Bronzing is NOT Contouring


Here’s a throwback to our SAT days of logical reasoning:

Q: Contour and bronzer are face products. Contour products can be used for bronzing, but bronzing products may not always be used for contouring. Which of the following statements is

A) Bronzing is the same as contouring
B) All bronzers can be applied as contour
C) Contour products may be used as bronzer
D) None of the above

A: C, Contour products may be used as bronzer

Well, that was confusing. But don’t worry, it’s easy to get bronzing and contouring mixed up when cosmetic manufacturers and YouTube makeup artists tend to use these terms interchangeably. The real question here is… What’s the diff anyway?


Thea easiest way to tell apart a bronzing product from a contouring product is by trying it out. Apply the product in question on the hollows of your cheeks. If your face looks fuller or a bit too orange, then you’ve got a bronzer in your hand. If your cheekbones look like they’ve been chiseled by the makeup gods themselves, you’ve found a contour product.

Via Watercolour Kisses

Bronzers generally have a warmer hue with more orange tones, since they are designed to give warmth to your face. Strobing isn’t exclusive to highlighters with these babies around—bronzers (shimmer or no shimmer) are meant to be applied on the high points of your face for a tanned, sun-kissed look. Note that shimmer brings attention to whatever area they’re applied on, so you definitely can’t use shimmery bronzers as contour.

Contour products are always in matte colours that take on a far ashier look than bronzers. The grey tones in contour mimic the shadows made by the angles of your face, making it perfect for creating the illusion of dimension where there is little to none.


As we mentioned earlier, there are products that hit the sweet spot and can be used for both bronzing and contour. These dual-purpose space-savers are usually a dark matte brown with a hint of grey tones. Be careful not to be heavy-handed with these products; they are formulated to be ridiculously pigmented (in a good way) and can make your complexion look muddy if you overdo it.

*Tip: When working with a dual-purpose item, it’s important to apply contour first. Contour is part of your “base makeup” since it plays with your bone structure. Apply lightly so that the product is translucent enough to show as a greyer tone.

How are you cheekbones looking? Chiseled like a model and bronzed like a beach bum, we hope! Share you look with us at #beautybytes!