Nothing drains the life from your face like two hours' sleep followed by a full-on day at your desk or with your kids. This is where bronzer is like a reliable friend who perks you up, makes you feel human again and doesn’t judge you for drinking your fourth cup of coffee that morning…Here are our top 10 bronzers for perking up tired mamas.
Bourjois Delice de Soleil Poudre Bronzante (£8.99, boots.com)
This little bronzer box not only smells of chocolate, the colour gives a really natural finish and never looks orange. But the biggest bonus is the box protects the powder from little hands smashing the contents.
Clarins Bronzing Duo SPF 15 Mineral Powder Compact (£28, clarins.com)
Swirl a big brush across both shades, or use the darker tone to contour your cheekbones if you have a little more time. Once you’ve lifted your skintone from sleep-deprived grey, you may find you need to wear less make-up too.
Being very Liz Earle, the colour of this bronzer is ultra natural and really easy to apply. Enriched with vitamin E, borage and avocado, so it never feels dry or cakey on skin.
Nars Bronzer in Laguna (£26, narscosmetics.co.uk)
This cult bronzer can’t be beaten for giving a healthy glow with a warming shot of subtle golden shimmer. The compact case is slim and sturdy enough to chuck into your bag and the little mirror inside means you can bronze-on-the-go
The Body Shop Baked-To-Last Bronzer (£16, thebodyshop.co.uk)
When you’re on round-the-clock feed duties, or you’ve been hibernating on the sofa with your newborn, you’re probably not looking your perkiest. A quick dusting of this slow-baked shimmer-marbled bronzer skin a lift in an instant.
Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan Light (£5.99, superdrug.com)
Sun Shimmer is available in many guises – shimmer, matte, light, medium and dark, plus a pressed powder version, but this wash-off, transfer-resistant liquid looks like skin after a sunshine break. Apply to bare legs, or blend a little onto your face to give a healthy, non-oily colour pick-me-up. Plus the price is a winner every time.
BareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil (£20, bareminerals.co.uk)
Paraben, chemical and artificial oil-free, this is actually a finishing powder with a hint of colour, so it doubles as an oil-absorber, sets your make-up and looks really natural on skin. It disappears on contact and never looks powdery.
Without a hint of shimmer (so undetectable even in bright daylight), but never drying on skin, this box bronzer delivers a seriously believable tan. Brush on a light dusting onto paler skintones, or build up for a deeper colour.
Dr Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate (£28, drhauschka.com)
In the bottle, this looks like scary stuff. But mixed with moisturiser (or applying sparingly after you’ve moisturised), it will even out your skintone and give a dewy, sun-kissed look. So good, you can probably skip foundation.
If you’re really fair and find bronzers too orange or dark for your skintone, or you’re dark and find they’re too pink, this bronzer collection is for you. Choose according to your skintone and it will deliver just the right level of colour. It even contains particles of pure gold, which rather than giving a shimmer effect, warm and brighten by reflecting light off your skin.