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10 Best Contouring Palettes

With so many products available, finding the best contouring palettes for individual needs can be frustrating when shopping online, but we’ve compiled our favorite kits in one convenient list. First, a contouring palette or kit offers individuals the tools they need to redefine the planes of their faces in a natural and pleasing way. For many years, contouring was only available to professional models, actors, and those who could retain the services of a makeup artist. However, today, anyone can add drama to their features and play up their bone structure in their own home. Most kits and products come in powder or matte stick form with application instructions to achieve the perfect effect.

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1. Aesthetica Cosmetics Contour Kit

Aesthetica Cosmetics Contour Kit - Powder Contour, Highlighter & Bronzer - Fair to Medium Skin Tones Best Contouring Palette

This kit is an ideal contouring palette for fair to medium skin tones. It incorporates all the powders required to create a perfectly contoured visage. Three luminous powders for highlighting and three matte powders for adding definition and depth are refillable and interchangeable, making the kit an ideal gift for a friend or a treat for oneself. A step-by-step guide provides expert instructions for methods to thin or define desired areas without any fuss. This vegan, cruelty-free product offers a perfect finish for daily makeup or a dramatic evening effect.

2. Contour and Conceal 3-Pack Sticks by Bouceans

Contour Stick, Concealer Contour, Highlighters Stick, Face Highlighters, 6 Colour Make up Concealer contouring stift, Makeup Double-end Highlight Contour Sticks Cream Set Bronzer and Highlighter Stick best contouring palette

Creamy and easily blended, these three dual-sided sticks are a great way to contour for personal needs. The concealer smoothes away blemishes, fine lines, and pores, while the different shades provide an array of options for creating an intricate play of shadow and light. Sculpt dramatic cheekbones, highlight eyes, mold or downplay a strong chin—the possibilities are almost endless.

3. Bronzer Contour Palette from e.l.f.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette, Four Powder Shades Perfectly Contour and Highlight Your Features, Light/Medium Best contouring palette

Create an effortless and natural impression with this contouring palette from e.l.f. Cosmetics. The neat, easy travel compact includes two bronzer shades for sun-kissed contouring effects and two dreamy, luminous highlighting shades to bring out the sparkle in your eyes. The beauty of this vegan and cruelty-free palette is that the shades may be used together, on their own for a warm sun-blushed appearance, or in any combination desired. Simply brush on the chosen shades over foundation and blend.

4. Smashbox and The Cali Contour

Smashbox The Cali Contour Palette Best Contouring Palette

With a name for cruelty-free excellence, Smashbox offers this luscious contour palette to perfect that perfect West Coast look. Three matte shades allow you to design a contouring concept that perfectly suits your own gorgeous bone structure so the look you create will be natural and flawless. Then, add some magic with two perfectly tinted pearlescent illuminating powders. Finally, a matte blush provides a subtle kiss of youthful color.

5. Cocoa Contour by Too Faced

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Best Contouring Palette

If this palette could be any more adorable, we’d like to know. But that’s just the beginning. Vegan and cruelty-free, Too Faced never uses any parabens or harsh chemicals in their cosmetics, meaning that you can expect a natural makeup contour palette without a hidden cost. Nestled in the compact kit are three shades—light, medium, and dark cocoa, which will help you effortlessly create the contoured effect you desire. Last but not least, the pop of light helps to highlight cheeks, orbital bones, and all the best beauty points you possess. It even comes with a tiny Buki brush for contouring away from your home base.

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6. Karity’s Influencer-Approved Contour Kit

Influencer Approved Contour Kit for Darker Skin - 6 Professional Contour Kit Makeup Palette Set Pro Palette High-end Formula (Highlight & Contour) (Tan Deep) best contouring palette

Finding perfect products tailored for sultry tones can be difficult, but Karity has it covered. This affordable contouring palette for dark skin is made with transparent pigments to avoid that heavy, sticky look. Designed by makeup artists in the U.S., each tint is tailored to creating a perfectly contoured look, with a little dazzle on top. Choose the shades that suit your needs—Goddess, Cori, Bae, Smile or Breeze, but don’t forget to Shine On. Not only can every woman look perfectly poised and sculpted, but you can feel great too. All profits go to Palettes for Paws, a charity that helps animals in need.

7. Tarteist ProGlo Palette by Tarte

tarteist PRO glow highlight contour palette best contouring palette

Often, makeup is ideal for only a small range of skin tones, but this contouring kit is perfect for any skin tone from light to dark. The six shades include matte shade and sculpt powders, with four sparkling highlighting tones that will add blush and mystery to your makeup effect. The featherweight powders are designed to be light and residue-free, making them ideal for all-day wear or a long night of dancing at the club.

8. Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette best contouring palette

Kat Von D offers her expert perspective when it comes to crafting depth through the cunning use of light and shadow. Her palette incorporates three soft, dusky matte powders for chiseled shading and three airy, bright highlighting powders. Each pressed powder is silken and builds effortlessly. With her step-by-step guide, every woman can create a perfectly sculpted impression in her own home. No makeup artist required.

9. La Bella Donna Natural Multi-Use Palette

La Bella Donna | Clean Color Multi-Use Palette, Formulated With Pure & Clean Ingredients - Eyes to Blush, Contour to Highlight, Natural Mineral Makeup Kit, No Parabens or Fragrance - Positano best contouring palette

This kit has several applications. It’s the perfect natural makeup contouring palette for light skin tones. However, the mineral-based makeup can also be used to add subtle definition to eyes or as a hint of blush. Each kit comes with two highlighting shades that shimmer irresistibly and four perfect matte powders that bring clarity and depth without heaviness. La Bella Donna offers only products free of talc, harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Their makeup is cruelty-free and hypoallergenic, perfect for all skin types from dry to oily.

10. Luscious Cosmetics Face Contour Kit

Face Contour Kit by Luscious Cosmetics | 4 Easy to Use Contouring and Highlight Powder Shades | Vegan and Cruelty Free Contour Palette best contouring palette

Each of the four powders is swans’ down-light and incredibly buildable for a perfectly blended effect. Certified both vegan and cruelty-free, Luscious also promises paraben-free products. A dark contour powder is ideal for rendering a striking jawline, while medium contour will make your cheekbones stand out beautifully. Highlighter brings out the romance of your cupid’s bow and the bright beauty of the central brow. The illuminator can be applied for added drama.

Now, you’ll star as your own makeup artist. Whether you’re most comfortable with a cream stick kit, mineral-based powders, or feathery and buildable vegan tints, you’ll find what you’re looking for with these products. Worn over foundation, contouring palettes provide just the right amount of emphasis to compliment office couture or can bring out shy cheek and chin bones in the seductive lighting of the club. Of course, the best contouring palettes are those versatile enough for day or evening wear.

Related resource: 10 Best Sunless Tanners

By BCR Staff

May 2019

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