Matte Bronzer vs Shimmer Bronzer

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Choosing the right bronzer can be a daunting task. Did you know that bronzers come in different finishes, notably matte and shimmer? This blog will simplify your decision-making process by comparing and contrasting these two types of bronzers.

Dive in to learn which one best suits your skin type and desired look!

Key Takeaways

  • Matte bronzer adds warmth and dimension to the face, perfect for contouring and creating a chiseled look.
  • Shimmer bronzer provides a radiant and glowing effect, giving your skin a luminous finish for that sun-kissed glow.
  • Choosing between matte and shimmer bronzer depends on your skin type – matte is best for oily skin, while shimmer is ideal for dry or normal skin.
  • Apply matte bronzer to specific areas of the face like forehead, hollows of cheeks, jawline, and sides of nose for a natural-looking contour. Use shimmer bronzer on high points of cheeks, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow, chin center, and brow bone to highlight and add radiance.

What is the Purpose of Bronzer?

Bronzer is used to add warmth and dimension to the face, create a sun-kissed glow, and enhance facial features.

Adding warmth and dimension to the face

Using bronzer to add warmth and dimension to your face is a critical step in any makeup routine. A touch of matte bronzer gives the skin an inviting, sun-kissed effect that mimics a natural tan, infusing your complexion with toastiness.

If contouring is your goal, matte bronzers are perfect for creating shadows and accentuating the angles of your face. On the other hand, shimmer bronzers playfully interact with light to highlight certain areas, giving you both radiance and depth.

This luminous finish livens up flat facial features by drawing attention where it’s needed most on parts of the face that are not naturally oily.

Creating a sun-kissed glow

To achieve a sun-kissed glow, opt for a shimmer bronzer. These bronzers give your skin a radiant and glowing appearance, perfect for mimicking that natural sun-kissed look. Apply the shimmer bronzer to areas of your face that are not naturally oily to avoid accentuating shine.

The shimmer effect is more noticeable on the skin compared to matte bronzers, providing a luminous and dewy finish. So go ahead and add some warmth and radiance to your complexion with a shimmer bronzer for that perfect sunkissed glow.

By warming up the skin with shimmer bronzer, you can achieve an effortless and glowing complexion without any glitter or sparkle. Don’t forget to choose one that suits your skin type – there are various options available from powder to cream formulas.

Enhancing facial features

Matte and shimmer bronzers can both be used to enhance your facial features. Matte bronzers, with their subtle contouring ability, help create a chiseled look by adding depth and definition to specific areas of the face.

On the other hand, shimmer bronzers provide a luminous effect and give your skin a radiant glow, making it appear more youthful and vibrant. Whether you want to sculpt your cheekbones or add warmth to your complexion, choosing the right bronzer can help enhance your facial features effortlessly.

Matte Bronzer vs Shimmer Bronzer

Matte bronzer has a flat, shine-free finish, while shimmer bronzer adds a subtle glow and sheen to the skin.

Definition and characteristics of matte bronzer

Matte bronzer is a type of bronzing powder that doesn’t contain any shimmer or sparkle. It has a velvety, matte finish that adds warmth and dimension to your face. Matte bronzers are great for achieving a natural-looking contour and chiseled skin.

They’re typically lighter in color compared to shimmer bronzers and provide a more subtle effect on the skin. If you have oily skin or want to control shine, matte bronzer is the perfect choice for you.

It’s also suitable for those with dry skin as it doesn’t accentuate any dry patches. One popular matte bronzer among beauty enthusiasts is Nars Laguna bronzer.

Definition and characteristics of shimmer bronzer

Shimmer bronzer is a type of bronzing product that adds a radiant and glowing effect to the skin. Unlike matte bronzers, shimmer bronzers contain fine particles that reflect light and create a subtle sheen on the face.

The shimmer effect gives your complexion a luminous and dewy finish, perfect for achieving that sun-kissed glow. Shimmer bronzers are typically used on areas of the face where you want to highlight or add a touch of radiance.

They can be applied lightly for a natural look or built up for more intensity. Whether you’re going for an everyday glow or getting ready for a special occasion, shimmer bronzers are an excellent choice to enhance your natural beauty and achieve that lit-from-within look.

Which bronzer to choose based on skin type and desired look

Choosing the right bronzer can make a big difference in achieving your desired look. If you have oily skin, it’s best to go for a matte bronzer. These bronzers do not contain any shimmer or sparkle, making them perfect for controlling oil and adding warmth to your complexion.

On the other hand, if you want a radiant and glowing appearance, opt for a shimmer bronzer. This type of bronzer is ideal for those with dry or normal skin as it adds luminosity and enhances your natural radiance.

Whether you prefer a subtle contour or a sun-kissed glow, consider your skin type when choosing between matte and shimmer bronzers.

When choosing based on desired look, matte bronzers are great for creating chiseled features and providing depth to the face. They give a more contoured effect that sculpts the skin beautifully.

Shimmer bronzers, on the other hand, offer a more noticeable sheen and can add an instant glow to your complexion. They provide a luminous finish that highlights facial features in just the right places.

