The right contour kit can not only make your best features pop, it can help disguise any perceived imperfections, while allowing you to play with your makeup routine. Finding the best contour kit for your makeup bag means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available hues and formulas. With the right contour kit, contouring and highlighting your best features can be a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of contour kits to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in wear tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated contour kits makeup lovers can purchase to ensure a sleek and stylish look. To complete your makeup collection, check out our list of the best makeup kits. You’ll also want to invest in a good makeup mirror to apply your look like a pro – and if you’re in search of fabulous lashes, we review the best eyelash extensions in a separate post, as well.

Top PickAesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit

Everything you need to achieve a contoured look in one palette

$28.99 USD

We’ve identified the Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit as the best contour kit out there. With a choice of six highly blendable cream shades to choose from, this contour kit is one that will leave your face looking chiseled and highlighted to perfection. These benefits allow you to put your best face forward, no matter how much sleep you might have gotten the night before.

In This Article

The 5 Top-Rated Contour Kits

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating
Best Overall Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit 4.1
Runner Up Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Cream Kit 4.4
Best Budget Buy e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Makeup Palette Set 4.1
Best Contour Kit for Beginners Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit 3.9
Best Contour Kit for Professionals MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette 3.7

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit

We chose Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit as our top pick because it comes complete with everything you need to achieve the contoured look in one palette. The kit includes a contour mapping guide and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to get the perfect look on every face shape.

Those who purchased and reviewed this contour kit appreciated that it came with a mirror on the inside of the lid for application and touch ups on the go, and commented on how the gentle formula didn’t irritate their skin or cause breakouts. Many reviews mentioned how easy the creams were to blend, and that they provided excellent coverage.

With an MSRP of $28, it’s not a cheap product, but the quality ingredients and design, as well as the ease of application and use, more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with more than 1,100 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing beauty lovers that this contour kit is worth the investment.

Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit Key Features:

  • Formula is 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • Suitable for use with all skin tones
  • Matte finish

Runner-Up: Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Cream Kit

Runner-up

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Cream Kit

A great contouring kit at a surprisingly affordable price

$20 USD

The Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Cream Kit landed the second place spot on our list because although it has fewer and less favorable reviews than our top pick. It comes complete with six cream hues to sculpt and define your features.

Those who purchased and reviewed this contour kit commented on how smooth the creams applied, and how well the brushes stood up to multiple applications and washings. Some reviews mentioned that the product could be a bit difficult to get out of the palette, and that it had a faint smell until it was blended into the skin.

With an MSRP of $20, it’s not overly expensive as far as contouring kits go, and the ease of use along with the added value of the included brush set more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.4 on Amazon with nearly 30 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing beauty fans that this contour kit is another solid choice.

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Cream Kit Key Features:

  • Includes a money-back guarantee
  • Complete user guide included
  • Paraben-free, cruelty-free, vegan formula

Budget Pick: e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Makeup Palette Set

Best for Budgete.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Makeup Palette Set

A budget-friendly option with easy application and long-lasting wear

$7.00 USD

The contour kit from e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Makeup Palette Set is really the best you can get at a price point that won’t break the bank. It offers a selection of four different powder shades, which makes it easy to blend and customize to match nearly any skin tone. It’s also infused with vitamin E to help nourish the skin through use.

Those who purchased and reviewed this contour kit appreciated that it came with a large mirror for ease of application, and that the colors were buildable. Some comments mentioned that the product didn’t blend as seamlessly as its more expensive counterparts, but with some technique corrections they could balance the effects.

With an MSRP of $6, this contour kit is a solid choice for those looking for a contour kit option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with nearly 300 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing beauty lovers that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at sculpting and highlighting as its more expensive counterparts.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Makeup Palette Set Key Features:

  • Directions included on the package
  • Available in a choice of two skin tone options
  • Certified cruelty-free and vegan formula

Best Contour Kit for Beginners: Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit

Best Contour Kit for BeginnersSmashbox Step by Step Contour Kit

A nice all-in-one kit for those who are new completely new to contouring

$31.70 USD

The Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit is the best contour kit for beginners, as it comes complete with a selection of three powders to help add some definition to your face makeup routine for a glowing, sculpted look. This kit also includes a handy angled brush for ease of application, which means you don’t have to make a separate purchase or hunt around for just the right tool.

Those who purchased and reviewed this contour kit said the shades were excellent for the task at hand, and that they offered subtle yet noticeable results. While the included brush is handy if you are completely new to makeup, several comments mentioned how it didn’t blend the products very well.

