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I hate when contour powders and bronzers are marketed as one in the same–because they’re not. 🙁 I can’t contour with glittery/shimmery orange-tones!

Only rants: I am not a fan of powders for the reasons you have listed above. Also, I apply my contour under my foundation so prefer to use a cream product. I like it to look super subtle, not like muddy or fake tan face. Powders run too warm, turn orange on me, and are tougher to blend to manage a convincingly natural look. So I’m a big fan of ABH stick foundation in colour Shadow; they nailed the right tone and colour balance for my NC20 neutral olive skin. I prefer it vastly over any HAC palette powder or cream including ABH’s other offerings.

I just ordered the ABH foundation stick in fawn to try as a contour but hadn’t thought to put it under my foundation. I will give it a try. I am very pale and cool undertoned so I have been having a struggle finding the right powder products. Thank you for the great information.

I’ve been using the ABH in Fawn for contour ever since it was released. Before that I was a strictly powder contour user, now after getting used to the stick, I feel I cannot get a natural look with any of the powders I have. The only other cream contour that has come close is the one in MUFE Pro Sculpting Palette in 20. I’d rate the ABH Fawn an A+ and the MUFE a B. While the ABH stick may not be the best formula for an all over face foundation, IMO it is close to perfection as a cream contour! (And a darn good buy at $25!)

Ooh thanks for the tips, going to Sephora for a MUPE contouring demo on Friday. Will check out the other suggestions as my coloring is the same.

I don’t know if it is me or the products but I have a difficult time with contour products. I am super cool toned and there are only a few really good cool toned contour products on the market. I have used several drugstore eye shadows in greyish/mauve tones and they are okay but nothing that is really great. I guess it is lucky that I live in Montana and don’t have much occasion to contour!

I’m in the same boat as you. I’m very cool (and fair) and I only contour my jawline. For simplicity I use MAC Omega eyeshadow, which works great. I would love a recommendation on a contour.

I have used Omega also in a pinch. I also have used NYX Taupe and Tranquility by the Sephora brand. They are all just okay on my NW5 complexion. I had just picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation stick in Fawn which I have heard is good for cool toned fair complexions and saw Wendy’s application technique of putting it under foundation for a more natural look. I am going to give that a try and will try and remember to report back. Thank you.

I am fair and cool toned too. I can recomend a shadow from NYX contouring palette if you like powder contouring. The problem is: you actually do not need a whole palette, the bronzers there are a bit dangerously pigmented and dark for fair skin. They blend good, but somehow need too much presizeness and concentration for the morning.I live in Germany, but as far as I know nyx offers also refill pans for this palette and if you can find it – it is really nice thing.

I totally agree with you Christine.So many are warm toned and that is not going to create a natural looking shadow.The only place a warmer toned contour looks great is on the nose.I use Hoola Bronzer to as a powder nose contour and it is warm but I use Anastasia Beverly Hills stick cream contour in Fawn or Mink if I’m tan or the newer Kevyn Aucoin The Liquid Contour Wand in Medium(this is a nice product but it dries down quickly so you have to blend it as soon as you lay the product down)as a base in a cooler tone before I set it with the Hoola.Im interested in trying Benefit Hoola Stick contour but it is so warm I would definitely only be using it on my nose.I also feel like since so many people are interested in contouring and highlighting because it’s a huge trend that brands should be creating neutral and cool contour powders.If your new to contouring and try to go in with a warm toned contour powder and use it as an actual contour not a bronzer it can look really fake unless it’s blended right and matches your skin tone.

Anyone have a suggestion for one that doesn’t look like mud on a light/medium complexion? I have given up on the contouring deal. I have tried creams and powders. Covergirl to NYX to Nars to ABH to KVD to MAC. Not kidding. I thought they all looked awful. Now I just use a non-red, matte bronzer (like Hula) to add some dimension, and leave it at that.

I don’t know how accessible these are to you, but I am loving my Heimish (Korean brand) blush palettes; it’s a trio and the contour is more of a grayish tone. It’s subtle though (standard for Korean) so I don’t recommend it for anyone with darker than a darker than medium complexion.

I do have a Heimish face palette but the contour is definitely a lighter more red undertoned contour which doesn’t work for me. I like the highlight and blush in the palette which was why I purchased it. Do you have a name on the palette or number that I could check out? I bought 3 eye shadow palettes, a couple of lipsticks and a makeup removing balm from Heimish and really love them all. Thank you.

Oh, they pulled cool on me. My favorites are the Stay Blossom and Peony Floral palettes, which is their two cool-toned blush palettes.

I love the LunatiCK Cosmetics Labs Contour Palette. Pricey, but they do go on sale often. It has a range of light to dark cool toned (grey) shades, blushes, and some warm toned (light to dark) shades. Also includes white and yellow. You can also purchase each shade individually now. I never do my makeup without it! (I also use it as eyeshadow as well.) I think you can only find it online. (They are also on Instagram).

Linda, Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder in light he also sells a liquid contour wand in light but I think the sculpting powder light is even lighter in shade.

What you said, Christine! ^^^
I do use them for subtle definition, not Instagram level contouring. Even though I have a more warm olive complexion, I avail myself of Nyx Taupe or MAC Blunt to contour, as the natural shadows on our faces are generally a grayer taupe or brown tone than, say, a bronzer would give no matter what color our skin is.

I very rarely do contouring or bronzing but when I do I like Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder in medium but he also offers a light that would work for very fair to fair complexions. It is definitely a cool toned contouring powder. If you own his sculpting powder I don’t think you need any other unless you want a cream or gel.

Love: I can use as little or as much as I like to contour and I’ve finally found a few that are easily blendable/work with my skin tone.

