11 Best Cruelty-Free Bronzers in 2020 For A Shimmering Glow!

by Chaitra Krishnan
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Ah, the joy to relax on a sunbed with tons of sunscreen and a cocktail to sip on — perfect to get that gorgeous tan, right? But not everybody is privileged to hit the beach whenever they want. Hence why bronzers or sunless tanners are ideal for flaunting some sun-kissed love! And bronzers are indeed godsend items for workaholics or sensitive skin users who must avoid the harmful rays. Now, whether you are looking for a pressed powder, creamy, or just the best cruelty-free bronzer, we’ve got options for one and all. Also, if you are an animal lover, then you are going to love this line-up even more.

Now, prep up to get sun-kissed by the best! Scroll on to check out our list of 11 best cruelty-free bronzers of 2020 that you cannot miss, below.

Read on to know more!

11 Best Cruelty-Free Bronzers in 2020 You Must Get Your Hands On!

Top 10 Products
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NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Matte Bronzer
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Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer
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Milani Baked Bronzer
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Norvell Venetian Self-Tanning Mousse with Bronzer
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Mineral Fusion Bronzer Duo - Luster
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SHAN Skincare Cosmetics 100% Natural Bronzer - Malibu
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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer - Nude Bronze Light
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e.l.f, Primer-infused Bronzer – Forever Sunkissed
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Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
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Lilah B. Bronzed Beauty Bronzer Duo
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1. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Matte Bronzer

Beach bums, are you missing the sun tan? This matte bronzer can be the best dupe! Sweep it across areas where you want to flaunt a sun-kissed tan and watch your skin radiate the warmest glow. Enhancing your complexion and features instantly, this bronzer pressed powder can also be used to contour and define your cheekbones. A must-try for workaholics who can’t seem to fix a date with the sun or make it to those tan appointments, sweep on this drugstore bronzer and stay glam with an enviable tan — anywhere, anytime!

Pros:

  • Delivers a bronze and honey glow
  • Boosts a healthy and flawless finish
  • Buildable pigment and blends easily
  • PETA-certified cruelty-free product
  • It has a soft and smooth consistency.

Cons:

  • It may require retouches.
  • It may deliver an orangish tint on pale skin.

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2. Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer

Feel sun-kissed and wow, all around the year! A great option for matte lovers and oily skin users, Whatup Beaches by Elizabeth Matt delivers a finish so flawless that no one will ever make out whether you’ve hit the beach or applied a bronzer. Are you planning to use a sunless tanner? Wait till you see the effect of this matte bronzer powder and its sun-kissed glow. Promising a flattering look on your skin, you can also use it to contour and define your eyes, cheeks, and chin. Add to the collection right away!

Pros:

  • Delivers a natural tan
  • A fine and silky-smooth powder
  • Absorbs excess sebum with its oil-control formula
  • Provides a buildable coverage
  • Easy-to-apply and travel-friendly
  • Cruelty-free product

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It may take longer to blend.

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3. Milani Baked Bronzer

This tan shimmers! Yes, you read that right. Milani Baked Bronzer formulated on the terracotta tiles of Italy has nothing but a glam tan in store for you. Promising a streak-free glow and a subtle shimmer finish, watch your skin shine wherever you go. Use it to blend the natural tan on your face or body, as it applies seamlessly and appears as good as your natural complexion. A great choice if you are looking for a stunning glow up to flaunt at summer parties and beach getaways — don’t skip this bronzer!

Pros:

  • Made of premium ingredients
  • Delivers a natural coverage
  • Doubles up as a contour and highlighter
  • Long-lasting and easy-to-apply
  • Portable and cruelty-free product

Cons:

  • May not be ideal for deep skin tones

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4. Norvell Venetian Self-Tanning Mousse with Bronzer

Now anyone can get an exotic tan at home! If beach getaways look like a far-fetched dream, then let this sunless tanner grant your wish in the comfort of your home. Easy-to-use and velvety smooth, it ensures a tan so exotic and lightweight that you’ll fall in love with your summer look instantly. Formulated to appear darker and with no traces of orange, the mousse is also non-comedogenic and packed with skin care benefits. All you have to do is apply it after gently exfoliating the skin, and you are ready to flaunt your beach tan the next day!

