By Sydney Megan Jow
Updated Aug 11, 2015 @ 12:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Contour brushes
Credit: Art by Elysia Berman

A strong contour is all the rage right now. What, you seriously hadn't heard? As the rise of the contoured face reaches every corner of the beauty consumer world, we all want those sharp, sculpted cheekbones...and we want them now!

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The applicator one uses to apply a contour powder, stick, or cream, is just as important as the product itself. Unfortunately, we can't all be dishing out $60 for that sought-after NARS Ita brush (But if you can, you should!). Luckily for anyone looking to get their cheeks on fleek, countless brands are now designing affordable brushes with amazing performance for all your face shaping needs. Behold—a comprehensive list of the best of the best, reviewed by yours truly:

1. Ecotools Deluxe Fan Brush

The fan design of this brush perfectly fits right in the hollow of your cheek. The dense but soft bristles help create a flawless contour, no matter how subtle or dramatic. Added bonus? Ecotools products are completely vegan!

2. Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

The Chapman sisters (Sam and Nic) are the unofficial queens of consumer beauty. Their flourishing Youtube channel, unyielding flow of celebrity clients, and educational-rich makeup studio in London are just some of the of the mere indicators of their expertise. So it's no surprise their affordable line of makeup brushes are some of the best in the business. A more recent addition to their original Real Techniques line is the Sculpting Brush. This one was designed to bring the drama; create a flawless contour with creams or powders—you won't be disappointed.

3. E.L.F. Studio Ultimate Kabuki Brush

From a company known to deliver great quality cosmetics at extremely low prices comes a brush that is perfect for a quick, sharp contour. The soft, dense bristles are shaped perfectly to get that sculpted line blended in a flash.


4. Morphe G3 Tapered Contour Brush

This high-packed, synthetic contour brush is your go-to for cream and powders. Perfect for placing and blending product, this guy will have you rocking Cara cheeks like you were born with them.

5. ZOEVA 109V Face Paint Vegan Brush

Don't let the name scare you, of course this isn't just a paint brush, although, a fierce contour can be considered war paint in some cases. The slender shape of the bristles are for when you need to blend out your cream contours, or place powders before blending. A makeup artist favorite, Zoeva is a brand you need to know.

6. IT Cosmetics Airbrush Soft Focus Blush Brush #113

Yes, this is technically a blush brush. But we've found that its angled edge is perfect for creating a subtle, defining contour. This one's a little more pricey, but with good reason. Check it out at your local ULTA, and you'll find that it has just about the softest bristles you've ever felt. Plus, it makes applying powder contour is absolute breeze.

7. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Brush

Ultimate girl crush Kat Von D presents you with an impressive, dual-ended brush made for contour and highlighting. This brush coordinates with her Shade + Light Contour Palette (which is absolutely amazing, by the way), and is shaped perfectly to create intense definition in any area you want. Its brush hairs are luxuriously soft and just the right density to blend out your products.

8. Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush

The head honcho of this crew, think of this one as a giant fluffy blending brush for your face. Its tapered design lets you place product exactly where you want it, and blend it out in soft circular motions. Sigma Beauty is known for their ultra high quality, professional grade brushes (hence the price point). Although it's more expensive than the rest of this list, we did say every budget, didn't we?