Makeup Products » Best Contour Kits

10 Best Contour Kits for 2023

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Contouring is one of the most fascinating aspects of the makeup process. It’s a technique that consists of applying deeper tones to the skin to create the illusion of a shadow. You can contour to enhance your features subtly or reshape them dramatically. 

Whether you’re new to makeup or a makeup artist, having a contour palette is a great way to introduce multiple shades into your collection at once. But choosing from all the options out there can be difficult, which is why we created this list of the best contour kits. With multiple sizes, color options, and formulas, you should have no trouble finding the contour palette for you. 

Best contour kits overview:

How we chose the best contour kits

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including formulas and shade ranges, to create a short list of the top contour kits. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, swatches, and reviews to find the best contour palette for each category.

Our picks for the best contour kits

Best overall
Lorac Pro Contour Palette & Pro Contour Brush

What we love

  • Features contour and highlight shades
  • Multiple depths and undertones
  • Pigmented but blendable formula

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey

If you’re looking for the very best contour palette, your search can end right here with this quintessential powder contour kit from Lorac. While it only comes in one shade range, it’s incredibly well-curated.

It includes three contour shades and three highlight shades of varying depth levels and undertones. The deepest contour shade is dark enough for most users with deep skin tones, which, unfortunately, isn’t standard in many other contour kits of this size. It could be an excellent palette for makeup artists and could also easily double as a nude eyeshadow palette. 

The powders are quite pigmented but also blendable, allowing you to sheer them out if you overapply. This palette is a little pricey, but it does come complete with a high-quality contouring brush. 

Shades: 6 | Color range: 1 | Size: 0.73 oz

Best budget
Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette

What we love

  • 3 palette options to suit every skin tone
  • Each palette includes contour, bronzer, and highlighter
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Too pigmented for some

If you’re on a budget and you want a great all-in-one contour palette, Black Radiance is our winner. This three-shade contour palette is available in three color stories: light to medium, medium to dark, and dark to deep. 

Each palette includes a neutral contour, shimmer highlighter, and warm bronzer (called a “sculpt” shade), so it’s all an individual needs to define their face. 

While the powder formula is advertised as “buildable,” most reviewers noted that it’s actually very pigmented, so use a light hand when applying.

Shades: 3 | Color range: 3 | Size: 0.38 oz

Best value
NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

What we love

  • Reasonably priced
  • Options for warm and cool skin tones
  • Refillable

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for those with very deep skin tones

Whether you’re an aspiring makeup artist or you just love having options, this large contour palette offers immense value. It features eight different shades: four for contouring and four for highlighting. 

The contour shades boast a broad tone range, with both warm and cool options of various depth levels to suit most skin tones. However, those with very deep skin tones may find that the palette doesn’t include a dark enough contour shade for them.

The highlights are excellent, though, with two shimmers and two mattes in warm and cool undertones. They could easily work to highlight the cheekbones or brighten the under-eye area. We also love that the pans are refillable, so if you run out of one shade faster than others, you can repurchase it individually. This also allows you to customize the palette as you learn what works for you.

Shades: 8 | Color range: 1 | Size: 0.72 oz

Best duo
Juvia’s Place Bronzed Duo Bronzer

What we love

  • Duo with contour and bronzer shades
  • 5 inclusive color options
  • Blendable, easy-to-use formula

What we don’t love

  • Some users may not want a bronzer

This simple contour palette from Juvia’s Place includes one warm shade for bronzing and one neutral shade for sculpting. We recommend it if you’re after a few shade options but don’t need another highlighter. 

The five-palette range is extremely well-curated and inclusive. The Light duo serves those with extremely fair skin, the Deep Dark duo is best for anyone with very deep skin, and the palettes in-between shades encompass all other skin depths. That said, some users may prefer having two more contour shades for complex sculpting instead of a bronzer. 

Reviewers raved about the buttery-smooth, buildable, and blendable formula. It has the precise level of pigmentation for most makeup wearers, guaranteeing an easy and versatile application.

