Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Best Contouring Product you’ve tried?

Share your favorite!  And don’t forget to share why :)

Thanks to Amy for this week’s topic!

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97 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Contouring Product

  1. Christina

    Definitely NYX’s taupe blush! First one that doesn’t look orange on it!

  2. Sara Khan

    Benefit hoola is the only one that works for me

  3. Kathleen

    So far I love Nyx Taupe. It’s grey-ish which is perfect and not too dark which is also perfect for my uber fair skin tone.

  4. Antonia

    NYX blush in Taupe because it’s the only one that works for my pale complexion. :)

  5. I love Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer. Plus you get a ton of product for the money – $32.00 for 0.74 oz! I also love MAC Harmony blush for contouring.

  6. Emily

    La Femme large eyeshadow in Taupe. Like Nyx’s Taupe Blush, it’s not orange or too dark. It’s just a nice light shadowy color that beautifully suits fair complexions. It’s subtle enough for daytime wear. And it’s very inexpensive!!

  7. Crap I forgot the name, but the contouring creams from MAC, the one in Coffee Walnut. SO perfect for a ton of skin tones (can’t remember the name because it WAS SOLD OUT when I tried it, they left the tester out and got me all excited=[ )

  8. Kathryn

    I usually use NYC sunny, but if I’m going for a really natural contour I use Maybelline eyeshadow single in earthy taupe (I’m very very pale).

  9. NORMA

    MAC sculpt powder

  10. kitten

    nyx taupe, love that it’s cool toned

  11. TheBalm Bahama Mama bronzer! It is matte and has a slight grey undertone so looks more like a shadow! The powder is so creamy and you barely need any. I always use it on my youtube channel- TheBeautyBox1211

  12. Rebecca

    I’m in love with Sleek MakeUp’s contour kit. I use the light kit which is great for light/medium complexions. What I really love with this kit is the highlighter. It’s a soft peachy colour that give the perfect glow to my skin, without being too shimmery. Seriously love it.

  13. Lexy

    So glad someone asked this question, I find it so hard to find a good contouring product!! I’ve been using nyx all over bronzer and it’s ok.

  14. June

    Too face Chocolate Soleil – doesn’t come off orangy and smells amazing!

  15. r0saL1n3

    Bare mineral’s warmth and Benefit’s Hoola (hoopla???)…and whatever powder I bought in a darker shade by accident.
    Matte eyeshadows works too, I use MAC’s cork sometimes to contour my nose.

  16. Chloe

    Definitely Kevyn Aucoin’s the sculpting powder. Perfect grayish brown for fair to light skin tones. Although expensive, but it’s worth the splurge and lives up to the hype.

  17. AmyD

    i’m liking nars casino for contouring my (nc42-44) skin, and i especially love the sin/casino blush/bronzer duo, sin is an amazing blush!

  18. Dolly

    NYX Blush in Taupe

  19. Angelique

    My personal favorite is Too Face Chocolate Soleil. It is matte and the perfect shade for my NC30 skin. The color is actually brown not reddish brown. It warms up my face perfectly without making my face look like I have a fake tan.

  20. Christine lombardo

    Chanel Notorious. Awesome!!!!

  21. xamyx

    I have yet to find my HG, but I much prefer to use cream-based products. So far, I have a Max Factor Pan Stick in a medium-deep walnut shade that works well for me.

    As for powders, I actually plan to pick up NYX contour/highlight, which is in a split-pan, matte white on one side, and a cool dark brown on the other. Because both halves are next to each other, adjusting the color should be easy. I actually swatched it a few days ago, but wanted to do some research, first.

    As for tools, I absolutely *love* my Sonia Kashuk flat contour brush. It works well for creams & powders, and is so easy to clean.

  22. Tiffani

    I’m exited for today’s question! My HG product (MAC’s Strada blush) was d/c’d, and I’ve been looking for something that won’t look orange or dirty on me. I’m extremely pale and cool-toned, and anything with the slightest hint of orange/bronze looks like I’ve tried to paint my face like a pumpkin. Looks like I need to try out NYX’s Taupe!


    DOLCE & GABBANA TAN BLUSH is simply the best brown/grey matte contouring powder.
    Everyone with pale cool skintone should try this it is my total HG.
    Would also like to get my hands on the CHANEL NOTORIOUS sculpting powder too.

  24. Raya

    I love the Too Face Chocolate Soleil. I’m NW25. I like the fact that it is not orange or redish nor grey. The perfect shade for me.

  25. snm

    Mac taupe blush.I also love the cream color base in “Root” shade.

  26. MUFE Sculpting Kit in 04 Dark. I has a ultra light powder for highlighting and deep contour shade. Both work well with most skin tones and even I can use the deep shade to contour with a light very light hand.

    New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny makes for a good contour for fair to medium skin tones.

