The secret to really great contouring that would make Kim Kardashian West want to high-five you is to first master the technique. You also need to find contour products that suit your skin tone—the secret is to choose a cool-tone shadow that is one or two shades darker than your complexion. Why a cool tone? They mimic natural shadow and look more authentic than using a warm-toned bronzer would. And finally, you need to invest in the tools necessary for applying those products like a pro. There are flat brushes, flat angled brushes, flat brushes that come to a point in the middle, rounded brushes… Well, let’s just say there are a lot of brushes, which means things get confusing fast. To help, we narrowed down what you need for every part of your face.
Scroll through for the five brushes that will cover all of your contouring needs.
The angled artificial bristles on this brush enable you to pick up just the right amount of powder and easily distribute it into the hollows of your cheeks and up to your temples, blending as you go.
With its flat top, you can buff and blur your contour into your skin. The key to contour perfection is to blend, blend, blend after all.
For a seriously subtle, natural-looking contour, use a fan brush instead. These are also handy for dusting off eye shadow fallout from cheeks.
Contouring isn’t just for cheeks, you know. Use an angled brush with an eye shadow a few shades darker than your skin tone to add depth to the eye. It’s a super-flattering (and quick!) trick that makes your eyes pop.
All good contouring requires a little highlighter. Use a precision eye shadow brush to apply your highlighter of choice to the tops of your cheekbones before going over it with your fan brush to buff and blend. Also, use this brush to add a little of your highlighter to the Cupid’s bow, the inner corners of your eyes and your brow bones, too. And then blend.