The 10 Best Contour Palettes

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in January of 2017. If you've ever wished your face had a more sculpted appearance, these contour palettes may be the perfect solution for you. Made for highlighting the eyes, adding shadow to cheekbones, and defining the nose and jawline, they can enhance your natural beauty while disguising problem areas. With a little makeup magic, you can create stunning definition and make your best features pop. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Covergirl Expert

2. Black Radiance True Complexion

3. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster

Editor's Notes

August 27, 2020:

We've made a handful of significant updates to the list this time around. Unfortunately, Lagure Minerals Premium, Niki Garret Matte, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Kit have been removed due to fulfillment issues and authenticity concerns. The good news is that Covergirl Expert, Black Radiance True Complexion, and Physicians Formula Bronze Booster have taken the place of those outdated products. The three new entries were chosen for their silky, easy-to-apply formulas, thoughtfully paired colors, and good value. To apply your new cosmetics like a pro, you'll need the right tools, so be sure to invest in some quality makeup sponges or brushes.

July 25, 2019:

Contouring has taken the cosmetics world by storm, and you'll scarcely see a celebrity on the red carpet without significant shading and highlighting that plays up — or down — their facial features. Most of the palettes we've included boast multiple light and dark shades for tackling every plane and curve of your face. Deeper shades are great for creating shadow under the cheekbones, and they can help make the nose and jaw appear smaller. There are also highlighters that can be used to add extra dimension to your browbones and the inner corners of your eyes. Plus, it's simple to customize your application technique to match your bone structure.

Ruimio Cosmetics and Elizabeth Mott have been removed due to fulfillment concerns. In their place, we’ve added the Glo Skin Beauty Face and E.L.F. Cosmetics Perfect, which both feature versatile shades that blend seamlessly. The former kit was awarded the top spot because of its high-quality ingredients and suitability for a range of skin tones.

Special Honors

Ulta Beauty Kit This six-pot palette contains everything you need to play up your favorite facial features. It comes with a simple how-to guide, making it a good choice for beginners. The colors are a little on the warm side, though, so it may not work well if your skin is especially fair.

Fenty Match Stix Trio For something a little bit more high end, the Match Stix Trio is the way to go. It comes in light, medium, tan, and deep. This cream product glides on smoothly, is easy to blend, and sets quickly once applied. Sure, it's expensive compared to many comparable products — but the quality is worth it.

MAC Studio Fix Sculpt & Shape Each of the six rich shades in this compact has a super fine shimmer finish that will add a pinch of extra glow to your look. The formula is non-acnegenic, meaning it's unlikely to cause breakouts, and it's also dermatologist tested for safety.

4. E.L.F. All-Day

5. Aesthetica Cosmetics Powder

6. Smashbox Step-By-Step

7. Lorac Pro

8. Nyx Professional

9. Beauty Junkees Combo

10. Glo Skin Beauty Face

Taber Koeghan
Last updated by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer from Santa Monica, CA, with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, San Diego. After completing her degree, she began writing and editing copy for a host of high-traffic e-commerce websites. Her areas of expertise include the beauty, style, pet, and home products categories, and she has plenty of experience covering literature and art, too. Her personal interests in crafting and decorating inform her writing and -- she hopes -- add a good bit of insight to her work. Outside of copywriting, she is a reporter and columnist at a Los Angeles community newspaper and is currently pursuing a master of fine arts in creative writing.

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