Which are the best brushes for cream contouring?
Anyone who’s tried blending cream makeup knows that not any old applicator will do.
That’s why we researched the best makeup brushes for applying and blending contour. We included a range of shapes, sizes, and styles. These are tools that pro makeup artists use for cream contour.
What kind of brush is best for cream contouring?
The experts recommend makeup brushes with synthetic bristles for cream contour. That’s because natural bristles absorb the product.
We were happy to find that synthetic bristles are just as soft as natural ones. But they also manage to have the necessary amount of stiffness to manage cream makeup.
Also, it matters how densely packed the bristles are. The denser the brush, the more contour it can pick up and deliver.
How to choose the best brush for cream contour
Next, consider the shape of the brush. Look at the handle. What works best for you – longer, shorter, thicker, thinner, or curved?
Now, look at the bristles. Many contour brushes have flat heads and an angled shape. But would you prefer an oval contour brush?
The sharper the edge, the easier it is to draw thin lines and create definition. On the other hand, round and oval brushes diffuse and blend as nothing else can.
Best Brushes for Cream Contouring in 2023
Now, let’s review the best contour brushes.
NYX Cosmetics Pro Contour Brush PROB05
It’s hard to tell the size of a brush by looking at photos unless it’s compared to something else. This NYX brush has a rounded tip that’s about the thickness of a thumb. It’s small enough to contour most noses and large enough for the jawline and cheeks.
Meanwhile, the handle is about 6 inches long and as thick as a Crayola marker.
Users say that the synthetic bristles are soft yet dense enough for cream makeup. They don’t shed, and they blend flawlessly.
EcoTools Wonder Color Finish
This brand offers a variety of different brush sizes at budget prices. Each one is made with a renewable bamboo handle and sold in recyclable packaging.
There are over sixty thousand vegan bristles. As you can imagine, the brush is very dense yet soft. Someone described it as “buttery smooth”.
This is a versatile tool for applying contour and blush. Moreover, since it works well damp or dry, you can also use it for liquid foundation.
e.l.f. Contouring Brush for Precision Application
This inexpensive contour brush is professional-quality. It’s handmade with ultra-fine synthetic hair. It works well for contour cream, bronzer powder, and liquid foundation.
It features short, dense bristles with a flat top. They’re mounted in an almost oval shape with sharp points for precision application. Rotate the brush depending on whether you’re applying contour or blending it. The round handle is comfortable either way.
Reviewers say it’s easy to wash and doesn’t shed. Happily, it doesn’t “swallow product” either.
wet n wild Contour Brush
Are you on the lookout for cheap brushes?
This vegan brush is a discount option that can handle contour, highlight, and blush application. The curved angle of the bristles offers both precision and a broader surface for blending.
The tapered edge allows for contouring the nose and illuminating around the eyes. It’s even possible to apply eyeshadow with it.
Sigma F40 – Large Angled Contour
Here’s a brush that won the Best of Beauty award from Allure. It has the same shape as the one above: it’s angled with rounded edges. Therefore, it’s excellent for applying contour or brush to the cheeks.
But why should you pay more for this brand name? What you’re getting are durability and performance.
First, it’s well-made with patented synthetic fibers. They are ultra-soft bristles that last for years of service.
Next, the metal ferrules are made of a trademarked alloy that’s shiny, strong, and corrosion-resistant. They are securely screwed, not glued, to the handle.
Finally, the polymer handles are unbreakable and waterproof. Each is labeled with the brush description.
Huda Beauty Dual-Ended Contour & Bronze Complexion Brush
Save space with this double-ended makeup brush. It has creamy synthetic fibers that can handle powder, liquid, and cream contour and bronzer.
The small end is angled for precision application. The large end is also angled but much fluffier for buffing and blending.
Smashbox Camera Ready Contour Brush
It has a vibrant red handle and a softly curved head with flat edges. Depending on which way you turn it, it can do thin lines or blend over a large area. You might call it the best nose contour brush.
The soft, synthetic fibers are ideal for both powder and cream contour. Furthermore, they maintain their shape after washing.
Real Techniques Sculpting Brush
This brand offers several sizes of makeup brushes. We selected the sculpting brush for contouring because of its dense synthetic bristles and colorful chunky handle.
It’s generally priced somewhere between the discount brushes and the premium brand names. That makes it a safe bet when you’re hoping for a long-lasting makeup tool but don’t want to invest a lot of money.
Kabuki Nose Contour Brush – Beauty Junkees
It’s a miniature version of the full-size kabuki brush. Use it for contouring the nose and highlighting around the eyes. It’s also handy for lip color or concealing spots.
It has a rounded top with short, dense, soft bristles. The fibers are dark-colored with white tips. One side of the head is taller than the other, giving it a slanted appearance.
Vela.Yue Flat Contour Brush
Makeup brush collectors liked this typical contour brush. They said it has silky, dense bristles that blend both powder and cream products smoothly. The plastic handle, of course, is waterproof.
It’s handmade by trained artisans in a factory with strict quality control standards. This brush is guaranteed to not shed. If you’re not pleased with it, it comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee.
NARS Women’s Contour Brush, 21
This multi-tasking brush does contour, bronzer, and blush. The density and angle of the bristles are ideal for sculpting cheekbones.
It’s soft and picks up plenty of product. If you’re using powder, you’ll find that it doesn’t create fallout.
Everyday Minerals | Itahake Brush | Bamboo Brush
You’re either going to love or hate the handle on this brush. It’s wide and flat, unlike the typical round handle on makeup brushes. But it’s renewable bamboo, which makes it water-resistant and durable.
