The Best Contouring Products and Tools to Achieve the Perfect Sculpt

November 19, 2021
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
Contouring Tools & Products: The Ultimate Guide

Sculpted makeup continues to be a super popular trend, and mastering your contouring technique can easily be done with the right products. Whether you prefer a natural contour or an angled sculpt, using certain textures can make all the difference. Here, we’ve compiled an all-encompassing guide to contouring products and tools, so you can create a perfectly sculpted look. 

Contouring With Powder

When contouring with powder, the general rule is to choose a shade that’s two shades darker than your natural skin color. Using a matte bronzer — like the NYX Professional Makeup 3 Steps to Sculpt Face Sculpting Palette or the Makeup by Mario Soft Sculpt Bronzer — will typically give you the best results. To sculpt, lightly pack the product onto a contour brush or an angled blush brush and gently buff it into the hollows of your cheeks, forehead, jawline and nose. 

Contouring With a Cream

Some people find cream contouring products easier to blend and achieve a natural look because they tend to melt into the skin. Similar to contouring with powder, you should choose a shade or two darker than your natural skin. We like the Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo Nude A-Contour because the formula is blendable and buildable. For more control during application, try a contouring stick like the Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick, which features both a contour and a highlighter shade. Simply apply the product where you’d like to contour and blend it out with a beauty sponge or brush. 

Contouring With Eyeshadow

If you don’t have a powder or cream contour on hand, you can use eyeshadow in a pinch, too. Try a matte brown or taupe-colored shadow for contouring. The Maybelline New York Nudes of New York Eyeshadow Palette contains several of these shades that can be used to contour. 

Contouring Application Tools

Aside from choosing the right product, your blending technique is the key to achieving a perfectly sculpted look. Whether you use a brush or a sponge, you can achieve that flawless finish you’re striving for. 

Contouring Brushes

For cheek, face and nose contouring, try an angular brush, like the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Angled Radiance Brush #10. The angled design will help you apply the contour product more precisely.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Angled Radiance Brush #10

Contouring With a Beauty Sponge

If you’re not a fan of brushes (or don’t own one), a beauty sponge like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Makeup Sponge, can also get the job done. Blend lightly, using upward strokes until there are no visible lines or color separation.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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