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The cosmetics industry is notorious for excluding the nuanced and diverse skin tones of its consumer base — particularly deeper and more melanated complexions. And while the limited shade ranges offered by a variety of makeup and skincare products is just one example of how Black and Brown people are being overlooked, the lack of inclusion is particularly stark in the world of bronzers.
So much so that Atlanta, Georgia-based makeup artist Mi’Chel Bombshell founded her own cosmetics company, Beauty By Mi’Chel, in an effort to fill in the representation gaps that some mainstream brands have left wide open.
“I experienced that the options for darker shades are limited with bronzers, especially when it comes to big name companies,” Bombshell said. “The big misconception is that people of color don’t use bronzer, which is false. It’s like saying ‘Black people don’t sunburn.’”
She explained that bronzers aren’t necessarily intended to contour the face or to change the skin tone entirely. Instead, it’s meant to “bring your skin back to life” after you have used your setting powders and other mattifying products –– something that isn’t, and shouldn’t be, exclusive to the lighter-complected.
“When choosing a bronzer, you should find a shade that is no more that two shades darker than your natural skin tone,” Bombshell said. “You should also know your undertone. The wrong bronzer can have you looking too red or even too dark.”
We still have a long way to go when it comes to better representation in the world of beauty, but Bombshell said that as people of color continue to be vocal about the ways in which they are being left out, brands are starting to listen. Currently, there are some bronzers on the market that individuals with brown skin, including Bombshell, find favorable, so we combed the reviews and rounded them up here. Ahead, see a list of rich-toned bronzers that reviewers say deliver that enviable, sunkissed glow.