Pros:

  • Made of essential and botanical ingredients
  • Ultra-smooth and streak-free
  • Hydrating, soothing, and anti-aging
  • Long-lasting and easy-to-apply
  • Gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free

Cons:

  • It may feel sticky.
  • It takes longer to dry.

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5. Mineral Fusion Bronzer Duo – Luster

Like basking in the sun’s glory but minus the harmful rays! Tan lovers, Mineral Fusion has a duo palette that might thrill up the bronze goddess in you. Packed with both matte and shimmer shades in this cute compact palette, you’ll always be ready to flaunt your sun-kissed beauty effortlessly. With shimmer adding a perfect shine to your pretense tan, prep up to enjoy some envy stares at parties and celebrations. And the best takeaway is, the powder has a natural formula made of pomegranate, aloe vera, red tea, and white tea that protect and soothe the skin too. Bonus — it’s suitable for all skin types!

Pros:

  • Made of antioxidant-rich ingredients
  • Shields against free radical damage
  • Provides anti-aging benefits
  • Protects against UV rays
  • Gluten-free and cruelty-free product
  • Free from talc, paraben, artificial colors, synthetic fragrance, and more

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It may not blend easily.

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6. HAN Skincare Cosmetics 100% Natural Bronzer – Malibu

Here’s an organic bronzer that promises a gorgeous tan without irritating the skin. Made of 100% natural ingredients and free from toxic chemicals, this one ensures you get to enjoy the sun-kissed glow without any side-effects. Packed with antioxidant-rich and mineral-based ingredients such as rice-powder (which controls the sebum btw!), vitamin E, coconut, cocoa butter, and argan oil, consider your skin blessed with a healthy tan instantly. Want more? It has a delightful cocoa fragrance. Try it to feel sun-kissed & loved!

Pros:

  • Safe and non-irritating bronzer
  • Nourishing and natural formula
  • Delivers an even and smooth coverage
  • Vegan and cruelty-free product
  • Recommended for light to fair skin with cool tones
  • Suitable for contouring cheekbones, eyes, and chin
  • Free from talc, GMOs, parabens, gluten, artificial color, and more

Cons:

  • Small
  • It may require touchups.

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7. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer – Nude Bronze Light

Not just any other bronzer, this one is worth the splurge because of its high-performance illuminating effect! Formulated with photo luminescent technology, it refracts and manipulates light to help skin appear naturally enhanced. Also, it is infused with transparent particles that allow seamless color transitions on the skin. Sounds interesting? There’s more. The product is handmade with a mixing technique, thus ensuring a perfect balance of powder and pigment. As we said, this is no ordinary bronzer. Try on for a radiant finish!

Pros:

  • Smooth and buildable formula
  • Lightweight, easy-to-apply, and blend
  • Ensures a warm and sun-kissed look
  • Can be used for contouring cheeks and jawline
  • Recommended for medium to light skin tones
  • Vegan and cruelty-free product
  • Free from sulfates, synthetic dyes, parabens, fragrance, and more

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • The pan is fragile.

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8. e.l.f, Primer-infused Bronzer – Forever Sunkissed

Love the sun, but don’t have the time to get tanned? You clearly need a bronzer, and this one will stay all day long, all thanks to the infused primer. Keeping the shade intact as you’ve freshly applied, you’ll never have to worry about retouches for the entire day. Just dab it lightly on the apple of your cheeks and you are all bronze-kissed and good to glow. Seems easier than getting a tan and fighting the harmful rays, right? A cruelty-free bronzer for pale skin, go, grab e.l.f primer-infused creamy powder today!

