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I have some new (and old!) favourite contouring products that I’d love to share 🙂 High end to drugstore, powder to cream – I’ve got you covered 😉

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Hello, everyone. Welcome back. Today, we're going to be having a chat about some of my top contouring products. Before I start, I'll quickly reiterate what I look for in a contour just so that we're on the same page. I seek products that are entirely matte. The natural hollows of your face don't catch the light or glimmer in the sun. Additionally, I go for products that have cool tone so slight gray cast and you can absolutely shade your face with a bronzer. That would give you variation and definition. Personally, I'm a bit of a contouring purist and I aim to perfectly mimic the natural shadows of the face and they tend to be grayer than your skin tone. So I will start with options for paler skins and then I move towards to the deeper spectrum so that hopefully, you will find the product that suits you. So my first favorite for pale skin is MAC Omega eyeshadow, and this just goes to show you don't necessarily have to confine yourself to products that are specifically made for the face. Take a look inside your eyeshadow collection and you might stumble cross and awesome contour.

So Omega can be described as equal parts beige, brown and gray so there is no orange or red tones in this product. It's also quite a light shade so it's perfect for pale people because you're less likely to over apply and have a massive disaster on your hands. So I'm a pale to medium skin tone and I even love Omega on myself. It's subtle enough that I can use it during the day and it's also my number 1 pick for nose contouring. Omega is also a great bang for your buck. It's obviously a fantastic eyeshadow and you often see use on the brows particularly for blondes. It's one of my all time favorites. Love Omega. Another option that works well on pale to medium skin tones is NYX Taupe Blush and this I think is one of the best contouring options at the drug store. If I hold it up against Omega, you can see that it is a little bit ashier but don't be afraid it is not ultra pigmented and I just take off most of the products on the back of my hand before I go to apply.

Again really great option for pale to medium skin tones and I think the ideal option for those of you who are new to contouring you want to give it a go but you don't necessarily want a spend a bucket load. It's amazing quality. Another eyeshadow that I love for contouring is Make Up Store Microshadow in Masai and this is cool toned but it still has that beigey brown element so very much within the realm of the natural skin tone. Now Make Up Store Microshadows are awesome and they're also quite pigmented so I probably recommend this more to medium and medium plus skin tones. I have used it on someone very pale and it looks amazing. You just have to go a little bit experty with application.

Let's say hypothetically, you have a very strong yellow under tone, you might find that microshadow in Smog might fit you a bit better and I know that Linda Hallberg uses this one to contour so Masai, Smog? Cool turned, mutual leaning warm? I personally prefer Masai. So very quick blob on the next product because it was a limited edition item but I'm going to mention it just in case I re-promote and this is Chanel Notorious. Whoa, definitely the greatest powder contour that I've ever come across. It's not as scary as it looks though because it's a baked formula so the product is quite hard and the brush doesn't pick up too much product. I think that this one is best use in very small placement so just on the at the corner of the cheek bone, a little bit into a hairline because if you use it on over large portions of the face, I think it can make the complexion look a little bit ashen.

Anyway use sparingly. I love it. I think it's amazing product and I really hope that Chanel re-promotes this one and I think that they would be silly not to. Have you seen how much this going for an eBay? It's in sane. Next up, we have Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in medium and this is a personal favorite of mine because the texture is just sublime. It's almost creamy in consistency so even if you're powder phobic, you dislike the look of powders on your skin, this is a fantastic formulation. I also think that this is quite a special contour in a sense that it works a very fine line. It's ash enough to read as a shadow but it's not so gray that it can look jarring or muddy on very warm skin tones.

So for example, if these great contours are just way too scary for you and you're about to pick up your bronzer. You think I'm a lunatic. Stop. Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting will be your friend. So my final two favorites are cream contours. Now I'm very hard to please when it comes to cream contours. I would say that I dislike most of them and before anyone asked, yes I have tried the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate and I really didn't get along with that product. One cream contour that I like very much is the Senna contour kit and this product has some weird association with desperate housewives.

The makeup artist on set was always mixing coloring cream contour and in the end, she decides to market the products and the Senna contour kit was born. The contour in this kit isn't excessively ashy, it's neutral leaning cool. The formula, I love this formula. It's sort of a dry silicon formula, so it has enough slip that it's really easy to blend, but it's not so emollient and tacky that it starts to kind of migrate and melt down your face as you're wearing at. So I have the shade 1 but they do have another kit for deeper skin tone. In the palette, there's also two highlighting shades, eh, they're okay. I tend to prefer sort of high lighty, clicky concealer pens for highlighting purposes, but I will show you the application of that kit in a later video.

