5 Makeup Artists on Their Go-To Contour Kits

When in doubt, consult the experts.

By: Jodi Taylor
Illustration: Meghann Stephenson

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We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t really know what the hell we’re doing when it comes to contouring. But we’re working on it. In other words, asking for pro tips from the experts in our Rolodex at any and every chance we get. The most important place to start? With the actual palette itself. You see, contour palette options are pretty endless. Some prefer powders, while others opt for creams. We turned to celebrity makeup artists Pati Dubroff, Robert Greene, Min Min Ma, Quinn Murphy, and Suzy Gerstein for their go-tos in contouring. Prepare for some killer cheekbones.

 

“I’m really loving Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Shapeshifter. I don’t like to go hard on the contour, but when a little contour is in order, it needs to be done with a correct combination of creams and powders and variations on tones. This handy palette has a lot of shades and textures packed inside, so it’s the perfect way to customize for perfect angles.”

 

“I pull from many things depending on my needs, [but] I do use the Charlotte Tilbury duo often. The contour color is classic taupe on the deeper side, and the highlight shade is great—not overly shimmery, not too white/frosty, but more warm candlelight.”

 

“There are two contour kits that I really love. The first is Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour palette. There is a good mix of cool and warmer undertones that satisfies a light to medium skin range. The pigmentation is strong and easily blended, which is most important. I prefer the powder formulas because I feel this is the easiest way to contour. A two-step cream and powder application can be very heavy.

“The second, coming in two different kit options, light or dark, the Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Skin Shapeshifter is a three-in-one product, so I really like that. The kit contains powder and cream formulas. I like the compact packaging containing everything you need in one box. The shades are beautiful and warm, easily blended, with great pigmentation. Having so many colors and products in one component also allows you to play and experiment, which is also fun.”

 

“I like a subtle contour effect, so I prefer using a bronzer (that’s not too warm or orange) to sculpt facial features while giving a sun-kissed glow. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow is one of my go-to contour palettes, along with the Powder & Sculpt Brush.”

 

Suzy Gerstein

CV includes: Ebonee Davis, Taylor Schilling, and Alanna Arrington

Kevyn Aucoin’s The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II is a great product. I love layering highlighting and sculpting creams and powders for extra depth and extended wear. The tones in this one are nice and neutral, so they won’t go muddy as more reddish brown or tan contour products can. Chanel’s Palette Essentielle is another new favorite of mine and so easy to apply with fingertips on the go. I particularly love the flushed colors in the palette as a counterpoint to the sculpting tones, as they bring the face back to life and make the contour and highlight look more believable.”

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