  27. Contours are a challenge because the colour never seems to be right for me and my neutral skin. Strangely enough, I like cream highlighter, but prefer powder contour. I’m using a blush right now for contour because it’s the closest thing I have to a completely neutral colour that doesn’t come off orangey or muddy on me. It’s the Strada blush from the MAC and Gareth Pugh collaboration. I used to use MAC Harmony blush, but find it oxidizes and turns orange on me and it’s too dark for my skin. The Strada blush does not oxidize or change colour and it’s much lighter and softer. I have a really light hand when it comes to contour because heavy contour isn’t a good look for me.

    I finally did succumbed to temptation and found Chanel Notorious which is on its way so I’m hopeful it’s going to be my HG.

  28. Jenny

    Chanel Notorious is a great product!

  29. Didi

    Chanel Notorious! I’m so mad I didn’t order more than one. I went to a Chanel counter in Macy’s asking if they had any and the ladies were looking at me like I was crazy.

  30. My favorite is NYX blush in taupe: it’s mat and perfect for my skin tone!

  31. Abbey

    I use MAC Wedge usually. I have very fair skin and it is nice and subtle and never looks dirty or orange. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Illamasqua Hollow as I usually prefer cream products. Hopefully that will become my new favorite :)

  32. Mariella

    I’d love to try Chanel’s Notorious but (a) it’s awfully pricey for someone who (b) doesn’t have a lot of success with or patience for contouring and who (c) find that her full face makes her look considerably younger than she is and (c) it’s a LE product that is notoriously (pardon the pun) hard to find.

    So far, the best things I’ve tried have been TheBalm’s Bahama Mama bronzer or MAC’s eyeshadows in Wedge or (even better and probably closer to Notorious) Omega!

  33. Valerie C.

    Without a doubt it’s MAC Symmetry eye shadow used for eyes or face. I think it’s only at the pro stores now and only available in a small pan(formerly in a large pan) I’ve been using It Cosmetics bronzer lately, but, it’s not as perfect as the MAC shade :)

  34. BooBooNinja

    Chanel Notorious!

    Ps is there an eyeshadow that’s similar to MAC Sculpt?

  35. Sara_BeauTime

    I just got Tom Ford’s shade and illuminate and I don’t understand what it is so popular. what works best for me is Chanel notorious. I think they should make it permanent. Although I am warm toned, this one looks gorgeous, almost like a shadow and changes how my face looks immediately.

  36. ange kronaus

    macs harmony normally or bourjois bronzer (lighter shade)!

  37. Sunny

    I absolutely adore contouring and highlighting with cream products for daytime. I’m really enjoying MAC Copper Beech at the moment from their pro sculping cremes limited collection. I’m kicking myself for not picking up another one. When I finish this, I think I really want to try the Graftobian palette next, I’m excited! For an added contour during the night, I love the Sleek contour kit in medium for my skin tone. The shade and the highlight are perfect. For reference, I’m an NC37-40

  38. Gotta go with Chanel’s Notorious, which really does look like a perfect shadow on my face. Mac’s Strada blush- a little paler and pinker- also works for me.

  39. Rachel

    Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow. I find the cream much easier to apply subtly on my pale skin, and because it’s really good as an eye shadow base as well it’s great value!

  40. Monica in SoCal

    I suggest MAC Prism. It’s the closest dupe I could find when I ran out of Strada.

  41. Rene

    Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Nights Bronzer

  42. t_zwiggy

    Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder and MAC Strada blush. They never look orange or muddy and are they are both very easy to blend. I’m NW20-25, light-medium peachy skin.

  43. Rachel

    i actually use the eyebrow powder in the benefit brow zings! it’s a dark, cool-toned brown that can’t be found in any powder foundation shade i’ve ever seen. a few come close but why change what is working so well? i really can’t stand the way bronzer looks as a contouring product on anyone else or myself, although it’s acceptable at night or in the summer.

  44. Lirael

    Maybelline tough as taupe.

    Only stayed 4 hours on my eyes but is a great cool toned cream contour.

  45. coco

    I’m NC35, and it seems like every color I tried – wouldn’t look right on me! After watching several Youtube tutorials on contouring, I decided to try a cream formulation instead of powders. I was going to try the True Match or Milani cream to powder formulas – but both have terrible reviews on makeup alley. Then i remembered the IMAN line at target, and thought why not? It had really good reviews too! If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a line catered more towards medium/deep tones (i think the lightest shade is NC30ish), but it has a large variety of deep shades. I bought the Second to None Foundation stick ($17) in Earth 1. I picked this shade based on the shade chart on the iman website – they say you should contour with 3 shades darker than you skin tone – I’m NC35 – so I went for the NC50 equivalent….and it’s AMAZING! I wish i would’ve gotten this sooner! It’s super creamy, and blends in sooo nicely! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

  46. Clare

    I like the new-ish Revlon 4-in-1 bronzer (from this year’s summer collection). It’s matte and customizable!