Pros:

  • Ultra-pigmented and creamy texture
  • All-day wear and lightweight
  • Suitable for fair to medium skin tones
  • Vegan and cruelty-free product
  • Paraben-free, phthalates-free, triclosan-free and more

Cons:

  • It may take longer to blend.

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9. Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer

Not a fan of pressed powders? Give this matte bronzer by Milk Makeup a try. Ideal for dry and combination skin, the product runs like butter on the skin, thus making the whole experience fun and effortless for you. Given how creamy products adhere longer than powders, this one might be a great option for those outdoor summer hangouts and picnics. And the best part is, you can use it as a contour stick as well to give your jawline and cheeks a stunning definition. Yep, roll on this easy-to-use stick for a gorgeous summer tan!

Pros:

  • Creamy and smooth formula
  • Easy to apply and blend
  • Includes mango butter and avocado oil
  • Deliver a flawless, healthy, and nice glow
  • Vegan and cruelty-free cream bronzer
  • Gluten-free and paraben-free

Cons:

  • Small
  • Expensive

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10. Lilah B. Bronzed Beauty Bronzer Duo

One-stop for all your sultry and sun-kissed looks! Declutter this season, and get your hands on this pressed powder that delivers the charm of three. Use it as a bronzer to flaunt a tan, as a highlighter/contour to shine, or as an eyeshadow to flutter away like a stunner — this compact powder is designed to glam. Formulated with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, agar, and aloe vera, the blend works together to take care of your skin while you walk around with your gorgeous tan. Need we say more?

Pros:

  • Silky-smooth texture
  • Delivers a seamless and natural tan
  • Adds warmth and enhances complexion
  • Vegan and cruelty-free product
  • Moisturizes, hydrates, and soothes skin
  • One of the best option for a tan and makeup lover
  • Free from gluten, paraben, sulfates, phthalates and more

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy product and not travel-friendly

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11. The Body Shop Baked-To-Last – Bronzer 02

Lastly, this bronzer from The Body Shop that claims to deliver natural coverage and last up to 8 hours. That’s long enough to last through a date, movie, or even work! Also, its handmade formula is not a joke. Formulated on a terracotta disc, the powder is slow-baked with Italian olive oil (organic), vitamin E and A-rich shea butter, and marula oil that ensures intense nourishment, hydration and repairs skin’s moisture barrier too. Now, that’s a combo worth trying, isn’t it?

Pros:

  • Silky-smooth texture
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Leaves the skin soft and supple
  • Adds an iridescent glow with the natural tan
  • Dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free product.

Cons:

  • The powder is fragile.

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There you go, those are 11 best cruelty-free bronzers of 2020 for you. To know more about types of bronzers, how to apply them, or how to pick the best cruelty-free bronzer, read our buying guide below.

Buying Guide – Best Cruelty-free Bronzer

Different Types Of Bronzers?

There are mainly three different types of bronzers:

Pressed powder bronzer: Mostly bronzers are preferred in pressed powder form. They are easy-to-use, blend seamlessly, and can be used for contouring as well. Other than these  powder bronzers are available in matte and shimmer, thus giving you a choice to keep it natural or add a little shine to your tan.

Cream bronzer: Are you looking for an intense tan effect? If yes, then cream bronzers are ideal for you. They may take longer to set and blend, but they deliver a foundation-like coverage and last longer.

Liquid bronzer: Liquid bronzer, just like pressed powders, are easy-to-apply and blend. Also, they deliver a stunning contour look as well. And other than being apt for oily skin, they are great for acne and sensitive skin too.

How To Choose The Best Cruelty-Free Bronzer For Yourself?

Look out for the following features to pick the best cruelty-free bronzer:

Skin Tone: Unless you want to end up looking like an Oompa Loompa, choose the right skin tone! For example — If you have light to fair skin tone, select a subtle pastel or pink shade for sheer coverage and for medium skin tone, earthy-tones or bronze tone are a perfect match to add warmth. And as for deep to dark skin tone, brown shades with a dash of shimmer would be a great choice. Also, a bronzer should be at least 2 shades darker than your natural skin tone.