Hate: SO many have reddish tones which always look muddy and terrible on me. I also don’t like when a ‘contour” product is marketed as a “bronzer” nope, not the same thing.

Why on Earth do makeup companies, people who manage colors for a living, think shadows on human skin are orange or red toned? I end up using Sephora’s eyeshadow in Cashmere Coat, which is a slightly warm grey that does a great job of mimicking a real shadow.

If any of you are fair/light or between light and medium, the best cool tone contour powder I have found is very inexpensive: Sephora Tranquil No 26 Contour Powder, ITEM 1661123, $7.00. It’s on sale now, which means it’s probably going to get discontinued soon. If it is, a lot of people are going to be furious!!! I just called and the supervisor told the person who I was talking to that it’s been reduced because it’s been included in the spring special, and is not going to be discontinued. (But who knows!) It’s regularly $14.00. I’m fair with pink undertones and this is one of my beat-the-bushes little gems. L.O.V.E.I.T.

For point of reference, it’s matte and lighter than the KA original sculpting powder (which I have, too, but still like the Sephora better). I haven’t tested it against the lighter KA. It blends easily and with the right brushes, can be applied for a lighter color or built up to the pan color.

I agree with you 100%! So few neutral or cool ones, it’s almost like we’re leaving out about 40% of the makeup wearing population!

Rave: er, no – cannot see the benefit at all of a contour powder
Rant: unnecessary, expensive hyped up product, difficult to apply, unnatural tones, overly shimmery………….

Too orangy warm…, agreed! Or, too ashy grey. I have had some luck substituting foundation made for WOC blended into my fair/light, pink foundation, but I’ve been having a terrible time just finding a regular foundation lately. (Just when I find one I sort of like, it gets discontinued or reformulated.) Instead of using contour, I been using a trio of light, medium, and dark BLUSH to create some lift to my cheeks. How fantastic would it be if we could go to a place like the Bite Beauty Lab to get a custom foundation and contour rather than having to be our own alchemists?

This is true! A review of neutral/cool contours (if you can find any, lol) would be awesome! The closest I’ve come is NYX HD Blush in Taupe. I have to go easy, though, as I’m fair skinned.

So true! I find so many way too dark for myself. I like Dulce the Leche by WnW, is perfect in my skin and even then I diffuse it with a fluffy brush. I have two different colors from Nax Factir that are great also. I don’t think I’ll be buying another one ever any bronzer applied lightly can do the same trick since I’m very pale. Just a bit goes a long way.

The Catrice duo, cooler version is highly customer rated. It’s cream. Haven’t tried it, but it is liked. I’m coolish, and I use old Nyx Taupe, which is grayer than the HD version, and occ Mufe ash plum, when the contour spirit moves me. Mostly, kind of tired of the contour drill. Too many other things to work on.

The best cool-toned contour powder I’ve found is Inglot’s 504. It’s a cool taupe that doesn’t look muddy or orange on me. I use it as a contouring eyeshadow too. Buy it from Beautylish or in one of the rare Inglot stores though, Inglot’s online service is crap. Before I found Inglot 504 I was using Nyx’s Taupe.

MAC contour powder in sculpt is a perfect foolish taupe powder perfect for contouring fair to light skin without looking muddy pr orange. It can also double as a cool taupey eye shadow. I actually first learned about it here! It is available online under pro products, and comes in an individual pot that requires a pallets. But it has been released multiple times in LE collections in individual packaging and/or in compacts with complementary highlighting shades. I have stocked up when I find these because they are great for travel. At home I have the six blush insert in their large pallet and I filled it with Sculpt and Bone Beige contour powders, the two lightest highlighting powders, accentuate, which is a pale peach, and the very light ivory color. I added Prism and Style blushes, and with that pallet, I can do my whole NW15 face and eyes if I want to. For darker skin tones, the MAC pro eye shadow color taupe is a great cool contour color. It too is available online as an individual pot, but it too has been offered in individual packaging during LE collections. I stop there now, but on the past, a no name eye shadow from beauty supply stores named Cedar was a very close in between color to the two above. You can usually find eyeshadows that will do the trick, even if not marketed specifically for contouring. And Sephora offers several pre-packaged contouring kits that look like the one that I created for myself from MAC. So there certainly isn’t a dirth of cool tones contour products anymore!!

It’s hard to find one that isn’t too warm! Also, if you ever get acne on the sides of your face, contour powder makes it look so much worse. I have no choice but to skip using my contour powder altogether if I’m breaking out in that area, because the powder just sticks to and darkens those spots. I’m currently using the Elf Contour Palette, which has good colors for pale skin, but I don’t think I’m entirely satisfied with the quality (even though for $6, it’s brilliant)!

Rant: I agree that they tend to run much too warm. A lot of brands seem to consider bronzers and contours to be the same thing, and they’re not. Also, it’s very hard to find shades suitable for very fair skin.

Rave: They work well with my oily skin. A little contour powder does a lot toward making my face look less heavy and round.

I’ve noticed that my face (older 43) looks too skinny with contour even though it’s kinda fun to do. I have best luck with MUFE Cream bc it’s cooler (in the palette) bc I am be more precise and feel the edges of bones, etc than a brush, which kinda gets things everywhere.
For my particular face, I’m into “Brontour” kinda a cool/diffuse contour/blush with either Chanel Warming Base gel and a stippling brush (Jaclyn Hill reccs this and I gotta say, it’s on point) and also I like Glossier Cloud paint in dusk.
NC15 Btw, dry-to-normal

Makeup Geek seems to have some cool toned powders, as well as the contour palette from LunaTick Labs. Though I have not tried either, they look nice & I hear good things.

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