Final favorite of today is RCMA Shading S13. This is not necessarily something that I would recommend. I mean unless if you are going for like an epic editorial contour in which case I love you. Let's be friends and you can go right ahead. Now if you have a deepest skin tone, RCMA does some more neutral color in this range which I would recommend. Aside from RCMA, I know that Ben Nye does amazing contour option for deep skin tones. There's both a cream and a powder formulation. Alternatively, you could go with the cream foundation that's a few shades darker than your skin tone. I know it that both Graftobian and Cinema Secrets both two amazing cream foundations in a vast array of shades and undertone. And that is it. Those are my favorite contouring products over right now. If I discover any new ones, I'll be sure to let you know.

What I'll do is I'll put all the watches of these products on my blogs so if you want to have a closer look and compare the undertones of each. I'll put a link somewhere here. I would love to know what your favorite contouring products are. I'm always open to enabling. I hope you'll have a wonderful day and I will speak to you very soon. B-bye.

Contours mentioned in this video

MAC Eyeshadow – Omega
NYX – Blush in Taupe
Make Up Store – Microshadow in Masai
Make Up Store – Microshadow in Smog
Chanel – Ombre Contrast in Notorious (limited edition, review here)
Kevyn Aucoin – Sculpting Powder in Medium (used in my contouring tutorial)
Senna – Face Sculpting Kit in Shade 1 (available for purchase at CameraReadyCosmetics)
RCMA – Shading S13 (I purchased it here but can’t seem to find an international stockist)


Top Contouring Products

(click for bigger photo)

Nail Polish I’m wearing in this video

Illamasqua DWS (a grey creme)


Complete list of products mentioned

Face Sculpting Kit
Face Sculpting Kit
Taupe Blush
Taupe Blush
Sculpting Powder
Sculpting Powder
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. So much love for NYX Taupe! I really need to try the Kevyn Aucoin contour powder soon. I adore the packaging, and if the product is as nice as you say it is then I definitely need to own it.

    1. The packaging has changed a bit since I purchased it, a bit smaller now (less product boo) and no brush. Still an awesome product, a bit more neutral than NYX Taupe though. xx

    1. Hey Victoria! Testing Ellis Faas Concealer right now, I like it and it’s probably my favourite so far but I don’t think I LOVE it, know what I mean?
      Will do a concealer smack down soon πŸ™‚ x

  2. I want to try out a cheaper powder contour before I purchase the KA sculpting powder, which one would you recommend? I am a shade 5 in the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. We unfortunately do not have The Makeup Store here in Texas so my choices are either MAC or NYX.

    By the way, I am totally obsessed with the eye makeup you are wearing in this video!

  3. Bloody love this, Karima. And a tiny bit of me also bloody hated it – I need, ACHE for that Notorious Chanel power (see what I did there?! Lolz). Would love to hear your thoughts on Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow?? I am a NW20 and lurrrve it: seems to melt into the skin, is incredibly undetectable but you can so badly tell when I’m not wearing it. I know you’re not a blush-y babe, but it is perfect for people like me who pile on the tint on the cheeks. Pops dem bones out like magic!! Loved it so much that I wrote a post about it. Keep banging that keyboard and filming those vidz, I adore your work x

    1. Hey Georgia πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hear some people say that NARS Lhasa is not a million miles off Chanel Notorious, it looks a bit shimmery to me but maybe check it out?
      I have tried Illamasqua Hollow, it pulled a bit cloudy pink on me but I may revisit it πŸ™‚
      Working hard on more films, I have exciting things coming up! x

  4. Hi Karima, in terms of contouring for darker skin (I’m about a couple shades darker than your best friend Elena in the Kevyn Aucoin foundation video), do the same shades work? Are contouring shades basically universal? Cheers Karima πŸ™‚

  5. Great video. I struggle with bronzer and contouring. I’m such a novice and also very fair (NC15) so it’s usually terrifying territory for me. Currently I own the Boujois delice de soleil bronzing powder and Nars blush in the shade Zen. Needless to say, they haven’t gotten a lot of use. I think I should experiment more, and I did note you mention NYX blush in taupe, but just added Mac’s Omega eyeshadow to my list of products to try for the purposes of science.

    1. Hey Laura πŸ™‚
      Yeah bronzers tend to be a bit warm (for my contouring preferences, anyway). NYX Taupe and MAC Omega are both great options for NC15!

