20+ Differences Between Contour And Bronzer  (Explained)

The thing no one likes about make-up is how perplexing it has become. Even if you are Super into make-up or simply a beginner, you might get confused between Contour and Bronzer.

In this article, we have tried to break down the differences to make the mentioned techniques easier for you. 


Key differences


  1. It creates shadows on the face to enhance its appearance.
  2. It dramatically lifts up your face.
  3. Contouring is mostly used in areas like the jawline, forehead, and cheekbones.
  4. Contouring turns your face slimmer.
  5. It should be used only for 2-3 years. Even if the product is unopened, you should not keep it for more than the mentioned timeline.


  1. It is specifically used to add warmness to your face texture.
  2. It gives a freshness to your face. 
  3. Used in areas like jawline, edges of cheekbones, nose, etc.
  4. Bronzer gives you a sun-kissed face shade.
  5. If your Bronzer is liquid-based, you can safely use it for up to 12 months. If it is powder-based, it can easily last longer than 16 months. But you are advised to keep checking it.
ParameterContour Bronzer
PurposeHiding or enhancing the desired facial featureBringing warm tones to the desired facial feature
Application Usually applied with two different foundations or contouring sticks Done by spreading it equally until it fades 
Shelf life2-3 years12-16 months
Result Smooth and neutralWarm undertones
Brush used Beauty blenderAngular-brush
Areas used Nose, temple, near eyes, jawlineCheekbones, bridge of the nose, forehead
Types Liquid-based, Powder-based Shimmer-pressed powder, Matte-based powder, cream-based 

Major Differences Between Contour And Bronzer 

What Exactly Is Contour

Do you desire a chiseled jawline and highly defined cheekbones? Well, Contour provides you with exactly that. By applying Contour in certain areas, you can create an illusion of a more defined face cut. It gives you a matt finish and neutral tones.

The technique of applying Contour usually begins with “mapping your face.” Here you are required to identify the best possible Contour to enhance your specific facial feature. 

Benefits of Contouring Include

  1. Nose- Adds definition to the bridge of the nose. Usually makes it slim in an authentic way
  2. Temple- Makes your face shape appear oval
  3. Jawline- hides your double chin, brings out the shape of your whole face
  4. Cheekbones- narrows down your face
  5. Near eyes- highlights the depth of your eyes


Different contours for different face shapes

  • Square- Identified with equal widths of forehead, cheekbones, and jaw, a square face requires softening the corners of your face. The softening should be done along with the circumference of your face.
  • Oval- If you have a wider forehead and face length but a comparatively narrower jawline and cheekbones, then you can be identified as an oval face. To balance your face, you must contour only the smaller details. For e.g., the bridge of your nose. 
  • Rectangle- Longer face length and shorter width of forehead and cheekbones? Then you clearly have a rectangular face cut. Just contour the forehead and jawline to bring out an effective change.
  • Heart- Narrow lower face structure and wider forehead; this is the main description of a heart-shaped face. Contouring the chin would enhance the appearance. 
  • Round- If the measurement of every side of your face results in the same, then you have a round face. Angular countering on the temple, jawline, and lower cheekbones would do the trick.
  • Diamond- People with this face shape have high cheekbones, pointed cheekbones, and a thin hairline. Just contouring the forehead will enhance it. 

What Exactly Is Bronzer?

To hide the dullness and pale look of your face, Bronzers are used to brighten up your skin. It gives your face a distinct sun-kissed glow, along with making it glow with radiance.

On the other hand, if you are unfamiliar with the appropriate amount of Bronzer to apply, you should not take the risk. Because if applied incorrectly, your skin may appear unnaturally grey and dirty. 

Benefits Of Bronzer Include

  1. Using Bronzer can enhance your tan in a natural way
  2. It can provide you with that go-to look for evening parties and functions
  3. It gives you a subtle glow along with a summery freshness
  4. It can also hide your broader nose, if any
  5. It settles deep underneath your skin, which helps it to last long. 


