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25 Feb

The Difference Between Contouring and Bronzing, In keeping with

The Difference Between Contouring

When you clicked on this text, chances are high you furthermore mght end up googling random questions related to beauty, like, “How much blush should I wear?” or “How do I line my lips?” While they’re all valid questions, we imagine there is no right or improper technique to do your makeup. But sometimes a little bit direction is vital — even in an office filled with beauty editors — and such is the case with contour versus bronzer. Because, truly, the products look practically equivalent. Unless, in fact, you’re an expert makeup artist… which is why we decided to enlist a couple of of the world’s best to elucidate the difference between the 2 popular categories once and for all.

Meet the experts:

While each contour and bronzer add depth and drama to a makeup look, “there’s an enormous difference between the 2,” says Recent York City-based makeup artist daniel martin. “Contouring is about shaping and defining the structure of the face, while bronzing is about warming up the skin where the sun would naturally hit.” Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist and arguably the king of contour, echoes this sentiment, adding that contouring creates dimension and symmetry, whereas bronzing adds a natural wash of color.

Bear in mind that it could be especially tricky (and unfairly so) for those with dark and deep complexions to seek out an acceptable bronzer or contour as there are fewer options in the marketplace that cater to those skin tones. That being said, there are some brands — like LYS and Fenty Beauty — that get it right. Ultimately, your best bet is to search for ranges that supply deep shades that is not going to only show up but can even add a stunning glow to the skin. (Don’t be concerned, a few of our favourite options are ahead.)

What’s contour?

Contouring works by mimicking natural shadow, so a matte finish (versus a shimmery one) in a contour product is a must. Los Angeles-based makeup artist Robin Black loves Makeup By Mario Softsculpt Shaping Stick, a 2022 Better of Beauty Award winner, for its easy-to-use format: The product is provided with a built-in mixing blush for on-the-go application. If a stick is not your jam, no worries. There are many contour formulas on the market to select from. (Also, we all know what you’re considering and, yes, you may contour with something marketed as a bronzer so long as the formula is matte and never too warm.)

Once you have selected cream or powder, stick or palette, it is time to select your shade. For probably the most natural effect, you’ll be wanting to go a shade or two darker than your bronzer, so at the least two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Now it is time to apply. Start by deciding where in your face you are seeking to create a shadow. For instance, if you happen to need a fuller lip shape, Black says to try applying a little bit half-moon right under the middle of your lower lip and mix well (that is the important thing to a superb contour — no harsh lines). For other parts of your face, it’s all about creating believable shading: Mix the product under your cheekbones, into the creases of your eyes, under the jawline, and along the perimeters of your nose. Then, highlight areas you should bring forward with a matte concealer. Once every little thing is mixed (try a sponge, brush, or simply your fingers), you may be living your best-sculpted life.

Shop a few of our favourite contour products here:


Patrick Ta Beauty Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo

Westman Atelier Face Trace Cream Contour Stick

KVD Vegan Beauty Shade + Light Contour Palette

What’s bronzer?

For glowy warmth (i.e. bronzing), Martin recommends products with a little bit of shimmer, but not a lot that you just appear to be a disco ball (unless, in fact, that is what you are after). Certainly one of Black’s favorite bronzers is the Make Skin Mimetic Microsuede Bronzer. “This one has minimal shimmer and a super-smooth texture that makes it ideal for bronzing,” she says. To construct a believable bronze, dust the best points of your face: the highest of the cheekbones, (calmly) across the brow, and down the bridge of the nose. Black also recommends sweeping the bronzer across your eyelids for a simple monochromatic look.

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