Staff Picks: Winning contour powders we ALWAYS pick up

I've had makeup phases. As I recall, the first thing I ever bought was a concealer from VMV because I was a sleep-deprived college student who wanted to hide her dark circles. Next, I obsessed over my brows (still do actually) and hunted for products to restore my over-plucked arches to their former glory. When I started applying foundation, I realized it made me look too pale even when it matched my skin tone, so I got into using blush. Somehow, it still didn't look right! 

That was when I discovered the wonders of contouring. My face was flawless and my cheeks lightly flushed, but it all looked pretty flat (and wider than usual) because an extremely even skin tone took the natural shadows of my face away. Contouring isn't just about recreating a model's killer cheekbones or tapering your nose to a more delicate point. If you use a good product and blend it well, it can actually make your face look more natural! I'm personally more in favor of using a cream formula but if you're looking for a good contour powder, the rest of the PV team has got you covered.

Liz: I love the Happy Skin Feeling Sculptucular Face Contour Kit for events and the Pink Sugar South Beach blush for everyday. A new addition to my routine though is the Sleek Face Form Contour & Blush Palette in Medium. It's what I go for when I want to sculpt a masterpiece out of my jowly jawline and cheeks. Haha. I always seem to get compliments when I have this on - maybe it's the color? They're quite warm and have a brightening effect on my skin tone.

Sam: For an every day look, my favorite is the Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder in Mirage Filter. "Light bronze" is the perfect neutral shade that's buildable but suited to those who want a subtle contour. And the texture is so finely-milled, it almost feels like a cream! For special occasions (read: when I wanna go HAM on the sculpting,) the very best is the Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium. It is The Powder you want to use to mimic shadows, and a little goes a long way so the tiny compact is justified.

Katsy: I don't have a dedicated contour powder yet but for the subtle, barely there contouring which my bloated face needs, I go for Nars Laguna. It's actually a bronzer but the shade lends enough shadow to my medium/neutral skintone.

Angela: My first and current fave contour kit is the City Color Contour & Define Palette. I like it because it already includes a highlight and bronzer as well. It matches my morena skin tone and it's very pigmented. I even use it for filling in my brows sometimes!

Charlie: I used to go for a flat matte brown color for my contour powder but when a taupe shade was tried on me, I found it more natural-looking. Acorn Matte in this customized Props Tools and Cosmetics palette is just perfect because the color is buildable, and the product is easy to blend. It looks scary-grey upon swatching but it actually suits my yellow-toned skin well.

Karla: Since I'm quite fair and I like a natural-looking contour, I love the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Contour powder in Light for that ashy but natural sculpt. I also like the Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 20M (I think that's the shade name - I've been using this so much that it's rubbed off!) for that warm bronze look without shimmer.

Stacie: I've only tried a handful of contour powders but I definitely love doing the Korean style contour to slim down my face. I use the Tony Moly Crystal Blusher in 07 Bronzing Brown. Despite the shade being called "bronzing", it's entirely matte. It's not too orange nor yellow and doesn't look muddy!

Claire: I got myself a Sleek Makeup's Face Form in Light but now prefer their Face Contour Kit in Medium, even though I have a light skin tone. I find that the contour shows up more easily, and it's a dream to blend in. It also comes with a natural-looking highlight and a decent-sized mirror.

Do you include contouring in your makeup routine? What are your go-to products?