  47. Fyrinnae’s Matte Bronzer in Medium for my NW30 skin! Although it’s a bit messy because it’s a loose powder. It’s a nice ashy color to sculpt my face and I look super faboosh with it on!

  48. Sara

    For someone who is quite pale (i.e. me) Copperplate MAC shadow works well. This tip came from Mr. Dusty O Hunter so I want to give him fare dues. I feel like it would work in a way similar to Notorious, which I’d like to get my hands on, though I don’t always contour so I’m not in a rush.

    • Julia B.

      Notorious is limited edition and pretty much sold out everywhere. If you want to get it I would get a move on. I had to have my local Saks order mine from Chicago. It’s definitely worth it, especially if you are pale.

  49. Rekha

    I use Nyx blush in taupe, but want to try Chanel’s Notorious. How are people ordering it when it’s not on the website and sold out (at least from what I’ve seen). I placed two orders for it three weeks ago and they both got cancelled :(

  50. I’m NW35/NC42(I’m very neutral so I use NW foundation and set wit NC) and I used to use Black Opal stick foundation in Mocha, as a cream contour and set the contour with The Balm Bahama Mama bronzer(I still do this occasionally) but recently I’ve been using Mac pro sculpting cream in Coffee Walnut and set with Revlon matte eyeshadow single in Sable, sometimes I mix both methods, like using the Mocha cream & Sable powder, or Coffee Walnut cream with Bahama Mama powder

  51. Mette Line

    I love MAC’s “Omega” and “Copperplate” eyeshadows, if I wan’t a more cool look. I’m a NC20. And MAC’s Sculpting Creme in “Coffee Walnut”. SOmetimes I use MSF in “Medium Dark”, for a more warm look.

  52. Julie

    NARS Laguna…by far my fave!!

  53. I’m obsessed with contouring, so I’ve tried many, many, many products during this time. My top 2 are Shiseido concealer #5 (bronze) for cream contour and Ben Nye contour powder #1. I’m around NC30-35.

    Other ones I like are Burberry Earthy, Shiseido bronzer #2, Benefit Hoola, Giorgio Armani Sheer Bronzer #1 and currently trying Nars Zen. I’ve tried TheBalm Banana Mahama and quite liked it.

    The worst I’ve tried is Mac MSFN in Deep Dark and Guerlain Terracotta #2, both made me look extremely orange.

    However, any powder or concealer at least 2 shades darker that one’s skintone can be a great contouring product in my opinion.

    • kisha

      im OBSESSED too :) i was using mac blunt til i moved on to nyx bronzer but im currently loving mac sculpting cream (richly honed) becuz once it blends beautifully!!

      • I tried Mac Blunt too!!! But it’s a bit too dark for my skin so it made me look burnt :(
        For some strange reason, I didn’t feel attracted to Mac sculpting creams so I didn’t try them :s

    • xamyx

      I really like NARS Zen, as well, and it was my go-to over the Summer. However, since I’m using my Fall/Winter foundations, it’s the slightest bit too warm.

  54. Hannah

    I am very pale and I love Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow to contour!

  55. Mischa

    UD Naked, and MAC Omega.

  56. Mimi

    I’ve tried so many but finally hit the jackpot on Tom Ford’s bronzing powder in “Terra”. I am a fairly pale brunette and the vast majority of bronzers are too yellow golden to look natural on me. Terra is perfect! Warms my skin gently without skewing the color. Doesn’t add redness either. Super fine powder blends seamlessly into skin with no powdery look. I’m tossing all the others.

  57. Amanda

    I love using benefit Hoola bronzer. It has a very cool undertone so it makes the perfect contour powder

  58. Laura

    Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow and Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. I also like MAC Strada for a more subtle contour

  59. Dani

    The majority of the products I use are from high end brands like NARS and Josie Maran, so I was so shocked to find how much I love the ELF Cool Bronzer (the one with the four different shades) compact. I still use Laguna lightly applied around on the outsides of my face, but for more defined contouring I love the two brown shades in this compact. I wear Gobi in the Sheer Glow foundation and consider myself to have a warm skin tone, but for some reason this cooler-toned bronzer works wonders!

  60. Katrina

    Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate is the holy grail for me. I’m NW15 so most powder sculpting products such as bronzers wind up looking like there is dirt on my face. It is also really hard to find a light bronzer that doesn’t pull orange. S and I solves both problems for me. It blends beautifully.

    That being said, I only like the contour color in the pallet and prefer to use my Becca shimmering skin perfecter as a highlighter. The illuminate portion of the pallet just doesn’t give you that dew glow from within look that I love from a great highlighter. If only, Tom Ford would sell these products separately, I could get a full pallet of the best sculpter on the market and leave behind the meh highlighter.

