Contouring Products and Tools: Your Ultimate Guide

October 01, 2020
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
Contouring Tools & Products: The Ultimate Guide

Contouring was a well-kept makeup secret among pro artists for many years, but not only is the secret out, but there are also now so many products available to help you master the sculpting technique at home. Here, we’ve compiled an all-encompassing guide to contouring products and tools, from palettes to two-in-one sticks.

Contouring Products

Before contouring, start your makeup routine with a primer, foundation and concealer. Once you’ve laid down your foundation, you’re ready to sculpt. Choose from a contouring powder, a cream or eyeshadow. 

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. You can use a product specifically created for the task or a matte bronzer. Try the NYX Professional Makeup 3 Steps to Sculpt Face Sculpting Palette or the Maybelline New York City Bronzer.

Contouring With a Cream

Some people find liquid contouring products easier to blend and achieve a natural look. Again, you want to choose a shade or two darker than your natural skin. 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.

Contouring With Eyeshadow

If you don’t have any of the contouring items listed above on hand, you can use eyeshadow. Try a matte brown or taupe-colored shadow for contouring. The Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette contains several of these shades that could be used to contour. 

Contouring Application Tools

Aside from choosing the right product, your blending technique is the key to achieving a perfectly contoured look. Luckily there are makeup tools that will help you get that flawless finish. 

Contouring Brushes

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

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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