Contouring is a form of art. Contouring allows you to sculpt your face and add more dimensions to your complexion using beautiful shadow and light interplay.
Today, you can also contour using only vegan makeup. You do not need animal ingredients to define and highlight your features. Plant-based ingredients can do that, too.
Check our list to find your favorite vegan contouring products from vegan contour kits to vegan contour palettes, creams, sticks, and more.
Rest assured, all contouring products below are vegan and cruelty-free, meaning they are free of animal-derived ingredients and have not been tested on animals.
See also: Vegan Bronzers
Best Vegan Contouring Products
Here are the best vegan contouring products for 2023.
- Best Kit: Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit
- Best Palette: KVD Shade + Light Face Contour Palette
- Best Stick: Milk Makeup Sculpt Cream Contour Stick
- Best Cream: Tower 28 Sculptino Soft Cream Contour
- Best Liquid: Milani Conceal + Perfect Liquid Contour
- Best Brush: Real Techniques Sculpting Brush
Best Vegan Contouring Kit
Aesthetica’s Cream Contour Kit is the best vegan contouring kit. It’s smooth, creamy, and blendable, and allows you to create the perfect sculpted look with highlighting and contouring shades. The kit is made for all face shapes and comes with clear step-by-step instructions.
- What we like: smooth texture, blends well
- What we don’t like: runs out quite fast
- What other reviews say: affordable, great for beginners, not smudgy, goes on silky smooth, shades fit a wide variety of complexions
Key ingredients: mica, synthetic beeswax | Finish: natural matte | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, refillable, talc-free, paraben-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Contouring Palette
KVD Shade + Light is our favorite vegan contouring palette. Both brightening and contouring shades look amazing and give your face a well-defined natural look. Seasoned contourers will love that the vegan palette is refillable and customizable with removable pans.
- What we like: very natural matte result
- What we don’t like: formula can break apart
- What other reviews say: rich pigment, easy to blend, natural and seamless, long-wearing, works also as eyeshadow, powder texture feels light on the skin
Key ingredients: wild rose extract, safflower seed oil, vitamin E | Finish: matte | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, refillable, paraben-free
Best Vegan Contouring Stick
Milk’s Sculpt is our favorite vegan contour stick. For one, all its shades are matte and cool which is a must for good contouring. It goes on smooth and melts well into the skin leaving a natural finish. The plant-based ingredients hydrate and nourish the skin during the day.
- What we like: beautiful cool shades, glides on smooth
- What we don’t like: faulty packaging, the cap can break off
- What other reviews say: blends like butter, cool-toned, non-orangey shades, good shade range, quick and easy to apply
Key ingredients: thyme extract, sunflower seed oil | Finish: matte | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, natural, paraben-free, gluten-free, synthetic fragrance-free
Best Vegan Contouring Cream
Tower 28 Sculptino is the best vegan contouring cream. It’s soft and creamy and blends like a dream. The shades match a variety of skin tones, so the result is natural and seamless. The cream is clean, fragrance-free, and uses natural ingredients like mango seed butter.
- What we like: natural finish, clean ingredients
- What we don’t like: too greasy for oily skin
- What other reviews say: creamy, highly blendable, you can apply only with fingers, a bronzer and contouring product in one, ideal for no makeup look, warm but not shiny
Key ingredients: mango seed butter, castor seed oil, green tea extract | Finish: natural | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, natural, silicone-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Contouring Liquid
If you are looking for a great vegan liquid contouring product, Milani has the best option. This vegan contourer is loved for its rich pigment and high blendability. The shades run a bit warm and bronzer-y but the Toffee shade works well for sculpting and defining.
- What we like: melts into the skin, streak-free finish
- What we don’t like: some shades are too warm
- What other reviews say: easy to apply, clean application, blends immediately, doesn’t crease, works well under a setting powder
Key ingredients: mica, glycerin | Finish: natural | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, made in the USA
Best Vegan Contouring Brush
Contouring is easiest with a good brush. Our favorite vegan contouring brush is angled to reach all corners of the face. This vegan makeup brush is lightweight yet dense, making blending a joy. It’s best for liquid and cream contouring products and it gives a natural soft finish.
- What we like: best shape for contouring, affordable
- What we don’t like: not the best for powders
- What other reviews say: accesses all parts of the face, quick to blend with, natural streak-free result, easy to clean
Key ingredients: UltraPlush synthetic bristles | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, aluminum ferrule
Best Vegan Contouring Brands
These brands have the best collection of vegan contouring products.
- Aesthetica: 100% vegan and cruelty-free brand with the best selection of vegan contouring palettes with step-by-step instructions.
- Milk Makeup: Milk is another fully vegan brand with lots of multifunctional creamy vegan contouring, bronzing, and highlighting sticks.
- E.l.f. Cosmetics: the most affordable vegan makeup brand with a wide variety of vegan contouring products, bronzers, and highlighters.
- Tarte: Tarte is not fully vegan but they offer many good vegan makeup products and brushes for contouring, concealing, and highlighting.
What Makes A Contouring Product Vegan?
A contouring product is vegan if it is free of animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or carmine. Vegan contouring products are also not tested on animals or contain ingredients that have been defined by animals.
The typical ingredients that make a contouring product not vegan are:
- Beeswax: a secretion from honeybees, beeswax is often added to contouring products to make them softer and creamier
- Carmine: a pigment from crushed red beetles, carmine can be included in reddish blush parts of contouring palettes
- Guanine: guanine is a shine agent from fish scales often added to highlighting sections of the contouring kits
- Glycerin: glycerin can be both plant-based and animal fat-derived, it’s a popular emollient in makeup products including contouring products
To make sure the contouring product you are buying is vegan and cruelty-free, look for vegan stickers, or better yet, certified vegan labels on the packaging or producer’s website.
What To Look For In Vegan Contouring Products?
When choosing the right vegan contouring product for your skin, first make sure the product’s texture fits your skin type. Dry skin should opt for creamier vegan contouring products as powdered contourers can dry out your skin even more.
With oily and blemish-prone skin, make sure the vegan contouring product is not too rich and creamy, so it wouldn’t end up clogging your pores and causing breakouts. Sensitive skin types should prefer gentle and fragrance-free vegan contouring products.
As with every contouring product, vegan contouring products come in all shapes and sizes. if you are just beginning to contour, choose vegan contouring kits with specific instructions, or go for simple one-shade or two-shade vegan contouring palettes.
How We Review Vegan Contouring Products
We pick out the best vegan contouring products by evaluating them through the following criteria:
- Ingredients: The more natural and chemical-free the vegan contouring product is, the better it works for all skin types. A contouring product should not irritate the skin.
- