What Is the Difference Between Contour and Bronzer?

One of the great things about makeup is that there really is a product for everyone and every occasion. For each product you love, you could probably find at least a dozen variations. The only problem with that? Similar products with very different purposes can sometimes start looking like the exact same thing.

Two young girl with bright make-up in a black leather cap

One example is contour and bronzer. Now, there’s nothing wrong with using the two interchangeably, if that’s the look you’re going for, but understanding how each one should be used and what they’re for can help you achieve your ultimate glam goal.

So, let’s dive into what contour is, what bronzer is, and why understanding the difference between them matters.

What Is Contour?

Contour is what you’d use to create shadows on your face to give you that perfectly sculpted, snatched look. Contour can come in powder, liquid, or cream form and, in most cases, it’s matte. Depending on your skin tone, it can be cool, warm, or neutral.

What Is Bronzer?

Bronzer is another type of face makeup that can also come in powder, cream, or liquid form. It can also be matte, although most bronzers have some shimmer or dewiness to enhance your skin’s glow. Unlike contour, bronzers are usually warmer-toned.

What Is the Difference Between Contour and Bronzer?

The biggest difference between contour and bronzer is in how they are used. Contour is designed to sculpt your face, play with light, and define your features. On the other hand, bronzer is made to bring warmth and accentuate your skin’s warm glow where the sun naturally hits your face.

Contour is usually applied just beneath your cheekbones, on your nose, eyes, and jawline to carve out your face’s natural lines and angles. When it comes to contour application, precision is everything since you’re quite literally sculpting and defining your features.

Bronzer calls for a very different application technique and placement. The goal is to give you a sun-kissed, healthy glow, so you should lightly apply bronzer to the spots on your face where the sun is most likely to hit. That includes the outer perimeter of your face, along your hairline, across your cheekbones, and underneath your jawline. Scott Barnes calls this “toasting the edges.”

Unlike using precision brushes for perfectly placed contour, a larger, soft, and fluffy brush will allow you to create a subtle glow instead of the concentrated streaks of light you’d expect from highlighter.

Benefits of Using Scott Barnes Sculpting and Contour Palette


Scott Barnes has years of experience contouring A-list celebs to perfection. His expertly designed contour palette draws on his fine art background to give you the pigmentation, consistency, and color to sculpt, shape, and feather your features to perfection.

Unlike other contour palettes, the Scott Barnes Sculpting and Contour Palette doesn’t just focus on creating highlights and shadows, but also on enhancing your skin tone and blending perfectly.

Benefits of Using Scott Barnes Bronzer

If you’re looking for a summer sun-kissed glow, enter Scott’s artfully XXL crafted face and body bronzers. The Sicilian Sun and Bondi Beach bronzers come in a luxe pan that features a sun motif embossed into the bronzer powder itself. The ultra-blendable bronzer to toast your glowy skin is available in two hues: Bondi Beach for golden tones and Sicilian Sun for warmer reddish tones to create that flush of fabulous bronze.

Both options will bring out your natural radiance, complement the sculpting done with the Scott Barnes Sculpting and Contour Palette, and create a subtle glow that you could, until now, only achieve naturally after a summertime beach vacation.

If you’re looking for perfectly snatched, glowy makeup, check out the Scott Barnes Sculpting and Contour Palette and Scott Barnes Bronzer today!