Back in 2000, contouring was all the rage. And by that I mean, the more drastic the contour, the more we loved it! Thankfully, we have moved on from those intense days!
Contouring nowadays is all about sculpting your face, while still keeping it natural looking with a softer look. It’s all about bringing out your natural beauty!
There is no shortage of contour products on the market, in fact, it’s oversaturated! With so many makeup products on the market, it’s easy to become confused over which one is good for you and your skin!
It’s even harder for those with pale and fair skin, for the simple reason that most contour products have a slight orange tint to them. Orange contour is a disaster for pale and fair skin. Unfortunately, I had to learn that the hard way! However, you don’t have to!
We’ve put together here the best contour products for pale and fair skin that won’t leave you looking like an Oompa Loompa!
These contour products include matte and shimmer contours, as well as, cream and powder ones. There’s a contour for every budget too, from luxury makeup to drugstore, we’ve got you covered!
Check out the end of the review for common FAQs on what contouring is and how to do it!
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The Best Contour Products For Pale & Fair Skin in 2022
Starting off with one of my favourite makeup products to date! So much so, that the Filmstar Bronze & Glow features in quite a few posts and there’s a reason for that.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow is one of the best contour products for pale skin. It gives the skin enough pigmentation without it looking orange or brown. It has a lovely natural colour with an illuminating finish.
The contour is buildable for those who want a bit more colour. It doesn’t get patchy, it applies evenly and smoothly for an ideal finish! It sculps the face perfectly, giving you enhanced cheekbones without a heavy makeup look.
The Bronze & Glow comes in two variations, light to medium and medium to deep. Obviously, for pale skin choose the former one! The contour comes in a palette with a highlighter.
Whilst I love the contour shade, I’m not such a fan of the highlighter, which in fact, I barely use. It’s too dark for pale skin. Check out my review on the best highlighters for pale skin.
If Charlotte Tilbury would sell the contour shade without the highlighter one, I would definitely buy that! However, the contour is so good, that it’s worth buying even if you never use the highlighter!
A great budget-friendly choice for a contour palette is this Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette. Don’t let the cheap price fool you into thinking that the quality is cheap too. Nope. Not at all.
Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette is a winner, not only is it affordable but the quality is top too.
The palette comes with 8 highlight and contour shades. There are 3 contour shades and 3 highlight ones, as well as, an additional 2 merged baked highlighters for illumination.
The shades are highly pigmented and they all apply easily and smoothly without looking blotchy. They give the skin a natural-looking contour making it the perfect product for pale and fair skin. You can also build this palette up for a dramatic look.
It’s easy to see why this palette has become a staple for so many! Another useful feature is that the palette comes with a full-sized mirror on the inside, making applying your makeup on the go all the easier!
Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette is vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free.
Looking at the shades alone, it’s easy to see why the KVD Beauty Shade + Light Refillable Powder Face Contour Palette is ideal for pale skin. The shades are neutral based and have no hint of orange in them!
That being said, the darkest brown is probably too dark for us pale ones. You can opt to use that shade for your brows, or even better you can replace it with one of the shades that you regularly use.
Replacing shades is possible with this palette because it features magnetic removable pans! Yep, you can refill and customize your ideal contour palette, which is a fab feature!
The contour shades are all matte, making it look all the more natural once applied. The highlight shades give the skin a soft, subtle glow. With silky shades that are highly pigmented, non-drying and easy to blend, it’s truly a palette worth adding to your makeup collection!
Made with nourishing ingredients, like Wild Rose Extract, Safflower Seed Oil and Vitamin E, which all help to give the skin a flawless finish. Who doesn’t want that?!
KVD Beauty Shade + Light Refillable Powder Face Contour Palette is vegan and cruelty-free.
Fenty Beauty has made it in the beauty world, from its foundations to eyeshadows and everything in between! They’re a cult favourite and it’s easy to see why. The products are top-notch quality, easy to use and pretty to top it up!
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick is no exception! The cream to powder contour stick is a bestseller and is a delight to use!
The advantage of using a cream contour is that it’s much easier for targeted applications. This is especially good for beginners because you can really see exactly where you’re applying the contour.
Cream contours are generally easier to work with than powders. The Match Stix Matte Contour Skinsticks have the best of both because they apply as a cream and dry as a powder with a matte finish.
The contours are comfortable to wear, easy to apply and dry without any creasing or caking.
Available in 8 shades, ranging from very light in the shade Soft Amber, to very dark in the shade Caviar. For pale skin, we recommend Amber or Soft Amber. Both shades will give you an ideal contour that’s natural-looking without any orange tinges.
The trick to getting contour correct for pale skin is to stick to cool tones and that’s exactly what Fenty Beauty has done!
The contour sticks have a magnetic lid ensuring it never dries out. However, Fenty Beauty has recently announced that they will be phasing out the magnets to make the packaging more environmentally friendly.
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinsticks are vegan and cruelty-free.
Lorac Pro makeup products are favoured by many with sensitive skin that’s prone to irritations. Its ingredients are gentle and soothing on the skin making it ideal for you if you often get breakouts.
Aside from the beneficial ingredients, the Lorac Pro Conceal/Contour Palette is impressive in its own rights! The palette consists of 12 creamy, blendable shades and it comes with a brush to apply them.
Instead of the standard highlight and contour palette, Lorac Pro has taken it one step further by including 4 concealer shades. This is a nice touch because, to be fair, conceal and contour tend to overlap. In fact, many people simply use a concealer in a shade or 2 darker for contour.
In addition to the 8 conceal/contour shades, there are 4 shimmery highlight shades for all of your highlighting needs.
This palette is ideal for pale and fair skin. All of the shades are extremely natural-looking and all but one shade is cool-toned. The cream texture adds to the natural finish that the palette gives. That being said, it is easy to build up these shades for a more dramatic look too!
