The 15 Best Bronzers for Pale Skin So You Can Look Sun-Kissed Without the Burn

by Caroline Harris

The 15 Best Bronzers for Pale Skin So You Can Look Sun-Kissed Without the Burn
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Photo Courtesy of Lucy Hale on Instagram


I don’t tan, I burn.


If you’re like me, lying poolside sans sunscreen means developing a sunburn in under an hour. Fair-skinned individuals are sensitive to the sun, making sunscreen an absolute must. While others can achieve a golden glow from basking in the sun, it’s a recipe for disaster for us pale people. Every summer, you can catch me rigorously applying sunscreen, looking like Snow White even in the blazing heat of Los Angeles.


That’s why bronzer is a must for faking a sun-kissed glow and tan skin without the skin damage. Before hitting the beach, dust some bronzer over your cheekbones to make it seem like you haven’t been slathering on SPF 50 all summer. For inspiration, look no further than actresses like Lucy Hale and Alexis Bledel. Both fair-skinned beauties consistently look fabulous, with a lit-from-within glow you can replicate with the right bronzer.



Finding the best bronzer for pale skin can be challenging and might take some trial and error. You want a shade that enhances your undertones and matches your skin tone. Experts recommend going for a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin color. Steer clear of vibrant orange and red tones. For paler skin, subtle hues of rose, pink and beige taupe are especially becoming. If your skin has cool tones, go for a peachy pink bronzer. For warm undertones, opt for a golden bronzer


You may want your highlight to be popping, but your bronzer shouldn’t call too much attention to itself. Use a light hand to apply bronzer in all the places the sun would naturally hit: your cheekbones, the top of your forehead and your jawline.


Bronzer can be used as a contour or to create a more natural look, and either way we have you covered. Check out these tips from a makeup artist on how to apply bronzer when contouring and discover how to get a healthy glow with this bronzer tutorial. Then, read through our round up of tried-and-true formulas for some extra color that won’t have you reaching for the aloe vera. Gear up for your most amazing summer yet with the best bronzers for pale skin.


1 of 15 Image Credits: Macy's

Lancome Star Bronzer Natural Matte


Peach-toned bronzers look beautiful on fair skin, especially if you have yellow undertones. This powder gets you a natural-looking flush with a long-lasting formula.

2 of 15 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Bronzer for All Fair Skin Types

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer


This bronzer is a great match for fair skin with neutral undertones. It comes in a powder form that’s lightweight and easy to blend.

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Best Bronzer for Fair Dry Skin

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer Mini


Achieve a luminous blend of pink and bronze shades with this travel-sized bronzer. The two tones add dimension to your face so you’ll look naturally sun-kissed in no time.

4 of 15 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Bronzer for Fair Oily Skin

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer


This matte bronzer is infused with 100 percent real cocoa powder so it smells delicious and is a boon for your skin. Cocoa powder aids with elasticity, anti-aging and hydration, so reap the beauty benefits with this bestselling bronzer.

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Best Matte Bronzer for Fair Skin

L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics True Match Lumi Bronze It


Fake a weekend getaway to Malibu or Miami with this sun-kissed bronzer. The formula feels silky-smooth and provides an all-over warmth that will make it look like you just returned from vacation.

6 of 15 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Bronzer With Shimmer for Fair Skin

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer Mini


This bronzer is a cult classic, and pale shoppers swear by it to achieve a natural-looking tan. The formula won’t leave behind shimmer or shine, so no one has to know your complexion got a little boost.

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Best Bronzer Without Shimmer for Fair Skin

Physicians Formula Murumura Butter Bronzer Light


During the dead of winter, your complexion can start to look more pasty than porcelain. Revive your tone with a creamy bronzer for only $9.

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Best Drugstore Bronzer for Fair Skin

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer


When your crush invites you to a pool party, you’ll want to look like a glowing goddess without your bronzer coming off in the chlorine. Reach for this waterproof bronzer for a subtle shimmer that’s long-lasting.

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Best Waterproof Bronzer for Fair Skin

Becca Sunlit Bronzer


This bronzer in “Bali Sands” is inspired by Balinese beaches and comes in a soft golden-beige that’s sure to complement your features. Happy shoppers say “it’s seriously a miracle bronzer” and “the color is super flattering.”

10 of 15 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Cream Bronzer for Fair Skin

Perricone MD No Makeup Bronzer Broad Spectrum SPF 20


Cakey makeup is a serious buzzkill, which is why you’ll love this blendable formula from Perricone MD. The bronzer contains Vitamin C Ester for natural brightening and smoothing.

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Best Liquid Bronzer for Fair Skin

Bobbi Brown Bronzer


This Bobbi Brown option is a little more pricey than others on our list, but it’s worth it. Subtle enough for everyday use, this bronzing powder will soon become a staple in your makeup collection. The buildable formula can get you anything from a natural-looking tan to a deep glow.

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Best Splurge Bronzer for Fair Skin

Physicians Formula Organic 100% Natural Bronzer


This bronzer is so popular, it keeps selling out on Amazon. The product is formulated with 100 percent natural ingredients like jojoba seed oil and corn starch. It’s an excellent option for sensitive skin, with a non-irritating formula that brings out both your inner and outer glow.

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Best All-Natural Bronzer for Fair Skin

NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo


NARS is top of the game when it comes to both bronzer and blush. Pair the “Orgasm” blush shade and “Laguna” bronzer for a golden sheen that’s worthy of Lucy Hale herself.

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Best Bronzer-Blush Duo for Fair Skin

bareMinerals Gradual Tan Bronzer


Beauty gurus like KathleenLights adore this bareMinerals bronzer, so you know it’s the real deal. To contour, apply the bronzer with a narrow tip makeup brush and blend thoroughly.

15 of 15 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Bronzer for Contouring for Fair Skin

BaeBlu Organic Bronzer


This bronzer includes nourishing vitamin E for supporting healthy skin. Amazon reviewers buzz about how it’s “absolutely amazing” and “goes on super smoothly.”