Style

This $7 Matte Bronzer Will Have You Looking Like You Just Got Back From Tulum

A price much cheaper than a flight's.

There’s just something about the lit-from-within glow that a good bronzing powder can provide. And specifically, the confidence-boosting natural glow that the best matte bronzer can provide.

Recently, I’ve been reaching for e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Primer-Infused Bronzer, a $7 matte bronzer godsend with a silky soft texture that makes you feel like you spent at least $20 more. The point of a bronzer is to create a low-key, I-just-flew-back-from-Tulum sun-kissed effect, which is exactly what I get with a few gentle swipes of this ultra-lightweight and (importantly) sparkle-free bronzer. In a matter of seconds, it has me looking perfectly and naturally bronzed.

I went back and forth using shimmer and matte bronzers, but ultimately decided that matte was the way to go for my needs. And as it turns out, my instincts are MUA-approved.

“A matte bronzer is great for anyone who wants a natural, skin-like finish,” notes Zoe Omozuwa, a makeup artist for The Detox Market. “It adds a sun-kissed warmth to the skin, which makes it look like you have a soft, natural tan.” Omozuwa also says matte bronzers are a better choice if you have large pores (raising my hand...) or uneven texture. It tends to create a smoother look whereas shimmery products can inadvertently highlight large pores, bumps, and texture.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Primer-Infused Bronzer

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“What sets [matte] bronzers and contouring products apart is that bronzers have an orange undertone to mimic a tan while contouring products have a gray undertone to mimic a shadow.” notes Bryan Cantor, a celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert based in New York City.

Oh, and if you are going for that dewy dumpling look — which is usually my goal — you can better achieve that with a hydrating skincare regimen and matte bronzer, versus using a product with an artificial (therefore, sometimes irritating or drying) shimmer.

So yes, due to all these excellent points, e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Primer-Infused Bronzer is the one I always reach for. In addition to its sans-shimmer color, its formula is infused with a primer to lock in the shade all day long. Plus, that under-$10 price tag just can’t be beat.

As with all matte bronzers, it’s best to apply this one to areas where the sun naturally hits your face, so around your temples, bridge of your nose, tip of your chin, and across your cheekbones. But it’s worth noting that these spots differ from where you should apply a shimmer bronzer. As Omozuwa notes, shimmer bronzers work best in scenarios where you want to channel that sparkling, high-glam, beachy aesthetic and should only be applied a to your cheeks and never your jawline or forehead.

Sure, a more glittery get-up can be great every once-in-awhile. But if, matte bronzer is what you’re after, then e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Primer-Infused Bronzer is where it’s at.

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