Bronzer vs Contour: Understanding the Difference - Klever Korner

Bronzer vs Contour: Understanding the Difference

Confused about the difference between bronzer and contour? Our guide dispels common misconceptions

a woman sitting at a table with a bunch of makeup brushes
By Sue Biller
Dorian Rhode
Edited by Dorian Rhode

Published December 5, 2023.

A woman with bronzer and contour makeup applied to her face

Are you looking to add definition and depth to your makeup look? Get ready to transform your beauty routine with the prowess of bronzer and contour—a makeup enthusiast's dynamic duo. These essentials have incredible potential when you learn how to apply them correctly.

Let's delve into the world of makeup artistry as we take a look at the differences between bronzer and contour, guiding you through their distinct roles and application techniques.

Bronzer vs Contour: Are they the same thing?

Bronzer adds a sun-kissed look to the high points of the face. It mimics a natural glow and adds color, giving you a warm and healthy complexion, which brings together your overall makeup look.

In contrast, contour accentuates the cheekbones, jawline, and nose with shadows and darker tones. It pronounces the bone structure and gives you a sculpted appearance by highlighting those areas of the face.

Can You Use Bronzer as a Contour?

You can contour with bronzer if it's the correct shade, but get one that's one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone.

» Explore some hacks for a quick and easy contour routine

How to Apply Contour and Bronzer

You should apply a bronzer with a loose, fluffy brush to spread the pigment easily and create a natural look. Add it to the cheeks, temples, forehead, nose—anywhere that the sun would hit you naturally.

Contour needs a smaller angled or dome powder brush because you're using it to guide the product and sculpt your face. The key is to put just enough of it, so apply it only where you need more definition.

» Discover what brushes to use for the perfect contour application

A table topped with makeup and brushes

Bronzer vs Contour: Useful Tips


  • Buy a bronzer from the drugstore—quality doesn't always mean a hefty price.
  • Experiment with different finishes like luminous, radiant, and matte.
  • If you want to correct anything, use finishing or setting powder.


  • Choose a matte finish so you get natural-looking shadows that highlight or minimize facial attributes.
  • Cream and powder contour can give you different results. Use a cream contour if you want to prevent it looking patchy and uneven; apply powder for oily skin.

Bronzer vs Contour: What's Best for Your Face Shape?

If you have an angular face with well-defined features and don’t need added definition, you may want to stick to bronzer.

If you have a round face, contouring is great to bring back definition to the cheekbones, for instance. Additionally, for those with mature skin and less defined jawlines, it can effectively minimize the appearance of jowls by adding definition.

» Find out where to apply bronzer based on your face shape

Bronzer vs Contour: Key Takeaways

Experimenting with bronzer and contour can improve your makeup routine, and you'll refine your skills by practicing. Explore contouring to tailor shadows that enhance your face shape naturally, and apply bronzer delicately to the skin to get that soft look.

For a wealth of makeup tips, product recommendations, and expert guidance, check out Kleverbox's website. It's a one-stop destination catering to every makeup enthusiast's queries and needs.