Contour Vs Bronzer: How To Sculpt Like A Pro

February 29, 2024
Contour Vs Bronzer: How To Sculpt Like A Pro

What Contour Does

A key difference between contour and bronzer lies in the purpose of using each. In other words, what look they’re going to give you. Contouring products can help to define areas you want to sculpt on the face by creating dimension. Areas like your cheekbones, and along the sides of your nose, temples, forehead and jawline are the most impactful. The job of a successful contour is to help sculpt your features and make them stand out, which is why you’ll often see them in cool tones, and matte finishes.


What Bronzer Does

Bronzers do what they promise: bronze skin for an overall warmer complexion. Because of this, they are typically much warmer in color than contour products. Rather than serving up definition, a bronzer’s purpose is to cast a vacation-worthy glow to skin, hence the shimmery formulas. Contrary to what people think, bronzer and contour can play nicely together, you just have to know how to apply each so they’re complementary and not competing.


How to Apply Contour

When learning how to apply contour, focusing on placement is the most important step. Since contouring relies on sculpting and adding dimension, knowing where to apply your product is half the battle. The other is finding the right products that work for your skin and routine.



Essentially, you can apply a cream/liquid contour or a powder one. If you’re looking for a precision contour application, go with this convenient stick applicator. It’s a fan fave because it allows you to really hone in on those key contour areas in the hollows of your cheeks, along the sides of the nose and along the sides of the forehead and jawline. The creamy formula also blends into the skin beautifully for a natural finish.



Powder contours like the one in this matte palette are ideal for those with oily skin or who prefer a matte skin finish. Be sure to apply it with a contour brush for best results. Its dense bristles allow for a precise and controlled application–both are necessary for a good contour!

How to Apply Bronzer

Ever notice that a few hours in the sun (with sunscreen on, of course!) gives you the best allover sun-kissed effect? Bring that energy to your bronzer application by focusing on the same areas the sun touches first like the cheeks, forehead and nose. While these might sound similar to contour, they’re close but not the same. Bronzer looks best on the apples of cheeks, in the center and on the tip of the nose and in a C-shape from the forehead to the upper cheekbones.


Powder bronzer, like this marbled mineral version, looks best applied with a big fluffy brush to disperse the product evenly onto skin. This way, you’ll cover more surface area with a light bronzed effect.


For a luminous look, try this creamy bronzer, which melts into the skin for a gorgeous golden finish. You can apply it with your fingers or a foundation brush and then just blend it out using a beauty sponge or diffusing brush. Remember, when applying bronzer, the look to go for is natural and sun-kissed.


Don’t Forget to Add Highlighter and Blush


Once you’ve nailed your contour and bronzer, you’re ready to add the finishing touches to your skin. The hallmark of a healthy complexion is blush (we’re obsessed with these easy-to-use creamy stick versions) and a little glowy highlighter to make your contour and bronzed skin really stand out.




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