Shades: 2 | Color range: 5 | Size: 0.78 oz

Best cream for dark skin
Melt Cosmetics The Cream Sculpt Stack

What we love

  • Buildable and easy to use
  • Ideal for dry skin or natural-looking contours
  • Perfect color story for medium or deep skin

What we don’t love

  • Pricey
  • Stack packaging may take some getting used to

Using creams is often the best choice if your skin is dry or you prefer a softer, more natural-looking contour. This kit includes five shades ideal for contouring and bronzing on those with a medium skin tone or for highlighting and contouring on those with a deeper skin tone. 

As with many newer contour releases, the kit includes varying undertones, making it an excellent choice for makeup artists working with a broad range of clients. The formula has buildable pigmentation, which is great for all experience levels, and sets down to look natural on the skin. If you want a more matte finish, you’ll need to set it with powder.  

The pans stack magnetically, which makes for more convenient storage but may take some getting used to if you normally use palettes. The range might be too deep and warm for those with fair skin, though, in which case our next pick from RCMA might be more suitable.

Shades: 5 | Color range: 1 | Size: 0.66 oz

Best cream for fair skin
RCMA Highlight and Contour Palette

What we love

  • Excellent for highlighting, contouring, and concealing
  • 2 palette options for various skin tones
  • Creamy and easy to blend

What we don’t love

  • A little too pigmented
  • Needs to be set with powder

This professionally-curated cream contour palette is perfect for makeup artists and individuals alike. It includes five non-shimmery shades for highlighting, contouring, and potentially even concealing. 

The Light palette suits very fair up to medium-deep skin tones, while the Medium/Dark palette is best for medium-to-very-deep tones. 

The formula is creamy, easy to blend, and has a moist, natural finish. That said, the pigmentation is a little high, so apply it sparingly and then build it up if necessary. Unless your skin is particularly dry, set the oil and wax-based formula with a powder for best results.

Shades: 5 | Color range: 2 | Size: 0.35 oz

Best with blush
Smashbox The Cali Contour Palette

What we love

  • Includes blush, bronzer, and highlighter
  • 2 palette options to suit most skin tones
  • Sturdy packaging with a mirror

What we don’t love

  • Color stories may not match everyone’s style

If you’d like to cover all your cheek makeup needs with one product, this contouring palette from Smashbox delivers. There are two versions to choose from depending on your skin tone, and each one includes shades that will work as contour, highlight, bronze, and blush. 

Both palette versions include warm and cool shades, but these specific color schemes may not work for everyone’s makeup style. Look at the shades closely before buying to make sure you’ll get good use out of them. 

The palette itself is incredibly convenient, too. It’s made of sturdy, travel-friendly cardboard and has a large mirror on the inside for additional portability.

Shades: 6 | Color range: 2 | Size: 0.69 oz

Best contour stick
Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

What we love

  • Stick format is easy to work with
  • Travel-friendly 2-in-1 stick formula
  • Includes contour and highlighter

What we don’t love

  • May be too pigmented for some

This gorgeous 2-in-1 contour stick from Black-owned brand Uoma Beauty makes sculpting and highlighting a breeze. It’s a travel-friendly, minimalist option that comes in a very inclusive shade range. 

One end of the stick is a contour shade, while another is a shimmery highlighter. Since it’s a cream formula, it’s great for layering and for those with dry skin. 

The price is high considering the amount of product you get, but a little goes a long way. In fact, you’ll need to be careful to apply it lightly if you prefer a natural look.

Shades: 2 | Color range: 6 | Size: 0.38 oz

Best shade range
One/Size Made For Shade Bronze & Sculpt Trio Palette

What we love

  • Extremely inclusive shade range
  • Multiple undertone options
  • Excellent for bronzing and contouring

What we don’t love

  • Only 1 contour shade
  • A little too pigmented

Founded by makeup artist and YouTuber Patrick Starrr, One/Size is a promising brand that takes inclusivity seriously. This contour kit is a newer release, but it’s already generating a lot of excitement. It comes in six color options, which is nearly unheard of for powder contour palettes. 

Unlike other kits, it doesn’t include any highlight shades. Instead, the three-pan palette consists of a neutral “Shade” for casual bronzing, a warm matte “Bronze,” and a cool-toned “Sculpt” for serious contouring. The formula goes on pigmented right away, so be careful not to overapply.

