Best Drugstore Contour – Affordable Contour Makeup to Shape Your Face

Published Categorized as Makeup Tips

Contours can really make or break your makeup look. If you apply the contour and don’t blend properly or use the right colors, you could look muddy or clownish. When you’re new to contour it could be difficult to get used to the application. For example, it’s recommended you use powder contours because you have more control. Like most makeup, it can get expensive quickly for a full-face look. You might not have the extra money to shell out for a contour kit. Luckily, drugstore makeup companies have realized this and began to develop formulas that compete with higher-end brands. With the drugstore kits, you can afford to complete your makeup look. Once you decide to buy a contour kit, you might get overwhelmed with all the choices available. What is the best drugstore contour? We compiled a list of our top favorites for cream, powder, liquid, and one that includes a highlight.

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NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Wonder Stick, Contour & Highlight - Medium

Best Drugstore Contours

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Editor’s Pick – e.l.f Contour Palette (Powder)

e.l.f., Contour Palette, 4 Shades, Customizable, Easy to Apply, Sculpts, Shades, Brightens, Light/Medium, Infused with Vitamin E, All-Day Wear, 0.56 Oz
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Contour Highlights

  • Includes four shades from light to medium or medium to dark
  • Infused with vitamin E
  • Travel safe
  • Doesn’t include most of the cheap ingredients found to cause breakouts or harmful reactions

We choose the powdered version of the e.l.f. contour kit for a few reasons. First, it’s free from many harmful chemicals that lower-end brands of makeup include in their ingredients. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. Some people may not care about that, but others would prefer the formulas they use to match the higher-end competitors. The kit includes four powder shades to highlight, bronze, and contour. We choose the powder version as our top pick over the cream version because the powder was easier to work with, especially for beginners. The kit also lasted a long while and didn’t smudge or come off easily. However, if you’re more of a pro, you might prefer the cream version more. The makeup itself comes infused with vitamin E to help with acne and treat the skin. This kit isn’t overly large, which makes it great for travel and includes a mirror for an on-the-go application.

Contour Reviews

You don’t have to take our word for it. Just look at some of the reviews for this palette!

One user loved that it worked great for their darker skin because it’s hard to find matches for women of color; “I’m “mocha latte” as my hubby likes to call the shade of my skin. The e.l.f. Contour Palette can fit most any skin shade from light to dark from my experience with it.”

Another user described how beginner-friendly it was; “An easy-to-blend, neat, and wallet-friendly contour kit perfect for beginners or anyone else looking for a break from other kits that have an overwhelming amount of shades to choose from.”

A user exclaimed how they love the palette because of the formula; “I have tried contouring creams and sticks, but I find this powder much easier to apply and blend.”

Drugstore Liquid Contour – L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer, Creamy Beige, 0.28 Ounce
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Contour Highlights

  • Comes in 30 different shades, including deeper tones
  • Works as a concealer and contour/highlight
  • Works well on dry skin

You might be thinking, this is a concealer in a contour makeup post. The L.A Girl Pro concealer actually doubles as a concealer and a contour. Most people must buy separate products to get the same effect. This concealer aims to change that. However, depending on your skin tone, you may need a different shade for your under eye area. You still will save more money buying multiples of this product over one high-end contour kit. It works on any skin type, even drier types. The formula is lightweight and crease-resistant. If you want to buy this concealer for contouring, just choose a shade two levels darker than your normal skin tone.

Contour Reviews

Users love this brand for its affordability and consistency.

One user raved about how it looked like they weren’t wearing makeup because of how well it blended; “It blends into my skin flawlessly and looks like I have nothing on for days I want a minimal makeup look.”

Another user loved the coverage and how lightweight it was; “Light and creamy. Good coverage. Buildable.”

This user loved how it works for nose contours; “Amazing for contour. I’ve learned about this product from Carli Bybel she uses it to contour her nose and let me tell you, best color, best application and best formula to contour your nose with.”

Best Drugstore Cream Contour Palette – e.l.f Cosmetics Cream Contour Palette

Cream Contour Palette by e.l.f. for Women - 0.43 oz Palette - (Pack of 2)
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Contour Highlights

  • Includes four shades that are buildable
  • Create custom shades from mixing on the back of your hand
  • Easily blendable

This cream contour palette drugstore brand has created a customizable palette. You get four shades from light to medium that you can scoop out and create your own mixture. e.l.f.’s Cream Contour Palette works even on darker and deeper skin tones wonderfully as a highlighter or concealer. The formula is smooth and creamy on the skin and blends into the skin to give the appearance you aren’t wearing makeup.

Contour Reviews

Users of all skin tones consider this palette to be the best cheap cream contour.

One user said they love this palette because of their dry skin; “Cream contour is perfect for my skin because I have dry skin and I can blend this in beautifully without it looking like it’s just sitting on top of my skin…”

Another user that’s a beginner said they love how easy the formula is to work with; “…this blends rapidly and is easy to work with.”

