The Top 5 Contour Kits Reviewed
Contour kits are a firm favorite of beauty guru’s and makeup artists alike. It’s nearly impossible to believe that hardly any of us knew about what contouring was up until just a few years ago. Sure, we might have buffed our faces with bronzer for a sun-kissed glow, but that was about as far as it got.
If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between contour and bronzer, we’ll break it down. Bronzers are designed to bring a healthy glow to your face and are the perfect way to fake a ‘just come back from vacation’ radiance.
Contouring, on the other hand, is designed to enhance the structure of the face by highlighting places that the light naturally hits (we’re talking places like the cheekbones and tip of the nose) and shadowing areas such as the jawline for a more sculpted look.
Whether your favorite makeup YouTuber has convinced you to see what the hype is about, or you’re a contouring expert on the lookout for a new addition to your makeup collection, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we have selected five of our favorite contouring products available to purchase today. We’ve covered all budgets, so whether you’re working with a budget or you fancy splashing out – there’s one for every price point.
In a hurry? Sculpt your way to complexion perfection with our top pick:
The Nyx Cosmetics Highlight & Contour Palette is your one-stop-shop to angled perfection. Loved by beauty experts and a staple in makeup bags everywhere, this longstanding contour kit will allow you to define your features like a professional. The best part? Each set includes eight customizable highlighting and contouring shades that, after reaching the pan, can be re-purchased individually and slotted straight into your existing palette, meaning you don’t need to go to the trouble of purchasing a brand new kit. Affordable and complexion-enhancing – how could we not love it?
Here’s why it’s our winner:
- Made of a kind-to-skin, vegan-friendly formula
- Cool-toned and customizable, making it ideal for all skin tones
- Comes in a sturdy palette case to keep the shades protected and non-exposed
- The click-shut design makes it ideal for touch-ups throughout the day, allowing you to pop it in your handbag without fear of any fallout or mess
Best Contour Kits
Sculpt and shade to your heart’s content with this much-loved powder contour palette complete with eight shades for you to experiment with.
Ideal for makeup lovers of all levels, we love the convenience of this palette and the diverse shades included. If you’re a beginner, this is a great choice because NYX has made a mini ‘how-to’ guide which comes along with the kit that has helpful pointers on what features to shade and which parts to brighten.
The different color variations within this palette give you the option to ‘tweak’ your contour and highlighter shades to perfectly suit your individual skin tone, while the finely milled powder formulas blend easily for an air-brushed finish that’ll have people wondering what your secret is.
The contour powders each have a semi-matte to a satin finish and look totally natural on all complexions. Here’s a quick rundown of the shades within this palette:
- Cream: warm yellow shade
- Nectar: peach-colored shade with warm undertones
- Sculpt: taupe with neutral undertones
- Hollow: deep brown with red undertones
- Ice Queen: white with a frosted finish
- Soft Light: sheer beige
- Tan: warm brown
- Toffee: yellow-toned brown
With your favorite powder brush, apply the darkest shades to hollows (beneath cheekbones, along your jawline and to temples), then take the lighter shades to enhance anywhere that light would naturally strike such as the cheekbones, brow bones, bridge of the nose, as well as your cupid’s bow.
- You can repurchase individual shades, saving money in the long run
- The eight shades are diverse and buildable; both natural and dramatic makeup looks are made easy with this palette
- Sturdy casing keeps the shades protected
- Quite a bit of fallout, so you’ll need to tap your brush before application to get rid of excess powder
- HIGHLIGHT & CONTOUR PALETTE: Sculpt your best features and highlight like a pro with the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette! Each set includes 8 refillable shades of creamy color perfect for customizing your coverage.
- SCULPT & HIGHLIGHT: This contouring palette allows you to customize your contour and highlight shades to sculpt like a dream. Layer, blend, and define your best features with these eight creamy shades and when you run out, just refill your palette!
- FACE FROM FOUNDATION TO FINISH: Complete your makeup look with our full line of NYX Professional Makeup face products to aid in color-correction & coverage from blush, bronzer, foundations & contouring concealer to palettes powders & setting sprays.
- CRUELTY FREE COSMETICS: We believe animals belong in our arms—not in a lab. All of our makeup is certified & acknowledged by PETA as a cruelty-free brand. We don't test any of our products on animals.
- DISCOVER NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP: Try all of our professional makeup & beauty products today, from eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara & false lashes to lipstick, foundation, primer, blush, bronzer, brushes & more!
The Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Contour offers the perfect blend of shades to sculpt and enhance your features, from peachy pink to beige and coffee brown. With a smooth, long-wearing formula, these highly pigmented creams add structure to any look.