  6. Another great video- so helpful! Was wondering whether you could do a follow up post/video on the brushes you use with powder and cream contour products…and the techniques you employ. There are so many options re brushes that it leaves me a little bamboozled. Would love you to share your thoughts and practices πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Nellie πŸ™‚
      I plan to do a monster video on all my favourite brushes (I’ll try keep it short!), so that should address my favourite contouring brushes! x

  7. Karima!
    I also noticed the crayyyyzeee Notorious price inflation on ebay and thought “WTF is Chanel doing?!” I hope they get the “hint” and come out with v2.0 already, I will be the crazy woman crying grey tears at at the register.
    Ahem. So I actually wanted to ask you, have you tried any of the shades in your new Viseart palette as a cheek contour? I keep wondering if this is one of the things this palette could do… I would be all.over.that. It would also be interesting to see how some of these shades compare to your RBR matte eyeshadows. I keep thinking whether I need both?! Sorry for bombarding you with questions! Love you more than fuzzy hamsters! X

    1. Hey Cat πŸ™‚
      Chanel might be enjoying the exclusivity, I think it’s a market tactic πŸ™ I haven’t tried the Viseart on the cheeks yet but there are some contenders in that palette, I will try it and let you know!
      I love both the RBR mattes and the Viseart palettes- I think it comes to which shades you prefer and Viseart has more variety there. It’s a pricy pill to swallow, though!

      1. Thanks Karima, you da best <3

        As for the prices… well, I don't really fear them as I fear redundancy. I hate having things that I don't use! I actually find the price of the Viseart quite reasonable for the amount of quality product.

  8. aHHHHHH Karima.
    I think I have to owe you as my inspiration of contouring. Haha
    Been using KA sculpting powder mostly, finally got my hand in a chanel notorious (really precious little baby that I try not to use it too quickly), tried the RCMA S13 (if I feel like spending time and if I am planning to go for a all-cream-product-on-face makeup lol).
    When I feel like using bronzer as contour, I got the guerlain terra-cotta in 00, or Bobby Brown bronzing powder in golden light (prob my 1st contour product purchased)… Recently also got the discontinued Armani sheer bronzer to try.
    I’m interested in trying the makeup store ones and maybe if I visit Sydney I’ll try to grab one.

    1. KA Sculpting is still the best choice for most skin tones, IMO. I’ve been using Chanel for… over a year? And no dent, that thing lasts forever. If you’re in Sydney, definitely check out Make Up Store, so many pretty colours! x

  9. Hello Karima! You’re amazing, thank you for your videos, they help so much πŸ˜‰
    I don’t know the official number of my skin tone, but it’s quite darker than yours with olive undertone. I’m using very recently the eyeshadow COQUETTE from MAC mainly for my hairline to make it more rounded, softer. I love it! What do you think?
    Keep it up!

  10. Hi Karima, regarding undereye concealer, try the EstΓ©e Lauder Double Wear! It is ah-maz-ing! If you finish with a bit of powder, it won’t budge or crease for hours and hours. I’ve spent so many years looking for the perfect concealer, and I was disappointed with the Clinique that Lisa Eldridge loves and went back to the same thick creamy stuff I always used – til I found this. HG!

    1. How’s the finish of the Estee Lauder Double Wear? Does it have the tendency to look dry? That’s my main issue with a lot of under eye concealer, since longevity has never been much of an issue for me. xx

  11. I just started using NYX taupe after watching your video and have been loving it! Gone are the days of flat cheeks and weird orange lines! =)

  12. I highly highly recommend Surratt Artistique Blush in shade Grisaille! I’ve been loving Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder for a long time but its still was too dark for my pale skin. The texture of this contouring blush is sooo velvety it feels like a silk and glides on perfectly, just give it try

    1. Ooh interesting! It looks like a great contour shade, based on my google image searching πŸ™‚ Sadly not available in Aus, but I’ll take a look at it when I travel. Thanks for the recommendation! xx

  13. Helloooo! Well, I’m late to this party, but it’s such a wonderful post! THANK YOU!

    I stumbled across NYX Taupe online quite by accident some time ago and thought it might work as a contour (before I discovered that seemingly every blogger/vlogger had also said the same! Well, at least that meant I was on the right track finding the right thing for my pale skin…

    But wouldn’t you know; they just start carrying NYX here in Canada and I can never find Taupe – it’s always sold out online, too! Drat.

    Wanted to mention the online company Beautylish carries RCMA products (!) -large palettes to quads to single foundation shades, correctors, blushes and even a sunburn quad! For that castaway look. πŸ˜‰

    They DO ship to Australia and have a system where any taxes and duties are shown before placing your order so you know what you’re getting into. Then it’s zipped off to you ASAP. I’ve not ordered from them yet, but have been eyeing a number of things…

    They carry Ellis Faas, Kevyn Aucoin, Wayne Goss brushes and, starting in September, Charlotte Tilbury, as well as a number of other goodies.

    I’m planning on getting some RCMA foundations myself… They sound great.

    Hope that helps a bit!!

    Love your blog. πŸ™‚

  14. I’ve been looking for contouring products for a long time, but everything I found was either extremely expensive, or just the wrong color. Thanks for all of your tips. Super helpful