Learn how to use contouring powder and bronzer correctly

Take a walk down the beauty aisle, and you’ll find two products that are easy to confuse. Contouring and bronzing products often look similar because they’re both brown. The difference between them can be subtle or striking, depending on the manufacturer. One way to tell them apart is whether they have cool or warm undertones.
Contouring powder is a cool-toned brown without any discernible shimmer. Cool colors recede, which is why contouring under your cheekbones will make your face look more chiseled. You can also use contouring powder to make your face shape appear different. For example, contouring the corners of the forehead and the jawline will make a square face look more round.
Bronzer, on the other hand, is a warm-toned brown and may or may not contain shimmer. Its primary purpose is to fake a tan by making you look like you’ve spent time in the sun. It’s an effective way to liven up pale skin in winter.
The following tutorial demonstrates how and where to apply each product to achieve either effect or both. When applying both products, contour first and apply the bronzer.
- Contouring brush with medium-length bristles
- Cool-toned contouring powder
- Fluffy face brush
- Warm-toned bronzing powder
- Beauty sponge
Fierce League
1. Swirl the contouring brush into the contouring powder, and tap off the excess powder.
2. Find the lower edge of your cheekbone with your fingers. Sweep the powder onto your face in a diagonal motion starting at the ear and stopping when the brush lines up just past the outer corner of your eye. The end point is usually about two finger widths away from the outer corner of your mouth.
3. To de-emphasize the shape of your face, apply additional contouring powder to the corners of your forehead as well as the jawline. You can contour all three locations, including the cheekbone, by sweeping the brush in a “3” or “E” shape.
4. Swirl the face brush in the bronzing powder. Sweep it onto the tops of your cheeks, the center of your forehead and onto the bridge of your nose.
5. If you apply too much bronzer, press a dampened beauty sponge against any areas that are too powdery or look overdone. It will pick up the excess and blur the edges for a polished look.
When used together, these two products give the face warmth and dimension. You can even use them as eye shadow when you’re pressed for time.
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