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What is Contour makeup? 12 Best Face Contouring Guide For Beginners

Everything to know about Contouring

Contouring enhances facial structure by applying darker shades to create shadows and lighter hues for highlights. Popular in makeup, it sculpts cheekbones, refines noses, and defines jawlines. Use matte contour products in hollows and shimmering highlights on high points. Blend for a natural look, practicing to perfect personalized techniques. Read here 12 Best Face Contouring Guide For Beginner.

What is contour makeup?

Contour makeup is a technique used in makeup application to enhance and define the natural structure of the face. The goal is to create shadows and highlights on specific areas of the face, giving the illusion of more defined cheekbones, a slimmer nose, a more sculpted jawline, and other facial features.

The contouring process typically involves the use of makeup products that are slightly darker than the natural skin tone (contour shade) to create shadows and products that are slightly lighter (highlight shade) to accentuate certain areas. Common products used for contouring include cream or powder contour products, highlighters, and bronzers.

Here is a basic guide to contour makeup:


Apply a contour product (usually a matte powder or cream) in the hollows of the cheeks, along the jawline, on the sides of the nose, and around the hairline on the forehead. This creates shadows and adds dimension to these areas.


Apply a highlighter (cream or powder with a shimmer or sheen) to the high points of the face. This includes the tops of the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the cupid’s bow above the lips, and the center of the forehead. Highlighting brings attention to these areas and enhances the natural light.


Blending is crucial to achieve a natural look. Use a makeup sponge, brush, or fingers to blend the contour and highlight products seamlessly into the skin, avoiding harsh lines.

Set with Powder:

To set the makeup and prevent it from smudging, you can use a translucent setting powder.


Contouring requires practice to understand the nuances of your face shape and the right placement of products. It’s important not to overdo it, as a subtle contour often looks more natural.

Contour makeup can be as subtle or as dramatic as desired, depending on personal preference and the occasion. It has become a popular technique in the makeup industry, especially in the realm of professional makeup for events, photoshoots, and other occasions where a more polished and defined look is desired.

What is the difference between contour and bronzer?

Contour and bronzer serve distinct purposes in makeup. Contour is typically a matte product slightly darker than the skin tone, applied to create shadows and define features. Bronzer, often with a warm, sun-kissed tone, adds warmth and a sunlit glow to the skin. While both enhance facial structure, they differ in intent: contour shapes, while bronzer warms and adds radiance.

What all do you need for contouring?

To achieve a well-executed contour, you’ll need a few key makeup products and tools. Here’s a basic list:

  1. Contour Product:
    • Choose a contour product that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. This can be a contour powder, cream, or stick.
  2. Highlight Product:
    • Select a highlighter that is slightly lighter than your skin tone. This can be a shimmery powder, cream, or liquid.
  3. Foundation:
    • Start with your regular foundation to create a smooth base for contouring.
  4. Makeup Brushes/Sponges:
    • Invest in makeup brushes or sponges specifically designed for contouring. A contour brush, a blending brush, and a makeup sponge are essential.
  5. Setting Powder:
    • Translucent setting powder helps set your makeup and reduce shine.
  6. Optional: Bronzer and Blush:
    • Bronzer can add warmth to the skin, and blush can provide a healthy flush. These are optional but often used in conjunction with contouring.
  7. Optional: Setting Spray:
    • Setting spray can help set your makeup for a longer-lasting finish.

Remember to consider your skin type and preferences when choosing products. Cream products are generally more suitable for dry skin, while powder products work well for oily skin. The key is to blend effectively for a seamless and natural look. Practice is also crucial to understand your face shape and achieve the desired contouring effect.

