17 Best Contouring Kits Of 2020 – Buying Guide

by Mitha Shameer
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Contouring is something that has caught our attention a while ago (thanks to the Kardashians). The contouring technique has received much hype from beauty vloggers and celebrities alike. Frankly, who hasn’t been drawn towards the chiseled look sported by celebrities on red carpet events? But unlike celebrities, we generally like to play it safe. We tend to think that defining cheekbones and jawlines, and contouring our nose takes next-level makeup skills which can only be achieved by professional makeup artists. But with the right highlighting and contouring shades by your side, even you can master the contouring technique. Here, we have rounded up the best contouring kits of 2020 that would give you the creative freedom to try your hand at that perfect red carpet look.

Products
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Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette
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NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
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Youngfocus Contour Series Cream Contour Kit
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Beauty Junkees Exclusive Contour & Highlighting Palette
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Aesthetica Cosmetics Powder Contour Kit
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e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette
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Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit
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Maybelline Facestudio Master Contour Face Contouring Kit
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Lagure Minerals Cream Contour Kit
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17 Best Contour Makeup Kits Reviews Of 2020

1. Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit

One of the best contouring kits in the market, Aesthetica helps you achieve that coveted contoured look with their contouring palette. The contour kit includes 6 blendable shades of silky texture. These shades can be used to highlight, define, and sculpt your face to create the defined look. The best thing about this kit is that you get step-by-step instructions on how to contour like a professional with their contour mapping guide. The contour kit offers a great payoff with the highly pigmented contour creams that can be used to get that flawless airbrushed finish. The kit includes 3 foundation/concealer shades and 3 illuminating creams for contouring and highlighting respectively.

Pros

  • All the shades can be mixed and matched
  • Ideal for fair, light, medium, and dark skin tones
  • Dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • Removable and replaceable pans with a mirrored palette

Cons

  • Limited color options for darker skin tones
  • Slightly expensive

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2. Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette (Medium To Dark)

Finding the best contouring kit can be challenging especially if you fall in the medium to dark skin tones. But with the True Complexion Creme Contour Palette, you get three blendable shades that will help you highlight, shape, and sculpt your facial features. This contour kit is perfect for sculpting your jawline, defining your cheekbones, and perfecting the shape of your nose. All three shades are creamy, oil-free, and they blend easily to give you full coverage. With this kit, your search for the best contour palette for darker skin tones comes to an end.

Pros

  • Ideal for medium to dark skin tones
  • Blendable shades
  • Oil-free shades
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not highly pigmented

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3. NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

The NYX Professional Makeup brings you a pro palette with 8 contouring and highlighting shades. All 8 shades can be customized to define your favorite facial features. The product can be refilled so that you don’t have to invest your money on a new palette every time you run out of your favorite shades. Want more reasons to love this contour kit? This cruelty-free brand is PETA-certified and suitable for all skin tones.

Pros

  • Refillable palette
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ideal for all skin tones
  • Perfect for highlighting and contouring

Cons

  • The building up may be time-consuming

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4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit comes in a sleek black design and is ideal for light to medium skin tones. This contouring kit features 6 shades — 3 highlighter shades and 3 contour shades. All the shades have a powdery texture and offer shimmer and matte finishes. The shades are easily blendable and are perfect for layering to offer a satin finish. The kit includes both warm and cool shades to perfectly match with your skin tone and offer buildable coverage.

Pros

  • Removable and refillable blocks
  • Can be layered to intensify results
  • Blendable
  • Shimmer without oiliness

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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5. Youngfocus Contour Series Cream Contour Kit

Conceal and contour quickly with this travel-friendly contour kit from Youngfocus. The contour palette contains 8 creamy shades that can be mixed and matched to create the chiseled look you always admired. Ideal for a wide range of skin tones, the contour kit features a lightweight concealer that will make your contour last long. The green shade can be used to neutralize red cheeks and to cover redness caused by acne. The dark yellow shade can be used around the eyes and mouth to even out the skin tone. The contour kit has got every shade you could possibly need to cover all the imperfections and highlight your facial features.

