How to Bronze in Winter

While our Northern Hemisphere friends enjoy summer’s seasonal splendours we are facing the wrath of winter. You can almost feel your skin tone fading every time you scroll past a burnished poolside selfie on Instagram. The colder months sap both the moisture and colour from our skin and can leave us looking dull and lifeless. While using bronzer in the winter can seem futile, there are sneaky ways to get your skin’s golden glow back even in the dead of winter.



We’ve gathered our top six secrets to nix the winter pallor and leave you – at least – feeling a little warmer. Find your perfect bronzing match with our curated guide to gels, creams, and powders.

1. Moisture Matters

Winter’s winds wear out even the softest of skin meaning you have to call in for extra help on the moisturising front. No fake tan is believable when you have patches of dry skin roughening up your complexion. For flawless colour as well as heaps of hydration, try the Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda in Light Glow. It’s a tinted cream that works like a BB or CC Cream to blur imperfections with the added bonus of a nice summer-esque glow.


2. Matte About You

Try looking for bronzers with minimal shimmer and sparkle. The matte finish will make your skin glow in a less obvious way. Our favourite matte powder is the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder with SPF 15. The whole range is designed to give you what the French call “bonne mine” (a healthy post-holiday glow) and a quick dusting will give you a just-back-from-Biarritz-bronze. 


3. Don’t Go Overboard

Even though, deep down, you want to channel Eva Mendes, remember, it is still winter and it makes sense to be a little paler in the colder months. Try choosing a bronzer just a single shade darker than your current skin tone, as well as going for bronzers that have an olive undertone rather than yellow undertone. For a believable hue, try mixing the Stila Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer with a foundation or tinted moisturiser to give a realistic radiance. And, as a bonus, the product is infused with hyaluronic acid, making it a perfect match for winter’s worst. 


4. Know Your Brush

Since the goal of winter bronzing is to imitate the sun’s summer kiss, it is vital to use the right brush to give you a flush of golden goodness. Look for larger brushes, such as a fluffy kabuki or oversized powder brush to add just the right amount of blended bronze to places like your cheekbones and hairline. Rae Morris makes beautiful brushes and we highly recommend her Pro Powder Brush to sweep that much-needed colour onto your face flawlessly. 


5. Try Contour Sticks

Winter may bring a bit of extra padding and the result can be the loss of definition lost in our faces. Luckily, Clinique’s classic Chubby Stick now comes in two contouring colours - so you can use the darker one to shade your cheekbones and jawlines back to their absolute sharpest, and the illuminator along the tops of cheekbones to give a little depth to your bone structure. 


6. Top It Off

 The Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic

The Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic

Because of the golden nature of bronzers, gold-toned eyeshadows are the best to really make your new winter glow pop. The Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic is a great choice because the quad contains a highlighter, two lid shades, and a crease colour. You can even dab some of the lightest shade onto the high points of your cheeks to give your face a new dimension. Apply a dark berry lipstick and you are on your way to winter wonderfulness.


Story by Sammi Keys. Layout by Amanda Chan.