Bronzer vs Contour: What's the Difference + How To Use

Discover the difference between bronzer vs contour, how to use and where to put bronzer and contour, and how to pair them for a magical, glowing look!

Are bronzer and contour the same thing? Bronzer and contour might seem similar, but each play a magical part in your makeup routine! Learn how to use bronzer vs contour and unveil Charlotte’s super-easy tips for flawless-looking application, so you can instantly add a dreamy golden glow to create a sun-kissed, gorgeous-looking makeup look for any occasion!

Discover where to put bronzer and contour and how to use them on their own or together!

Bronzer vs Contour model shot

Bronzer vs Contour: Are they the Same?

Knowing the difference between contour and bronzer is essential for creating that sun-kissed, sculpted looking complexion when doing your makeup.

Bronzer is the perfect makeup product to add all-over warmth and glow to your complexion. Knowing how to use bronzer and where to put bronzer - to your cheekbones, temples, jawline and nose - can help sculpt the look of your face and add the look of dimension to your facial architecture, however this isn't it's main purpose. Unlike contour makeup, bronzer shades tend to have a bit more warmth in them, and can be applied with a larger brush for an all-over bronze for a beachy-bronzed, glowing look!

Contour makeup's main purpose is to sculpt and create an illusion, with a shade that tends to be cooler in tone to mimic the look of natural shadows. Contour should be placed more precisely to sculpt and define the look of your facial framework and features. Adding depth to sculpt and define can help you create the effect of sharper-looking cheekbones or a defined nose. It’s like makeup MAGIC!

Charlotte's Bronzer Wardrobe_Airbrush Bronzer and Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer_Still Life

Ciera contour blush and highlight placement

Where to Put Bronzer + How To Use

Discover where to apply bronzer so you can create a beautiful, healthy-looking, beachy-bronzed glow with one of Charlotte's easy-to-use bronzers! The smoothing, blurring, and perfecting pigments of the magic matte powdcer Airbrush Bronzer softly smooths onto the skin and creates a sun-kissed, silky-smooth-looking finish, or glide, buff and bronze with Charlotte's NEW! Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer if you prefer a cream formula, darlings!

Apply bronzer to your face and body where the sun naturally tans – cheekbones, jawline, top of shoulders, collarbone and the centre of your arms and legs. Where to apply bronzer depends on where you want to create the appearance of warmth to your skin, like a gorgeous, glowing golden hour filter!

For flawless-looking application, use Charlotte’s NEW! Beautiful Skin Bronzing Brush or her Airbrush Kabuki-style retractable bronzer brush, The Air Brush. Just swirl in your bronzer and buff into the the skin for an ethereal airbrush-effect finish!

Top Tilbury Tips for Bronzing:

  • Where to apply bronzer: sweep across the high points of the face where you naturally catch the sun
  • How to use bronzer: Apply to cheekbones, temples, tip of nose, right above where you’d apply contour (more on this below!)

Where to apply bronzer placement image

Full face Contour Placement graphic

Where to Apply Contour

For a gorgeous contour, use Charlotte’s iconic Hollywood Contour Wand to create red-carpet-ready facial framework instantly! Build up and blend the magical liquid contour for a super-easy application and flawless-looking result!

Follow the hollow! Suck in your cheeks to see where the shadow naturally occurs on your face shape, before sweeping the magic cushion application in a horizontal line towards your hairline and blend, blend, blend using the Hollywood Complexion Brush!

Next, apply in vertical stripes on the sides of your nose and loop underneath, before applying to the sides of your forehead, temples, and jawline for that gorgeous, contoured, sculpted-effect look.

Top Tilbury Tips for Contouring:

  • Follow the hollow! Find your natural shadows
  • Apply to hollows of cheekbones, sides of nose, along jawline, temples, sides of forehead
  • Never forget to blend, blend, blend!

Using Bronzer With Contour

Now you've learned where to put bronzer vs contour and the different roles that they play in your makeup routine, discover where to apply bronzer and contour together to create a sculpted-looking, sun-kissed look!

First, apply Airbrush Bronzer with the Powder & Sculpt Brush to sculpt the appearance of your facial framework, using the matte formula to add definition to the perimeter of your face and the hollows of your cheekbones. Then, apply Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer with the Beautiful Skin Bronzing Brush, swirling the brush into your cream bronzer and sweeping over the cheekbones, forehead, and anywhere you want to achieve a beachy-bronze glow.

Together, bronzer and contour are a MAGICAL, IRRESISTABLE combination, creating a dreamy, sun-kissed, flawless-looking finish! Apply your contour first, before layering your bronzer on top for a radiant-looking glow!

Incorporate Charlotte’s tips into your routine and learn how to use bronzer and contour – together or separately!

Bronzer vs contour placement


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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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