With an MSRP of $30, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use and included brush helps justify that price. It has a rating of 3.9 on Amazon with more than 100 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing beauty lovers that this is a great kit to get started with when it comes to learning the contouring technique.

Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit Key Features:

  • Includes a how-to guide for every face shape
  • Suitable for use with all skin tones
  • Matte finish

Best Contour Kit for Professionals: MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette

Best Contour Kit for ProfessionalsMAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette

A professional-quality product for those with good knowledge of makeup application techniques

The MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette is a great choice for professional quality use, and comes complete with four concealers and two corrector shades. While not specifically sold as a contouring kit, many professional makeup artists actually use this kit to contour as well as correct skin for makeup application.

Those who purchased and reviewed this kit said they loved the coverage this product provided, and that it stood up well throughout the day. Some comments mentioned having to use lots of product to get coverage, but this also means you can build it up to your individual needs.

With an MSRP of $60, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of application more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 3.7 on Amazon, and although there are less than 50 reviews as of publication time, we still think this is an excellent choice for those looking for a contour kit for professionals. It likely has so few reviews due to the fact that the majority of people who purchase MAC products do so at one of the store’s makeup counters and not online. Given its cult-like status, we think it still goes a long way in convincing makeup lovers to make the investment.

MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette Key Features:

  • Suitable for use with all skin types
  • Available in a choice of shades
  • Enriched with antioxidants for nourished skin

Who Should Buy a Contour Kit

A contour kit is an ideal choice for those who are looking to add more definition to their appearance. Especially for those with little to no noticeable cheekbones or jawline, a contour kit can be a real game changer.

By creating the illusion of more defined cheekbones and jawline, a contour kit can help people to transform their look. Once used solely by makeup artists at fashion shows and for fashion editorial photoshoots, the practice of contouring began to take off in the mainstream thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians.

A contour kit can also help to give the appearance of an even skintone, along with highlighting desired features.

Top Pick Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit

Everything you need to achieve a contoured look in one palette

$28.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

Not all contour kits are created equal. A contour kit should match your skin tone and blend seamlessly for a flawless finish. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best contour kit for your needs:

  • Formula. Contour kits come in two formulas: powder and cream. Which one you choose will largely depend on your preferences when it comes to makeup. That said, those who are new to contouring will appreciate the greater control offered by powder products.
  • Color. After you’ve chosen your contour formula, it’s time to find the right color for your skin. When it comes to choosing a highlighting shade, go with one that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation. For your contouring color, choose a shade that’s one to two shades darker than your foundation. Those with fair skin should steer clear of products with orange tones; while those with medium skin tones should opt for more bronze hues. Those who have darker skin tones can use colors in deeper shades with red undertones.
  • Don’t forget blush. Crucial to balancing out your contoured look, a pop of color from a blush is essential for pulling your look together. Apply this to the apple of your cheek for the most natural appearance.
  • Invest in brushes. While many contour kits come with a brush or two, nothing beats the application you’ll get from a professional set of makeup brushes. Because blending is such an important part of proper contouring, you’ll want to invest in the best brushes you can afford. Natural brushes are the best when it comes to working with powder contour palettes.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a contour kit. Contour kits vary in price from $10-$80 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a contour kit and how does it work?

A contour kit is simply a selection of makeup in both highlighting and contouring shades. When applied in a strategic manner, it can give the appearance of more defined facial features.

How many shades darker should you go for contour?

When selecting the best shade for contouring, professional makeup artists advise going one or two shades darker than your foundation for the most natural-looking results. You should always test out shades before committing to a particular product.

What products do you need to contour?

Any contour kit should include at the bare minimum a highlighter and a contour shade. This will allow you to achieve a basic contoured look. Some kits include a bronzer and/or blush to provide increased definition and a more natural appearance.

Do you highlight and contour before or after foundation?

You should always highlight and contour after you’ve applied your foundation. You want to have a good base in order to apply your highlight and contour product to, and your foundation provides that. Makeup artists recommend applying any concealer before you begin contouring as well.

Other Contour Kits We Reviewed

Top Pick Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit

Everything you need to achieve a contoured look in one palette

$28.99 USD

We looked at 20 other contour kits. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best contour kits list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option to add to your makeup bag. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

  • Contour Kits for Beginners
  • Contour Kits for Professionals
  • Cream Contour Palettes
  • Contour and Highlight Kits

Contour Kits for Beginners

City Color Cosmetics Contour Effects Palette

This contour kit is excellent for beginners as it contains three coordinating shades to highlight, contour, and bronze for a sculpted appearance.

