WARM IT UP

I Finally Found the Bronzer for Brown Skin I've Been Waiting For

There aren't many great options for people with dark skin tones who want that summer glow all year long. Mented Cosmetics is helping to fill that gap in the market.

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selfie of gabi thorne holding two mented cosmetics bronzers
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TL;DR:
  • What It Is: A matte bronzer with slight shimmer
  • What It Does: Warms up the skin for that perfect summer glow all year round
  • Who It's For: All complexions

Once upon a time, I didn't own any bronzers. My makeup collection may not have been as big as it is now, but with the lack of options for my skin tone and general confusion about how to use it, bronzer was really not on my radar. You might be confused, too. But makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff assures me that the product can add a little extra oomph to your makeup look. "Bronzer is used to mimic and recreate the sun's warmth on skin when we get a tan," she explains.

And having melanin-rich skin doesn't mean you can't lose that gorgeous warmth from your skin during the cooler months, nor does it mean you can't enhance it a little bit with some makeup. "Bronzer helps darker skin maintain that healthy summer glow all year round, especially during winter when darker skin can become several shades lighter and lose its vitamin D-boosted, healthy [radiance] from summer's longer, sunlit days," Sheriff says.

I officially became a fierce believer in bronzer after watching several YouTube videos and discovering options, though limited, that would work for me. Since then, I've been adding as many as I can find to my collection. Thankfully, the bronzer market for deep shades has grown immensely over the last few years as brands like Fenty Beauty and Prime Beauty are offering more options. Still, it's not quite where it should be, in my not-so-humble opinion. So, when I do find with dark enough bronzer shades, I immediately need to try them. That's exactly why the Mented Cosmetics Bronzer caught my eye when it first launched in July 2020. 

The bronzer is available in four warm matte shades: Beach Bum (tan), Vacay (light brown), Yacht Life (dark cinnamon), and Out of Office (hickory). Each has a hint of shimmer that adds a subtle gleam to the face. 

I'm a fan of the two darkest options: Yacht Life is the closest to my skin tone while Out of Office is far deeper. I like to start off with the lighter brown before blending in a little bit of the deeper hickory hue to create the perfect glow on my skin. 

Courtesy of Gabi Thorne
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Typically, I apply the warm-toned powder after I've blended out my foundation, concealer, and contour. I like to diffuse it using a big, fluffy brush (like the Real Techniques Blush Brush) around my face — starting in the middle of my cheeks, bringing it up towards the side of my face, and running it along the entire length of my hairline. 

Courtesy of subject

These bronzers are pigmented but still blendable, so you don't have to worry if you accidentally apply too much (hey, sometimes it happens). Because of how flawlessly the powder blends out, it's also easy to build up, even if you start off with too little. I also love that while I can use the shade Out of Office, it is still deep enough to work for those who are darker than I am, too. 

Confused about how to apply the product?  Sheriff shares a perfect, fool-proof method. “I use a backward 'three' technique, starting from temples, then swooping down using a blush brush or powder brush to cheekbones, [and] then swooping down to the jawline," she explains. "Repeat on the other side of the face and connect at the chin. Dust a little bronzing love on your neck and décolletage."

For just $22, you can get warm, glowy skin, even when the sun isn't shining as brightly. Scoop up your Mented Cosmetics Bronzer at mentedcosmetics.com