To the true beauty beginner, contouring can seem downright scary. The idea behind the popular technique, however, is actually pretty simple. Contouring is really just the process of using light- and dark-toned makeup to enhance your natural features. And while it may take some practice to get Kardashian-level killer cheekbones, it’s easy to add some subtle definition to your makeup look—if you have the right tools. To help you get started, we rounded up some of our favorite contour kits, beloved by first-timers and pro artists alike. (For extra help, check out our basic contouring guide.)
If you’re not familiar with RCMA, the one thing you need to know about the brand is that the products—designed for pros—are unlike anything you’ve used before. They’re super pigmented, so a little (seriously, a little!) goes a long way. This cream-based, five-color foundation palette includes a wide range of shades, so anyone can custom-blend the perfect contour and highlight shades for their skin tone. (Read our guide to the RCMA foundation system for more information.)
Anastasia Contour Kit
The Anastasia Contour Kit became an instant cult favorite the day it was released—and for good reason. This palette includes six pressed powders that, when combined, can be used to create a variety of looks ranging from simple to dramatic. Even better, it comes in three colorways (Light to Medium, Medium to Tan, and Tan to Deep) with warm, cool, and neutral highlight and contour shades, so it’s a fair bet for all skin tones. Whether you’ve been contouring for years or just a few days, this palette is both comprehensive and fun to use.
This bronzer-highlighter duo isn’t just gorgeous to look at—it’s one of our all-time favorite contouring kits. Why? The intensely pigmented, smooth-as-silk formulas work on any skin tone. The bronzer isn’t too red or orange, and the highlighter gives off a soft, subtle glow. The product may look shimmery in the pan, but once it goes on the skin, it leaves behind the most beautiful pearlescent finish. For the ultimate application, try it with the Charlotte Tilbury Powder Sculpt Brush.
If you’re a fan of Sisleÿa, the breakthrough anti-aging line beloved by beauty connoisseurs around the world, we’ve got big news for you. Sisley-Paris, the French luxury brand known for their plant-based skin care formulations, has debuted a new foundation that combines the tried-and-true anti-aging technology of Sisleÿa with lightweight, luminous coverage that looks and feels like real skin.
Sisleÿa Le Teint targets the skin at two levels to bring out a radiant, youthful complexion: instantly and over time. When first applied, Le Teint immediately blurs imperfections, evens skin tone, and imparts a natural, soft-focus glow with light-diffusing mica and hectorite. It feels noticeably weightless on the skin with a long-lasting, satin-like finish that’s never cakey or heavy.
With regular use, Sisleÿa Le Teint works like the most effective anti-aging cream you’ve ever used. Powered by the same botanical complex used in other Sisleÿa products, it targets the three types of aging (environmental, genetic, and behavioral) to visibly smooth, firm, and plump skin throughout the day. Think fewer fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, increased radiance, and bouncier, more youthful skin. A foundation that does more than just make our skin look flawless? Sign us up.
To see more before-and-after photos featuring Beauty Professor and TrendMood, check out our Sisleÿa Le Teint page. If you need help choosing a shade or want to learn more about this foundation, schedule a personalized consultation with one of our beauty advisors.
Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer is one of the beauty world’s all-stars and a serious multitasker to boot. If you haven’t heard of it, this powerful little pot contains a highly pigmented, cream-based skin perfector that can be used as a foundation, concealer, tinted moisturizer, highlighter, and more. Its incredible staying power and intense pigmentation have made it the buzz of the beauty industry for years. Hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil and honey deliver a dewy finish that’s never dry or cakey, and it’s available in 16 shades to accommodate a wide range of skin tones.
Though it’s a mainstay in many pro makeup artists’ kits, The Sensual Skin Enhancer can be a little tricky for beginners to master. That’s why we put together a tutorial to help you use this all-in-one hero product to create natural-looking flawless skin in just a few steps. Say goodbye to your usual foundation and concealer routine, and read on to discover why The Sensual Skin Enhancer is one product we’ll never be without.
Create a Sheer Foundation
The Sensual Skin Enhancer can be mixed with moisturizer to customize coverage depending on your needs. We’ll start with a sheer, lightweight base to even out the skin and blur any major texture or tone issues.
Measure out half of a pea-sized amount of The Sensual Skin Enhancer and a pea-sized amount of a creamy moisturizer, such as Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. Mix the two on a palette or another clean surface to create a sheer-coverage base. For more coverage, you can increase the amount of The Sensual Skin Enhancer, but we recommend starting with this 1:2 ratio.
Natasha Denona’s Star Palette might be one of our favorite holiday releases this year, and it’s not hard to see why. With its mix of cool and warm shades and four gorgeous finishes (Metallic, Creamy Matte, Duo-Chrome, and new Crystal), this is an eye shadow palette that truly works for everyone—no matter your style or skin tone. It’s also incredibly easy to use, thanks to a unique design that allows you to create a complete eye look with each row. Of course, you can also mix and match the shades however you choose—the possibilities are almost endless. To get the inspiration flowing, we asked Natasha to share some of her favorite looks to create with the Star Palette. See her picks and learn how to recreate them below.
To start, Natasha smoothed a thin layer of Lifting Primer Anti-Aging Serum over her model’s skin. She then applied Face Glow Foundation in 20 – Light Beige with #22 Large Foundation Brush, buffing in circles until the coverage looked even and seamlessly blended. She tapped a small amount of Eye Light Highlighting Concealer in Shade 2 under the eyes to conceal any darkness, and then applied Eye Shadow Base in 01 Light to the lids.
To create this crystal-tinged smoky eye, Natasha used only three shades. She blended Earth 102 CM, a dark chocolate brown, from the center of the lid to the outer V of the eye. She added Supernova 114 DC, a silvery duochrome, to the center of the lid and Polaris 116 K, a white gold with a crystal finish, in the inner corner. We’ll be wearing this easy, eye-catching look to all our holiday parties this season.
This striking, editorial-inspired eye looks like it came straight off of the runway. Natasha applied Electra 115 CM over the entire lid, blending up into the brows, out towards the hairline, and into the lower lashline. She then added Rhea 118 M, a metallic peach gold, to the center of the lid for a halo effect before smudging it into the inner corner of the eye and the center of the lower lashline. She blended Phoenix 113 CM, a matte brick red, into the crease and used Vega 111 CM, a matte tea rose, as her transition shade.