Containing 8 creamy products including bronzers (darker and lighter), highlighter and yellow primer for covering shadows, this palette is designed for mixing colors together unique colors to match your complexion, thanks to this, the palette will match many skin tones.
Not just that, perfect for both the daily and evening make-up creations, you’ll love being able to reach for this palette for every occasion Thanks to the cream formulas, you can enjoy a finished look free from streaks or powder pilling, instead, the formula will be evenly distributed across the areas used.
A feature that we love about this contour kit is that comes with a full-sized mirror on the inside. You could quite easily slot this into your handbag (along with your favorite beauty sponge) and use it to touch-up throughout your busy day. Longlasting and always natural, these highly pigmented shades will give you the structure you desire.
- Vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free
- It comes with a full-sized mirror for convenient use on-the-go
- The cream formula is easy to work with
- Cream consistency may not be compatible with oilier complexions
- Contour & Highlight
- Cream Formula
COVERGIRL is known for their high-quality products that are placed at attractive price points, and the Contour and Correct Palette is no exception.
Unlike most palettes, Contour & Correct contains shades that are subtly different from each other (as opposed to contrasting light and dark shades). By doing so, Covergirl has created a contouring kit that allows you to build your contour by neutralizing and mixing shades to create your own individual contour tones that won’t look too harsh or outlandish – so this kit is great for those who prefer a more natural look.
When applied, these lightweight yet highly pigmented shades will not only sculpt and add dimension but also neutralize any redness across or hyperpigmentation for a more flawless finish overall.
One of our favorite standout features of the Contour and Correct Palette is that it contains a universally flattering blush shade to add the perfect finishing touch to your makeup look, as well as enhancing your complexion with a touch of rosy youthfulness.
- Features a universally flattering blush color
- Designed to complement the complexions of multi-cultural women
- Not suitable for fairer complexions
- All-in-one contour makeup palette designed for multicultural women
- 8 cream shades for neutralizing, contouring, highlighting and balancing pigmentation
- Shop this all-in-one correction and contour palette.
Containing six pressed powders made entirely of skin-loving ingredients, the Aesthetica Cosmetics Contouring Kit contains everything you need to enhance your natural beauty.
Three matte powders are included for contouring and chiseling, while three illuminating powders have been created in order to highlight the areas that light naturally catches.
The darker contour shades will add definition and dimension, while the lighter highlighting shades enhance the inner of your eyes (while also making your eyeshadow look pop), draw out your cheekbones, lengthen your nose, and make your jawline more striking.
Once applied, the finely-milled powder shades will deliver an even, flawless finish (reducing the appearance of puffiness and pigmentation) while the included step-by-step guide details will guide you and help you learn how how to contour and highlight like a professional makeup artist.
Ideal for everyday makeup application, as well as special occasions, you can’t go wrong with this bestselling kit.
- Suitable for Fair, Light and Medium skin tones
- 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan
- Ideal for all ages
- Powder formula may not be compatible with drier skin tones
- Easy to follow, step-by-step instruction guide and face shape diagrams included with each kit.
- Removable and refillable, this set contains three (3) matte foundation powders for contouring and three (3) illuminating powders for highlighting. Darker contour shades define features while downplaying problem areas and lighter highlighting shades enhance your natural beauty.
- Contouring kit helps make faces look more chiseled and structured without making your makeup look overly dramatic or thick. Perfect for every day makeup application or for special occasions.
- Provides an even, flawless tone and helps thin down and soften the face while also defining the cheekbones and jawline, narrow the nose, create fuller lips, lift saggy eyes, minimize large foreheads and enhance the appearance of small eyes.
- Suitable for Fair, Light and Medium skin tones, skin types, and all ages! 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan
Ideal for on-the-go use, this lightweight contour stick features a slim, pen-like design that can be chucked into your purse for touch-ups, whenever, wherever.
The Concealer Stick is equipped with a dual-design. On one end, you’ll find a highlighter that can be used to brighten your cheekbones, under-eyes, and cupid’s bow. On the other end, you’ll find a deeper shade that can be used to define the jaw, chisel your cheekbones and carve out your nose to make it appear more narrow.
Plus, thanks to the creamy texture you’ll be able to blend and buff with ease (with either a buffing brush or makeup blender). If you were really pinched for time or happened to be on the move and without a tool, you could even get away with using your fingers as they’re so creamy and pigmented.
Not just for contouring, we love this contour stick because it can also be used to cover small areas that contain blemishes or any hyperpigmentation, and will effectively diminish the appearance of dark circles, acne marks, or the occasional pimple. Plus, these contouring sticks are also available in different shades to accommodate all skin tones. It’s got our seal of approval.
