Grown-Up Body Shimmers Are a Thing, and We'll Be Using These 15 All Summer

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(Image credit: @bellahadid)

I have a very distinct memory of a chunky blue body shimmer I used sometime circa 2005. I remember the hard plastic rollerball, the saccharine scent, and the gel-like consistency of the liquid inside. I think I bought it at the mall with some money my mom gave me. I would swipe it up and down my arms whenever I wanted a little something extra that my pastel eyeshadow, frosted lip gloss, and butterfly clips couldn't deliver.

I look back on that fondly, especially now that early-2000s beauty is back in full force (I never thought I'd see the day, but French manicures and flipped ends are once again in). The same goes for my beloved body shimmer, as some of my most favorite beauty brands have recently released grown-up iterations of this early-2000s staple. These new body shimmers are modern and luxurious, yet just as eye-catching and collectible as those from yesteryear. Flimsy packaging, chunky glitter, and cheap formulations have been replaced with subtle shimmer that's imbued with good-for-skin ingredients. Keep scrolling to see 16 of the best grown-up body shimmers to use all summer long. 

Body Shimmer Oils

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(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

As for the shimmer, it's finely milled, highly reflective, and tightly packed, so it gives the skin a beautiful golden glow. I like to keep it soft and subtle, but you can build it up by concentrating application if you prefer a bolder look. It's easy to do so, thanks to a convenient spray cap. 

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(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

It's definitely the most pigmented body shimmer I tried, as it looks like a golden body lotion versus a traditional shimmer-in-oil. Since the shimmer particles aren't separate from the formula itself, it spreads super smoothly and evenly across the skin, resulting in the most subtle and natural-looking radiance I've ever seen. I'm a huge fan of this one for that reason. 

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(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

The fragrance of this one is strong, but not overpowering. To me, it definitely belongs in the floral family, as it has notes of magnolia, rose, lemon, sandalwood, and vanilla. I also tried the Rosa Nobile Shimmering Oil ($90) and the Peonia Nobile Shimmering Oil ($90), and each one smells incredible, kind of like how I imagine the garden of a castle smells in a fairytale. However, I decided the Magnolia version was my favorite because I liked the soft golden tone (the Rosa Shimmering Oil is rose gold, and the Peonia Shimmering Oil is soft pink). 

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(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

As for the shimmer, it's a super-subtle shade of true gold. Instead of dispersing tiny sparkling particles across my skin as other body shimmers did, this one deposited a healthy-looking sheen that lasted for hours. It didn't feel heavy or greasy, either, just soft, smooth, and silky. 

Body Shimmer Lotions

Body Shimmer Sunscreens

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(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

I have to admit I was nervous to try this one. I envisioned walking up to the pool while glinting in the sun like a human disco ball. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded, because the shimmer this product imparts is super soft and subtle, more like a lit-from-within glow than anything else. I put it in my pool bag, and it will stay there, firmly, all summer long.

Next, check out the $18 skincare gem that can be used in 3 ways to create an effortless glow

Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is a skincare-obsessed beauty writer who covers everything from up-and-coming trends to product launches, in-office treatments, and more. She has over five years of experience in digital media, and her work has appeared in publications such as The Zoe Report, InStyle, Coveteur, and more. When she's not hovering over her computer writing about all things beauty, she's drinking coffee, listening to Harry Styles, or exploring her new city of Austin, Texas.