Pros

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic and non-irritating
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ideal for all ages and suits all skin tones
  • Removable pans
  • Talc, paraben, and gluten-free

Cons

  • May not be effective on oily skin

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6. Beauty Junkees Exclusive Contour & Highlighting Palette

If you are still looking for a contour kit to effortlessly sculpt and chisel your face, then you might want to take a look at this makeup kit from Beauty Junkees. The palette features 3 contour and 3 highlighter shades that are highly pigmented. All 6 shades are soft pressed powders and offer a matte finish. The multi-functional shades also work as concealer, brow definer, and eye shadows. The darker contour shades can be used to define and sculpt whereas the lighter highlighter shades can be applied to cover dark circles under your eyes, and brighten and lift your cheekbones.

Pros

  • Multi-functional shades
  • Offers natural flawless finish
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Travel-friendly

Cons

  • Best suited for lighter skin tones

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7. Aesthetica Cosmetics Powder Contour Kit

Whether it is defining your favorite facial features or adding dimension to your face, this contour palette has got you covered. The palette features 6 pressed powder shades, 3 for contouring, and 3 for highlighting. The lighter illuminating powders can be used to enhance the nose, jawline, eyes, and cheekbones whereas the darker matte powders can be used to define features. The step-by-step guide makes it easy for you to contour like a pro. The shades can be blended for custom skin tones and they offer a matte finish.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types and ages
  • Removable and replaceable pans
  • Includes a contour mapping guide
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • Gluten, paraben, and talc-free formula

Cons

  • Not suitable for dark skin tones

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8. e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette

If you are not a fan of too many choices, this contour palette from e.l.f. is exactly what you need. Featuring four shades, this powder contour palette can be used to sculpt and brighten your face to create the desired look. Formulated using vitamin E, apply the shade of your choice to highlight, bronze, and contour your face for a flawless look. This contouring kit is suitable for light to medium skin tones and is free of phthalates, triclosan, nonylphenol, triclocarban, ethoxylates, parabens, and hydroquinone.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • One of the best drugstore contour kits
  • Offers a luminous matte finish
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Does not suit dark skin tones

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9. Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit

Finding the best contour palette can be tricky when you’re always on the go. You need something simple and classy that is compact enough to fit into any handbag. This Face Contour Kit from Sleek MakeUp comes with minimum fuss. The kit features a pressed highlighter and contouring powder for that beautifully sculpted look you always dreamed of. The easy-to-blend matte contour powder can be applied to define the facial features whereas the illuminating highlighter can be applied to those areas of the face where the light would naturally fall.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Travel-friendly
  • Ideal for light skin tones
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for medium and dark skin tones

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10. Maybelline Facestudio Master Contour Face Contouring Kit

This contour palette from Maybelline comes with a cheat sheet and eliminates the guesswork when it comes to contouring and highlighting. The Face Contouring Kit

features three shades that help you contour, blush, and highlight. All shades are blendable and buildable to create the customized makeup look. The kit also includes step-by-step instructions for a foolproof contouring experience. The palette is available in two shade combinations for light to medium and medium to deep skin tones.

Pros

  • One of the best contouring kits for beginners
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable contouring kit
  • Brush included
  • Ideal for light, medium, and deep skin tones

Cons

  • Not cruelty-free

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11. Lagure Minerals Cream Contour Kit

This contour kit makes it to our list of the best contouring kits for its creamy and blendable contour shades. The palette features 6 shades that are ideal for every skin tone. Designed in a travel-friendly palette, the contour kit comes with a step-by-step guide for easy contouring. Perfect for creating shadows and highlighting the best features of your face, the creamy shades offer a radiant glow. If you don’t love this kit already, we are here to tell you that it’s cruelty-free as well.

