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Contouring is one of the biggest beauty comebacks to resurface in the last couple of years, thanks to the makeup technique’s impressive transformative powers. However, if you’re not a pro, there’s a fine line between creating a chiseled result and looking like you’ve painted on muddy-brown stripes onto your cheekbones, jawline, nose and of course, your body. Whether you’re looking to create the illusion of a six-pack or emphasize your bust with makeup, without the proper technique and tools, contouring and bronzing the body can look harsh and downright disastrous. Aside from choosing the right formula and color for your face shape and skin tone — usually a neutral or cool-toned brown or taupe shade — using the right contour brush for your body is the key to success when it comes to creating a sculpted appearance that enhances your angles.
Regardless of whether you opt for a cream or powdered formula, an angled sculpting brush is going to be your best ally when it comes to shaping the face. In general, you want to look for a densely packed option that’s either angled or fanned depending on how “sharp” of a look you’re after. Angled and buffing face and body brushes (both will work depending on the area you’re working on) will hug the curves of your face, neck, decolletage, and wherever else you wish to define, which allows you to create a super-defined line that can be seamlessly blended out to the level of your personal liking, for either a more subtle look or something a bit more dramatic. Finding a brush that’s dense enough to pack on the pigment, follows the lines of your face, and is able to blend out lines of demarcation is critical when it comes to nailing the contour, and these top-performing brushes — along with watching a how-to video or two — will help you advance from beginner to pro-level status in no time.
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1. Eco Tools Define & Highlight Brush Duo
This two-in-one brush is designed to allow you to create and enhance the perfect light and shadow interplay on your face. It’s designed with high-quality bristles that won’t transfer to your skin.
2. Beauty Junkies Angled Kabuki Brush
This angled kabuki brush is designed with just the right amount of density to deposit pigment for definition, but the bristles are still soft enough to get a good blend. It performs like high-end counterparts, but at a fraction of the cost.
3. Real Techniques Sculpting Brush
This affordable sculpting brush is designed with ultra-hygienic Taklon synthetic bristles that pick up makeup easily, but are non-porous to ensure that they don’t absorb dead skin cells or harbor germs.