Different Bronzer for different face shapes

  • Square- Apply Bronzer mostly on temples and jawline. Blend it in an upward direction. 
  • Oval- If you want sculpted cheekbones, use Bronzer in the upward direction on the cheekbones.
  • Rectangle- The focus of the Bronzer should primarily be on the hairline, along the jawline, and the forehead. Further, you can blend it towards your temple, starting from your jawline. 
  • Heart- Blend the Bronzer downwards, starting from your forehead. Keep the brush along with the hairline to make your forehead appear narrower. From the cheekbones, you can move your brush towards your ears.
  • Round- Start applying Bronzer along the hairline, under the jawline, and on your chin. From the middle of the ears, brush your Bronzer towards your cheekbones. For the nose, you can simply put Bronzer on each side. 
  • Diamond- Applying it on your forehead, closer to the hairline, will give enhance your forehead. Blend it towards the ear, starting from the chin and hollows of your cheeks. 

The Contrast Between Contour And Bronzer


  • Contour- Contour helps emphasize your best facial feature and uplift your cheekbones. It can also help in hiding that part that you do not want to show or appears wider than the rest of the features. 
  • Bronzer- It can bring out the hollow parts of your face by providing a natural warmth. It is mainly focused on the parts which will naturally brighten up by sun rays.

How to Apply


  1. Start with blending it with a foundation to get a good base. 
  2. Take two different foundations or contour sticks. In this article, we will go with two different foundations.
  3. Apply the darker foundations to features you want to add depth to.
  4. The lighter foundation will be used on features that you want to highlight.
  5. You can now blend both of them as the final part. For a larger surface, you can use a big make-up sponge. For smaller areas, use a smaller sponge. 
  6. Carry out the blending in circular motion only. 


  1. Apply Bronzer with the brush to the desired area.
  2. You have to blend it outwards for an effective look.
  3. Rotate the brush in a small circle until the bronze slightly fades.


Which brush to use


A Beauty blender can be used for softening the edges by blending the Contour. 


An angled brush expertly touches and helps in defining the curves and edges of the face. It can easily blend in with the Bronzer. 

Where to Apply

  • Contour – You can use Contour on your forehead, cheekbones, and chin. 
  • Bronzer – It will focus mostly on the cheekbones. You can apply it to the apples of your cheeks, nose, and temple. 

When to Apply

  • Contour – After blending in foundation and concealer, Contour is applied.
  • Bronzer – It is generally applied after make-up. You can use it before applying blush to your cheeks.


  • Contour – It will provide a smooth finish with a neutral and basic tone. You can add shimmer to give a different and shimmery base.
  • Bronzer – Gives a shimmery finish along with yellowish or orange undertones.



Liquid-based Contour provides a natural skin-like finishing.

Powder-based Contour provides defined texture and matte finishing.


Shimmer-based Bronzer- Goes with every skin tone and highlights your depth

Matte-based Bronzer- Adds no shimmer. It adds depth to your features. 

Cream-based Bronzer- It fits dry skin and is easier to blend. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Q1. How should I find the right shade of Bronzer?

The basic and easiest rule to find your shade is buying a tone two shades darker than your natural skin color.

People with a warm undertone should try light colors. People with a neutral undertone should try bold colors. 

Q2. Is cream-based Contour better than powder-based Contour?

If you are looking for a dewy finish, then cream-based Contour is best for you. But you should check your skin type before buying Contour.

If you have dry skin, go for cream or liquid-based Contour. Powder-based Contour will work for oily skin. 

Q3. Is contouring necessary?

Contouring is not limited to high-profile celebrities anymore. If you badly want to make your certain feature pop out or narrow down, then contouring will help.

Make-up without contouring looks fine as well. So, it totally depends on you to go without contouring. 

Q4. Does Bronzer actually make you tanned?

No, bronzers are used for ‘faking’ your tan. It won’t increase the melanin production of your body that will get you tanned. 

Q5. Does Bronzer make you appear older?

In a way, yes. Only if you do NOT apply it correctly, correctly applied bronzers just enhance your appearance instead of making you appear aged. 

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