have buildable pigment. You can expect an all-day wear that doesn’t look patchy or accentuate texture and has minimal fading or settling. We love the convenience of Major Sculpt for travel, and especially love the little lid to cover the cream contour pan!


Best Sun Kissed Glow: Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

MILABU RATING
(4)

VALUE
(4.3)

APPLICATION
(4.9)

FINISH
(4)

LONGEVITY
(2.9)

Price: $20.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream

# Of Shades: 5

Finishes Available: Luminous, multi-dimensional sheen

Pigment: Buildable sheer to medium

Extra Benefits: No shimmer or sparkle; Infused with mango butter for moisturizing and green tea to soothe and condition the skin; Free of silicone; Cruelty free; Vegan

Best Applied With: Brush, sponge, or fingers

Why We Love It: Want sun kissed, glowy cheeks? Tower 28 Bronzino will be your new sidekick. The balm bronzer has a lightweight, creamy texture that gives the most beautiful luminous (not glittery!) glow. Bronzino has buildable sheer to medium pigment, perfect for those no-makeup makeup days. Tower 28 Bronzino can also be used as a gorgeous highlight for medium to deep skin tones! The multi-dimensional sheen gives the healthiest bronze glow for cheeks, eyes, and lips.

Tip: We love to use Bronzino a finishing touch to any bronzer look. Layer on top of your favorite formula for an added luminosity without the glitter!


Best 2-in-1 Bronzer and Contour: Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream

Huda Beauty Bronzer Dupe
Huda Beauty
Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream
MILABU RATING
(4.2)

VALUE
(4.9)

APPLICATION
(4.2)

FINISH
(4.5)

LONGEVITY
(4.8)

Price: $30.00 >

HIGHLIGHTS

Formula: Cream-to-powder

# Of Shades: 5

Finishes Available: Luminous, matte glow

Pigment: Buildable light to bold

Extra Benefits: Combines a balance f shadow and warmth; Water and sweat resistant; Cruelty free

Best Applied With: Brush or sponge

See Bronzer in Action ▶️

Why We Love It: You know, Huda Beauty has some bomb products. One of these is Tantour, a contour and bronzer cream in one. Tantour comes in neutral shades, which makes it perfect to sculpt and bronze the complexion. Its buildable pigment allows you to achieve a wash of color or a more dramatic contour. The formula is creamy and easy to blend, but it can dry fast! The drier formula lends itself to a longer wear and it’s actually both water and sweat resistant. It gives skin an airbrushed finish that is matte, with a lit-from-within glow.

Tip: If Tantour becomes hard to blend, spray your face a setting spray and blend out with your brush or sponge.


Overview of Best Cream Bronzer Formulas

Industry Standard: Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

  • Best Value: Saie Beauty Sun Melt
  • Best Value: e.l.f. Putty Bronzer
  • Best Luxury: Chanel Les Beiges
  • Bestselling Cream Bronzer: Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick
  • Most Foolproof: MERIT Brozne Balm
  • Best Bronzer Stick: Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt
  • Most Inclusive Shade Range: ABH Cream Bronzer
  • Best Indie Bronzer: Em Cosmetics So Soft Multi Faceplay Bronze + Sculpt
  • Best Palette: Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Creme Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo
  • Best Sun Kissed Glow: Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer
  • Best 2-in-1 Bronzer and Contour: Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream


What Are Milabu Picks?

Milabu Picks are makeup products that lead the industry in their price categories (i.e. value, pro-grade, luxury) and product type. These products are reviewed and chosen by the Milabu team on a yearly basis. Many of these makeup products exceed the industry standard favorites, and some of them are, to this day, the industry standard leading the makeup industry.

Edited by Maddie

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