    • tyler

      Opposite opinion here. The contour color is too yellow for me (~NW25), but the highlight is just naturally luminous. The contour color is okay if Notorious is ontop of it, though.

  61. Joanna

    The best contour powders are the ones that are truly “shadow colored” and blend with your skin to create the look of an actual shadow resukting from bone structure. I love Nars eyeshadow Blondie, Illamasqua eyeshadow Heroine and MAC sculpting powder Shadowy. These are all similar to the Chanel Notorious, however they are more matte and lack the slight lavender/purple tone. Also the MAC sculpting cream is good, but only Coffee Walnut looks like an actual shadow to my eye for most skin tones. There is also a good NYX matte eyeshadow that is great- I think it’s shade 9. Excellent and has a slight green cast which I think looks amazing on blondes/warmer light complexions. They don’t look green at all on the skin, it’s just an undertone that just neutralizes and blends so well on warm light skin tones like a real shadow. I’m NC20/25.

  62. Nicole

    I’m pale but I think this would look great on everyone! Perfect neutral shadowy shade! Illamasqua cream pigment in hollow!!!!! The best

  63. Amy

    I’m below NC/NW 15. Matchmaster 1.0 looks horridly orange and tan on my skin. I tried taupes like MAC’s Omega, UD’s Naked, Illamasqua’s Hollow, etc. and they all turn orange on my skin even though my skin is neutral. I’m thinking my only savior is going to be Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder in Medium or Chanel’s Notorious.

  64. Amy

    I love that this is about contouring products and a lot of answers are actually bronzers xD not that you can’t use it to contour, it probably just won’t look as natural as something grey-tinged.

  65. Sleek Contour Kit in Medium and MUFE Mat Bronzer are my HG contour products.

  66. Jen

    I LOVE contouring!!! My current obsession is Burberry Earthly, it’s the perfect shade for me, and it’s dummy proof – it seems that no matter how much I layer on it looks great. I also have and love the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate. Honorable mentions go to Nars Laguna, Benefit Hoola, and honestly one of my all time favorites – the Chanel Soleil de Tan cream bronzer. That’s another that seems dummy proof.
    To me, a LOT about contouring is about using the right brush!!!! I use the Hakuhodo medium Yachiyo for my powder contouring and it’s perfect!!!

  67. Nicole

    Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder, hands down. It is very subtle and looks like a shadow rather than makeup on my face. The texture is amazing, it is completely matte, and it is not too orange or too taupe (overly cool tones look too ashy or grey on me). I never got contouring until I got this product. I am NC25. It makes a great eyeshadow, too.


    Seriously ??????? No one else uses DOLCE & GABBANA TAN BLUSH for contouring ?????

  69. Teresa

    NARS Laguna when I use warm tones of blush and LM Plum Smoke for cool. (LM’s plum smoke I think is a dandy substitute for Notorious – I’ve been using it for a year and because her shadows are so tightly pressed, I’ve only made a small dip!).

  70. sara

    I like MAC Take Root Cream Color Base, but lately I’ve actually been using MACs Copperplate eyeshadow, it gives the look of an actual shadow and not dirt. I am very fair and most products just make my face dirty.

  71. Sara B

    This might be a dumb question, but I’ll ask it anyway: I’ve always been wary of using eyeshadows anywhere other than my eyes, wondering if there are ingredients in them not in face/cheek products that might make me break out. Is this something I can honestly worry about, or am I just being silly? Thanks :)

    • Usually, it seems like eyes are more sensitive than say cheeks/face, so if it’s OK for eyes, it’s usually fine on cheeks or elsewhere. Products like blushes, on the other hand, can contain irritating dyes for the eyes!

  72. donna

    Nobody uses bobbi brown bronzer? I use the color medium i think and it works amazing! I love Benefit’s hoola bronzer too but it’s just a little bit darker. So in the winter time I use Bobbi Brown. I think the powders are completely the same, nice finish, not powdery, not dirty looking on my lighter skin. I love them! And ofcourse Too Faced Chocolate Soleil!

  73. Frckls

    MAC Eyeshadows (Espresso, Wedge) and Benefit Hoola. I am currently NC35 and have been favouring Espresso of late. I haven’t triedbut Inglot mattes must be amazing, too.

  74. Line

    I LOVE MACs Charcoal Brown. I use it every day both for brows and for light contouring. I use it with a medium-sized fluffy, dense brush, and I am a NW20-25…

  75. I am learning so much about different brands here. Spares me a whole bunch of time to go and check them one by one. Thanks so much! I use Smashbox matte bronzer, Harmony by MAC, Warmth by Bare Escentuals and Matte Bronze by MAC. Will definitely try some of the recommendations here.