A user said they didn’t have any irritation to their skin when using the product; “It didn’t cause any irritation to come to my skin either.”

Best Drugstore Stick Contour – Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick

Maybelline New York Makeup Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick, Deep Shade Contour Stick, 0.24 oz
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Contour Highlights

  • 2-in-1 application
  • Creamy matte formula
  • Blends easily

The V-Shape Duo stick by classic drugstore brand Maybelline creates an illusion of lift in your face with the contouring and highlighting duo. The formula is matte but has a cream-like consistency that makes it easy to blend. The ease of the stick makes using it on the go a breeze. If you’re someone that hasn’t had much experience with cream contours, the stick can help make you adjust to the feel and blend. The formula lasts all day long even when you don’t place a setting powder on top.

Contour Reviews

Users of the product love the ease of use with the stick.

One user said they love the staying power and how easy it is to use; “Smooths right on, long lasting…”

Another user said it’s easy for everyday use, so you don’t only have to contour on special occasions; “This contouring stick has made it super easy to contour everyday.”

This user loved the user-friendliness and lightweight formula; “Good to begin contouring Doesn’t go on to heavy and easy to blend.”

Best Drugstore Highlight and Contour Palette – NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Cream Pro Palette

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Highlight & Contour Cream Pro Palette
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Contour Highlights

  • Features eight shades to highlight and contour with
  • Blendable formula
  • Long-lasting

This NYX contouring palette provides you with eight creamy shades that you can also mix to create your own custom shades. It includes shades for deeper skin tones and those with fair to pale complexions. While most cream contour kits take time to get used to, this contour blends smoothly and easily. NYX stays in place for hours without setting powders. The colors don’t run into each other either, so you don’t have to worry about muddiness.

Contour Reviews

Many customers of NYX love their products because they perform like a high-end products but without a hefty price tag.

One user liked the ease of application and staying power it has; “Creamy and easy to apply and actually look great after hours of wear.”

Another exclaimed about the kit as a first-time cream contour user; “First time using cream contour set and I love it!”

This user said it makes you photo-ready and is lightweight on the skin; “…feels so light on your skin and really does make your face look picture perfect…”

Best Drugstore Contour Powder – Wet N Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette

wet n wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette - Dulce De Leche
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Contour Highlights

  • Includes a light and dark color for highlight and contour
  • Comes with a lot of product in the pan
  • Works great with sensitive skin

The Wet N Wild contour palette features two powder colors to sculpt your face with little effort. This palette is multipurpose too. You can use lighter and darker shades for your contour or eyeshadow. Some even use the darker shade as a bronzer. While the contour kit has a lot of product in it, it can be easily stored for travel. The formula is what draws most people to this palette. Many face products cause a breakout, especially when wearing for long periods. Those with sensitive skin gravitate to this product because it doesn’t cause breakouts or irritation.

Contour Reviews

Wet N Wild MegaGlo takes the customer’s #1 pick as the best cheap contour powder.

A user raved about how they choose this contour kit over high-end ones they own; “I have a couple of high-end contour palettes, but I keep grabbing this one the most.”

One user said their child loves the multipurpose use of the product; “…she likes the size of it and likes it can be used for multipurpose.”

A few other users said it’s the only contour kit that doesn’t break them out; “It’s also the ONLY powder/brand that does NOT break me out.”, “… the formula doesn’t make my skin break out.”

Contour Makeup FAQs

Is cream or powder better for contouring?

It depends on your preference but they each give a different final look. Creams have a more natural finish and powders give you a more defined, matte look.

What’s the best contour?

The best contour will depend on several factors. One factor is your budget. Drugstore brands make dupes that work just as well as high-end ones. If you truly want and can afford a high-end contour kit, then buy it. The type of contour will also base itself on your preference and skill set. You might be a pro at contours and creams are your go-to. Those who are beginners will benefit from a powder or stick before they move on to creams. Some people prefer the look of a powder contour over cream and vice versa.

Is stick or powder contour better?

Many stick contours have similar formulas to cream ones. This will depend on your preference and your skillset. It’s never too late to learn!

How do I know my contour shade?

Fair to medium skin tones should search for neutral taupe shades to imitate shadows. Tan to olive skin tones should look for a deep, golden undertone to avoid ashy looks. Dark skin tones need warmth and depth in their shades to avoid a grey appearance.

RELATED: How to Choose Foundation Color Online

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Best Drugstore Contour – Over the Countour!

You need a contour to complete your makeup look. However, most of the brands recommended can cost up to $65 for a small product. People new to contour or on a budget can’t or don’t want to spend such a large amount on a single beauty product. Luckily, drugstore brands that you know and love sell contour kits for a fraction of the cost. Many of them even beat out the high-end brands! You can achieve your makeup look without spending hundreds on your face with our top contour kit picks.

Check out more from our affordable makeup series of posts:

By Ellis James

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