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Types of Contour Makeup

Contour makeup comes in various forms, and individuals may choose products based on personal preference, skin type, and desired results. Here are some common types of contour makeup:

  1. Contour Powder:
    • Matte powders a few shades darker than your skin tone are commonly used for contouring. They are applied to areas where shadows naturally fall.
  2. Contour Cream:
    • Cream contour products are often used for a more dewy and natural finish. They are applied before setting with powder and can be blended with fingers, sponges, or brushes.
  3. Contour Stick:
    • Contour sticks are convenient for precise application. They often come in a stick form that can be directly applied to the face and then blended with a sponge or brush.
  4. Contour Palette:
    • Contour palettes typically contain a variety of shades, including contour powders and highlighters. These palettes are versatile and suitable for different skin tones.
  5. Contour Gel:
    • Gel contour products provide a lightweight and buildable option. They are suitable for those who prefer a more natural look.
  6. Contour Pencil:
    • Similar to contour sticks, contour pencils are pencil-shaped products that can be used for precise application on specific areas of the face.
  7. Contour Liquid:
    • Liquid contour products offer a smooth and blendable consistency. They are applied using a brush or sponge and can be built up for intensity.
  8. Bronzer:
    • While not strictly a contour product, bronzer is often used to add warmth to the face and can be applied in areas where the sun naturally hits for a sun-kissed look.

When choosing a contour product, consider your skin type, the desired finish, and your skill level with makeup application. Experimenting with different types of contour makeup can help you find the products that work best for your individual needs and preferences.

What are the best contouring products?

The “best” contouring products can vary based on individual preferences, skin types, and desired finishes. However, There are several contouring products were highly regarded in the beauty community. Keep in mind that new products may have been released since then. Here are some popular contouring products:

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit:
    • This kit includes a range of matte contour and highlight shades suitable for various skin tones.
  2. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick:
    • Fenty Beauty offers a range of matte skinsticks that are easy to use and come in a variety of shades for contouring.
  3. Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder:
    • Known for its finely milled texture, this powder is popular for creating natural-looking shadows on the face.
  4. NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette:
    • An affordable option with a mix of contour and highlight shades, suitable for different skin tones.
  5. Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer:
    • Although technically a bronzer, Benefit’s Hoola is often used for contouring due to its matte finish and natural tone.
  6. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette:
    • This palette features a variety of matte contour and highlight shades, designed to enhance and define facial features.
  7. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correction Palette:
    • This palette not only includes contour and highlight shades but also color correctors for a comprehensive complexion solution.
  8. NARS Contour Blush:
    • NARS offers a contour blush duo with a contour shade and a complementary highlighter.

Remember to choose products that suit your skin tone and type, and consider your preferred formulation (powder, cream, or stick). Additionally, as the beauty industry frequently releases new products, it’s a good idea to check for recent reviews and product launches for the latest recommendations.

12 Best Face Contouring Guide For Beginners

Contouring can seem intimidating for beginners, but with some guidance and practice, you can enhance your facial features effectively. Here’s a step-by-step guide for face contouring for beginners:

  1. Start with a Clean Face:

  • Begin with a clean and moisturized face. Applying makeup on a well-prepped canvas helps achieve a smoother finish.
  1. Apply Foundation:

  • Even out your skin tone with your regular foundation. This creates a base for the contouring products to adhere to.
  1. Identify Your Face Shape:

  • Recognize your face shape (round, oval, square, heart, etc.). Different face shapes may require slightly different contouring techniques.
  1. Choose the Right Contour Products:

  • Select a contour product that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. This can be a powder, cream, or stick, depending on your preference.
  1. Locate Contour Areas:

  • Identify the areas of your face where shadows naturally fall. Common contour areas include the hollows of the cheeks, along the jawline, the sides of the nose, and the perimeter of the forehead.
  1. Apply Contour:

  • Use a makeup brush, sponge, or your fingers to apply the contour product to the identified areas. Start with a small amount and build up gradually for a natural look.
  1. Blend, Blend, Blend:

  • Blending is crucial for a seamless finish. Use a makeup sponge or brush to blend the contour product into your skin, avoiding harsh lines. Blending creates a more natural and subtle contour.
  1. Apply Highlight:

  • Choose a highlighter that is slightly lighter than your skin tone. Apply it to the high points of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and the cupid’s bow.
  1. Blend Highlight:

  • Just like with contour, blend the highlighter to avoid stark lines. This creates a balanced and harmonious look.
  1. Set with Powder:

  • Set your makeup with a translucent setting powder to prevent it from smudging and to keep it in place throughout the day.
  1. Practice:

  • Contouring is a skill that improves with practice. Experiment with different techniques and amounts of product to find what works best for your face shape and preferences.
  1. Optional: Bronzer and Blush:

  • If desired, you can add bronzer for warmth and blush for a healthy flush. Apply these after contouring and highlighting.