This is another tried and tested personal favourite of mine! With 8 full-sized shades to choose from, you can be sure there’s something for everyone!
This palette also has removable pans which means that you can customise it with the shades that you love best!
The palette comes with 4 highlighter shades and 4 contour ones. The darkest brown shade is probably too dark for pale skin, but the other 3 contour shades are perfect.
The shades apply smoothly and seamlessly. They blend out beautifully without looking cakey or patchy. The colour payoff is excellent, yet at the same subtle and buildable.
Lightweight to wear and easy to use, the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Face Palette is perfect for beginners, experts and everyone in between!
The palette has a vegan formula and is cruelty-free.
You may be wondering what the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is doing in a review on the best contours. And, you’re quite right! It is a foundation stick, but… it works fantabulous as a contour too!
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is especially effective as a contour when you also use it together with the foundation. This is simply because they blend together perfectly!
Truthfully there are loads of makeup products that can be doubled up and used for something else too! Sometimes, all it takes is a little thinking out of the box. It doesn’t always work, but we can vouch that the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick works perfectly as a contour!
Simply choose a shade or two darker than your foundation shade for the ideal contour shade. You can use it alongside your foundation, or on its own as a contour.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick comes in 43 shades of cool, warm and neutral undertones. There is no shortage of shades to choose from for pale skin. It has a stick formula which is a lot like a cream and has medium to full coverage.
With moisturising properties like olive extract and shea butter, you can expect softer skin. These ingredients also help the foundation look more natural. The foundation doesn’t settle into lines, nor does it accentuate pores!
In addition to the hydrating ingredients, it has a unique transparent base that’s expertly calibrated to your undertone and helps even out and correct your complexion. It sounds almost too good to be true, except, this stuff really works!
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, gluten, sulfites, mineral oil, triclosan, formaldehyde and is suitable for sensitive skin. Read the full review here.
Another winner contour palette for pale skin is the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit. It comes in a palette of 3 shades in powder form.
Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit comes in 2 options – light or deep. They both come with a contour, bronzer and a highlighter. The light palette is perfect for pale skin. The shades are subtle and not overpowering, yet still noticeable.
The shades give a natural matte finish. The highlight shade can double up as a setting powder or it can be used under the eyes.
A lovely touch with this palette is that it comes with a step by step guide making it the ideal palette for newbies to contour! The guide shows you how to apply contour to different face shapes. It also comes with a brush that’s perfect for applying the contour to the hollow of your cheeks.
The palette is a little smaller than most contour palettes. However, the shades are lovely, highly pigmented and blend smoothly and easily. What more could you want?!
The powder is not packed too tightly making it easy to get out, and there’s also not much fall off from the brush so you’re not wasting too much product.
NYX Wonder Stick is not called a wonder stick for no reason! It’s a fabulous cream contour stick that’s easy to apply and has an ideal shade for pale skin!
It comes in 8 different shades with the lightest 2 suitable for pale and fair skin. On one end of the stick is the contour and on the other is the highlighter.
The sticks are super buttery and apply super smoothly. They are also easy to build up without looking patchy. These sticks are the ideal contour for those who want a fuss-free and easy-to-use product.
The contour and highlight both do what they say, they are ideal for pale and fair skin, and they are affordable!
NYX Wonder Stick is 100% vegan formula and cruelty-free.
Physicans Formula is all about using safe ingredients. In their own words- “At Physicians Formula, our scientists forage and our doctors screen thousands of natural, organic, and safe undiscovered ingredients from around the world to select those that are clean, effective, and high-performing, yet gentle on the most sensitive skin.”
To sum it up, they are a brand you can trust to have you and your skin’s best interest at heart. You don’t need to have sensitive skin to benefit from products that have safe ingredients. Anyone can benefit from Physicians Formula products!
Onto the contour palette, it comes in 2 variations, one is a shimmery strobing palette and the other is a bronze booster. The bronze booster is the one we’re interested in, it features 3 shades, a bronzer, a contour and a brightening shade.
The contour shade is perfect for those with pale skin! It’s cool-toned and has no orange in it. It’s highly pigmented, easy to blend and buildable for fuller coverage. On top of all that fabulousness, it also happens to be affordable!
Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, dermatologist tested, cruelty-free and clinically tested.
Common contour FAQS
What is the difference between contour and bronzer?
This is a really good question and to be fair, there is some overlap between the 2 products. However, a contour is primarily used to sculpt the face and create dimension and shadows where there might not be. Bronzer, on the other hand, is used to add warmth, kind of like what a fake tan would do.
Where should contour be applied?
The main area to contour is typically under your cheekbones, this is to help them stand out. However, you can also contour the top of your forehead, along your jawline and on the sides of your nose.
Is contour applied before or after foundation?
Set your foundation and concealer with a setting powder before applying a powder contour. For a cream contour, you can apply it before setting the powder.
Can you contour without highlighting?
Although contours and highlighters are often sold together, they are actually independent of each other. This means you do not need to wear one to wear the other. Both can be worn alone, it all depends on what look you are after!
Having pale and fair skin can be tricky when it comes to finding the correct makeup products. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s walked around with orange cheekbones. Yep, on more than one occasion.
Fortunately, there are so many contour products for pale skin, it’s all about finding the one that works for you! I’ve done the hard work for you and put together the best contours for pale and fair skin. If you think I’ve missed one, do drop me a line!
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown Burts Bees Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior ELEMIS Elf Cosmetics Estée Lauder Fenty Beauty First Aid Beauty Fresh Hourglass Huda Beauty IT Cosmetics Jane Iredale L'Oreal lancome La Roche-Posay Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Maybelline Molton Brown Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila Tarte Cosmetics The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL