Bronzer vs. Contour: What's The Difference?

Bronzer vs. Contour: What's The Difference?

Bronzer vs. Contour: What's The Difference?

Even if you’re a loyal consumer of beauty related content, or you fashion yourself fairly savvy when it comes to applying makeup, it’s possible that you don't know the difference between bronzer and contour. Perhaps you didn’t even know they’re different at all 一 and you wouldn't be alone. While more time indoors in the past two years offered the opportunity to learn many new skills — even makeup ones — it also ushered in a period of skinimalism, and contouring was seemingly becoming a thing of the past. But it’s a common misconception that bronzer and contour are one and the same while their purpose in makeup looks differs. So ahead, we’re sharing what you need to know about bronzer versus contour, and how to properly master each technique so you can put your best face forward.

How Bronzer and Contour Products Differ

If you’ve attempted to contour your face, you might have done so using your bronzer. And while this certainly isn’t a makeup crime, you’ll achieve better results when using each product as they’re intended to be used.

Bronzers can come in various formulas like powder, cream and liquid 一 and is typically warm or neutral in tone. They often have a matte finish, but some bronzers will boast a shimmery or radiant finish to add glow to the skin.

Products used for contouring on the other hand — typically concealer and highlighter — can come in the same formulations as bronzers, but the key difference is in the shade and finish. They are neutral or cool-toned, and have a matte finish.

How Bronzing and Contouring Differ

Now you know how the products are different 一 let’s dive into how the techniques differ. The intention behind bronzer is to add warmth and color to the face. If applied correctly, you’ll look like you spent just the right amount of time in the sun (wearing SPF 30 or more of course).

Contouring is all about adding dimension to the face by sculpting the features and enhancing your face shape. When one contours correctly, the goal is to make shadows on the face. These shadows can create the appearance of more chiseled cheekbones, a stronger jawline, fuller lips, and more. It’s because contouring is about creating shadows that you’ll often see contour products that appear grayish in tone.


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