I Just Tried the New Chanel Bronzer for Dark Skin—Here Are My Honest Thoughts

Ever wondered whether a new beauty launch or trending product is truly worth the hype? If so, you’re in the right place. I Just Tried… is our beauty column where we test out everything from new formulations to cult classics to find out whether they’re really worth your money. Oh, and we’ll answer the most-searched-for questions so you don’t have even have to ask.

Like most people, I am on a constant quest to get glowy skin. And while I'd love to level up the dewy finish with a trending skin tint, my combination skin type already emits lighthouse-worthy shine throughout the day, so I tend to steer clear of really luminous base products. Instead, I rely heavily on a healthy sweep of bronzer to produce that coveted lit-from-within glow.

As a beauty journalist, I've always had one bronzer on my radar as a cult buy: the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream (£43). Honestly, beauty editors and consumers alike go wild for the investment buy. In fact, John Lewis & Partners sold enough of this beloved bronzer to fill 17,000 Chanel 2.55 handbags in 2020 alone. That's a lot of bronzer. I was always itching to try it, but the formula only came in one shade—not exactly universal—and it was just too light for my skin tone. That is until this month. Yes, Chanel has finally launched a deeper shade of its classic cream bronzer aimed at medium to dark skin tones, and I was only too happy to put it to the test. 

Keeks before applying the Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream



Keeks before applying the Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream.

If, like me, you haven't used this bronzer before, then I'd describe it as a firm, cream consistency. I was pleased to learn that it's noncomedogenic, so it won't block pores, and it boasts a completely matte, velvety finish. Basically, it's a realistic-looking bronze, as it's totally sans shimmer.

To apply, I swirled a fluffy, tapered brush directly onto the product and then applied it to the high points of my face where the sun would naturally tan first: the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and my forehead.

Keeks after applying the Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream



Keeks after applying the Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream.

I was surprised at what a difference this product made. My skin looked instantly less dull, and I looked more wide-awake overall. The colour definitely looked subtle on me, but it can be built up to create a more prominent bronzed effect. However, I do think that Chanel should release an even deeper shade to cater to darker tones. Right now, for me, this shade is perfect, but if I caught a tan, I think it would get a little lost on my complexion.

I have to say, though, this bronzer has fast become a staple in my everyday makeup routine. It's perfect for adding a little sunshine glow to my skin, which is much-needed in the UK, where our summertime can be hit-and-miss, to say the least.

Shop more bronzers that are great for dark skin:

With a soft-focus finish, this bronzer creates a warm, sun-kissed look without any chunky shimmer or glitter.

This cream formula doubles up as a contour and bronzer, and who doesn’t like a multitasker? Although it’s a cream, it sets like a powder, so it’s not going anywhere throughout the day.

With a warm, reddish undertone, this bronzer fakes a natural sun-flushed look. It also contains finely milled flecks of shimmer to further illuminate the skin.

If you get oily throughout the day, a matte bronzer like this one can double up as a setting powder to stop some of the shine creeping in—all while adding a subtle glow to your forehead, cheeks and chin.

It’s not often you can layer creamy products without disrupting the base you have already laid down, but this bronzer is completely buildable and lightweight, so it doesn’t get cakey.

If you’re looking for something a little more radiant, then this bronzer (which also smells incredible, like sunny holidays) is packed with fine shimmer pigments, and the powder texture blends into any other base products effortlessly.

Think of this mist as an instant tan-bronzer hybrid. Spritz onto a kabuki brush, and then lightly buff into your skin on the high points of your face for a fresh-faced glow.

Up next: five products we should all be using this summer, according to skin experts.