The 15 Best Cream Bronzers to Help You Achieve the Perfect Summer Glow

In the last year, I have gone completely mad for cream makeup formulations. Whether I’m sweeping a cream eyeshadow stick along my lash line or dabbing a cream blusher on the apples of my cheeks, I’ve realised they’re the quickest and most effective way to look ‘done up’ with very minimal effort. Plus, they’re super easy to blend with your fingers, and I am someone who generally prefers getting hands on with makeup over using an army of tools and brushes. Anyone else with me?

At this time of year, as I don't like to wear too much heavy makeup, I'm constantly reaching for a cream bronzer as it can give me a quick, reliable and natural glow. According to celebrity make-up artist Neil Young, this is all because creams are amazing at reflecting light away from the skin, giving you that amazing more natural-looking finish, whereas powders will absorb the light.

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(Image credit: @ROSIEHW)

"Creams are also malleable and sit with the complexion rather than on top,” Young explains. "It’s perfect for creating a gorgeous glow without looking too made up."

How To Apply Cream Bronzer:

When it comes to application, Young says it depends on the finish you’re after. "Cream bronzers can add dimension to the face by using it like a powder bronzer on the temples, forehead and cheekbones or as a fine veil all over the face.”

If you’re looking to softly contour the face "you can apply [the bronzer] directly to bare skin and then add a touch of foundation and concealer around it as and where needed. If your face needs a little powder to maintain your makeup, dust with a little translucent powder at the end of your makeup routine.” According to Young, if you’re going to use tools to blend, make sure they’re synthetic-based so they don’t absorb the product.

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(Image credit: @AYSHA.SOW)

For a super natural finish, world-renowned makeup artist Bobbi Brown says: "Smile and pat onto the apples of your cheeks using an upward motion, then use your fingertips to soften the edges”

With all that in mind, here are 15 glow-giving cream bronzers beauty editors really rate.

Shop the Best Cream Bronzers:

1. Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream

2. Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer

3. Glossier Cloud Paint Bronzer

4. NARS Bronzing Cream

5. Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer

6. e.l.f Putty Bronzer

7. Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

8. Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer

9. Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

10. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer

11. Makeup by Mario Soft Sculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer 

12. Merit Bronze Balm

13. Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer

14. Jones Road Miracle Balm

15. Refy Cream Bronzer

Mollie Burdell is a freelance beauty editor, presenter and host. She trained as a makeup artist at the prestigious Delamar Academy, covering everything from prosthetics and theatre to TV and film, and then went on to graduate from university with a First Class Honours degree in journalism.

After completing internships at Grazia, Look, Cosmopolitan and Stylist, she landed her first writer role at Superdrug's Dare magazine. Mollie then joined the Harrods content team as a beauty writer before being promoted to the deputy beauty editor. There, she developed the content strategy, tone of voice and creative identity for H Beauty—Harrods's standalone regional beauty stores. When she wasn't interviewing the likes of Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr and Regé-Jean Page, you'd find her on a live broadcast, hosting an event, shooting video content, reviewing the lastest beauty launch on social or crafting a magazine feature. She has also hosted and contributed to the LuxeGirl by SheerLuxe YouTube series.

When Mollie isn't writing about beauty, you'll find her talking about it on a TikTok shop, dancing to pretty much anything with a beat, reading a crime thriller or performing a solo rendition of "One Day More" from Les Mis.