No matter what contour means to you — a light dusting of bronzer under your cheeks or a more intense buffing of pigment— the first step in achieving your preferred look will be the right application tool. The best contour brushes have stiffer, more densely packed synthetic bristles to allow you to seamlessly apply both powder and cream products exactly where you want them. The sharper the edge (either angled or flat), the more definition you'll achieve.
While contour brushes tend to follow the same basic structure, there are some key differences to look for depending on how you plan to use yours. If you like to use cream- or liquid-based products, you'll find that brushes with flatter heads and extra-dense bristles will let you apply your makeup in soft, almost circular motions for the most streak-free finish. For those who prefer to use powders, aim for brush fibers that are a little more angular and fluffy so you can sweep on your makeup with a lighter touch.
For detailing work — like when you want to apply product around your nose — you'll still want a dense brush, but look for a much slimmer, tapered brush head that resembles one you would use for diffusing your eyeshadow for more precise placement. And no matter where you're focusing your contour the most, a proper dome-shaped blending brush can work its magic across powder and cream products to ensure a flawlessly blended finish.
Keep scrolling and you'll find a selection of the best contour brushes available right now — and they start at as little as $5 on Amazon!
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.