Contouring helps to define the structure of your face by creating a contrast of dark and light. Unlike concealer which is used to brighten the skin, contour darkens it and creates shadows in your face. By adding a contour cream or powder to your cheekbones, nose, forehead and jaw, you really can completely transform the appearance of your facial features.
To jump on this highly popular makeup trend, you need to find out which products suit you best. In this article, we will show you some of the best contour sticks, creams, powders and palette kits by drugstore and other popular brands like Barry M, Fenty, NYX and Sleek for both beginners and contour pros. Find them all on Boots, Amazon and eBay and get ready to transform your routine!
Claire is a qualified Beauty Therapist and Makeup Artist; she provides professional makeup services for all occasions from bridal to backstage at photo shoots. Claire also teaches masterclass events as well as 1-1 training, and when she gets the chance, enjoys sharing her expertise hosting live talks on her social media. She's a big fan of the vibrant style and loves a colourful palette... or 10!
Let's take a look at the next section of this article where we will guide you through the ins and outs of choosing a contour product that can work wonders for you. We'll talk about what type of product you need and how you can benefit from different types.
When scrolling through our list, you'll see a variety of different styles of contour. This next section will guide you through the tips and explain what works better for you and your makeup routine.
If you often wear creamy makeup products like liquid foundation and cream concealer, you'd most likely prefer to use a cream contour too. Cream contour has a thick texture and can be applied with a brush, a sponge or your fingers.
It's easy to blend and it has a very natural-looking finish; you can even apply it over freshly-washed skin for a dewy, sculpted transformation.
If you're looking for a simple, easy-to-use solution for chiselled cheekbones, a cream contour is something that can be applied anywhere at any time throughout the day for an even, subtle shade.
Cream contour is perfect for all levels of makeup abilities. It allows you to map out your desired shape and give you a clear visual prior to blending. By doing this, if you make any mistakes, cream products are easier to remove and reapply (especially if you’re contouring your body).
A great tip is to use a makeup sponge to soften the edges where your contour meets your foundation, to create a softer more natural finish.
A powder contour, on the other hand, is a product that you can use to build on your powdered, matte look. Applied with a big, bristly brush or an angled applicator, this type of concealer provides a completely shine-free finish that's great for selfies.
Powdered cosmetics products are known to last much longer than cream-based products, so a matte look can suit the office, a nightclub or even a trip through the airport.
As a powder has a substantially lighter consistency than a cream contour, you can build up as much product as you want to get the darkest colour to shade your face.
Powder contour is perfect for all-day wear and it doesn’t need setting in place afterwards. Compared to other formulas, this is what makes powder an ideal product for those who are prone to an oilier complexion or have a long day ahead on the cards.
Building on intensity is achievable, and you can also blend different shades of cool and warm together to create further definition. To avoid being left with a “muddy” finish, hold your brush closer towards the opposite end of the head. This allows for lighter strokes and more control.
With so many different options of contour available online, we want to show you what to look out for on your hunt for the best one. From shades to applicators, we'll make sure that you know everything you need to know.
When it comes to contour tones, you can choose darker shades for heavier makeup looks or lighter shades for a subtle shadow – it all comes down to your preference. Once you've found the shade that works well with you and your style, you'll know straight away.
However, if you like to experiment with different looks or you want a contour palette that will see you through both winter and summer, you could benefit from multiple shades in one palette. This gives you the freedom to try out new looks and get a true understanding of how to contour, which also makes palettes a good call for beginners.
When looking for a contour palette, you will notice the contrast of colours they will have to offer. With this, you can adjust your look accordingly by occasion and change of season. As the months go by, our skin can lose or gain more colour and this is when a variety of different shades will come in handy!
Just imagine you are an artist, these products are your paints and your face is the canvas. By mixing and adding colours you can discover the desired intensity and suitable undertones in order to create a work of art.
In addition to finding the perfect shade for contouring with, you might want to spruce it up with a highlighter. The goal of contouring is to make your facial structures pop, so the way to see the best results is to apply shading to areas like beneath your cheekbone, around your forehead, and down the sides of the nose.
Then, apply a highlighter on places that should catch the light, such as the top of the cheekbone and the tip of the nose. You can use any cosmetic highlighter for this, so don't worry if you already have one. That said, there's no harm in trying a new style and what better place to start than a duo pack of contour and highlight?
As important as is it to shade and sculpt for the illusion of depth, it’s also essential to highlight areas of the face you want to push forward. Highlighter is a great way to draw the eyes of others into focusing on these sharper points.
A great starting point is to apply your highlight where the sun hits the higher points of the face. Use this as a guide and you will effortlessly achieve a natural glow to the skin. From there you can apply highlight to any part of the face and body that you wish to further enhance.
All the time, we hear influencers promoting a new brush set, a celebrity designing a beauty blender, or someone using their hands and telling us that it's the new way to apply makeup.
So what really is the best way to do it? The truth is, it depends on what you prefer as an individual. Brushes are great for stacking up layers of liquid and powder whereas a blender offers a light, natural finish. Meanwhile, a stick applicator can closely replicate the accuracy of using your fingers.
For quick application, I recommend using a powder or a liquid. With a touch of powder, feather on the product in as many light layers as required (using a fluffy brush in circular motions to avoid harsh lines). When blending liquids, use the fingertips in soft upwards pat and rolling motions.
Cream palettes or sticks require more attention, but the results are worth it. Straight from the palette, there’s freedom regarding the choice of tool; just make sure to apply and blend the product first before starting on a new section. Solidified cream can also be warmed on the hands prior to skin contact, making them easy to blend.
If you're eager to find your new contour product, don't worry, the wait is over! In this next section, ranked from 10 to 1, are some of the best contour products available on the market from brands like NYX and Sleek.
NYX Professional Makeup
NYX Professional Makeup
Cosmetics Chisel Cheeks Contour Creams
Beauty Match Stix Trio
Makeup Face Contour Kit, Dark
Sculpting Highlighter Palette
Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette
16 Hr Camo Concealer
Sculpting Touch Creamy Stick Contour
Wonderstick On-The-Go Highlight And Contour Stick
3 Steps To Sculpt
A Popular Classic Inclusive to Many Pale, Light and Medium Skin Tones
The Best Cream Stick Contour Kit for Dark Skin
A Luxurious Rosy Powder Contour for a Natural Finish
Shimmery Sculpter, Highlighter and Blusher in One Palette
Compact, Pocket-Sized Contour Corrector
A Long-Lasting Cream Contour in 27 Shades
The Easy-Use Sculpting Stick for Angled Perfection
A Cheap and Simple Duo Contour Box
A Double-Sided Contour Stick for Perfect Sculpting
Streamline Your Makeup Bag With This Handy Three-Step Kit
Need a little guidance on how or where to apply your contour products? Check out this video from Boots, who have enlisted Stacey Lacey MUA to show you how.
You've added a new contour stick or kit to your basket, but what about any other products or tools you might need to achieve your new look? Scroll down for more advice on the best brushes, beauty blenders and highlighters to help you nail it.
Whether you want a photoshoot-ready matte look or you'd prefer a subtle shadow with a dark contour cream, we hope that you found what you need on this list. There are so many different options to choose from – hopefully you didn't feel too spoiled for choice!
Author: Annie Speight
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