Contouring kits can help you achieve a popular effect and help your face shape look more defined. Thanks to the best drugstore contour kits, you don’t have to empty your wallet to pull off this look.
In this guide, we’ll break down what you should look for the best drugstore contour powder or cream. On top of that, we’re going to share some of our favorite products with you too!
By the time you finish reading, you’ll have the contoured look of your dreams without spending a fortune.
The 10 Best Drugstore Contour Makeup Kits
1. NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette
The NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette features both contouring and highlighting tones. The palette is broken up between four top highlighting palettes and four lower contouring palettes.
The contouring colors are cream, nectar, sculpt, and hollow. As for the highlighting options, you have toffee, tan, soft light, and ice queen.
The palette pans are removable and refillable as well. So, when you finish using these colors, you can customize your very own palette as well.
Alternatively, this allows you to swap out pans to meet your needs. For instance, if a color doesn’t suit your skin tone, just swap it for a different option from another palette.
These are powdered colors as well. This gives them a matte finish and makes them a great option for oily skin.
NYX is also a cruelty-free brand and this palette is a vegan choice as well. In other words, you don’t have to worry about animal products or animal testing.
- Contouring powder and highlighting powder
- Includes 8 refillable color shades
- Removable pans allow you to build your own color palette
- Cruelty-free brand
- No animal products included
2. E.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette
Another great drugstore contour palette is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette. This four-shade palette is full of powder shades to match your skin tone.
For the most part, these colors have a matte finish. Some users did report that while the white had a translucent sheen to it, it wasn’t too glittery either.
The palette is also full of vitamin E. This will help to nourish your skin as you go about your day.
However, what isn’t in the palette is just as impressive as what is. The formula is free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, triclocarban, hydroquinone, and nonylphenol ethoxylates.
The products that e.l.f. manufactures are also vegan and cruelty-free. You won’t have to worry about any compromised ethics by purchasing and using products like this palette.
The pans within the palette are easy to remove as well. This allows you to replace or remove them if you’d like to customize the palette to your needs and preferences.
- Features four different colors
- Free from phthalates, parabens, and other harmful ingredients
- Palette uses a vegan formula
- E.l.f brand is cruelty-free
3. Contour Kit and Highlighting Palette by Elizabeth Mott
Another great contouring makeup kit from the drugstore is the Contour Kit and Highlighting Palette by Elizabeth Mott. This kit is made as a soft powder that is easy to blend and apply.
The contour palette features six total shades. These shades are made up of three darker shades for contouring shadows and three lighter shades for highlighting.
These shades are fairly light and as such, this is a great choice for lighter and mild skin tones. This is helped by the mild shimmer the highlighter offers.
If you aren’t sure how to contour your face, don’t worry! The contouring palette includes a set of instructions on how to best use the makeup for beginners.
The brand is also cruelty-free and the palette is vegan. In fact, Elizabeth Mott is recognized as a part of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program.
- Three highlighting shades included
- Three contouring shades included
- Instructions for use included
- The brand is registered with PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program
4. Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contouring Kit
The Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contouring Kit is another drugstore contour kit that you can rely on. Even better, it’s available in two different color palettes.
The kit includes three different shades: contour, bronzer, and blush. You’re meant to build the palette options on your face in the order of bronzer, blush, and then highlighter.
The blush is a particularly nice touch. This is because it adds the extra layer of helping give your skin a healthy glow in the end.
That healthy glow also adds another dimension to the appearance of your contour. This makes it look more realistic and adds a natural touch.
Three shades might seem like the bare minimum but there’s a reason behind this. Maybelline believes that you don’t need to pay for 10 products to get a beautiful contoured finish.
If you’re new to contouring, this kit won’t leave you wondering what to do either. The palette includes instructions on how to contour your face – don’t fear experimentation, though!
- Kit includes contour, highlight, and blush
- Is a powdered contour kit
- Step-by-step instructions included with the kit
- The simple kit is easy to use
- Available in two shade options
5. Lagure Minerals Powder Contour Kit
The Lagure Minerals Powder Contour Kit is a matte contour kit with six total colors. These are broken down into three colors for contouring and three colors for highlighting.
The kit is especially useful since it’s designed with skincare in mind. It’s made as a suitable choice for all skin types.
The contour palette also comes with two promises for every color. None of the colors have any toxins and none were tested on animals.
