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Bronzer and contour, what's the difference?

by Lexi Smith |

Thanks to Kim K. we have been introduced to the wonderful world of contour. In the wake of this new trend, many questions have risen as well. For example, what is the difference between bronzer and contour? Or, should I put contour? Can you really change the shape of your face with contour?


Luckily for you, we have all the answers to these questions and more!


What's the difference between bronzing and contouring?


For starters, bronzer is meant to warm up the face. Bronzer should make you look like you just spent a day in the sun, on your favorite beach, while contour is used to create dimension or sculpting in the face. Our eyes tend to focus on light, so we use contour to trick the eye into not registering certain parts of the face that are shaded.


Bronzer powders should be warm-toned, while contour powders should be cool-toned. Warm-tones are yellow, gold and peach, while cool-tones are red, blue and pink. Every powder has a base of a primary color to get to the brown shade you see in front of you.


Bronzers can sometimes have shimmer in them, to give you a sun-kissed glow. Where contour should always be matte because shimmer will catch the light and ruin the illusion you’re trying to create. 


Where to apply bronzer?


Naturally, you tan on your forehead, tip of the nose, and cheekbones, so that is also where we recommend putting your bronzer. It has also become a big trend to bronze the outside perimeter of the face, to add color and life to your makeup look.


Bronzer powder should be applied in circular motions to diffuse the product evenly.


We absolutely adore the Dollup Beauty Hang-Tan Matte Beach Bronzer in Warmth for that ultimate summer glow all year round.


Where to apply contour?


Contour is the trick of the starts to magically alter their face shape with makeup. Today, we’re just going to stick to complimenting your natural beauty with the help of a little contour.


A super simple contour trick we like to follow is doing our contour in the shape of a giant number 3. First, you buff your contour powder around your hairline, then down just right under your cheekbone, to finally under your jawline. The fluid motion of these three places on your face creates an imaginary number 3!


*Pretty Pro Tip: Always blend your contour upward. If you blend your contour down it will create the illusion that your cheeks are sagging, which we never want!


And of course, you guessed it! Our holy grail contour is Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer, like about everyone else!


You might be confused why our favorite powder to contour has the word “bronzer” in the name. Well, that is because contour is more of a way to do your makeup than an actual product. Due to the growth in popularity of contouring, brands have come out with contour powders that are the perfect shade. In reality, you can contour your face with a product marketed as a contouring powder, or a cool-toned bronzer.


*Pretty Pro Tip: Buyer-beware you don’t want your contour too cool-toned because then it can look grey or like there is mud on your face.


Cream or powder?


Cream or powder when you’re bronzing and contouring is a personal preference. Cream products will give you fresh glowing skin, while powder products will last you all day! Some pretty girls even like doing their entire makeup look with cream products first and then going over them with powders, for that little extra something!


*Pretty Pro Tip: Cream products tend to be more flattering in dry and cold weather. This also goes for dry skin!


If you have any trouble figuring out the tones of your contour or where to put your bronzer, you know where to find us! Pop in and say “Hi”, as always we love to see you!