The Contour Chronicles

 Somewhere amidst the hustle and bustle of 2017—teens, tweens and cosmetic queens around the world became obsessed with the fanciful art of shading and highlighting the face/body: A.k.a: contouring. Now, even the most apple of faces could have their ‘Cinderella moment’ as a glorious eggplant goddess (or any other pouty fruit that comes to mind!).


So here I am, drawing a roadmap to perfection, furiously scribbling lines, loops and crescents under my eye, all in hopes of metamorphosing into my better ‘eggplant’ self. In the end, rather than sporting Naomi Campbell cheekbones, I found myself rocking Elvis Presley burns. All that said, contouring is no joke: You need to arm yourself with the best armoury, prepare yourself with a gameplay and blend, blend, blend!


“Yea, but which ones are the best?”

Well, there are 3 different options to choose from: 1) creme contour, 2) powder contour and  3) stick contour. All three have their own benefits and setbacks but it really comes down to: “What are YOU looking for in a contour?”. So before you nosedive into your wallet, let me bestow my personal experiences with some of the top contours on the market.

Some Preliminary Info:

Although I have tried many individual highlighters and ‘shaders’, I normally stick to  contour kits. Why? Well, the price is cheaper, you get more colour options, you can mix n’ match those colours and it’s just an easier buy all together.  On another note, when picking a contour option, always remember to consider your skin type (dry, oily, combo, sensitive) because if your skin is dry, you might want to consider a more moisturizing option (and vice versa).

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

Colour: Light/Medium

If you are a beginner, I would recommend this option first as it blends wayyyyy more easily. Mistakes are also a lot harder to duplicate on the regular because the opaqueness is more subtle and the process is all about building up your contour rather than toning it down. I always try to blend this option on top of a liquid foundation or a well moisturized face to avoid the ‘powdered doughnut’ look. The Anastasia kit in specific is one of the better options on the market in terms of quality and price and I love how it includes a shimmer highlight as well so you don’t have to pay for the additional glam. My one complaint (that you may be able to spot in my over-used, and well-loved contour kit in the photo above) is the bottom-middle colour somehow wouldn’t transfer onto my brush like the other colours would and I had to scratch the top layer off a couple of times to get the pigment onto the brush? It also could’ve just been a build-up of oils from mixing cream and powder in the past, but still something to note.

2. Anastasia Beverly Kills Contour Cream Kit

Colour: Light/Medium

If you’re going for a more full coverage look, then cream is the way to go, especially if you have dry skin. But I will warn you; beware the cake face culprit. Though creme contour is deliciously dewy and leaves the skin looking fresh, it is also all too easy to over do. The golden rule being: LESS IS MORE.

At first, I wasn’t that impressed with this kit. The creme seemed to stick to the palette and I really had to dig with my brush to get the product. Then, during my Spring Break trip to Mexico, I realized it wasn’t the kit that was bad, it was the cold Canadian winter keeping the cream cold and…. not-so-creamy. But when in Mexico, the cream contour melted a bit with the temperature and was absolutely amazing; like butter on the skin (and it didn’t mask your skin’s subtle shine!). How does this info help? Well, since then I have made sure to keep the kit as far away from the cold—like the windowsill— and even put a blowdryer to it quickly (for 10 seconds or so) and it has definitely made a huge difference. 

3. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Trio

Colour: Medium 200 – Bamboo, Mocha, Trippin

First, can we start by putting our hands together for this incredible packaging. I am a sucker for good packaging and this option really made me giddy. Each stix is magnetized, making it way easier for travel and fits together like a honeycomb. You can buy each stix individually or in packs of three (which is what I did).

This was my first time trying it and I was kinda bummed when I realized that there are really only two matte contour colours and a shimmer blush tone for the cheeks. I also found it weird that the Medium 200 trio was the only option with a blushy peach colour and all the other tonal options simply had a nude shimmer partner. Nonetheless, the colour options ended up being enough and the blush pink colour was my favourite option (blush is going to be the next trend craze I swear). More natural looking than I thought it would be— and in comparison to the Anastasia Cream Contour Kit, not as intense —but perfect for someone who wants an effortless every-day look.

“What brush should you use?”

As you can see by my collection, brushes are like Lego’s: Alone, they seem fruitlessly limited, but together, you can fashion endless possibilities. I bought a combination of oval brushed to reach all the nooks and crannies that make up my proud profile, a pudgy fan brush to powder my cheeks, the flat brush to cream contour the larger lines around the exterior of my face and well, the last one I’m still trying to figure out but it just seemed like a necessary purchase (haha). Regardless, there is no magic formula so you might as well get one that looks like a mermaid tail if that’s what’ll make you happy ;)!




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