The best contouring makeup products for different skin tones



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For fair skin tones
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Go for pearlescent pink- or silver-based highlighters – the light pigments give pale skin just enough radiance without leaving a frosty finish. Pair with a rosy, pink blusher for the cheeks that look naturally flushed and don’t look too garish.
Pro tip: stay away from highlighters that lean towards the bronzey side because they might just do the opposite of highlighting while appearing as an odd, dark patch on the face.

Diorskin Rouge Blush in #219 Rose Montaigne, $73
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Add a pop of colour to your cheeks with this light rosy shade.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush in Flesh & Fantasy, $68
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This gradient blush is great for on the go. Pop the darker shade on as a contour and finish the look with the lighter shade for a quick highlight.

Benefit GALifornia Powder Blush, $53
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Heading out for a day at the beach? This Benefit blush should match the summer aesthetic perfectly.

Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach Blush, $45, Sephora
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This blush doubles up as a eyeshadow too, so pop it on your eyelids for some pink shimmer.

Farsali Jelly Beam Illuminator in Glow Up, $65, Sephora
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Formulated to last all day, this jelly illuminator is perfect when you’re looking to make a statement.

Stila Heaven’s Dew All Over Glimmer Highlighter, $35
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Blinding, illuminating and shimmery. Who could say no?

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Metal Moon, $54, Sephora
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The products in Rihanna’s makeup line can never go wrong. Pick up this highlighter for a blindingly shimmery glow.

For medium skin tones
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When it comes to medium skin tones, dusting on champagne-toned highlighters will highlight the golden tones in your complexion beautifully. Throw on a coral blush to further accentuate that sun-kissed glow that’ll make you look more awake and fresh.

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Bronze, $78
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Too Faced Peach My Cheeks Melting Powder Blush in Ginger Peach, $42, Sephora
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Easy to blend and layer, this blush is perfect if you’re looking to add some colour to an otherwise washed out complexion.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in #03 Momoko, $48
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We’re not gonna lie, this orange shade seems daunting. But we love how it’ll make heads turn at any occasion. Use your fingertips for easy application and extra blendability.

Cover Fx Monochromatic Blush Duo in Spiced Cinnamon, $56, Sephora
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Use the matte shade on the left for chiseled cheekbones. Then, pop the highlighter onto your cheekbones for an effortless radiant glow.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Ocean Glow, $52
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No one has the space in their makeup pouch to carry a bronzer, a blush and a highlighter. Fortunately, we found this all-in-one palette that works like a gem when you’re on the go.

Nars Illuminator in Hot Sand, $45
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Apply this illuminator with your fingertips and you should be ready in no time.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blissful, $47, Sephora
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Tarte is known for their blushes for a reason. Try this fun orange shade for a pop of colour in your makeup look.

For darker skin tones
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Gold- or bronze-toned highlighters illuminate darker complexions by adding warmth and radiance. Wear with a blusher with a berry or orange undertone for a lit-from-within glow.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush in Euphoric Fusion, $67
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Take a fluffy brush, blend the colours together and pop it onto your cheeks for that effortlessly chiseled effect.

Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator in Berry Whisper/Nude Glow, $65, Sephora
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This blush and highlighter duo is a dream for those who are constantly on the go.

Clinique Cheek Pop in Berry Pop, $40
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This bright, almost-neon shade of pink is sure to get heads turning.

Laura Mercier Blush Colour Infusion in Kir Royale, $49
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This mauve-pink shade is perfect for darker skin tones. After all, how can anyone go wrong with mauve?

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $97
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It’s a palette of 3 extremely illuminating shades of highlighters. Talk about shimmer.

Moonshot Color Moonwalk Jelly Pot in P06 Bronze Champagne, $34
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Aside from the fact that it looks and feels like putty, this blush is perfect for those who are looking for a subtle pink shade on their cheeks.

Benefit Cosmetics Cookie Box O Highlighter, $53
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After bronzing, a highlighter is a must-have. Try this champagne gold shade from Benefit.

