Bronzing and contouring - you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re one and the same. But the truth is, these are two very different makeup techniques. And while they might be similar in appearance, bronzer and contour are actually two different products, each with its own purpose.
Learning how to master both bronzing and contouring - and knowing when to use each product - is the secret to creating a flawless makeup look that strikes the perfect balance between warmth and definition.
So what exactly is the difference between bronzer and contour? We explain all of the details below.
Bronzing vs. contouring: what’s the difference?
Bronzing is a technique designed to add warmth to your makeup. Bronzer creates a glowing, sun-kissed effect to enhance your complexion and makes you look naturally tanned by adding warmth to the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit.
Contouring, meanwhile, is designed to help you sculpt your face by darkening certain areas for definition. You can use contour to enhance your cheekbones, make your nose look slimmer, and create that perfect jawline. While contouring was once a technique used only by professional makeup artists, it’s now very much mainstream, with lots of affordable contouring makeup to choose from.
So, can you use bronzer for contouring? While that might seem like an easy fix, the answer is no. Bronzers tend to be on the warm side, so they are not ideal for contouring. To make contour look natural, contouring makeup will typically have cooler shades to help create a natural shadow on your skin.
Both techniques can help create depth in your complexion and bring some life to your skin. But it’s important that you use the right products and the right technique to create the desired effect.
How to choose the right bronzer
Bronzers come in matte or shimmer finishes, each adding a different type of warmth to your skin. We love matte bronzers for daytime looks - they will create a more natural finish, which can add some subtle definition and warm up your skin. A shimmery bronzer, on the other hand, is our go-to for bronze makeup in summer or for a night out. It will instantly add radiance to your makeup, and it’s the secret to a sun-kissed glow without having to sit in the sun!
Bronzers also come in different textures, from pressed powder to cream bronzer. A cream bronzer is easy to apply and can help create a sheer, youthful finish. Meanwhile, a pressed mineral bronzer will create a smooth, flawless finish, ideal for hiding the results of too many late nights!
When it comes to bronzers, we absolutely love our Get Glowing Pressed Mineral Bronzer. With a blendable formula, this is one of the best mineral bronzers out there. Plus, it comes in both matte and shimmer shades so you have options to choose from!
How to choose the right contour
Contour makeup also comes in cream and powder products. If you're hesitating between cream or powder contour, remember that cream products will give you a softer, smoother finish, while powder contour will help you achieve a more chiselled and intense look.
Because contouring is about defining the structure of the face in the most natural way possible, we recommend going for matte cool shades rather than warmer tones. Choosing a contouring shade that’s too dark for your skin can make it look like you’ve overdone it with the fake tan!
For the best results, we recommend using highlighting products alongside contour to enhance your face’s best features. A touch of highlighter can draw attention to your eyes, cheekbones, nose or lips, which is why it’s usually included in contouring makeup palettes. When it comes to contouring palettes, we love the DB Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit and Powder Contour Kit in Light-Medium. Both offer the perfect ash-based tones to create a perfectly defined look.
How to contour your face
Learning how to contour your face will help you create the perfect definition. First, remember to apply contour before applying bronzer: this will ensure your face is perfectly defined before you add
It’s a good rule of thumb to apply contour to the areas you want to draw attention away from. Some examples include slimming the sides of your nose and jawline, and the hollows of your cheeks to help create cheekbones. You can also narrow your forehead by applying contour to your temples.
To finish the look, dab highlighter on your brow bones, cheekbones and cupid’s bow to draw attention to your best features.
How to choose the right bronzer
Applied correctly, bronzer will give you that ‘fresh from the beach’ glow that looks radiant and healthy. Apply bronzer with a light makeup brush to the areas your body naturally tans, meaning your cheekbones, jawline, nose and temple. For a complete bronze look, you can also apply bronzer to your shoulders, collarbone and down the centre of your arms and legs.
Applying bronzer creates a warm glow, and blended well, it will create a beautiful finish for your skin.
Top Tip: If you’re in a hurry and only have time to apply one product, make it your bronzer.
Create the perfect bronze makeup look
When it comes to applying makeup products like bronzer and contour, it’s important to know the difference and how to apply each one correctly. Using both products in your routine will help you create gorgeous looks perfect for any occasion, with no photoshop required for the ‘gram. Make sure you learn how to set your makeup too to help it last all day.
At DB Cosmetics, we have everything you need to achieve perfect looks with bronzer and contouring products. Take a look at what’s new and enjoy free standard shipping on orders over $50.