Maybelline City Bronzer Swatches

The Best Affordable Drugstore Bronzer?

Maybelline City Bronzer Swatches


I know, I hardly believe it myself!

Often I find the pigment lacking, the longevity nonexistent and the shade selection dismal when it comes to the drugstore. Especially when it comes to bronzers. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that when Maybelline sent over their City Bronzers, I left them on my desk for some time, just assuming they wouldn’t be much to write home about. I’m happy to admit I was totally wrong and they are easily the best drugstore bronzer I’ve come across in ages. 


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It’s 2019 and brands are finally taking inclusivity seriously when it comes to creating bronzers in differing undertones and shades. It’s refreshing to see Maybelline offer the City Bronzer in 3 different shades as well as undertones!

Shade 100 is a true fair complexion bronzer with a neutral undertone that doesn’t lean yellow or orange on pale skin tones. On me, it is too fair, but I’m a bronzer lover through and through so take that with a grain of salt!

Shade 200 is a golden leaning neutral without being too yellow. I use this as an all-over bronzer. 

Shade 300 is a red-based bronze that works great on deeper complexions that often finds bronzer options ashy. It also gives a gorgeous, “I’ve actually been in the sun” reddy-tan to lighter complexions in small doses (it’s actually my favourite shade of the bunch!). 

Maybelline City Bronzer Swatches

The City Bronzers aren’t matte but aren’t shimmery. They have a subtle satin finish that just allows them to buff onto the skin nicely without clinging. I find all three shades exceptionally pigmented, yet easy to work with. They have a soft, silky feel that applies evenly. My big concern was longevity, but I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at how well these hold up on my skin regardless of foundation or powder I am wearing! I also joke that my face ‘eats’ bronzer and blush, and consequently, I am incredibly picky about them. 

In terms of packaging, they most definitely don’t pass for anything other than drugstore. They are simple, plastic and relatively slim which makes them good options for on the go. I’m grateful there was no wasted space for a dodgy brush that undoubtedly would end up in the bin. With a price tag of around $10, you’re easily getting a product that could be swapped into luxe packaging and sold in Sephora. 

Maybelline City Bronzer Swatches

When was the last time you found a gem at the drugstore?
What is your favourite bronzer currently?

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