Etude House Play 101 Contour Duo, $24
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The newly-improved Etude House Play 101 Contour has been updated to be more ergonomically-friendly and contains twice as much product for the same old price of $24.
You also get to choose from 3 different shades: No.1 Original, No.2 Intense and No.3 Natural. The goof-proof formula is creamy, glides on easily and is easy to blend out – perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

Etude House

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick, $37
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When Rihanna created Fenty Beauty, her aim was to create inclusive makeup for women of different skin colours. Apart from releasing a range of 40 foundations, she also made a line of 20 makeup sticks that can be used to correct, highlight, add colour and contour.
These colour sticks have a buildable cream-to-powder formula and are also lightweight and easy to blend. Go light-handed with this product in a shade that’s a few tones deeper than your complexion for a natural contour and dimension.

Tarte Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight & Contour Palette, $80
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With two universal contour shades and four highlight shades, this palette is created to mimic the real shadow and light reflection when the sun hits your face. Each component in the palette is also made with the nutrient-rich Amazonian clay which is said to minimise and balance oil.

Cover FX Contour Kit, $74
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L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette, $24.90
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Equipped with a fish-tail brush, this product promises easy application. Not only does the brush pick up both the contour and highlight in one swipe, it also hugs the cheekbone perfectly.

NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Palette, $38
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Not only is this palette value for money, the cool tone shadows are also extremely pigmented and they apply smoothly onto the skin. With this, you won’t have to worry about streaks and harsh lines anymore.

Tarte Tarteist Contour Palette, $69
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I will admit to loving this as much as I do on account of the way it smells. If you haven’t experienced the wonderful cocoa vanilla scent for yourself, I highly recommend dropping by your nearest Sephora to give it a sniff.
This palette includes highlight and undereye powder pans, as well as two contour colours you can mix or use individually (the lighter shade to contour your nose, and the deeper one for your jawline). I only wish this came in a range of different palettes for different skin tones.

Colourpop Sculpting Stix, US$5
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As the cheapest of the lot, Colourpop actually has the widest shade range available with six different contour shades. These come in really cute little pencil-shaped contour crayons, and blend out quite nicely.
I think these would be a good option for someone looking to try out contouring without investing too much into it.
 

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer, $51
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This is a timeless classic in the beauty world. Though it’s touted as a bronzer, the shade is neutral enough to make a really good contour colour. The formula blends well and works on a surprising number of skin tones in the light-to-medium spectrum.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, $52.70
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You can get this palette easily off Beautybay.com, and the site currently stocks the shades Light-Medium, Medium-Tan, and Tan-Deep, which covers a wonderfully large number of skintones.
The palettes have a range of shades within them as well, meaning you can mix and match where necessary to create a warmer, cooler or deeper contour shade. It’s quite a lot of bang for your buck, considering you get six different colours in each palette! Plus, the site has free shipping to Singapore.
 

Nars Sculpting Multiple Duo, $60
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Contrary to popular belief, cream contours are a really easy beginner’s way to get into contouring, because you can blend out the cream really well and control more precisely where you apply it. The new sculpting duos from Nars come in two shades, one with a Laguna multiple and another with a Sidari Beach multiple which works with lighter skin tones. If these shades are too light for you, Nars has also released powder Contour Blush duos and there is a darker shade called Melina.

Nudestix Sculpting Pencil, $37
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I love the formula of Nudestix pencils. They’re smooth, creamy and easy to blend. Another bonus: They come in such compact little pencils and will fit in the smallest of handbags. There are only two shades of the Sculpting Pencil available that suit light or medium skin tones, but if you’re looking for a darker shade you can also consider the brand’s Concealer pencils.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette, $73
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I love this palette for the range of shades available. It’s got both cool and warm-toned contour shades suitable for light, medium and dark skintones. The lighter “highlight” shades are buttery and blendable; they also aren’t too pigmented so you can use them to set your under eye concealer and to brighten the under eyes for a really natural effect.

Nyx Wonder Stick, $20
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As an affordable cream contour option, I really enjoy the texture of these Nyx dual-ended stick concealers. They draw on really smoothly and blend well. I only wish that Nyx would release more shade options for this.

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Kit, $62
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This single kit contains a really light, medium and darker contour shades, making it a really good option for medium skin tones as well. There are two versions of this kit, one with a shade “light cocoa” that’s more suited for lighter skin tones, as well as a deeper palette with a “cocoa butter” yellow shade for the under eye, that has much deeper mocha contour shades.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Light or Medium, US$48
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I’ve seen both NikkieTutorials and Jeffree Star use this contour powder, and it looks incredibly natural and blends like a dream. The powder is available in two shades as well for light or medium skin tones, though the brand also offers much darker bronzer powders if you have deeper skintones. From net-a-porter.com.



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