Key Features:

  • Provides long-lasting coverage
  • Includes easy-to-follow instructions
  • Not tested on animals

Cost: $7

Maybelline Makeup Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick

This stick contour features a creamy formula that is easy to apply, with a choice of two sides for ease of application.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of three coordinating colors
  • Matte finish
  • Blends well

Cost: $8

Maybelline Facestudio Master Contour Face Contouring Kit

Contour your face in just three easy steps with this all-in-one kit boasting a powder formula.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of two coordinating colors
  • Includes step-by-step instructions
  • Angled brush included

Cost: $10

CoverGirl TruBlend Contour Palette

Designed by celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath, this contour kit comes complete with ultra blendable formulas to highlight, contour, and bronze.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of three coordinating colors
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free formula

Cost: $5

ColourPop Sculpting Stix

Simply twist up this crayon’s precise tip to dab on coordinating colors for a perfectly sculpted look in no time.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Ideal for pale skin
  • Highly pigmented formula

Cost: $12

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Triceratops Multi-Face Palette

Bucking the traditional matte finish of most other contouring kits, this palette features three shimmery shades to let you get your glow on.

Key Features:

  • Includes a brush
  • Smooth powder formula
  • Labelled for easy application

Cost: $37

Contour Kits for Professionals

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Cheek Contour Duo Palette

This contouring duo features a coordinating highlighter and contour shade and boasts a highly blendable formula for a flawless finish.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of five coordinating colors
  • Enriched with vitamin E
  • Powder formula

Cost: $2

Boolavard Professional 15 Colour Concealer Palette

This professional palette comes complete with 15 customizable highlighting and contouring shades to help you emphasize your best features.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for all skin tones and skin types
  • Highly pigmented cream formula
  • Includes a brush for application

Cost: $8

NARS Contour Blush

Take the guesswork out of color choices thanks to these complementing powder shades sure to fit any skin tone.

Key Features:

  • Highly pigmented powder formula
  • Provides long-lasting coverage
  • Available in a choice of five coordinating shades

Cost: $40

Cover FX Contour Kit

This contour kit includes four numbered pans that blend seamlessly for an incredibly natural appearance.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of six coordinating shades
  • Mirrored case
  • Includes step-by-step instructions

Cost: $25

Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Refillable Palette

This popular palette comes complete with a selection three matte highlighters and three contour colors.

Key Features:

  • Pop out the used color when done and replace with new pan
  • Mirrored case
  • Paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free

Cost: $69

Cream Contour Palettes

Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette

Perfect for those with darker skin tones, this contour kit comes complete with three buildable colors to contour and highlight your best features.

Key Features:

  • Oil-free formula
  • Includes step-by-step instructions
  • Provides long-lasting coverage

Cost: $7

e.l.f. Cream Contour Palette

This contour kit comes complete with three contouring shades as well as one highlighter.

Key Features:

  • Highly pigmented cream formula
  • Includes step-by-step instructions
  • Mirrored case

Cost: $6

M.A.C. QuikTrik Stick

This double-ended contour stick boasts an easy-to-blend creamy formula that is perfect for newbies and pros alike.

Key Features:

  • Buildable intensity
  • Available in a choice of six coordinating shades
  • Provides long-lasting coverage

Cost: $37

Youngfocus Cream Contour Makeup Palette Kit

This contour kit comes complete with eight shades to help users expertly sculpt and define their best features.

Key Features:

  • Removable and replaceable pans
  • Includes step-by-step instructions
  • Suitable for all skin tones

Cost: $14

Contour and Highlight Kits

Honest Beauty Contour + Highlight Kit

Contour and highlight your entire face in just seconds with this kit that offers an easy to apply and blend powdery formula.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of two coordinating shades
  • Free of talc, petrolatum, and mineral oil
  • Contains no synthetic fragrances

Cost: $34

Tarte Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette

This palette comes complete with six shades in both cream and powder formulas, perfect for those with combination skin.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Mirrored case
  • Dermatologist tested

Cost: $33

Lorac Pro Conceal/Contour Palette

This palette features four different cream highlighters and eight cream contouring shades that can also be used to conceal and color correct.

Key Features:

  • Mirrored case
  • Application brush included
  • Provides long-lasting coverage

Cost: $80

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

This contour and highlight kit comes complete with eight shades and is suitable for use with all skin tones.

Key Features:

  • Pans can be rearranged and refilled
  • Highly pigmented powder formula
  • Provides long-lasting coverage

Cost: $20

Elizabeth Mott Contour Kit and Highlighting Powder Palette

This contour and highlight kit comes complete with six shades and includes step-by-step instructions for precise application.