Skin Type: Yes, your skin type matters too. Pick a bronzer that suits your skin type for the best results. For normal to dry skin, liquid bronzer can provide ideal coverage. However, if you have oily, very oily, or combination skin, then stick to pressed powders or gel bronzers only. And as for acne-prone skin, a liquid bronzer is the best choice.

Lasting Power: A bronzer should last long, or else your tale about visiting the beach will fall apart quicker than you think. So, inspect if the bronzer has long stay-power or is long wear for the best experience.

Matte Or Shimmer: Bronzers are available in matte and shimmers. Though anyone can apply matte, shimmer shades are ideal for deeper skin tones only. However, if you think you can handle all that shine, go ahead and shimmer on!

Go Cruelty-free: Lastly, let’s be a little considerate about animals before you invest in a bronzer or any beauty products. Go cruelty-free, so you know the product is made with love, peace, and kindness.

How To Use A Bronzer?

Using a bronzer is simple, and you don’t have to be a professional to get the perfect tan look. Here are some basic steps:

  • Use a stippling brush for the best coverage and start from the hairline
  • The idea is to create a ‘3’ on either side of the face starting from the hairline, cheeks, and jawline
  • Run the brush gently over one half of the hairline. Be extremely gentle, so you don’t leave a patch or orangish tint
  • While running over your cheeks, keep a two-finger gap from the nose bridge. Also, you can gently brush it over your nose bridge too if you like
  • Lastly, bronze that jawline with the same pressure and go downwards toward the neck for complete coverage
  • Blend as much as you can, so the powder looks more like a shadow and spreads seamlessly with your natural skin tone.

With that, we bet you’ll have the best sun-kissed glow ever!

Now, who’s ready to get tanned at home? Whether it’s tanning season or not, show off your gorgeous tan all around the year with these must-have bronzers. Also, these products are animal-loving! So, go on and pick your bronzer today without feeling guilty toward your furry friends. We hope this list of 11 best cruelty-free bronzers has the one you are looking for. Enjoy the tan lines!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is bronzer necessary?

Yes, if you want to show off some sun-kissed love to your peers, a bronzer would be ideal for you. Besides adding warmth to your skin, they enhance your complexion, and deliver coverage that looks natural and flawless.

Is liquid or powder bronzer better?

It depends on your skin type. If you have a normal, combination, or oily skin — a powder bronzer would be ideal, whereas, for dry skin, a liquid or cream bronzer would be better.

Should I get bronzer or contour?

If you are planning to get a pretense tan, then you would need a bronzer, but if you want to define or enhance your features, then a contour palette is all you need. Also, a bronzer can be used for contouring too.

Should bronzer have shimmer?

Not necessarily, and it depends on your skin type. For example, using a bronzer with shimmer on very oily skin is not the best idea because your skin will end up looking greasy. However, those with normal to moderately oily skin can enjoy a bronzer with shimmer.

Can you use a bronzer instead of a foundation?

No. A foundation is primarily used to uplift your natural beauty, even out your skin tones and give a seamless appearance. A bronzer, on the other hand, adds warmth to the skin in order to create a fake tan.

Do I need a bronzer if I’m tan?

Yes, you can use a bronzer if you are tanned to even out your skin tone. Considering you might not get tanned evenly be it on your face or body, a bronzer can help to give a natural and uniform coverage.

What is the difference between illuminator and bronzer?

A bronzer adds warmth to areas on your face that might naturally get tanned under the sun. However, an illuminator is used to highlight certain areas or features.

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Chaitra Krishnan

Chaitra is an extremely passionate writer and storyteller. She has a triple main Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communicative English, and Economics and a Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has more than three years of experience in content writing and editing and specializes in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle genres. Her background in journalism helps her guide her team in churning out fine content for the readers. When she’s not editing or juggling tasks at work, she likes to daydream and stalk doggos on Instagram.
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