If you ever scroll through Instagram, you will see ladies and men with the most stunning pictures. You see that they’re jaws are perfectly angular, their nose is incredibly straight, and their eyes pop out in brilliance. How do they do that? Chances are they used contouring sticks to achieve these incredible looks, and let’s not forget some photoshop goes a long way.
A contour makeup stick can help achieve a perfectly straight and thin face without doing much! We have come up with the top ten best contour stick list for you!
There are many forms of a contour stick, some of them aren’t sticks at all. Some types come in pallets with a dry powder that can be applied to your face over your foundation.
However, we love contouring sticks because they are usually cream-based, glide gently over your foundation, and easily blend outward. The trick to getting it to look almost natural is by blending it outward and making sure the consistency of the stick you choose can mix with your foundation.
Everyone has a unique skin tone and undertones. It is so important to experiment with what looks best. You may not be able to use the same contour stick in the winter as you would in the summer, so it is essential to adjust with the seasons and make it look natural.
Many of the brands we will mention carry more than a few colors making it easy to pick a shade that will help you pull off a beautiful and effortless look.
Top Ten Best Contour Sticks
It can be hard choosing the best contour stick, especially if you are a beginner at makeup. When you start doing makeup, you may not realize the value cream contour sticks have.
They can give you a slimming face, sharp nose, and angular cheekbones. All of which look stunning in photographs. If you have no shame in your selfie game, you may want to try out a few of these sticks to enhance your photos.
1. Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick
This brand carries 3 different shades for contouring sticks.
There is 0-5 porcelain plus, 2-3 neutral beige, and 2-4 cool beige. It has two sides, one for lightening and brightening certain areas, and the other side a bit darker to shape other areas. This should be easy to blend with your foundation.
The formula is meant to glide on smoothly and be blendable. It can add dimension to your look in seconds and will help your best features pop.
This is perfect for an on the go look, the smaller stick can fit in your backpack or purse for touch-ups at any time.
2. Fenty Contour Sticks
Fenty, who is made and owned by the famous singer Rihanna is astonishing.
Though this is a young brand, Fenty has proven to be one of our top choices and has established itself worthy enough to be one of the top ten best contour sticks.
There is a set that comes with 3 shades, Linen, Amber, and Starstruck.
Two of the contour sticks are for shading and brightening while the other can be used as a highlighter. The two contour sticks are matte, while the other is shiny.
They are formulated to be smooth and blend well with anything else you wear. You can buy each stick individually or in a pack.
3. Benefit Watts Up!
This is a unique product because it is a cream contour stick, but the critical difference in this is that it goes from a cream to powder on your face! While you put it on, you will blend it out. Once it settles for a few minutes, it will feel like you are wearing a soft powder.
Benefits formula is truly impressive, it is like using a magic wand to enhance your makeup look. It is a soft contour stick, it will not be overly bold or dramatic, this is the best contour stick for anyone looking for a natural look. It has a soft sheen to it, but it will not look greasy or super shiny.
This formula is done so well it will not clump or flake away any of your foundations.
4. Nars Contour Stick
This is a limited-edition stick with two sides. One side is meant for darkening areas while the other side is intended for lightening an area beside it.
This specific stick is in color hot sand for the light side and laguna for the dark side. Nars has created one of the best sticks that are super versatile and easy to carry on the go.
This stick is excellent for a variety of skin tones, it will help slim your face and make your eyes pop. It will leave a pearly sheen to your skin without making it look overdone, greasy, or over the top.
The packaging is elegant, the device is portable, and it is by far one of the best cream contour sticks we have on this list.
5. Kiko Milano
This cream contour stick is sold in individual packages for the dark and light shade, you will not find them in a set or attached by one stick. This may be inconvenient for some, but Kiko Milano’s formula is phenomenal.
The texture of this cream contour stick is velvety, creamy, and silky. It glides over your foundation simply, does not clump. It does not leave weird streaks, and you will be able to blend this easily.
It is a long-lasting formula that can help create an intense look for a date night or event.
The best feature of this contour makeup stick is that it is entirely hypoallergenic. This makes it great for everyone, even people with sensitive skin.
Related: Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin
Kiko Milano’s cream contour sticks are cruelty-free, but they are not certified vegan. This product is made in Italy but can be bought in most places throughout the U.S.
6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation
One of the better-known brands on this list, Anastasia’s formula for contour stick makeup, did not come to play, it came to win.
This is a fantastic brand that carries over 30 colors and shades of contour sticks. You can mix, match, and blend together the shades to create a stunning look.
