My Must-Have Contour Kit & Brushes

Happy weekend, everyone! 

I hope you all had a fantastic week and are beginning an even better weekend! Today I wanted to do a post on my favorite highlight/contour kit and the brushes I use to get a sculpted face.

Contour kits are a huge hit in the makeup market right now, and as such there are sooo many options to choose from. My personal favorite is the Kat Von D Shade & Light contour palette. You can buy it over on Sephora's website for $46. The new version has magnetic pans so you can repurchase just your favorite shades instead of the entire palette! Super convenient and cost-effective. This is a powder contour kit which is easier to use than creams, in my opinion. If you're a beginner in the world of contouring, I recommend starting out with a powder kit. The shades last all day without fail and never oxidize. There also aren't 8 million shades to choose from like in some kits. If you like products that are simple and to the point, this one is for you.

 Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette swatches. From L-R: Subconscious, Shadowplay, Sombre, Levitation, Lyric, Lucid

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette swatches. From L-R: Subconscious, Shadowplay, Sombre, Levitation, Lyric, Lucid

For reference, I have fair skin with pink overtones and the shades in this palette work like a dream for me. I was initially attracted to it because it contained two cool-toned contour shades, Sombre and Subconscious. I love using taupes to make my cheekbones chiseled as I find that warm-toned contours look unnatural on me. Cool-toned contour shades replicate natural shadow, so that was a major selling point for me. Sombre is a true-taupe that's great for everyday use. It's more subtle than Subconscious, which I like using for nights out where I really want to ramp up my contouring. As you can see in the swatch, it's a dark brown shade. Subconscious is EXTREMELY pigmented. Like, you barely need to pick up any on your brush to get color payoff. 10/10, very dramatic.

The palette also contains a warm-toned contour shade, Shadowplay, that I like to use for general bronzing. It's a soft brown like Sombre is, but it has orange undertones that make it pull more warm. This would also be a gorgeous shade to use as an eyeshadow!

The palette also contains three highlight shades, Lucid, Lyric, and Levitation. Lucid is pinky nude that is very subtle and perfect for everyday use if you're a ghost like me. Lyric is a banana-nude that pulls very yellow. This is great for color-correcting dark purple shadows. I use it on days where the bags under my eyes are out of control. Levitation is a coral/peachy nude that I admittedly don't reach for quite as often. I suspect that it's gorgeous on olive skintones, but it's not ideal on pale-ass skin like mine. Like Shadowplay, it would be a gorgeous eyeshadow shade - I suspect that it's similar to the ever-popular Peach Smoothie eyeshadow from Makeup Geek.  

 Top to bottom: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Brush

Top to bottom: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Brush

Although the actual contour and highlight products you use is important, the brushes you use to apply those products should not be neglected. I've tested out a variety of different styles and brands of brushes to use while contouring/highlighting, and I've finally settled on the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and the Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Brush. The Real Techniques brush can be purchased at Ulta for only $8.99, and the Luxie brush can be purchased from their website for $16.

I use the Luxie brush for contouring. I've found that using angled brushes works the best to contour with, as they naturally follow the angle from the hollow of your cheekbone. I also use it to contour my nose and jaw and it works well in those spots too. Plus this brush is soooo fluffy. It feels like using a cloud on your face, seriously. I can't stand using itchy brushes on my face, so you'll have to pry this brush out of my cold-dead hands. This brush is also 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and paraben-free. Could it get any better!?

I use the Real Techniques brush to highlight using both the Kat Von D Shade & Light highlighting shades and the disco-ball glowy highlighters that are ever-so popular right now. Like the Luxie brush, this brush is soooo soft. It is also dense, which I've found makes it easiest to pick up the perfect amount of product and buff it out on your face. Technically it's supposed to be used for applying foundation, but the fact that it's so versatile speaks to the quality of the brush. 

So there you have it! These products are my go-to essentials for contouring. What is your favorite contouring kits? Which brushes are near and dear to your heart?