Are Contouring & Bronzing The Same Thing Or Different? We're Breaking It Down For You!

Are Contouring & Bronzing The Same Thing Or Different? We're Breaking It Down For You!

Even if you’re familiar with the beautyverse, it’s easy to think that contouring and bronzing are interchangeable terms used for smearing product on your cheeks to get a more chiselled appearance. This is actually not true. The two are very different aspects of makeup that serve different purposes. So, in today’s beauty basics lesson, we’re going to be explaining the difference between bronzing and contouring.

Table of Contents

    What Is Contouring?


    Contouring is a makeup trend that allows you to follow the natural shadows of your face and give the illusion of a more sculpted look. It creates structure, dimension and symmetry on the face and it’s a Kardashian-approved way of looking red carpet ready, always. While it could seem a little daunting at first, understanding these contouring basics could help you break it down.

    Step By Step Guide To Contouring

    Step 1: Do your base as you would normally. Start with a primer, use a colour corrector if required and then move onto the foundation. 

    Step 2: Because the foundation doesn’t have as much coverage, a little help from the concealer is always welcome. Use a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone and highlight the parts of your face that would naturally catch the light- the bridge of your nose, the centre of your forehead, your chin and under your eyes. These areas will look brighter and hence draw attention to the centre of your face.

    Step 3: Find the hollows of your cheekbones, sides of your nose, tops of your temple area and your jawline and use a contour stick or powder to follow along those lines. Be sure to use a cool-toned product that is two shades darker than your skin tone because then it will be able to imitate the natural shadows of your face. Blend it well with your damp beauty sponge so that there are no harsh lines.

    Step 4: Because you’ve used cream products, setting them in place with powders is essential. Use a translucent powder where you’ve highlighted and use an ashy toned contour powder where you’ve contoured.

    Step 5: Set it all in place with makeup setting spray so that it looks seamless and voila, you’re done!



    INR 1,250 AT MyGlamm

    What Is Bronzing?


    Bronzing is when you’re adding colour to your skin and making it look like you’ve spent days on a beachy vacation. For a visual reference, think of JLo’s tanned look. Because it uses warm tones, bronzing doesn’t actually sculpt your cheeks or add structure, in fact, it adds a glowy warmth and sometimes even shine to your face. Now, do you get the difference between contour and bronzer slightly?

    Step By Step Guide To Bronzing

    Step 1: Do your base as you would normally. We’re talking foundation, concealer, loose powder, everything.

    Step 2: Apply bronzer with a large face powder brush to your cheeks and forehead to add some flush of colour. The trend these days allows you to add so much bronzer that you can forget about blush to make your cheeks rosy.

    Step 3: Set it all in place with a makeup setting spray and let the powders, creams and liquids work together.


    POSE HD Bronzer Duo - Cinnamon | Teracotta

    INR 699 AT MyGlamm

    What Is The Difference Between Contouring And Bronzing?

    Okay, let’s get to the main point of the article and understand what the difference between a contour and bronzer really is. 





    Used to add definition, structure and sculpt the face.

    Used to add colour, warmth and a tanned glow to the face.


    Has ashy undertones

    Has warm undertones

    When is it applied

    Applied first

    Applied afterwards


    Only comes in a matte finish

    Comes in a matte and shimmery finish

    Where is it applied

    Hollows of your cheeks, jawline, sides of the nose, temples

    In the shape of a three on your face hitting the cheeks, temples and jaw

    Applicator To Use

    Angled contour brush

    Fluffy, large face brush

    Why is it used

    To accentuate the natural shadows and hollows of your face

    To warm the skin so can replace blush and be put on the apples of the cheeks 


    Takes time to blend, need to go over it with a damp beauty sponge

    Easier to blend

    Can I Apply A Bronzer & Contour Together?

    While many people will tell you to follow rules in makeup, our suggestion is you do you, boo! If you can’t choose between bronzer vs contour, you can apply them both. Apply the contour first and then use bronzer to add colour to your cheeks. Just know that applying too much bronzer on your contour can hide the chiselled look and make you look more tanned instead. 

    Which Is Better- Bronzer Vs Contour?

    Again, there’s no one answer to this question. There isn’t any product or trend that is better than the other, it’s about your personal preference and choice. When we’re thinking of contour vs bronzer, we have to understand the different purposes that they solve and which kind of look you want to achieve. If going for a warm, tanned look is more you then a bronzer is better but if a defined, runway-ready look is something that you feel more comfortable in, then a contour stick or palette would be better for you. 

    After reading this article, we’re hoping you've understood the difference between contouring and bronzing. But we once again would like to tell you that you don’t need to play by any rules when it comes to makeup- you’re the artist and your face is the canvas. So try out the various techniques and styles and see what you like most!

    Featured Image: Instagram

    You May also like 

    Best Cream Contour : Checkout here some amazing cream contouring products available in India to get those Chiseled Cheekbones.