Shades: 3 | Color range: 6 | Size: 3.3 oz

Best splurge
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Sculpt’r Squad

What we love

  • Diverse shade range
  • Buildable and easy to use
  • Totally customizable

What we don’t love

  • Very pricey

We’re obsessed with Fenty Match Stix, thanks to its easy-to-use stick format, diverse and well-curated shade range, and perfect buildable pigmentation. It’s one of the rare brands to offer excellent contour shades for those with an olive undertone.

They’re usually sold as individual sticks, similar to a stick foundation, but as part of the Sculpt’r Squad, you get to customize your own contour kit. You can choose a contouring shade, a color corrector, and a shimmery highlighter. 

That said, the cost is quite high for an average amount of product, and the Squad doesn’t offer any notable savings compared to just buying Match Stix individually. If you don’t mind diving even deeper into Fenty’s Match Stix selection, you can choose any shades you want for whatever cream contouring technique you prefer.

Shades: 3 | Color range: Customizable | Size: 0.25 oz x 3

Sculpt the other cheek 

When you add a contour palette to your makeup collection, you’re actually adding a few new complexion products. The Lorac Pro Contour Palette is our top pick for being the best all-in-one to suit a wide range of makeup lovers. 

That said, we created our list with many different types of contour kits. We hope you feel empowered by the variety of formulas and color stories to select the perfect contour palette for your needs.

How to pick the right contour palette for you

Contour kits come in different textures and often include other products like highlighters, bronzers, or blushes. Consider your purpose, skin tone, and skin type when choosing the right one for you.  


  • Contour. If you only want to sculpt, a two-tone or three-shade palette with a couple of contour shades of various depths, like Melt Cosmetics Sculpt Stack, should suffice. 
  • Contour and highlight. For the full sculpted and strobed fantasy, look for palettes with a shimmery shade lighter than your skin tone. Uoma Beauty and Black Radiance have small kits that feature highlight shades. 
  • Contour and bronze. If you want to add warmth to your face, look for a palette like Juvia’s Place Bronzed Duo with neutral shades for contour and reddish hues for bronzing. 
  • All of the above. You can have a palette with all of these and more. Look for a palette with contouring, bronzing, and highlighting shades, like Smashbox Cali or Lorac Pro. 
  • Professional use. Makeup artists will need larger palettes with many contouring shades to work on clients with various skin tones and undertones. Lorac Pro is our top pick for this purpose. 

Skin tone

  • Cool. Cool brown shades that lean slightly purple or taupe are your ideal sculpting shades, but neutral browns may also work. Most palettes will have options to suit you. 
  • Warm. Look for palettes with true brown contour shades that aren’t too taupe or red. In palettes like the Melt Sculpt Stack, you can find yellow-based contours that blend into your skin quickly. 
  • Neutral. Cool contour shades create a natural-looking shadow even when your skin tone is neutral. Most contour palettes include such shades. 
  • Olive. Go for warm, yellow-based contouring colors, which are easier to find in sets geared toward deeper skin tones, like our picks from One/Size and Melt Cosmetics.  

Skin type

  • Oily. Powder-based contour kits can help mattify your face and feel less heavy or greasy on your skin. Cream contour products with a matte finish create a more natural look. 
  • Dry. Cream contour blends easily and offers a more natural, hydrated finish to your skin, but remember, they look a little softer once blended. 
  • Balanced. If your skin is neither very dry nor oily, you can go in either direction based on the level of intensity you like. 


Which brand of contouring makeup is best? 

Different brands tend to excel with varying types of contour products. Lorac is our top choice if you’re interested in powder contouring. For cream contour products, Fenty is the winner with its excellent formula and unparalleled shade range, although the kit costs are a little high.

Which contour kit is best for beginners?

The NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette is probably the best contour kit for beginners. It’s an affordable option that includes multiple contouring and highlighting shades, giving you room to experiment and figure out what works for you. 

Is a contour stick or palette better?

It depends on your skin type and the kind of look you prefer. Contour sticks and other cream formulas are better for creating more natural looks, especially for dry skin. Powder contour palettes show up more dramatically and are often easier for beginners. You can also combine the two for a more defined, long-lasting look.