Best cream bronzer: “Everyone’s obsessed with this Chanel bronzer, and now I understand why”

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It’s been a staple in make-up artists’ kits for years, and conjures up a steady stream of buzz online, so why did it take Stylist’s beauty director Shannon Peter so long to jump on the Chanel cream bronzer hype? Here’s exactly why she’ll never look back. 

Okay, okay. I know it’s my job to trial all the latest beauty products with a view to telling you what’s legit (and what’s not) but I have to admit, I dropped the ball on this one. You see, I’ve just never really been that bothered about bronzer. Blusher, yes. Highlighter, certainly. But bronzer? I just tend to pass on the stuff. So that’s why Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, £42, perhaps the most hyped bronzer on the planet, passed me by.

The funny thing is, it’s been around for years. 11 to be precise, first launching as Soleil Tan de Chanel and making an annual comeback in the brand’s summer collection ever since. This year, however, it’s back with a new name — Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream.

Make-up artists and beauty fanatics may have raved about it for years, but for me to really pay attention? Well, that took seeing the bronzer on Lisa Potter-Dixon’s Instagram — my make-up artist friend whose make-up advice I religiously take as verbatim — and I soon realised I had massively overlooked the one thing that stands between me and a face that looks as though it’s spent six weeks in Sicily, rather than on my sofa.

So, I got my hands on one. And I can confirm, it is hands down the best bronzer I’ve ever tried.

First, just opening the hefty tub is a joy. You twizzle off the lid embossed with the signature interlocking Cs to reveal a shiny and oh-so-satisfying swirl of butterscotch-toned, mousse-textured cream. Heaven.

Then you see what it does to the skin. I swirled the very tip of a fluffy face brush into the pot and buffed it onto my cheekbones, temples, swiping a bit across my nose for good measure. Unlike powder bronzer, it’s so light and really melts into the skin which makes for a more natural finish. My skin looks instantly glowier, and my usual lockdown grey-tint has been lifted. Check below for a before and after to see its power for yourself. 


Ever since it landed in my make-up bag, I’ve worn it everyday. And most days completely on its own. When I can’t be arsed to do my brows or apply concealer, this gives my skin a welcome shot of perkiness. So quite frankly, dear reader, I’m sorry I let this one slip the net. It’s certainly a lesson in trusting in the hype until I can see for myself. 

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, £42


But it isn’t just me that’s found my cream bronzer match — I asked team Stylist to share the cream bronzers they go wild for. 

The best cream blushers, as recommended by team Stylist

  • Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand


    As recommended by SEO executive, Lucy Robson

    “I am pretty lazy when it comes to make-up, but as for self tan, I am a longtime fully-fledged addict. After almost a decade of using powder bronzer, I made the switch to a cream version, in the form of Charlotte Tillbury’s contour wand, which has been a revelation.

    It’s so much easier to apply using the spongy wand, it blends much more evenly over foundation, and the colour feels much more natural. As the name suggests, I like to think it gives me a just jetted in from California glow. During lockdown I’ve just been dabbing it on my cheeks, nose and hairline to breathe a bit of life into my otherwise drab complexion.”

    Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand£29

  • Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer


    As recommended by senior beauty writer, Hanna Ibraheem

    “My biggest fear with bronzers is using something that’s either too orange or too grey for my skin tone, but as Fenty has an offering of seven shades (and a solid reputation for considering undertones), I managed to find one suitable for my complexion — both Hunnie Glaze and Teddy work for me, in case you wondered. I’ve noticed that creams allow you to achieve a much more seamless finish compared to powders. Plus, creamy formulas are so much easier to blend out the edges with my fingers or a sponge.”

    Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer£28

  • Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream


    As recommended by fashion features editor Billie Bhatia

    Turns out I’m not alone in my love for this product, as Billie has been packing it in her holiday suitcase for years. She says: “On holiday I don’t like to wear foundation because I want to show off my tan as much as possible (I know, such a beg). However, sometimes my skin needs a little warm pop, in which case I go to Chanel’s bronzer. A small swipe across my forehead and buffed into my cheeks is that is needed for an instant tanned glow.”

    Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, £42

Images: Shannon Peter / courtesy of brands.

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