While five or so years ago contouring was dubbed as “outdated,” the times have most certainly changed. Now, the coveted beauty method is one of the biggest cosmetic comebacks to resurface in the last couple of years, thanks to the makeup technique’s magical sculpting and face-slimming transformational powers. Aside from my brows and liquid lip, contouring is the one non-negotiable step that I rarely neglect in my daily routine. Unfortunately, if you’re not a makeup artist or beauty guru, the fine line between creating a chiseled and defined effect and looking like you’ve painted on muddy-brown stripes onto your cheekbones, jawline, nose, and forehead can be a bit blurry.
Without the proper formula and shade (usually a cool-toned brown or taupe is best) to complement your skin tone and skin type, contouring can look pretty harsh. Powder contour products are great for most skin types because they blend and build easily and offer much better staying power than liquid and creams. Multi-pan contour kits make sculpting, lifting, and illuminating your jawline, nose, and cheekbones a whole easier— whether you’re a beginner, a pro, or like me, falling somewhere awkwardly in between.
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1. e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette
This affordable four-pan contour kit comes with everything you need (except a brush, of course) to define the high points of your face and sharpen your features. This formula is completely vegan and cruelty-free, and each powder is infused with skin-loving vitamin E to prevent over-drying or cracking throughout the day.
2. Aesthetica Cosmetics Contour and Highlighting Powder Kit
This easy-to-use contour, bronzing and highlighting palettes comes with an assortment of shades to customize your look: three matte foundation shades, three highlighting powder, and three matte hues to bronze or contour. In addition, it also comes with a helpful step-by-step, illustrated guide that helps you master the art of contouring to enhance your facial structure.
3. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette
For those who prefer a compact, and purse or travel-friendly palette to work with, this creamy contour kit is perfect. It contains three highly-pigmented, yet ultra-blendable (and buildable) matte shades to contour and define, set your base, and highlight your high points for a subtle glow. Each of the shades are formulated to be universally-flattering on most skin tones, and the contour hue can be used as an all-over bronzer as well.