I’m Calling It: E.l.f.'s $12 Bronzing Drops Are Going To Be A Best-Seller

Hello, sun-drenched skin.

The e.l.f. Cosmetics Bronzing Drops are a $12 dupe for this pricey cult-fave.
e.l.f. Cosmetics / Olivia Rose Rushing
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Just like that, the warmest months of the year are officially upon us — and more often than not, sunshine-filled days call for a little extra bronzed glow in one’s daily glam routine. And the easiest way to achieve that? Bronze-boosting drops.

Beloved brands like Drunk Elephant and Glow Recipe both offer their own skin care-meets-bronzer hybrids, by way of the D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops ($38) and Watermelon Glow Hue Drops ($35), respectively. Now, e.l.f. Cosmetics — the drugstore brand known for their high-performance beauty essentials — has entered the fast-growing category.

Say hello to their new Bronzing Drops ($12), which formally launched on April 16. The drops are design to give the look of a radiantly sun-kissed complexion with their sheer, subtly shimmering formula. An e.l.f. spokesperson tells Bustle it’s actually the most-requested product they’ve ever launched.

It goes without saying that e.l.f. has found a way to offer effortlessly bronzed skin at nearly a third of the price as its competitors — but does it hold up to the formulas before it? Read my honest review ahead.

Fast Facts

  • Price: $12
  • Best For: A multi-tasking serum-bronzer hybrid that adds an effortless sun-kissed glow
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • What I Love: The creamy formula feels silky-smooth and hydrating on my skin, blending away easily for a natural radiance
  • What I Don’t Love: I found that I needed quite a few layers of product to add a visibly bronzed glow when applied on top of makeup

The Bronzing Drops

Available in three sheer-shimmer shades — including “Rose Gold,” “Pure Gold,” and “Copper Gold” — e.l.f.’s Bronzing Drops are positioned as complexion-nourishing tinted serums that add an instant, sun-kissed glow. Made for skin types ranging from oily to ultra-dry, the formula is enriched with antioxidants that are known to soothe and brighten skin.

e.l.f. Cosmetics

The Bronzing Drops are made to be mixed with your fave moisturizer, oil, or foundation, as well as applied directly onto targeted areas that would naturally be touched by the sun. What’s more, these shake-before-use drops are created to not only be flexible to varying skin tones, but buildable in pigment.

Key Ingredients

  • Vitamin E: This is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from environmental stressors and combats dryness with its hydrating properties.
  • Sunflower Oil: Rich in vitamins A, D, and C, it’s a powerhouse skin care ingredient that has anti-aging properties.
  • Marula Oil: This lightweight oil is beloved for its hydrating qualities.
  • Raspberry Seed Oil: Filled with antioxidants that are known to be anti-aging, this plant-derived substance also contains natural levels of SPF, depending on its purity.

My First Impressions

When first applying the product, I mixed a few drops of the “Pure Gold” shade with my primer. Right away, I loved how silky-smooth the formula was — more akin to a lightweight daytime moisturizer than makeup. It added a subtly sun-kissed tint to my skin that looked naturally glowy (especially on my fair winter skin) with little effort at all.

In the shade Pure GoldOlivia Rose Rushing

Wanting a bit more glow, I then applied the product on top of my foundation — and fell in love with the my skin. While it took a few layers of product to achieve the “soft contour” I was aiming for, the final glam looked like I spent 15 minutes in the sun.

The Bronzing Drops have a bit of shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable once it has been blended away. Rather than a noticeable sparkle, the finish looks more like a natural dew, making it perfect for “no makeup” makeup days and minimal glam moments alike.

It’s A Drunk Elephant Dupe

Thanks to taste-makers like Alix Earle, the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops have become a staple in every it girl’s makeup bag. E.l.f.’s Bronzing Drops, however, are coming for their bag.

On paper, the drops are similar — they’re both water-based formulations, with moisture-boosting ingredients that nourish complexions, while they glow. Performance-wise, each added a pretty glow to my complexion. Where they differ, however, is the shade range. E.l.f. has three different shades, while Drunk Elephant only has one (which, personally, can read a bit too dark on my fairer skin tone).

The Final Verdict

It’s safe to say that e.l.f. has a total hit on their hands. Whether you’re on the hunt for an affordable liquid bronzer or just want to elevate your makeup routine, it’s well worth the $12 price tag. It can be worn solo, but also plays nice with your fave makeup products, too.

My favorite ways to use it were mixed in with my moisturizer or primer, or “underpainting” before applying a lightweight foundation. While I needed more product than expected to create a truly contoured look, I did appreciate how buildable and fool-proof the formula was.

TLDR; These Bronzing Drops are primed to be a cult-fave.