Where to Apply Matte Bronzer vs Shimmer Bronzer

Learn how to achieve different effects with matte and shimmer bronzer by applying them to specific areas of the face. Find out where to apply each type of bronzer for a natural-looking contour or a radiant glow.”.

Areas of the face to apply matte bronzer

Apply matte bronzer to specific areas of your face to achieve a natural sun-kissed effect. Start by sweeping the bronzer along your forehead, blending it into your hairline for a warm and radiant look.

Next, lightly dust the bronzer on the hollows of your cheeks to create definition and sculpt your facial features. To add further dimension, apply a touch of matte bronzer along the jawline and under the chin.

Finish off by gently brushing some bronzer down both sides of your nose for a subtle contouring effect. Remember, less is more when it comes to applying matte bronzer – build up gradually for a naturally enhanced glow.

Areas of the face to apply shimmer bronzer

Apply shimmer bronzer to areas of the face that you want to highlight and add a radiant glow. Dab a small amount onto the high points of your cheeks, blending it towards your temples for a natural-looking sheen.

You can also apply shimmer bronzer to the bridge of your nose, cupid’s bow, and center of your chin to bring light and dimension to these areas. Don’t forget to sweep a touch along your brow bone for an instant eye-opening effect.

Shimmer bronzer is perfect for achieving that luminous, sun-kissed look that enhances your features and gives you a radiant complexion.

Achieving different effects with each type of bronzer

Matte and shimmer bronzers can help you achieve different effects on your skin. With a matte bronzer, you’ll get a more subtle and contoured look. It’s perfect for adding warmth and dimension to your face while giving it a chiseled appearance.

On the other hand, shimmer bronzers provide a radiant and glowing effect on your skin. The shimmer particles reflect light, giving you a luminous complexion that looks dewy and fresh.

So whether you want a natural-looking contour or a sun-kissed glow, choosing the right type of bronzer can make all the difference in achieving the effect you desire.

Can You Use Bronzer to Contour?

Yes, bronzer can be used for contouring purposes to create a natural-looking sculpted effect on the face.

Explanation of contouring

Contouring is a makeup technique used to enhance and define the natural shape of your face. It involves using bronzer or other contouring products that are slightly darker than your skin tone to create shadows and add depth.

By strategically applying bronzer to specific areas, such as the hollows of your cheeks, along the jawline, and on the sides of your nose, you can sculpt your face and create a more chiseled appearance.

Contouring with bronzer is a great way to achieve a subtle yet noticeable transformation and accentuate your best features.

Using bronzer for contouring purposes

To achieve a chiseled and defined look, bronzer can be used for contouring purposes. Contouring involves using makeup to create shadows and highlights on the face, enhancing your natural features.

Matte bronzers are ideal for contouring as they provide a subtle sculpting effect without any shimmer or sparkle. To contour with bronzer, apply it to the hollows of your cheeks, along the jawline, and on the temples to create depth and definition.

Blend it well for a natural-looking result that brings out your facial structure. Experiment with different shades and techniques to find what works best for you!

How to achieve a natural-looking contour with bronzer

To achieve a natural-looking contour with bronzer, start by choosing a matte bronzer that is only slightly darker than your skin tone. This will help create depth and define your features without looking too harsh.

Using an angled brush, apply the matte bronzer along the hollows of your cheeks, temples, and jawline, blending it out towards the hairline for a seamless finish. Remember to use a light hand and build up the color gradually to avoid any harsh lines.

By using bronzer strategically to sculpt your face, you can achieve a subtle yet defined contour that enhances your natural shape.


In conclusion, when it comes to matte bronzer vs shimmer bronzer, the choice depends on your skin type and desired look. Matte bronzers are great for warming up the skin and creating a chiseled contour, while shimmer bronzers provide a radiant and luminous glow.

Whether you prefer a more subtle or noticeable effect, both options can enhance your features and give you that sun-kissed appearance. Choose the bronzer that suits your preferences and have fun experimenting with different looks!


1. What is the difference between matte bronzer and shimmer bronzer?

Matte bronzers give a sheen-free, natural, and subtle finish perfect for sculpting or warming up the skin while shimmer bronzers add more glow to your complexion with its luminous finish.

2. Is matte bronzer or shimmer bronzer better for oily skin?

Matte bronzers are great for oil control as they provide a powder, velvet-like finish that absorbs excess oils on the face making them ideal for people with an oily skin type.

3. Can I use both matte and shimmer bronzer together?

Yes! For a glowing yet sunkissed look, you can apply matte bronzer first to warm up your face then add a touch of shimmering bronzer where sunlight naturally hits you like cheekbones or nose bridge.

4. Are there different types of finishes in Bronzers apart from Matte and Shimmer?

Apart from Matte and Shimmer Bronzers, there’s also radiant satin finish that gives off dewy effect; sheer formula offering light coverage; luminous providing gentle sparkle;and glitter-free version focusing on achieving natural glow without any glitters.

5. Which one should I pick if my goal is getting sunkissed skin: Matte Bronzer or Shimmer Bronzer?

For natural-looking sun-kissed bronze, it usually comes down to personal preference but many beauticians recommend applying a gentle dusting of either sheer-bronze or radiant-satin-finish product instead of heavily pigmented ones.

Matte Bronzer vs Shimmer Bronzer
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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