The palette is also travel-friendly for the makeup artist on the go. The magnetic cover stays in place rather than falling open at inconvenient times.
It also features a mirror in the top cover. This lets you get to work right away without any extra supplies needed.
You can also reference the step-by-step instructions that come with the palette. This will help you if you’re new to contouring and need a hand incorporating this kit into your daily routine.
- Kit features six matte shades
- Includes three lighter highlighting shades
- Includes three darker contouring shades
- Safe for all skin types
- Cruelty-free palette
- Step-by-step instructions included
6. Sleek Makeup Face Contour Kit
Sleek Makeup has a brand goal of offering high-quality performance without sacrificing a reasonable price range. They do this well which is why the Sleek Makeup Contour Kit has made our list of favorites.
This contour kit is simple with only two tones. This includes a single shade for highlighting and a single shade for contouring.
Because of this, the Sleek Makeup Face Contour Kit is a good choice for beginners. It has everything you need for a basic contoured appearance without too much worry for blending or heavy shading.
For the best results, Sleek Makeup recommends applying this palette over a base. This will ensure a smooth finish without any trouble.
Your favorite foundation will work well as a base for this palette. They also indicate that this base will make it easier to blend the tones naturally.
The good news is that animal lovers don’t need to worry about using this brand either. This palette was not tested on animals and is completely cruelty-free.
- Kit features a simple, two-tone palette
- Palette includes one contouring shade
- The palette includes one highlighting shade
7. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette
The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette comes from a fairly famous brand. L’Oréal Paris brand is famous for good reason too – they rarely fail to deliver quality.
This particular palette is designed as an easy-to-use and quick-to-use palette as well. They promise that once you’re used to using this palette, you can give yourself a professional finish in as little as 30 seconds.
This palette features a single pan cut diagonally in half. The top half features a lighter, highlighting color while the lower half features a darker contouring shade.
The makeup is also meant to be long-lasting. You won’t have to worry about it wearing off as the day goes on.
You can also take advantage of the tools the kit features. This includes both a specialized brush and a quick contouring guide on the back of the palette case.
- Includes a dark shade and a light shade for quick contouring
- Meant to help you contour in as little as 30 seconds
- Comes with the L’Oréal pro-contour brush
- Creates a fade-proof finish
8. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette
The Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette is a three-tone palette. It features both a highlighter and blush as well as a bronzer to finish off your look.
The palette has a matte finish. This is perfect if you prefer a more natural, less iridescent final look when they finish their contour.
The main goal of the Physicians formula is to cater to users with particularly sensitive skin. As such, their palette is hypoallergenic and free of more than 150 harsh ingredients commonly used in makeup.
This means that the makeup likely won’t irritate your skin even if you wear it daily. This is a great relief to many people who struggle to find makeup that caters to their sensitive skin.
On top of that, there are plenty of ingredients beneficial to your skin as well. This includes vitamins, moisturizers, and antioxidants.
This is also part of what makes this their Triple-Action Bronze Boosting palette. It works to make your skin both look and feel better.
- Palette includes a bronzer, highlighter, and a contouring shade
- Free of harsh ingredients
- Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin
- Includes vitamins, moisturizers, and antioxidants
9. Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette
The Ultra Contour Palette by Makeup Revolution has a lot to offer. For one, it features eight different shades for users to play around with and find what they like best.
Each of these shades is a powder as well. This makes this a great choice if you have oily skin or are worried about your makeup staying on for long periods.
This includes four lighter-toned highlighting shades as well as four darker contouring shades. These also include a marbled palette in each category.
Between these shades, you won’t have any problem sculpting the perfect shadows. The kit is made to help give you plenty of options and plenty of room to experiment with different shades.
The palette is also made large to accommodate a mirror in the lid. This makes it easy to do your makeup on the go when you don’t have a full-sized mirror handy.
- The palette features eight powdered shades
- Includes four highlighter colors
- Includes four darker, contouring colors
- The large palette features a full mirror across the top
10. Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight Contour Palette
The Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight Contour Palette is a versatile palette with six total shades. This range of shades is meant to make this the perfect palette for any skin tone.
The palette includes four highlighting shades including champagne, pearl, bronze, and opalescent highlight. The shades are named lit, strobe, fire, and stunner, respectively.
There are also two contouring shades with options in both cream and powder form. The cream color is for shading and the powder shade is meant for sculpting.
