There is nothing more flawless than the sculpted, smooth look that comes with a great makeup routine. But how do you achieve this look?
The right bronzing powder and contouring powder can give you a perfect complexion and ideal face shape. Bronzer and contour may seem like similar products, but they are quite different.
So what is the difference between bronzing powder and contouring powder? How do you use them?
We have created this useful guide to help you understand what these products do and how you can use them to achieve your desired makeup look.
Bronzer Vs Contour
Bronzing powder is a light-reflective powder that helps give skin a sun-kissed glow. Contouring powder is a darker color that gives the face definition and shape.
They both create depth and will enhance your makeup look, but which should you use?
The two types of powders are very similar, but they serve different purposes. Bronzing powder is meant to add a subtle shimmer to the skin, whereas contouring powder is meant to define facial features.
The two products are not mutually exclusive, but you do need to be careful not to overdo it – too much of either, and your makeup will look patchy and unnatural.
Contouring powder is usually applied to different areas across the entire face to create definition and structure, whereas bronzing powder is typically applied only around the cheeks and across the forehead to add warmth to the areas the sun usually hits.
Contouring creates the illusion of natural shadows on the face, so it needs to be matte rather than shiny and it also needs to be well blended and smooth with no harsh lines.
Bronzing powders tend to have a little bit of a shimmer to create a warm glow on your skin. Both types of powders are great for creating a natural look, but contouring powder is better for defining facial features.
Bronzing powder has been a makeup essential for a long time, whereas the popularity of contouring has soared in recent years due to celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande who have perfected the sculpted look.
Contouring products are becoming more accessible and affordable, so it seems this makeup trend is here to stay and is not just a fad.
Where To Apply Contouring Powder
Contouring uses makeup to add ‘shadows’ to the face. These shadows add emphasis to the natural shadows, creating more definition of your facial structure.
This will look great in person but will also make you look fantastic in photographs.
It needs to look realistic, so you shouldn’t put contouring powder anywhere where there would be no shadows on your face.
Apply contour to the creases of the eyes, under your cheekbones, your temples, either side of the bridge of your nose, and under your jawline. Blend it in well to make sure it is smooth.
If you are struggling to find the right area to add the contouring powder, you can suck in your cheeks. This will give you a better idea of where the shadows fall depending on your face shape.
If you want to create a contrast with the contouring powder, use a highlighter in the areas where the light would hit your face, such as your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose.
This light and shade will create the sculpted look that you want.
Highlighter is more subtle than contour powder, but it still needs to be blended well. You don’t want any visible lines or streaks on your face – for the makeup to look natural it needs to be seamless.
Where To Apply Bronzing Powder
When it comes to bronzing powder, you need to make sure you choose the right shade that will flatter your skin tone.
It also needs to pair well with the rest of your makeup – like the tones of your eye shadow palette.
Peachy tones are often very flattering for many different complexions, but you will need to see what works for you.
Bronzing powder is usually warmer than contour powder. If you’re not sure which shade to choose, make sure it is at least one shade lighter than your contour powder.
Bronzing powder is supposed to create a natural glow as if you have just got back from a holiday or stepped off the beach.
To achieve this sun-kissed effect, you need to apply the bronzer to the areas of the face that the sun would hit.
These are also the highest points of your face – your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and your cheekbones. Apply the bronzer lightly- you can add more afterward but you can’t take it away!
You can use bronzing powder instead of highlighting powder if the shade is light enough, but it creates a warmer look than highlighter so it depends on what style you are going for.
Depending on your outfit, you may also want to apply bronzer to other parts of your body- your collarbone, the tops of your shoulders, and your arms – the sun would catch all of these places.
You should always apply a little bit of bronzer to your neck if you have used it on your face. Otherwise, it will look like your face doesn’t match the rest of your body and your make-up will look unnatural.
Can You Use A Bronzer As A Contour?
Bronzing powder and contouring powder are different beauty products and they are not interchangeable. However, there are certain scenarios when you can use bronzing powder instead of contouring powder.
If you are aiming for a lighter look without using much makeup, then you could use bronzing powder in the areas where you would usually apply your contouring powder.
Make sure you blend it well and then use a highlighter on your cheekbones and your nose.
You won’t get as much definition as you would with contouring powder, but it will still give your face a bit more structure. This is perfect for those days when you don’t have time to apply lots of makeup.
And there you have it! Bronzer and contour are two different products that will enhance your face in different ways.
While bronzer will warm your face and create a sun-kissed look, contour powder will help you chisel your cheekbones and give your face a more defined look.
Of course, you don’t need to use either product if you don’t want to, but if you are looking to enhance your makeup or try a new look, then why not give one a go today?
There are plenty of makeup tutorials online that can help walk you through the process too!