What do you like about Contour Powders? What don't you like?

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Contour Powders

I don’t reach for the much any more, so for me, they’re usually just an extra step I’m not willing to add to my routine these days. I love when brands actually put out neutral and cool-toned highlighters, though.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

I have always had very high cheekbones, but time has caused a little bit of sagging of the skin. Contour powders and certain tones of bronzer can give me the appearance of tauter skin and chisel my cheekbones out in all their glory. So I do love them for that.
The catch being that it must be the correct tone and depth in order to mimic a natural shadow instead of an overdone IG look. That can be tricky. I only dislike the extreme use of them seen in drag and IG.

Deborah S. Avatar

I don’t use them often, feeling like the effect is never really flattering on me. I have a couple of really cool toned ones so that if I do decide to use them, they suit me but in general, it is hard for me to find one that suits me. They tend to be pretty warm undertoned. When I decide to contour I usually use the Sephora eye shadow in Tranquil but I don’t see enough difference when I do use them to make it worthwhile and time effective to do it often. When I am done, I generally wish I hadn’t contoured. They look great on IG photos but in real life I feel like the are disappointing.

Rachel R. Avatar

LIKE: I like like cool-toned, grayish-taupe powders. I’m really heavy and have a rounded, heart-shaped face, so I like to use a little contour give my face some dimension. I use it under my cheekbones, and a very lightly around my chin. I have a very wide nose, so I contour the sides to make it a little more narrow and give it dimension. Otherwise, I look like one of those muppets that have the big triangle piece for a nose.

DISLIKE: It’s so hard to find a shade light enough for very fair skin. I hate that so many brands seem to think contour is the same thing as bronzer, and make contour warm and orange. Not a good look on me.

CatG Avatar

If I’m doing full makeup, then I do contour because I like being able to add more angles to my round face but since finding my HG (Life’s Entropy contour stick in Alpha) I never use powders. I’ve never been able to find a powder that really looks perfectly right on my skin tone so that’s what I would say that’s what I don’t like about contour powders!

Ana Maria Avatar

Although I only contour my cheekbones (you won’t see me working on my nose or jawline), a good contour powder is a must for me. I don’t feel that my blush or bronzer look good without a base of contouring underneath.
I love myself a neutral-cool toned contour, something that doesn’t look too ashy on my warm yellow tone complexion, which is quite hard to find.

Daniel Avatar

My face is quite round, with a wide forehead, so contour powder helps me to look more like an adult and less like a child. I also like every now and then to wear my makeup in a very alien-like, almost scary way, and contour powder helps me achieve the hollow cheekbones and sharp angles look.

Lauren Avatar

I honestly have never owned a contour (other than what might be in a face palette) and don’t feel like I’ve missed out. It isn’t that I have high or chiseled cheeks by any means – I’m a heart shape leaning round – but I just find it to be an unnecessary step for me that never looks quite right. Sculpting/contouring can look AMAZING on some people and I admire the artistry behind making it look natural and not muddy.

Lesley Avatar

I don’t bother with contour any longer but when I did use it, I found powders extra difficult to use because I always picked up too much on my brush. I needed to use a very small brush to get the right amount and then a larger blush to blend. I did much better with creams, and my best one was a repurposed ColourPop SS shadow.

brendacr1 Avatar

My face is round, so if I don’t do a little contour it looks like a flat pancake. I can do powder or cream, just a touch, mind you, I don’t want to look like a drag queen, to quote Nancy T. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Genevieve Avatar

I don’t use contour powders at all, with my fair complexion they would end up looking falsely dark on me.
I think that very few people could apply them properly either. Quite often the shades look either orangey or too dark. Not a fan at all.

Heather Avatar

I’ve never seen a need for my face shape (oval) and features (high cheekbones, structured/defined jaw line and petite nose. But if I was going to contour I would choose a neutral, leaning cool toned contour powder and go light on the application. I like when you can’t really tell someone has contoured, but their has more dimension, that is when you know it has been done well.

Wednesday Avatar

I have one powder by Kevyn Aucoin which I have had for a couple of years (or more) and I feel no need for more product. The shade looks like a dulled down coolish bronzer (quite hideous really), completely matte not too dark or light and it’s so perfect for me, I see no necessity for another. I wish I could say the same thing about bronzer ?

I like to put a very light application in my cheekbone hollows and I use a small bit on my nose. I also use some under my chin. My skin is still tight there fortunately, but I like my jawline to look well defined.

I think finding a good shade for your skintone is pretty much trial and error.

Jen Avatar

I have high cheek bones that I love but am really full in the jaw and chin, so I like using some contour to bring a focus to my positives and offer a hint of shape elsewhere. I just haven’t found a color that I really like yet. It seems like many skew warm and I’m quite pale and cool toned.

Susan Avatar

Not sure what is meant by contour powders but I always put a sliggtly deeper color in my crease.
OK, nevermind. I understand now. I occasionally use a countour powder sl darker than my skin tone for my jawline and the sides of my nose. This is usually in summer for after dark.

Eileen Avatar

First of all, I must admit that I’m completely over the contouring fad. The excesses seen on Instagram, You Tube and on the Kardashians (lol) killed it for me. . True, when it’s well done it can look great from a distance, but close up it always looks phony. I think the biggest problem most people have is selecting the right color and texture—one that looks like natural shadows and blends seamlessly with the complexion—and then using restraint in applying it. So few people get it right. I used to contour many years ago but nowadays, other than a bit of highlighter on my cheekbones, I can no longer be bothered

Irene Avatar

Sometimes I prefer them to bronzers because I have very pink undertones even with more golden or yellow- based foundation, it only cancels out a little bit of pink since I only put on a little bit. Most bronzers are too yellow for my skin and contour powders like MAC Sculpt suit me more because they are a little more taupe/neutral.

Bernadette Avatar

This subject just made me think I could test out my Bobbi Brown Greige eye pallette for this purpose. ? Who knows….might be good here.

Dawn Avatar

Kevyn Aucoin Contour Powder in Medium for my fair neutral complexion is a step I take everyday in my makeup application, I feel my face looks wayyy too round without it. I’m Mac NC10 or Lancome Teint Idole 090. This is the first one I’ve found that doesn’t make my face look dirty or muddy. I’ve been extremely interested in contour creams, but can not for the life of me find one that blends easily or doesn’t take off my foundation. (Chanel Soliel De Chanel (nice bronzer tho) , Pur Cosmetics (way too orange-y). I’m thinking of trying Huda or ABH next.

Jane Avatar

Like that they tend to be specialized for contouring, so they are cooler and if done well, really do help “hide” (illusion) what we see as flaws (saggy cheeks, little cheek bone, etc).
Don’t like: to buy special contouring powders due to having bronzers, but I do have cream ones. Go figure!

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