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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 Palettes products

M.A.C Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
M.A.C Cosmetics
M.A.C Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
$70.00

A healthy glow

I was previously using a matte powder that just wasn't cutting it anymore. Since switching to this one, I've had so many comments on how healthy my skin looks and how much younger I look (heading toward 40 so feeling the dryness and lines start to emerge). Good medium coverage with a healthy luminous look (nobody needs to look super shiny) - HOWEVER, I was in online meetings yesterday and noticed ...
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
Clinique
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
$57.00

Goes on really easily

Looks dark but blends well easy to apply...more a contour bronzer than an all over..so i would probably just get a powder one next time
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Highlighter
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Highlighter
$100.00

mix it with foundation

I don't recommend using this as a highlighter as it is too sheer. However, I learned from some professionals that this one can be mixed with foundation to add a natural and slight sheen. My own foundation is GA's power fabric which is a full coverage foundation for oily skin. After mixing these two, my skin has a very beautiful finish! The fluid sheer doesn't hurt the coverage level but makes my ...