Contouring use to be mostly reserved for makeup artists, but thanks to the rise of the Kardashians and beauty YouTubers it has become mainstream in everyday makeup routines. For the makeup beginners a big question is always 'what is the difference between bronzing and contouring', as both appear to be applying brown powder to the face. Here we clear up the confusion.
Bronzing is the technique of applying bronze powder to the face to achieve a sunkissed glow. It results in a very natural and summery look, like you just stepped off the beach. The bronze powder is applied to the areas of the face that the sun would naturally hit, the cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin.
Bronzers are warm toned (to mimic a tan) and can be matte or shimmer. To apply bronzer, It is best to apply with a Powder Brush for a natural finish. Many people use bronzing powders as a contour powder, just make sure they do not contain shimmer or have a orange undertone (otherwise you will end up with lines of orange shine on your face!)
TOP TIP: If your foundation is too light you can add bronzer over the top to darken it up slightly.
Contouring is the technique of applying cream or powder contour products to sculpt your facial features by creating 'shadows' on the face. The most common areas to apply contour products are below the cheekbones, sides of the nose, jawline and hairline.
Contour products come in cream or powder form, and are mostly cool tones or neutral tones. You can also use darker foundation or concealer to achieve the look as well. The key with contouring is blending!! You don't want obvious lines on your face.
Contour products should never contain shimmer, as it gives the opposite effect and makes the area it is applied to more obvious. You cannot use a contour powder as a bronzer, especially if it is cool toned, as it will make your face look muddy, not sun kissed.
It is best to apply cream contour with a contour brush or with a paddle style or flat foundation brush (not a buffing brush), powder contour is best applied with an angled blush brush (you can pinch the bristles for a more precise application) or a contour brush. For the nose you can use an eyeshadow brush for a precise application.
TOP TIP: To make your bottom lip look fuller, apply a little contour to the dip between your bottom lip and chin.
Now you know the difference between contouring and bronzing go forth & slay your makeup game!