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Contouring and highlighting are techniques commonly utilized by professional makeup artists for shaping, shading, and visibly defining the high points and shadows of the face. Whether you’re a contour queen or a busy mum, we’ve got options to help you create a gorgeous contour in a snap!

 

Which contour product is right for me?

Contouring and highlighting helps the best parts of your face take center stage- not the makeup itself, meaning precise tools for application are key to avoid a look that’s clownish and over the top.

For contouring, choose a smaller, precise powder brush. Sigma’s F04 Extreme Structure Contour Brush is a great choice, with a firm to dense head that deposits the product precisely. Youngblood’s Contour Brush is a great choice for beginners as it has an angled head, which follows the natural contours of the face.

Sigma’s F03 High Cheekbone Highlighter and theBalm’s Blend a Hand Brush are top choices for a light, effortless highlighter brush.

 

What contour products work best for my skin tone & type?

There are tons of contour palettes on the market, but which contour will work best for you? Contour can appear unnatural if it’s too dark, so choose a palette suited for your skin tone and type.

  • For lighter complexions, Designer Brands Contour Kit in Light Medium provides three shades that will flatter everyone from alabaster to lightly golden, providing shades with neutral to cool undertones to avoid a bold, unnatural finish.

  • For deeper complexions, finding contour shades deep enough to accentuate your features can be difficult. Luckily, Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette offers a wide range of shades that will suit deeper tones.

  • Dry skin may benefit more from a cream contour kit, like PUR Cosmetics Cameo Contour Stick, as they’re more likely to appear natural and blended than a powder on top of a dryer skin.

  • Oily skin will work best with a powder kit, as it will help alleviate shine throughout the day and won’t slide off like a cream formula is likely to do. Nude By Nature’s Contour Palette is a great powder option.

What’s the best way to apply contour?

Contour and highlight are best applied after you’ve applied foundation. Once your base is perfected, take a look at your face’s natural contours. Anywhere shadows fall naturally is where your contour should be applied. This generally means the underside of the cheekbone, the outer eye area, the jawline, and areas close to the hair line. With contour, less is more- start by gently dipping your brush in your product and lightly sweeping the brush along these areas, gently building up your look without creating hard lines.

Highlight is a less precise application process, as it’s meant to diffuse light along the high points of the face, like the forehead, upper cheekbone, the bridge of the nose, and the chin. Just like with contour, less is more- start by blending lightly upward along these areas and build up to your desired beam from there. 

 

Following the steps above will have you contouring like a pro! Check out the options below to create an amazing, everyday contour that will help you bring this insider trick to your everyday look.

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Recent reviews on Contouring Makeup & Palettes products

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder MiniBenefit Hoola Bronzing Powder Mini
Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder Mini
$28.00

Holy Grail for a reason

This bronzer is honestly amazing, the shad is the perfect mix between bronzer and contour shade. The only downside to this is the packaging... it looks cute but once you're down to the last of the product it's so hard to get the conners!
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting ContourClinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
Clinique
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
$42.00

Good

This is a good contour stick, very easy and quick to use. Very creamy and easy to blend in
Kryolan Ultra Foundation TrioKryolan Ultra Foundation Trio
Kryolan Professional Makeup
Kryolan Ultra Foundation Trio
$69.00

Good

This is really good and looks natural. Perfect little kit!

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