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The Best Creamy Contour Sticks to Highlight Your Features

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We honestly can’t remember a time before contouring existed. Though the technique was reportedly developed all the way back in Elizabethan England for the stage, its evolved into a shading style that chisels out facial features in a subtle, natural way. There are a number of different methods you can employ to sculpt your face, but our all-time favorite may be through using contour sticks.

Why Choose Contour Sticks Over Powder and How To Use Them

Powder bronzers and contour shades are just as impactful as contour sticks, but the cream formula and packaging of the latter certainly has its advantages. Powders have a tendency to sit on top of the skin, so if you’re using other powder products, a cake-y look may develop — which is far from the most appealing. But creamy formulas sink into the skin and can be blended out to absolute perfection to create the most natural effect!

Plus, if you’re not an expert at contouring, using a stick to get the look makes it that much easier. All you have to do is take the product and swipe it on four key areas: along the bottom of your cheekbones, underneath the chin, at the top of the forehead and on the sides of your nose. With contour sticks, the application process is much simpler because you have more control of the product, and if you make an initial mistake, it’s a breeze to fix. After that, just blend in your lines with a contouring brush or a classic makeup sponge to make everything look seamless — and you’re done! The entire process shouldn’t take you longer than approximately 10 minutes, and the results are immaculate.

Fact:There are so many different cream sticks out there that you can use for contouring. Some have more concentrated pigments, while others have a less intense hue — and of course, you can choose between a matte or dewey finish. Those details come down to your personal preferences, but if you aren’t sure what type of contour stick will suit you best, we have the low-down on all of the best options to choose from. Read on to check out our top picks!

11 Creamy Contour Sticks That Will Chisel Your Features to Perfection

Julep Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Multitasking Skin Perfecter

Julep Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Multitasking Skin Perfecter
Julep Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Multitasking Skin Perfecter Amazon

This is technically an all-in-one product which you can use for everything related to your makeup base — but if you want to use it as a contour, there are a number of brown hues to choose from. Because the formula can also be used as a concealer or foundation, the color is very concentrated — so a little bit can go a long way!

Pros

  • High pigment
  • Thinner applicator tip
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Finding your perfect shade may be tricky

Available at: Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Walmart

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour & Highlight Sticks

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour & Highlight Sticks
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour & Highlight Sticks Sephora

The advantage of this contour stick, aside from the blendable and lightweight formula, may be the shades designed for pale skin tones. Shoppers who have struggled to find the right contour hue that didn’t appear discolored on their skin were able to get exactly what they were looking for with this stick!

Pros

  • Perfect shades for fair skin tones
  • Natural matte finish

Cons

  • Fewer shades for darker complexions

Available at: Sephora, Ulta, Amazon

NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick

NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick
NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Amazon

This product is a two-for-one! With the contour stick, you also receive a perfectly matched highlight shade that you can use to make your beat pop even more. It’s by far one of the most popular contour products around, and reviewers say that it’s ideal for anyone who’s a beginner!

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Two-for-one product

Cons

  • Limited shades available

Available at: Amazon, Target, Ulta

MILK MAKEUP Matte Cream Bronzer Stick

MILK MAKEUP Matte Cream Bronzer Stick
MILK MAKEUP Matte Cream Bronzer Stick Sephora

If you want a less severe contour that looks more like bronzer, this stick is made for you. It’s extra chubby and the color is lighter, plus it has a dewier finish despite being a matte bronzer. This means you’ll get a touch more glow than some of the other contour sticks we’ve covered.

Pros

  • Buildable color
  • Hydrating formula
  • Super blendable

Cons

  • Very few shade options

Available at: Sephora

PÜR 4-In-1 Foundation Stick

PÜR 4-In-1 Foundation Stick
PÜR 4-In-1 Foundation Stick Amazon

This is another example of a foundation stick that can be used for contouring. Essentially, the color has a medium-to-full coverage capacity and you likely won’t need as much product. The formula has a velvet matte finish, so it won’t give you any shimmer or leave your skin looking parched.

Pros

  • Great shade range
  • More opaque coverage
  • Hydrating formula

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive

Available at: Ulta, Amazon

UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer

UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer
UNDONE BEAUTY Water Bronzer Amazon

The color of this stick bronzer might appear dark, but as the formula is water-based, it actually applies light and almost looks sheer! This is an excellent product to use for a seriously subtle contour or as a regular bronzer to warm up your face.

Pros

  • Sheer finish
  • Affordable price
  • Extremely hydrating

Cons

  • Limited shades available
  • May be too light for some

Available at: Amazon

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick Ulta

Again, we have another foundation stick that you can use for contouring — and it’s chock full of amazing ingredients. It’s fully vegan and free of any harmful chemicals or additives that may irritate the skin, so if you’re particularly prone to sensitivity, this is a safe bet.

Pros

  • Gentle formula for sensitive skin
  • Tons of shade options

Cons

  • More expensive product

Available at: Ulta, Nordstrom

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick Sephora

We simply couldn’t have a contour stick lineup without mentioning this specific product! It’s arguably one of the most popular options for contouring on the market because of how blendable and buildable it is — and how easy it is to find the shade that fits your skin tone to perfection.

Pros

  • Easy shade match
  • All-time bestseller
  • Blendable and buildable

Cons

  • Slightly pricier

Available at: Sephora, Ulta

UOMA Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

UOMA Beauty Double Take Contour Stick
UOMA Beauty Double Take Contour Stick Nordstrom

Another two-for-one! With this contour stick, you’ll receive your darker shade to chisel and a shimmery shade on the other end to use on the high points of your face. A completely captivating complexion is just a few steps away!

Pros

  • Comes with highlighter
  • Easy to find your shade

Cons

  • More expensive option

Available at: Ulta, Nordstrom

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick Sephora

Though this is a foundation stick, it will help you get the contour of your dreams. You can start out light and build to the coverage you like best, plus it’s also sweat- and water-resistant so your makeup stays in place for more than just a couple of hours!

Pros

  • Buildable color
  • Tons of shades available

Cons

  • High-end price

Available at: Sephora, Nordstrom

NUDESTIX Nudies All Over Face Matte Bronzer

NUDESTIX Nudies All Over Face Matte Bronzer
NUDESTIX Nudies All Over Face Matte Bronzer Target

You won’t have to get a special brush to use this contour stick — it’s already built-in! Shoppers adore this convenient feature, which is great for traveling or on-the-go touch-ups.

Pros

  • Blending brush included
  • Great blendable formula

Cons

  • Not as many shades available

Available at: Target, Sephora, Nordstrom

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