Remember, less is often more when it comes to contouring. Start with a subtle approach and gradually intensify the contouring based on your comfort level and the occasion.

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Which brand contour makeup is best in 2024

The “best” contour makeup brand can vary depending on individual preferences, skin types, and specific product needs. Different brands excel in different formulations, shades, and textures. There are several brands were well-regarded for their contour products. However, keep in mind that the beauty industry is dynamic, with new products constantly being introduced. Here are some popular and highly recommended brands for contour makeup:

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills:
    • Known for their Contour Kit and other contouring products, Anastasia Beverly Hills offers a variety of shades suitable for different skin tones.
  2. Fenty Beauty:
    • Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is praised for its inclusive shade range and innovative products, including the Match Stix Matte Skinsticks ideal for contouring.
  3. NYX Professional Makeup:
    • NYX is known for providing affordable yet high-quality makeup. Their Contour Pro Palette is a popular choice among makeup enthusiasts.
  4. Kevyn Aucoin:
    • Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder is celebrated for its finely milled texture and natural finish, making it a favorite for many makeup artists.
  5. Make Up For Ever:
    • Make Up For Ever is recognized for its professional-quality products. The Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correction Palette offers contour and highlight options.
  6. NARS:
    • NARS Contour Blush and other contouring products from NARS are well-regarded for their pigmentation and blendability.
  7. Benefit Cosmetics:
    • While primarily known for their Hoola Matte Bronzer, Benefit offers other contouring products that are popular for achieving a sculpted look.
  8. Huda Beauty:
    • Huda Beauty has gained popularity for its contour products, including palettes with a mix of contour and highlight shades.

Remember to consider your skin type, undertones, and personal preferences when choosing contour products. It’s also helpful to check for recent reviews and product launches, as the beauty industry is dynamic and continuously evolving.

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List of 8 Best Contour Brand in India in 2024

several makeup brands in India offer contour products that are well-regarded by consumers. Keep in mind that the availability of products may vary, and new products may have been introduced since then. Here are some popular makeup brands in India that are known for their contouring products:

  1. Maybelline New York:
    • Maybelline is a widely available and affordable brand in India. They offer contouring products, including powders and sticks, suitable for various skin tones.
  2. Lakmé:
    • Lakmé is a well-established Indian brand that offers a range of makeup products. Their Absolute Moonlit Highlighter is popular for contouring and highlighting.
  3. Nykaa Beauty:
    • Nykaa, an Indian beauty and skincare retailer, has its own line of cosmetics. The Nykaa Contour & Conquer Contour and Highlighter Duo is a product worth exploring.
  4. Colorbar:
    • Colorbar is known for its quality makeup products. The Colorbar Flawless Touch Contour and Highlight Kit is a popular choice among makeup enthusiasts.
  5. Faces Canada:
    • Faces Canada offers a variety of makeup products, and their Ultime Pro Face Palette is designed for contouring, highlighting, and blush.
  6. Sugar Cosmetics:
    • Sugar Cosmetics is known for its trendy and high-quality makeup products. The Sugar Contour De Force Face Palette is designed for contouring and highlighting.
  7. PAC Cosmetics:
    • PAC Cosmetics is a professional makeup brand that has gained popularity in India. Their Contouring Kit is well-received for its pigmentation and blendability.
  8. Bharat & Dorris:
    • Bharat & Dorris is known for its professional makeup products. The Contouring Kit by Bharat & Dorris is designed to suit Indian skin tones.

When choosing a contour product, consider your skin tone, undertones, and the specific formulation you prefer (powder, cream, or stick). Additionally, check for recent reviews to ensure that you are getting updated and accurate information about the product’s performance.

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