difference between contouring and bronzing

Contouring and Bronzing: Here’s The Simple Difference

difference between contouring and bronzing

We would all love to get that chiselled and sun-kissed look effortlessly, but do we know how to go about this? You’ve heard about contouring and bronzing, but what’s the difference between the two? Not many people can tell the difference, and a lot of people mistake one for the other. It’s absolutely okay if you are one of those who can’t tell the difference between contouring and bronzing, we learn every day and this is one of those learning moments.

While a lot of makeup products are similar in their function, and some even used in place of others, there are still quite a few differences between contouring and bronzing. Here I’ll rundown the difference between these two products, how to use each, and how to incorporate both into your makeup, so let’s begin.

The Difference Between Contouring And Bronzing? 

You can think of bronzer and contour as sister made to give you that perfect look. Both products come in a variety of formulas from cream, to powder, and liquid. So, what are the major differences?


Contouring is the primary technique used to define the face by creating illusions. The result is achieved by mimicking natural shadows, applied on certain parts of the face. This is why matte products are most prefered to achieve effortlessly contoured features. Contouring is used to slim certain areas of the face, again, by adding shadows to these parts of the face. You can learn how to contour like a pro in four simple and easy ways.


Bronzer is used to add some more depth and warmth to your face, generally where natural sunlight would hit your face. It also adds a touch of colour to your face, giving you that sun-kissed look. Bronzers come in a different finish than contouring products, coming in orange colour and sometimes with shimmer.

So, how do you apply a bronzer?

When deciding on the right bronzer, look out for a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your skin tone. Apply the bronzer in high points of your face, where natural sunlight would normally hit your skin. Also, apply some product over where you applied your contour. Add some bronzer on your tool of choice, that is, for creamy and liquid formulas a sponge will be best. While for the powder you can make use of an angled hybrid brush for contouring and bronzing, or a fluffy powder brush. Sweep some product along your temples and your hairline, drawing it outwards to the apple of your cheeks.

The most important part, blend! Do not forget to blend out the product to get rid of harsh lines. There are different bronzing techniques to accommodate the different face shapes and remember there is more than one way to apply makeup products.

For the big question; can I contour and use a bronzer on my face at the same time?

Yes, you can definitely bronze your face after contouring. Who wouldn’t want to have a snatched nose and a sun-kissed glow? I know I would. So, by all means, add some bronzer after contouring if you feel the need to.

Now, you know the difference between contouring and bronzing, and how to apply both. As I mentioned earlier you can bronze after contouring, only contour, or bronze without contouring. Whatever beauty mood you’re in, just go for it.

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1 thought on “Contouring and Bronzing: Here’s The Simple Difference”

  1. Great post! I didn’t know the difference tbh. Some pictures or examples would have been nice to help visualize it. Very informative nonetheless.

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