Key Features:

  • Cruelty-free and paraben-free formula
  • Mirrored case
  • Long-lasting powder formula

Cost: $17

The Best Contour Makeup Kits

From high-end to budget-friendly, check out the best contouring kits of 2018 for every skill level.

As a MyUS member, you can purchase any of these kits from US websites and ship them in as few as 2-4 days. Even better, you’ll pay no US sales tax on your purchase!

10. MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette $35

This palette from MAC has four concealers and two corrector shades, but many pro makeup artists use them religiously to contour as well. Buy the palette here.

9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Original Contour Kit $40

Prefer a powder contour kit? This six shade palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills has three shades for highlighting and three for contouring, all with a blendable satin finish you’ll fall in love with. Buy it here.

8. Kat Von D The Shade + Light Creme Contour Palette $49

Want your contouring to last all day and all night? Kat Von D’s The Shade + Light Contour Palette is the first-ever 24-hour high-pigment contour palette. It’s velvety, non-greasy, insanely blendable and great on all skin types. Buy it here.

7. Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit $16

Not only does Sleek’s contour kit contain six creamy, blendable contour shades, but it’s half the price of most kits! Even better, they have a video tutorial on their website that takes you through the contouring process step by step. Buy it here.

6. The Complexionista $32

This palette from Benefit has six shades to conceal, bronze, and highlight like a pro. Buy it here.

5. E.L.F. Contour Palette $6

Looking for a professional quality contouring kit without the fancy price tag? This palette from e.l.f. has four powder shades, making it easy to customize to match your skin tone, and it’s infused with vitamin E for a gorgeous, nourished complexion. Buy it here.

4. Focallure Contouring Sticks $17

Creamy, highly blendable, and long lasting, this four-piece set makes it easy to contour on the go! Buy the set here.

3. LORAC Pro Contour Palette Plus Contour Brush $45

Created by celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw, these velvety-smooth powders make it easy to contour just like a pro. Buy it here.

2. Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit $35

Sculpt, shape, and pop your features with this step-by-step contour kit from Smashbox with three shades for defining, bronzing, and highlighting. Buy it here.

1. MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette $40

These soft and creamy powder formulas blend effortlessly for a luminous glow and flawlessly contoured finish. Buy it here.

We love bringing the best products and offers to our members, but some of the contour kits featured above may have purchase restrictions, or may not take all forms of payment. Please check the merchant’s terms of sale, shipping guidelines or terms and conditions for more information.

Contour kits are a staple in our makeup arsenal. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago barely any of us contoured. Sure, we smothered our base in bronzer, but carefully sculpt and shade we did not.

If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between contour and bronzer, allow us to explain. Bronzers are warm toned and designed to bring colour to your face. We use them when we want to fake that healthy just-back-from-my-hols glow. Technically, bronzers can be applied all over, but they’re mostly saved for areas where the sun would naturally hit aka tan.

Despite contour products seeming similarity in terms of shade, use, ect, they really couldn’t be more different. For starters, a good contour product should be cool instead of warm toned. This is because, rather than bringing warmth and colour to your complexion, they’re meant to take it away. The role of a contour powder/cream/stick is to mimic natural shadow. FYI cooler toned browns are grey based.

You should apply your contour to the areas you’d like to detract. This could be down the sides of your nose to create the illusion of a slimmer bridge, beneath your cheeks (the most common place) for more prominent cheekbones and along the jaw for more definition.

Different products are better suited to different parts of the face. For example, sticks are great for hard to reach areas like your nose, MAC’s Studio Perfecting Stick in NW45 is our faves because it’s so slim.

After killer cheekbones? Take your pick of powder or cream – but consider your skin type first. For oily complexions powders are paramount. Kat Von D’s Shade & Light Face Contour Palette comes with contour and highlight colours, so make room for it in your makeup bag.

For dry and ageing faces, a souped up cream packed with hydrating ingredients should sit at the top of your list. Westman Atelier’s Face Trace Contour Stick and Morphe’s Contour Stick are our faves.

If you’re after a full throttle beat, your best bet is to layer. Start off with a cream or stick, we suggest Huda Beauty’s Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream, then set it in place with Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder. Keep in mind that you’re doubling the density of the product so it will be a lot darker and opt for lighter shades to counteract it.

As always, we’ve covered all budgets, so whether you’re watching your wallet or fancy treating you self – there’s one for every price point.

Best makeup for contouring

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