When buying multiple sticks, you know you will be able to find something that matches your skin tone because this brand excels in creating shades that suit everyone. It is full of pigment, all cream, you can use this cream contour stick to build a look or keep it natural and straightforward.
These contouring sticks have a matte finish that allows you to take a look as intense or natural as you want.
7. LA Girl Velvet Bronzer
This brand carries 16 shades of bronzer that can be used as blush, highlighter, and contouring. They are all creamy, easily buildable, and can be blended out with a wet beauty blender. Once you blend it out, instead of a heavy creamy sensation, you will notice a soft powder feeling on your skin.
This formula includes jojoba seed oil, grape seed oil, and cocoa butter seed oil, all of which help the bronzer sit nicely on your skin all day long. Instead of dehydrating your face, it will help replenish it while adding some color to it.
The entire collection includes 3 bronzers, 3 highlighters, and 10 blushes.
Related: Best Bronzer for Fair Skin
8. Physicians Formula Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer
A cream contour stick is made up of all organic ingredients. This makes it suitable for most skin types and people with sensitive skin.
Related: Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin
The formula includes super hydrating antioxidants that allow your skin to feel nourished instead of suffocated. It will help your skin not only look healthier but also feel healthy.
Some of the ingredients they have included in their formula are cactus flower, aloe, Indian senna seed oil, and organic jojoba oil.
It is another magical formula that is cream to powder and will not leave your face feeling caked or dirty. It will feel soft and look defined. You can easily leave it looking natural or build it up to be bold and sleek.
9. wet n wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick
This contouring stick is great for beginners; it easily glides on your skin and can mix with most foundations well.
Wet n wild is one of the easiest to find brands, they will be in most of your local beauty stores and even convenience stores.
There is a nice shine to it that will leave your skin looking radiant. The best feature of this contour stick is that you can blend it with your fingers instead of a brush or blender.
10. Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick
Clinique has been around for a long time and has a reputable skin care line and some makeup. The best thing about this brand is that you can buy all your basics in one spot.
This specific product is impressive and comes in a few different shades, the contour stick we love is in shade clover. It is a dark brown that slides onto your skin easily. It can be added on for a natural look or built up for a dark and heavy look. It is moisturizing, sits lightly on your skin, and blends easily.
It is long-lasting and oil-free, so it will not leave your skin looking moist or wet with sweat.
Expert Advice: There are so many palates, sticks, creams, and more you could use for a contoured look. When you first start, you will want to apply it lightly until you understand where you want to highlight and frame. Learning to contour your face takes time, soon you will discover your features and be able to define them easily.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What does a contour stick do?
A contour stick helps you define specific areas of your face and highlight the features you love. Not everyone has the same face shape, and we all have different features we love. A brand should carry multiple different shades of contour sticks because we all have different skin tones.
Areas to contour
Down the two sides of your nose, you can thinly add a layer of the darker stick. In the middle, you can add some highlighter or the lighter side of the stick. Be sure to blend it out. This will help your nose appear slimmer.
This is one of the quickest was to get defined cheekbones. Underneath where your blush would sit, add some of the dark shade. This should be in the hollows of your cheeks, to find this spot suck your cheeks inward.
At the very tip of your forehead, you can add some definition. This is perfect for those who have a very long forehead. Follow your natural forehead and try to avoid getting it in your hair.
If you are self-conscious about your jaw, this is the best way to appear a little more defined. The best place to add it is at the bottom of your chin and cheeks and then upward headed towards your ears for a super sculpted look.
What is the best contour stick?
Our favorite contour stick is Physicians Formula Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer! It is organic and suitable for most skin types. Instead of feeling heavy on your skin, it sits nicely. If you want both the dark and light side in one stick, try going for Smashbox studios set. They have fantastic options for you to choose from, you can pick a set that closely matches your skin tone and allows you to define your features well.
Is stick or powder contour better?
Either option is amazing for contouring, but both cater to different people. Stick contours are very easy to transport and great for beginners with shaky hands. They are also incredibly easy to build and blend out. The powder is great if you have a lot of experience and know exactly where to put the definition. It is harder to remove, easier to blend out, but also comes in a lot of different shades. If you are a newbie using a contour makeup stick is one of the best ways to go.
Contouring is a method of applying makeup with darker and lighter shades that can make you look incredibly different. It will make your angels more defined. Your best features stand out, and in some cases, can change the shape of your face without surgery. This is one of the best things you can do for pictures. This will totally enhance your looks, and you should try it at least once!
Related: Best Drugstore Contour Kits
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!