For me, some of the hardest makeup products to find at the drugstore are bronzers and contours.
Bronzers are typically used to add warmth to the face, while contours add shadow for sculpting and definition. Warm shades work well for bronzers, and cooler tones are better for contouring to mimic true shadow. Despite the difference, the terms have become muddied and are used interchangeably by brands, making it even more confusing to find the right product.
Over the past few years, I’ve collected a handful of favorites that I’ve stayed pretty loyal to, and I’d go as far as saying they’re the best drugstore bronzers and contours out there. I have both powder and cream contours to share, and shades that work well for my light-medium skin.
The Best Drugstore Cream Bronzers & Contours
1. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contour Stick ($4.49)
If you’re a beginner, this contour stick is a great “starter” product because it’s easy to work with and blend. There are only three shades, but they’re all buildable and easily sheered out. The shade Where’s Walnut? is neutral enough to use to contour or add warmth, the other two are slightly warm.
Make them as strong or subtle as you want for your desired look! They last well when set with setting spray or powder.
Not sure how to use a contour stick? Check out my tutorial.
2. NYX Wonder Stick Cream Highlight & Contour Stick ($14)
For beauty lovers who want to streamline their routine, this double-ended product contains both a highlight and contour in a long lasting cream formula. The slimmer shape gives you precise application for the cheeks, nose or jawline. My only gripe is that the undertone varies per shade, some are cooler and more suitable for contouring, some are warmer which would work better as a bronzer.
3. Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Bronzer ($8)
This is my new favorite drugstore contour product, since they’re cooler toned and great for sculpting. This is an incredibly pigmented cream, so a little goes a long way. I typically apply with a stipple brush, and blend in a tapping motion. It dries down to a cream-to-powder soft finish that performs well all day.
The Best Drugstore Powder Bronzers & Contours
1. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer ($15.99)
The signature butter formula of the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzers is my favorite at the drugstore. They apply so smoothly and make your skin look and feel soft. The murumuru butter, cupuaçu butter, and tacuma butter in the powder helps them blend beautifully and nourish the skin while you wear them. There are several different versions and finishes, with warm and cool options to choose from. My favorite are the Bread & Butter Bronzers and the shades inside the Weylie Butter Collection Palette.
2. L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear Bronzer ($15.99)
As far as powder bronzers go, this one is one of the most long lasting– it’s even waterproof! Available in eight shades, they’re all pretty warm and so this is a true bronzer for adding a sun-kissed look to the skin. The formula is buttery and buildable, feels lightweight yet lasts up to 24 hours.
3. AOA Studio Perfect Bronzer Powder ($1)
You really can’t beat the price tag on this bronzer. These $1 matte bronzers are cruelty free and available in five shades. I love using Cold Brew to contour and add definition with, while Latte adds warmth to my face. They’re soft– not chalky– and incredibly smooth. Plus, they’re cruelty free!
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