The company also aims to offer high-quality products that won’t irritate or damage your skin. That’s why they leave out any ingredients that could hurt your skin or even cause a problem for sensitive skin.
- Comes with six shades for highlighting and contouring
- Features four highlighting shades and two contouring shades
- Features both cream and powder contouring shades
- Plenty of options to make it suitable for all skin tones
What Is the Best Product to Use for Contouring?
Our favorite product is the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette. This palette is well-rounded and high-quality, allowing you to take advantage of a great kit.
In all, the contour palette features eight shades. This includes four lighter tones for highlighting and four tones for contouring.
These tones offer you plenty of options for either a natural or dramatic contoured appearance. Even better, this is a cruelty-free product which means it’s free from animal testing as well.
If you want more information about this product, you can check into it in our full reviews above.
How Do You Use Drugstore Contour Makeup to Contour Your Face?
You can use drugstore contouring kits the same way that you’d use any other contour kit. Contouring is the process of using a shade darker than your skin tone to create the illusion of shadows.
This can help with illusions such as making your nose look more narrow or help your jaw look more defined.
To start, map out the spots on your face where the darker and highlighting tones will go. Then, make sure you blend them together to create a seamless and polished finished look.
You’ll also want to finish the look off with a powder. This will help set the makeup and help it stay on longer.
If you aren’t sure how to contour your makeup, you can check out guides and videos online. In addition, some contour kits come with handy instruction booklets to help you out.
Is Cream or Powder Contour Better?
When it comes to answering the question of cream vs. powder contour, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is because each option comes with its own pros and cons.
For instance, a cream is easy to blend into your skin. This is thanks to the way they “melt,” making them easy to use – you almost don’t need a brush!
Contour creams are also often very pigmented as well. In other words, a little goes a long way which helps to make your makeup last.
Above all, creams are a good choice for dry or mature skin types. It won’t sink down and sit in pores the way that powder sometimes does.
Related: check article also about best drugstore pore minimizers!
However, powder has certain qualities that make it the best in certain situations as well. For instance, it absorbs the oils in your skin, making it so that it doesn’t easily crease.
Powder is also easy to blend not only into your skin with other powdered colors. This makes it easy to find the perfect tone and create a complete, natural contoured look.
This is also a long-lasting choice. When placed on top of a foundation, it isn’t likely to slide or sweat off throughout a standard day.
Again, these options tend to different skin types as well. Powder contouring kits are especially useful for oily skin types because it naturally absorbs oils.
Can You Use Bronzer as Contour?
First, it’s important to make a clear distinction between bronzer and contour. This will help you know what you’re looking at.
Related: Best Bronzer for Fair Skin
Contour, as we’ve mentioned, is made to create the appearance of shadows on your face. This can help add definition and angles to your face.
Bronzer, on the other hand, isn’t made to add definitive shadows to your face. Rather, it’s meant to give additional warmth to your complexion.
Generally, you’re fine to use bronzer when you contour your face. Yet, there is a condition to this – you have to use it correctly!
If you have a light complexion, bronzer can work very well as a contouring tone. It offers a darker tone that works well to create shadows on your face.
If you have a darker or warmer skin tone, you can still use bronzer. That being said, you have to blend it well and apply it with a lighter hand.
This is because your contour should serve as a contrast to your skin tone. This is how you create the illusion of shape and shadow on your face.
What Is the Best Contour Kit for Beginners?
When you first start out with any makeup technique, it’s a challenge with a learning curve. Learning to contour your face is no different – it takes time and practice.
However, it can help to have a simple contour kit that you can build on later. This helps you get the hang of contouring your face in a simple and direct manner.
The best example of this from our favorite products is the Sleek Makeup Contour Kit. This kit thrives on simplicity with a highlighting color and a contour.
What Is the Best Cheap Contour Kit?
If you’re looking for a deal while you search for the best drugstore contour kits, you’re in luck. There are plenty of choices here that will allow you to create a professional finish for less.
Our favorite choice with the lowest cost is the Maybelline New York Facestudio Contouring Kit.
This kit comes with three shades including a contour, highlighter, and blush. It’s also available in two palette colors which makes this a great choice for different complexions as well.
The kit also comes with instructions to help you learn how to contour if you need them. This makes it a great choice for beginners as well as advanced users.
- Best Contour Stick
- Cruelty-free moisturizer
- Drugstore setting powder
- Cruelty-free foundation
- Setting powder for dry skin
- Concealer for dry skin
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!