- Ideal for creating a subtle enhancement on-the-go
- Slim and compact design will slot itself easily into any purse or makeup bag
- The creamy texture will blend out effortlessly for a natural finish you’ll love
- Limited to just two shades
- Double-headed design: The Concealer Stick is equipped with a highlighter tip to create a three-dimensional makeup and improve skin tone. In addition, the shadow tip is used to modify the nose to create a sexy and plump face.
- Effectively brighten the complexion: lightly press on the lines of the law, the corners of the mouth, the brow bone, and the corners of the eyes, and then smudge with a foundation brush to brighten the complexion.
- Helps to repair the appearance: lightly press on the hairline, cheeks, and jawline, and then gently open with a repairing brush, you can modify the face shape, create three-dimensional delicate features, so as to get rid of the edges and corners of the face.
- The texture is very thin: The texture of the concealer stick is very thin, it is in the state of concealer, it is more hydrated, and it also has some moisturizing effects.
- Versatile: The concealer stick can be used to cover small areas of blemishes and marks. The concealer stick can cover dark circles, acne marks, stains, scar marks, etc., making the makeup look more clean and flawless.
Best Contour Kits – Buyer’s Guide
Cream vs Powder
When it comes to contour, you have the option of choosing between powder or cream. Though both are great choices, you might find that you prefer one over the other. Keep reading to learn about which one you might like best:
Advantages of Cream Contour
Due to the consistency of cream contour, you’ll find that it’s very easy to blend into your skin, as well as blending in seamlessly with your foundation. You don’t need a brush (though you can certainly use one) so application is quick and easy, all you need to do is use your fingers or blender to quickly achieve the desired result.
As cream contours are so highly pigmented, you only need a small amount of product to achieve a gorgeous finish and, as cream contour doesn’t tend to sit in fine lines or enlarged pores (like powder can) its suited to dry and mature skin types.
After application, the cream contour will leave your skin with a dewy glow and radiant vitality.
Drawbacks of Cream Contour
Cream contour doesn’t tend to last as long as a powder contour, so we recommend using a setting spray to hold it in place, and to prevent pilling. Plus, as it is a cream formula, you’ll find that it will tend to crease more easily around the eyes, as well as turning shiny throughout the day. For this reason, the cream contour may not be ideal for oily skins. However, there is plenty of cream to powder formulas that are made to complement shinier complexions, so you might want to check those out.
Advantages of Powder Contour
On the other hand, powder contour delivers a totally matte, velvety finish to the skin for an ‘airbrushed’ effect that looks a lot more striking and dramatic than cream. When applied on top of your foundation, the powder will last throughout the entire day, all the while being able to absorb oils for a finish that doesn’t appear creased after a couple of hours, making it an ideal choice for oilier skin types.
Disadvantages of Powder Contour
Due to the finely-milled powder formulas, powder contour can settle itself into fine lines and wrinkles and make them appear more pronounced, so it may not be a good choice for those with dry skin or a more mature complexion.
As the powder is super matte and often cool-toned, the skin can sometimes appear lackluster and dull. To counteract this, we recommend a touch of blush.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does contour do?
In a nutshell, contouring is a technique that gained immense popularity over the past few years. It is a makeup application method that is specifically designed to enhance your natural features and sculpt the structure of the face. It brightens the high points of the face, such as the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, all the while adding shadow to areas such as the jawline and forehead to make them appear more defined. Ultimately, it adds shape and definition to the face, as well as other parts of the body such as the décolletage – many women love to sweep a darker shade across their collarbones to enhance them.
How do you contour your face?
First things first, carefully pinpoint the areas in which you would like to sculpt and define. Popular areas to contour include along your hairline and jawline, just under the cheekbones and along each side of the nose to make it appear more narrow. If you’re using a cream contour, take a blender sponge and draw across these areas to map it out and give you a starting point. If you’re using powder, take a brush, tap off the excess and begin to build the product across the targeted areas.
The key to contouring and shadowing is to start small and build the color intensity up as you go along. The last thing you want to do is apply your foundation and then take your contour and apply too much, too quickly and achieve an unnatural or harsh result.
To highlight, take the lighter shades, grab a brush and gently sweep in a gentle motion across areas such as the center of your forehead, chin, bridge of the nose and cupid’s bow.
Do you contour before or after foundation?
There are no rules when it comes to this (some makeup artist do contour before applying foundation and then go over it again for a more blended and natural look). However, contour is a step that usually tends to take place after foundation and concealer have been applied.
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