The white-tipped synthetic bristles are packed densely inside the handle without a visible metal ferrule.
Reviewers commented that the nylon and Taklon fibers are soft and perfect for blending. Their shape allows for both application and buffing along the cheekbones and jawline.
Kat Von D Edge Creme Contour Brush #5
It has a stiletto handle. It’s sleek, black, and tapered. The pointed end can serve as a mixer.
Anyone familiar with tattoo artist Kat Von D will recognize the stamped crest just below the synthetic bristles. After all, she designed the brush to go along with her brand’s cream contour palette.
The bristles have a symmetrically curved top. They’re tapered for putting on and blending contour and highlight anywhere on the face. Since they’re white-tipped, it’s easier to see how much pigment you’ve picked up.
Real Techniques Makeup Blender Brush for Cream or Powdered Contour
Yes, it looks like a scrub brush, perhaps something you’d use to scratch your back or clean the dishes. But the fluffy, soft bristles will delight your skin.
This is as far from the typical contour brush as you can get, but we were thrilled with this performance. If you’re a beginner with contour, you’ll find it helps you do flawless blending. It can handle contour, bronzer, and blush perfectly.
Take note that we said blending, not application. The oval-shaped rounded top is not precise enough for putting on contour. But don’t despair; there are smaller oval makeup brushes that can apply cream contour as well.
How to use oval makeup brushes
If you have a stick applicator of cream contour, you’re ready to go. Apply it along the cheekbone, jawline, forehead, and nose. Then grab your trusty oval makeup brush and blend. (1)
Otherwise, swirl your oval brush in the contour and draw a line under the cheekbone towards the ear. Yes, that might be backwards for you if you were taught to start at the ear and work your way down.
But when you start blending with the brush, you’ll see how it works. Use small circular motions and swipes to blend the contour. You’ll be done in seconds.
Next, put a small amount of contour on the brush (or use a stick applicator) to sweep along the hairline. Again, the oval brush finishes the blending in record time.
Now, apply more contour under the jawline and swipe down onto the neck.
Finish by using the contour left on the brush to line the sides and tip of the nose. Once you add highlighter, the contrast will complete the sculpting.
Vanity Planet Makeup Brush Kit
We liked this complete set of oval brushes. There are ten in total, including contour, detail contour, concealer, eyeshadow, foundation, powder, bronzer, lip, and more.
Instead of an arched or curved handle, these are flat with an ergonomic grip. All the synthetic bristles are soft on delicate skin and textured for flawless blending. They hold just the right amount of makeup, too.
When you wash them, don’t worry about standing them up to dry. Just lay them flat once you’ve reshaped the bristles.
Pro Face Contour Brush Set
Here’s a standard cream contour brush set. It’s a definite upgrade from the freebie that came with the contour palette you bought. (Or are you still trying to contour with some random brush)?
The set comes with the five most essential contour brushes. They include a precision-angled brush, tapered highlighter, fan brush, flat brush, and round angled contour brush. It’s everything you need to do professional sculpting.
One user commented that the brushes are a dream to use. Each one is attractively made. They are soft and sturdy, plus each handle is labeled.
Vertex Beauty Makeup Contour Brushes
This inexpensive set of three brushes all have angled heads. The largest has a curved top.
The bristles are hand-cut with precise angles for applying contour and highlight. The synthetic fiber is unbleached with a micro-end finish. It picks up the right amount of pigment and blends it smoothly.
The durable handles are brightly colored and have a simple tubular shape.
Reviewers say the bristles feel feathery soft. They work well with powder and cream.
BS-MALL Premium Synthetic 14-Piece Brush Set
If you go by the astonishing number of online reviews, it seems like everyone already owns this brush set. It’s the best budget-price option.
There are five kabuki brushes and nine precision brushes in total. The only thing lacking is a carrying bag.
We were glad to see that each handle is labeled with the brush’s purpose. Even if you don’t get them for yourself, get them for the up-and-coming makeup artist in your life.
LORAC Pro Conceal/Contour Palette and Brush
Here’s one of the best cream contour palettes. It comes with a double-ended applicator brush.
One side comes to a tapered point for applying concealer and highlight. The other end is light and fluffy for applying and blending contour, bronzer, or blush.
The palette includes twelve creamy shades, including light, medium, and dark contour and shimmer. They blend well together to conceal and correct.
Ecotools Makeup Brush Cleaner
We hope you’re washing your makeup brushes once a week. If it seems like a hassle, maybe you need a better brush cleaner. This one is like shampoo for synthetic bristles and makeup sponges.
It releases residue and cleanses bacteria without wrecking your skin. That’s because it’s dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic. It contains no harsh chemicals like phthalates, parabens, or petroleum.
The formula rinses easily and leaves no residue on makeup tools. It also has a pleasant scent.
Dampen your makeup brushes with tepid water. Then massage a drop of shampoo into the fibers until it makes a bit of lather. Rinse until the water runs clear and squeeze the bristles gently. Reshape them, then allow the brush to dry flat.
When you have the right tools, it’s more fun and much easier to do makeup. Contour brushes are essential for a professionally-sculpted appearance.
What’s more, they are reusable. Depending on where you live, some makeup brushes are also recyclable. They are an investment to help you achieve the look you desire.
If you love your new contour brush, tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.wikihow.com/Use-Oval-Makeup-Brushes Co-authored by Yuka Arora, last updated July 22, 2020, accessed February 25, 2021