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These Are The Best Makeup Brushes For Contour — & They Start At Just $5 On Amazon

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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.

1
The Best Cream Contour Brush

This little wonder by EcoTools purportedly has thousands of densely packed bristles, which gives it the perfect buttery-smooth surface for pairing with cream contour products. Using what the brand dubs its "Wonder Color" technology, it's designed to deliver your preferred level of color-payoff — use it dry like any other brush for the most intense pigment, or dampen it to give your contour a more sheer finish. Its oval shape is also sized just right for using it under the apples of your cheeks or your jawline, though plenty of Amazon reviewers report that it works well for applying liquid foundations sans streaks, too.

Bonus: Not only is this tool cruelty-free, but its handle is crafted from renewable bamboo, and it comes in 100% recyclable packaging.

2
The Best Powder Contour Brush

If you prefer powder makeup, reach for this Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. It's slightly wider and fluffier than the pick above and has an angled head, which allows it to hug your face as it distributes product seamlessly. The synthetic bristles are still firm enough to use with cream, too, and though this is a drugstore buy, it's durable, high-quality, and doesn't shed.

"I prefer this brush over my other contour brushes because it gives me a natural, diffused shadow under my cheek bones," noted one Amazon reviewer.

3
The Best Contour Brush For Your Nose

Though this Sigma Beauty E45 is technically classified as an eyeshadow blending brush, it's also one you'll love having in your collection when you want to contour smaller areas like your nose. The tapered brush head has dense, yet flexible bristles that come to a pointed tip, so you can be extra-detailed with your pigment placement — and then also be able to softly diffuse it out. The brush is made with synthetic fibers that are vegan, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic, and Sigma is known for their sturdy waterproof handles that remain damage-free wash after wash.

4
The Best Flat Kabuki Brush For Contour

Several Amazon reviewers boast that this sparkly and colorful flat kabuki brush is a great alternative to the iconic NARS Ita Brush — only it's nearly $50 cheaper! ("They feel exactly the same," reported one person who owns both.) What makes this pick so great for contouring is its unique flat silhouette (turn it on its side and you'll notice the most narrow part at on the handle is actually thinner than a pencil), which gives the tightly packed synthetic bristles the ability to precisely target where you what to add your powder or cream contour products. The head is also elongated enough that you can also use it to apply and blend pigment to other areas of your face — like your hairline or jaw — in one fell swoop.

5
The Best Blending Brush for Contour

Once your contour is in place, a fluffy blending brush can do wonders for diffusing streaks and pulling your whole look together. The large, dome-shaped head and soft, synthetic bristles on this highly rated and affordable brush will give you the right amount of control needed to lightly buff out your contour without moving anything around. It will work equally well with liquid, cream, or powder products, which means it's a versatile tool to have in your kit to use beyond just contouring. It's also 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

6
The Best Contour Brush Set

If you're serious about your contour game, you might want to get a brush set, which will provide everything you need for a full-face look. This one includes the same Real Techniques Sculpting Brush mentioned higher on this list, as well as a fan brush (for popping highlighter onto the high points of your cheeks) and a setting brush, which is great for locking in under-eye concealer with powder or blending out other products like contour or bronzer. The best part? This $20 kit also comes with its own brush holder for easy organization.