Difference Between Bronzer and Contour (With Table)

Makeup artists have always created an awareness about the difference between the two. But still, people are using the products interchangeably and that has resulted in the wrong makeup look. Both the products have their importance in the area of application. Bronzer and contour also have some similarities like they are used to add depth and add shape. 

Bronzer vs Contour

The main difference between bronzer and contour is the texture they give along with the application area. Bronzer is used generally in the days on the areas where the sun hits naturally to provide a warm look to the face whereas contour is used on the places where a sharper image is required and generally used at night for providing the shape to a face.

Bronzer is a beauty product used for giving a warm look to the face and applied to the places where the sun hits the face directly to give a natural look to the face. It is generally applied to males or in the daytime for adding that glow and an orange undertone. 

Contour is another feature enhancing makeup product used for giving a cool undertone to the face. It is generally used in places whose shape has to be defined. The main application is done to face shift, face uplift, etc. It is generally done at night to provide a highlighting effect and give a perfect shape.

Comparison Table Between Bronzer and Contour

Parameters of ComparisonBronzer Contour
TextureIt gives a warm look to the face, adding more depth.It provides a shadow to the places where it is applied for sharpening or defining the face shape.
Application AreasThe bronzer is applied to places where the light of the sun hits directly.The contouring is done where the face requires more redefining or sharpening.
The period when it is appliedGenerally, bronzer is applied in the daytime for proving that sun-kissed look.The application of contour is done at nighttime for providing that perfect jawline or lips. 
How to applyThe bronzer is applied after finding the best shade that is mostly shades darker and then applied on natural points after which it is blended.The contouring is generally done on the face depending upon the shape and size. After the application, it is also blended.
Face areasThe bronzer is generally used in the middle of the head, on the cheeks, as well as the chin.The contouring is done on the hairline, jaws, and nose to give a proper shape. 

What is Bronzer?

Bronzer is a makeup product used for adding depth and warmth to the makeup. It is applied after doing the base makeup and added to the spots where the light of the sun falls naturally. It is on the orange sides of the shade palette. It acts that orange colour which is perfect for a sun-kissed look.

It is generally done in the daytime for adding depth and a warm look to the face. It is generally applied for re-defining the shape of the face and can also be used as a contour but instead of a grey undertone, it gives an orange undertone. The foundation can also be used as a bronzer with the perfect shade.

The application of bronzer is quite simple. The steps start from finding the perfect shade of the bronzer which is two shades higher than the skin type and then it is applied at all the high points of the face like the middle of the head, cheeks, and all other places where the light falls directly. After the previous step, the contour is blended with the skin to avoid that cakey feeling which is given by under-blending. 

Note:- The areas of application can also be judges by hit-and-trial according to your face shape and features. 

What is Contour?

A contour is a basic makeup product found in the vanities used to define the face structure as well as give a shape to some of the features. It adds depth to the face and helps to glow in the darker times of the day. The colour shades are on the cooler side of the palette. 

The makeup is generally done at nighttime because of the cooler shades. The makeup after some time may give a green or a grey after effect. To avoid this the makeup product to be used has to be checked for this along with allergies.

Contouring is quite simple and can easily be done with the right steps. First, the right makeup product has to be found by taking into consideration that it should be two shades darker than your skin and also should not leave any rashes or allergies. Second, the contour is traced on the skin which is determined by the shape size, structure and features. This is yet again a hit-and-trial method. After the application, the contour is perfectly blended with the skin.

The contouring is generally done at the side hairline, nose, jawline and other features that have to be shown sharper and perfect.

Main Differences Between Bronzer and Contour

  1. The bronzing is done is to add warmth and depth to the face whereas contouring is done to add a shadow to the features for giving them a sharper and defined look.
  2. The bronzer works best on the areas where the light of the sun falls naturally to give that sun-kissed look whereas contour works best for sharpening or redefining the features of the face for that perfect jawline look. 
  3. The bronzer is mostly used in the daytime because it gives an orange undertone whereas contour is generally added at nighttime since it gives a grey undertone. 
  4. The bronzer is applied after finding the perfect shade that is two shades darker whereas contouring is done according to the face shape and size. After the application, both of them are blended thoroughly.
  5. The bronzer is added to the middle of the head, cheeks, chin and all other high points like the tip of the nose whereas contour is added to the features like the side hairline, the ends of the nose, jawline as well as upper lips. 


The two makeup products are used interchangeably but they have major differences in the application and also in the look they give, bronzer gives a warmer look whereas contouring helps in achieving a cooler look. Both of them have their importance but the intervention of each other in other products working cannot be neglected. The bronzer can be used as contour and vice versa. While the two products provide depth to the face but the bronzer is added to add a warmer look whereas contour is used to redefine and sharpen the features of the face. The usage of both should be done two shades higher but mostly the contour does not need a proper searching for the product. 


  1. https://search.informit.org/doi/pdf/10.3316/informit.784449071118579 
  2. https://www.lesleyburroughs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Beauty_Book_PDF.pdf
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