Pros

  • Non-toxic cream
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Cruelty-free
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Exclusive guide included

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a brush

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12. Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit

Just take a look at the reviews, and you would know why this contour kit is a favorite among beauty bloggers and stylists alike. The Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit is one of the best contour kits available in the market today. The kit includes three shades to highlight, bronze, and contour your face effortlessly. The blendable powders are universally flattering to match every skin tone and kit includes a free contour brush. The travel-size packaging also makes it easy to carry the kit on the go.

Pros

  • Universal shades
  • Compact design
  • Includes a contour brush
  • Includes step-by-step instructions

Cons

  • Expensive

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13. Lorac Pro Contour Palette & Pro Contour Brush

If you haven’t already mastered the art of contouring, this contour palette has everything you need. Packed with one shimmer and two matte highlighters, the palette can be used to conceal and brighten the under-eye area and focus on the high points of your face. The matte contour shades are available in light, medium, and deep shades that can be used to define the facial features and create natural shadows. All the shades can be mixed and matched to create custom looks and they work well on eyes and brows. All the shades featured are universal and match perfectly with every skin tone.

Pros

  • Comes with a contour brush
  • Ideal for light, medium, and deep skin tones
  • Can be used for brows and eyes
  • Infused with soothing, high-quality ingredients

Cons

  • Contour shades may be difficult to blend

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14. Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled To Perfection

Finding the right contour kit can be a challenge especially when you are a beginner at the contouring technique. Contouring is made easy with this kit from Too Faced that has four universal shades for you to choose from. The kit includes two contour shades, a matte highlighter, and a “Pop of light” shade with a luminous finish. Formulated using the antioxidant-rich cocoa complex, they are free of parabens and gluten. With a yummy chocolate scent to it, you would definitely love having this in your makeup collection.

Pros

  • Ideal for light to medium skin tones
  • Comes with a contour Buki brush
  • Mirrored palette
  • Pleasant scent
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • The bronzer maybe a little reddish

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15. L’Oreal Infallible Total Cover Concealing And Contour Kit

Finding the best contour palette doesn’t have to cost you a ton. This contour makeup kit from L’Oreal is one of the most affordable contour kits to add dimension and depth to your face. The kit features 4 creamy contouring shades that can be blended or used individually for concealing and contouring. The shades offer full coverage and can be used to cover scars, dark circles, and blemishes on your skin.

Pros

  • Affordable contouring kit
  • Easy to blend
  • Highly pigmented
  • Doesn’t get cakey or greasy

Cons

  • May not be easy to use for beginners

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16. Ulta Contour Kit

The best contour kit is one that simplifies the art of contouring while giving you a flawless makeup finish. And the Ulta Contour Kit does just that. The kit includes six shades, with two highlighter shades and four bronzer shades. The shades are of powdery texture and offer great coverage for healthy and glowy skin. The palette includes a tutorial card with instructions on how to define and enhance your facial features.

Pros

  • Includes 6 shades
  • Offers natural glow
  • Perfect for highlighting and defining features
  • Easy to blend

Cons

  • May not suit sensitive skin

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17. Magic Minerals Contour Makeup Palette By Jerome Alexander

With this contour kit from Magic Minerals, sculpting and defining facial features is made easy. The kit includes 6 blendable shades to contour and highlight different areas of your face. Formulated with minerals, the shades are hypoallergenic and free of fragrance. The palette offers long-lasting wear up to 12 hours so you don’t have to worry about touching up every hour. Ideal for every skin tone, the contour palette also includes a double-ended contour brush.

Pros

  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Mineral-enriched formula
  • Contour brush included
  • Long-lasting wear

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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Buying Guide Of Contouring Kits

What Is Contouring?

Contouring is a makeup technique that can be a real game-changer if done right. Contouring is done by applying a shade darker than your skin tone to create shadows and add more definition to your face. You can take your contouring game up a notch by using a highlighter which is a lighter shade to bring out the beauty of certain facial features.

