How To Contour With Bronzer If You Don't Want To Buy A Whole New Palette — PHOTOS

Contouring is the most popular, yet intimidating of all the makeup techniques, which is probably why most people are afraid to try it. How do you know what's right for your skin tone? Can you use bronzer for contour? The answer is yes, but only if you do it correctly.

Bronzer is typically a matte or shimmer powder that is warm-toned to create the effect of a sun-kissed glow. Contour products are the complete opposite. They are typically cool-toned matte products that create shadows on the face, mimicking the natural shadows created by your cheekbones and commanding features.

Bronzers are everywhere, in a variety of formulations and colors. Contouring is a bit trickier to shop for. So can you, technically, contour with a bronzer? It really comes down to your personal preference and your skin tone. If you are fair to light-complected and cool-toned, bronzer can look great on you as a contour. If you're medium to dark-skinned and warm-toned, bronzer as contour can look great, too, but you just have to apply it with a lighter hand. Why is that? When it comes to blush, bronzer, and contour, you want to choose products that are the opposite tone of your natural skin tone. Whatever your skin tone, however, you can definitely make it work if you just blend, blend, blend!

I'm light complected with a neutral skin tone and chose the popular and fairly universal Hoola bronzer from Benefit to try contouring with.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer, $29, Sephora

I applied it with an angled kabuki brush and blended it out with a larger powder brush.

It definitely created hollowness right under the cheekbone, the ideal outcome for any contouring endeavor. Overall, it's a bit warmer than I would have liked, but still did the trick on my pale skin.

The Verdict

If you're the same complexion as me, bronzer can work for contouring in a pinch. You can also definitely pull off this look if you have a darker skin tone than I do. However, I'd recommend contouring products, like this palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit in Deep, $40, Sephora

It's specifically made to create the shadows on your skin, without the shimmer of a bronzer. So if you're going for a more natural-looking, matte finish versus a shimmery, sun-kissed bronze, definitely invest in a contouring palette!

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Images: Jessica Willingham; Courtesy of Brands