Contour 101 - How to contour and bronze your face properly?

Hi, dolls!
This is part three of my 101 series focusing on baking, setting sprays and contouring. Today, we are focusing on how to contour and bronze our faces properly and I will also be reviewing some of the products I use to bronze and contour my face. If you're interested to learn more, let's get right into it!

Other parts of the 101 series:

Contouring has become our latest obsession and I guess we can all agree it kind of took off because of Kim Kardashian, who many people call the queen of contour. But it wasn't just Kim Kardashian and her glam team, many other celebrities used contouring years before it became so popular. 

What exactly is contouring? According to Beau Nelson (Kristen Stewart's MUA) "contouring is giving shape to an area of the face & enhancing the facial structure through makeup." Contouring helps to enhance or diminish parts of your face - for example, many people use contouring to make their noses appear smaller. 

The most important thing to about contouring is to be aware of our face shape and the 'advised' areas for each shape to know where too contour. It's totally fine if you still don't know how to contour properly, after all practice makes perfect. There are some mistakes we definitely want to avoid when it comes to contouring. The whole point of contouring is to make our contour look natural, not fake or unblended with our natural skin colour. With contour comes highlight - check the image below to see best contouring and highlight techniques for your face shape.  

How to Contour and Highlight for Your Face Shape – ICONIC LONDON

To contour, you can either use powder or cream products in order to shape your face, and in terms of which products to use it is best to consider your skin type first. Powder contour might work better if you have oily skin and cream contour if you have dry skin. However, you can mix these around and use both or one or the other. It all depends on your preference and on what works best for you. 

It's also important to not confuse contouring with bronzing. While we use contour to shape the structure of our face, we reach out for bronzer to warm up the skin where the sun would naturally hit. 
bronzing vs contour

So what are the best contour products out there? Here are some from my collection:

My favourite is the Shade & Light powder contour by Kat Von D. You can purchase it as a part of a big contour palette or as a duo for your own tone. As I don't really need the full palette, I usually reach for the small duos and find them to last me a very long time. The powders are very pigmented and soft. They are also super blendable and although they are very pigmented, it's very easy to achieve the perfect contour finish.

At first, I was a bit worried that this light to medium palette would be too dark for my pale skin but as you can see from the swatches it's not that bad if you're as pale as me. I often compare this palette to my Kat Von D contour duo because it's just as pigmented and easy to blend. It's a great substitute for the KVD duo, however it's much more expensive. 

Insta Duo Contour Stick - Light

This product is a great dupe for the KKW contour sticks. It does a great job, it blends just fine and the pigment is nice. You get all you need for the price and it's a great product to experiment cream contour with. 

There are so many contour products out there and I'm sure brands will only continue to release more. It's great to have a big range of contour products to pick from, so everyone can find something for themselves! 

Let me know what brands and products you guys use for contouring/bronzing in the comments down below. I hope you enjoyed this review and stay tuned for more! 

Love, Olivia xo


  1. I’m so happy you posted a contour article, because for some reason I have been strugglingggg with my contour lately! The face shape demo is a great reminder of the spots I need to focus on! And also- I’m looking into the Rimmel stock RIGHT NOW! I need a contour stick, and I’ve been dying to try the KKW ones, but of this is a dupe for more bang for your buck, then sign me up!
    Awesome blog as always girlie!
    <3 amber

  2. Great article! I have yet to purchase any contour kit. I’m kind of lost on what I should get especially since I have a darker complexion!

  3. I love the Anastasia Contour Kit, however, like you said with the KVD larger Shade & Light palette, there's some shades I just don't touch in that palette and I feel like I'm wasting money, which I kinda am! I LOVE Stila bronze and shimmer compact, it's really nice. I don't remember the name though? I also love cream contours in stick versions, I actually have a contour & highlight stick I got off Amazon along with a shape tape dupe for $3-5/piece. I think I posted ab them at some point. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making, is using their concealer for highliting when they're contouring. Concealer, imo, is used to hide blemishes, whereas highliter is meant to draw attn to that place, to make it pop. If you use a very light concealer as a highlight, I can understand WHY I just can't validate spending the $$ on two shades of JSC concealer. When a simpler, actual highliter can do a much better job without the caked up look some people get when using concealer as highliter.
    I love love love your swatches & the face chart too!! I'm going to save that to my phone for sure! I think the ABH contouring kit comes with a chart like that, although I may just be making that up in my head from lack of sleep!!
    Have a great rest of the week and as always, tysm for sharing your knowledge ab smth that SO MANY PEOPLE really need help with!
    Love ya babe ❌��❌��

  4. I wasn't aware that that there were different contour places for different shaped faces, this was incredibly helpful, like all your posts lol

  5. Great article. Love that you added the chart.

  6. Great and easy to follow post! I wasn't aware you are supposed to focus on different spots based on your face shape. I've been kind of been winging it but I'll try following your post to see if that works better.

  7. this post!!!! super helpful. im deffo a newbie when it comes to makeup and im afraid to contour my face but this post is so detailed I might actually try it and not be scared lmfao

  8. if I don't contour I feel so out of place.. I tried Kkw contour stick and it was decent but nothing out of this world so definitely save your money peeps

  9. This a super helpful post. I wish more people did posts like this