Why Should I Use A Contour Kit?

A contour kit is used to shape, define, and highlight your face to create that sculpted, chiseled makeup look. Contouring helps to bring out the best facial features by focusing on the high points of your face.

How To Choose A Contour Kit?

There are two important factors to consider while choosing the right contour kit:

  • Cream or powder: Both cream and powder are excellent choices for contouring. While cream offers a more dewy finish, powder contours give a matte flawless finish. However, if you are a beginner, we recommend using a powder contour as it offers greater control and is not as heavy on the pigment compared to the creamy formulas.
  • Picking the right colors: When it comes to contouring, it’s best to go for one or two shades darker than your skin tone. For highlighter, choose a color that is one or two shades lighter than your skin tone/foundation. If you have fair skin, avoid products with an orange hue. For medium skin tones, shades with bronze hue work great and if you’ve got dark skin tone, opt for a deeper shade that has red undertones.

How To Use A Contouring Kit?

Prep your skin by applying a moisturizer or a primer. Next, apply a foundation that matches your skin tone for a smooth and even complexion. Using a contour sponge or a brush, apply the contour shade starting from your ear gradually towards your mouth by blending it gently. This adds definition to your cheeks. Similarly, you can apply the contour shade along your chin and the lengths of your jawline to create the desired look.

Features Of Contouring Kit

Each contour kit may vary as they are created based on the needs of different individuals. Here, we list down some of the most important features to consider when searching for the best contour kit that will suit your needs:

  • Color: As discussed earlier, it is recommended to choose a contour shade that is slightly darker than your foundation. Similarly, for highlighter, it is best to opt for a shade that is lighter than your foundation.
  • Formula: Both cream and powdery formula work great for contouring and the decision comes down to personal preference.
  • Blush: If you don’t have a blush in your makeup kit, it’s best to choose a contour palette with a blush in it. Blushes are essential to add that pop of color on the apple of your cheeks.
  • Contour brush: Since most contouring kits don’t come with a brush, it’s best to invest in a good quality brush to help you blend like a pro.
  • Price point: Contour kits can come as cheap as $7 to as expensive as $70. And an affordable contour kit doesn’t necessarily mean that you are compromising on quality. Look for one that suits your skin tone and skin type, and has everything you need. However, if you are a beginner at this, it’s wise to go for an affordable contour kit than a high-end contouring kit.

Contour kits can make a world of difference in the way you look. Though it may seem like a tough art to master, with a little practice we believe anyone and everyone can contour their way to create the perfect makeup look. Whether it is having a more defined jawline, smaller forehead, or giving a sharper look to your face, with the right contouring kit by your side, you are one step closer to creating the look of your dreams. We hope that with our list of the 17 best contouring kits, contouring would no longer be just limited to runway models and celebrities.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is a contour kit and how does it work?

A contour kit creates the illusion of sharp and defined features when used strategically with highlighter and contour shades.

How many shades darker should you go for contour?

It is best to go for one to two shades darker than your skin tone to create the perfect makeup look with contouring.

What products to use for contouring?

A basic contour kit should have a contour shade and a highlighter to create the desired look.

Is powder or cream contour better?

Both powder and cream contour can be used for contouring. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s safe to opt for powder contour as it is easy to use.

What do I need for beginner contouring?

Other than a contouring kit, it is crucial to invest in a professional contour brush or a blending sponge to make your makeup look more natural.

What is the best powder contour palette?

The best powder contour palettes are Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, Beauty Junkees Exclusive Contour & Highlighting Palette, Aesthetica Cosmetics Powder Contour Kit, e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette, and Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit. However, you can pick your own favorite from our list according to your preferences.

Do you highlight and contour before or after foundation?

Foundation should be applied before you highlight and contour your face. Foundation provides a good base for proper contouring. You can also apply a concealer if you want to cover the under-eye area for an even skin tone.

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