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

Hi, dolls!

This is part three of my 101 series, first part focused on baking and second on setting sprays. Today we're focusing on how to contour and bronze our faces properly and I will do a small review of the products that I have been using to do so. You can find all the other posts from this series by clicking on the list below:

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 beauty 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 faces - for example, many people use contouring to make their noses appear smaller and because of it many celebrities have been accused of nose jobs, but it's just the power of makeup!

The most important thing about contouring is that we need to be aware of our face shape and the 'advised' areas for each shape to know where to contour. To be brutally honest with you guys, it took me ages to get used to contouring and doing it right. It takes time to perfect it and not everyone is expected to know how to do it properly straight away. However, we definitely want to avoid some mistakes. Therefore, we need to be fully aware of the contouring shades we want to go for because the whole point of contouring your face is to make it look natural, not fake or unbendable with your natural skin colour. With contour comes highlight - the image below shows the best techniques for your face shape. However, if you don't use these techniques to contour it won't necessary mean you're doing it wrong. 

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

You can either use powder or cream contour to shape your face, and in terms of which products to use, it's 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 personal preference and what feels best for you. 

It is also important not to 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?

In the picture above you can see some of the contour products that I have in my make-up collection. I will do a quick review of the ones I use the most.

My ultimate favourite and go-to is the Shade & Light powder contour by Kat Von D. Before this was only available as a part of the big palette, but recently Kat Von D released these duos on their own. This is so much better than having a whole palette, not only because it makes travelling with it way easier but also, I only reach for the light duo and the medium/dark are left unused in the pans. By having the smaller version of it, I can use it all up and not waste any product by not using it. It's definitely the best palette I have come across and it's the one I would recommend for everyone to try. 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 is not that bad if you're as pale as me. I often compare this palette to my Kat Von D contour duo, because those shades are also very pigmented and blendable. If you are a big fan of Anastasia's product, you will definitely love this palette, however it's definitely more expensive than other contour products that work similarly to this. 

Insta Duo Contour Stick - Light

This is the only cream contour product I have in my collection because I don't use cream contour products a lot as I prefer powders. However, this one is definitely an amazing contour stick to have in your collection because it's so easy to use and also blends well. I think this is the best dupe out there for the KKW contour sticks and you get more products with these for less money, and I definitely think they do the same job.

These are my top 3 contour products that I reach for the most. Nowadays, there are plenty of contour products out there and we definitely have more options to pick from. My next contour product that I want to try out is the Tantour by Huda Beauty because it's contour and bronzer in one, which sounds amazing and I heard so many good things about it. If you're unsure what products to reach for, definitely consider your skin type and experiment with both cream and powder contour to see what you like best. 

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! 
Thank you for helping me reach 500 blog followers! 

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. Thank you. This is wonderful. I wondered how to go abt contouring and this really helps.

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

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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