Photo: Joshua Jordan
We firmly believe that brides-to-be with porcelain skin should show off their gorgeous complexions with pride, but we totally understand the urge to join the bronzed crowd once in a while — especially when you're engaged and everyone is talking about that coveted bridal glow. Every fair-skinned girl knows she must tread lightly when it comes to bronzer, though. Far too many of them are too dark, too orange or too glittery — finding one that's just right can be quite a feat. So we enlisted our pale-skinned editors to round up the prettiest, most natural-looking bronzers to give you the perfect wedding-day glow.
Best for All-Over Color: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in #10, $57.50, Chanel
Our tester immediately fell in love with the subtle glow this product gave her. "It's not a classic bronzer, but more of a finishing powder and bronzer hybrid," she says. "It adds just a touch of color to enhance my milky complexion. Plus, the chic black and ivory case isn't too shabby either."
Best for a Hit of Shimmer: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone, $38, Becca
Coercing this bronzer-averse editor to not only try a bronzer, but a shimmery one at that, was quite difficult. "I started with the smallest swipe on my cheekbones, forehead and nose," our tester says. "I was pleasantly surprised at how sheer it is — you'll never be at risk of putting on too much product in one go." She realized that the little shimmering pigments blurred imperfections by diffusing the light. "My skin looked so even," she says. "Someone actually commented on how great my complexion looked! It's perfect for brides who want that lit-from-within glow."
Best Blush Substitute: Almay Smart Shade Blush in Coral, $11.49, Drugstore.com
Ok, so this one might technically be a blush, but for fair-skinned girls, it's really more of a blush-slash-bronzer. Our tester wore it two ways: on her cheeks as a warm blush, and all-over to make it seem like she'd just returned from a day at the beach — minus the red, blotchy sunburn. "It's a perfect two-in-one product for minimalist brides," she says. "It also somehow does what it claims to do and self-adjusts to your skin tone so it never looks unnatural."
Best for Freckled Complexions: Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes #02, $52, Sephora
A mix of pink and tan pigments makes this one perfect for brides with freckled, peaches-and-cream complexions. (We're talking to you, red-headed girls!) "It's a powder formulation, but it's so finely milled that it has an almost cream-like texture," our tester says. "It brightened up my complexion so perfectly and lasted for the entire work day! It might be expensive, but definitely worth the splurge if you can swing it."
Best for Problematic Skin: Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic in Beige/Warm Beige, $13.99, Ulta
If you're acne-prone, oily, or have sensitive skin, this one is for you. Our tester is very cautious about what she puts on her skin and this didn't irritate it in the least. "I love the versatility of this bronzer," she says. "It's a palette with color gradations, so you can either mix all of the shades together or use the darker shades in the summer and the lighter shades in the winter. There's one small section that has shimmer in it, so you can either take that or leave it, too. And of course, it gave me great color without looking the least bit orange!"