Whether you’re looking for a chiseled, just-off-the-runway look or adding a bit more definition to highlight your natural beauty, contouring combines the fierceness of your favorite makeup maven with the subtlety of a master painter. But masterpieces don’t happen by themselves—an artist needs the right tools.
Continue reading to get the scoop on the best makeup brushes for contouring.
Contouring history goes deep—as far back as the mid-1500s, and Giorgio Armani’s contouring brush is a blend of Japanese craftsmanship and Italian design that marries tradition with cutting-edge technology. Made with high-quality, natural bristles that adjust to your facial structure for impeccable highlights and shadows, this brush is a breeze in terms of application. The broad and narrow half-moon shape makes for easy transitions between contouring around cheekbones and jawline. We've only got compliments to throw at this one—no shade.
When it comes to makeup, we believe in both taking our time and saving it where it counts. Urban Decay’s double-ended brush is one of those rare products that can actually give you life, as in more time living it and less time preparing for it. Apply blush and highlighter with the fluffy angled end, and then contour with the other end. It’s truly that easy. No more digging in your makeup bag and juggling brushes. Unless juggling makeup brushes is a secret talent of yours. If that’s the case, then we really want to see a video.
Contouring is about more than shaping—it’s about sculpting and accentuating the wonderful shape of your face with a perfect mix of highlights and shadows. And just like the art of contouring itself, YSL’s double-ended brush is a seamless unity of dark and light. The dark end is broad for contouring the cheeks and jawline, and the light end is narrower for use on the tops of cheekbones and the forehead. Honestly, no matter which side you look at it from, this brush is a necessary addition to your collection of contouring products.
We’re just going to give you a heads up right now that using this brush might bring out your inner diva. Its combo of sleek design and utility will make you feel like you’re getting a touch up backstage at fashion week. And the combo of an oval head and circular tip make application on your cheekbones, temples and under the eyes so easy that you may start expecting everything to be just as convenient. So don’t be surprised if—after using this brush—you’re tempted to hire an assistant to manage your schedule, get your meals and make sure your room is always stocked with exactly three white orchids, a single macchiato and one-and-a-half bottles of room temp alkaline artesian water.
If you’re trying to achieve contouring that will make KK throw up the praise hands on Insta, then you absolutely need to pay attention to blending. Blending well will affect your overall look and make the difference between contouring success and a stripe-y mess. And not just any ol’ foundation sponge will do. This pointed sponge by NYX Cosmetics gives you the control you need to blend with ease and create a chiseled look that is also, well, on point.
Did this article elevate your contouring game? Let us know in the comments below!