November 13, 2014 RACHEL HALSEY Spotlight

What Tools Do You Need For Contouring Like a Pro?

We love hearing from our panel of beauty pros about the latest and greatest beauty tricks. Today, we're lucky enough to hear from makeup pro Rachel Halsey, who sounds off on the tools needed to contour correctly.

Contouring has become a household word alongside the ever-popular smoky eye and fake lashes. The face-shaping process may seem intimidating at first, but with the right technique and tool, you’ll find it’s pretty simple. When done right, contouring can deliver sculpted cheekbones, a crisp brow, and even a more defined pout. However, the wrong contouring can make you look a bit clown-like. Having the right tools is key for high performance. Take a look at my suggestions for the perfect contouring brushes. And, for a complete contouring guide, check out this tutorial.

contour like a pro
Tool #1: Foundation Brush or Beauty Blender
The first step to achieving a flawless face always involves natural and perfectly blended foundation, which means you’re going to need the perfect blending tool. Enter the foundation brush. To ensure perfect application, go with a  synthetic brush. If you’re not a fan of the foundation brush, a beauty blender is also a great tool for working in the foundation and concealer (for those pesky blemishes under-eye circles).

Product Recommendations:
Lancôme Foundation Brush #2, YSL Beauty Shade Blender Brush, Beauty Blender

Tool # 2: Blush Brush
Dab the perfect amount of color to the apples of your cheeks using a blush brush. Blush brushes come in flat and angular shapes, and are based on your personal preference.

Product Recommendations:
Maybelline Expert Tools Blush Brush, YSL Beauty Blusher Brush

Tool # 3: Contour Brush
For contouring — with bronzer and highlighter —  you can use a variety of concealer-type brushes, designed for precise application. Ideally, you should have at least two: one medium-sized brush (for forehead, nose and cheek bones), and one small (for detailing brows and cupids bow, as well as multitask as a concealing tool for under-eye circles and blemishes). If using powder-based bronzer and/or highlighter, you definitely want to have an angled powder contouring brush, which can be used both for applying both light and dark shades. There are also multi-tasking, dual-ended brushes out there specifically designed for contouring. This could be an ideal option for those of you looking to save money!

Product Recommendation:
Lancôme Cheek & Contour Brush #25, Urban Decay Naked Flushed Double-Ended Brush, Tarte Cosmetics Slenderizer, Giorgio Armani Concealer Brush

Tool # 4: Powder Brush
For your finishing and/or setting powder, you will also need a large powder brush for even and natural application. Go with a natural brush designed to be used with loose or compact powders.

Product Recommendations:
Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring BrushYSL Beauty Powder Brush

Tool # 6: Shadow Brush
Give your eyes some shape and definition by applying a smooth veil of color over your eyelid.

Product Recommendation:
Maybelline Expert Tools Eye Shadow Brush, Urban Decay Good Karma Shadow Brush

Tool # 7: Lip Brush
Your cheeks, nose and forehead are not the only things that can be shaped and defined. Show off your lips by investing in a lip brush that will paint on the perfect pout and enhance your cupid’s bow (or draw it in if you don’t have one).

Product Recommendation:
Lancôme Retractable Lip Brush #9, Shu Uemura Kolinsky Portable Extra Lip Brush

What are your fave tools for contouring? Spill in the comments below!



    About the Author: Rachel is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist specializing in television, print and red carpet events.