I Test Hundreds of Beauty Products a Month, and I Finally Found a Bronzer I Actually Like

Chanel has done the impossible.

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Chanel Les Beiges
Photo: Chanel/ InStyle

Even as someone who loves a 10-step makeup routine, I struggle endlessly with bronzers — to the point where I had abandoned the product altogether, until my recent introduction to Chanel's Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Powder. Every bronzer I've ever tried has had a laundry list of issues that make it a no go: Either it's patchy, made me look orange, or too shimmer-heavy..

If there were any way I was going to reconsider my aversion to the product, it would be because of glowing reviews from fellow beauty industry colleagues or packaging that's too sublime to ignore. Both apply to the Chanel Les Beiges powder.

I've watched a friend (who had gone from working in beauty journalism to creating her own brand) use Chanel bronzers for as long as I've known her. When I finally asked her what the appeal was, she said, "it's bronzer for people who don't like bronzer."

chanel les beiges
Courtesy

Shop now: $58; chanel.com

I put my distaste for bronzers aside and gave this product a go — and I am incredibly thankful that I did. After a quick brush of the medium light shade, my skin is giving rich-girl, I just spent a month on a yacht in Monaco, vibes.

Unsurprisingly, the finished effect of using Chanel Les Beiges is the ephemeral, difficult to define je ne sais quoi that is synonymous with the French brand. But after hours of reflection, I have decided that there are three defining winning features here: scent, fine powder particles, and the shades.

Fragranced products have been the target of endless scrutiny from the Gen Zers dominating skincare TikTok. While you definitely want to avoid irritants and overly synthetic fragrances, the light, floral scent of Chanel's cosmetics is part of its timeless allure, IMO. So, I appreciate that this still has a very faint smell to it.

Then there are the small, incredibly fine powder particles that are potentially a scientific marvel. My problem with makeup powders in general is that powder looks and feels heavy. It sits on top of and in opposition to my skin. Les Beiges has found a workaround for that problem. The powder settles into my skin; the pigments are complementary to each other instead of fighting for surface area.

Lastly, there is the difference between shades and tints, which this Chanel product masters. It doesn't look like I've made my skin more orange, but instead, like my skin is warmer. It's a deep finish that looks like a natural sunkiss.

Now that we're in the midst of days where it's barely dark before bedtime, this chic bronzer compact will be on my person virtually all the time.

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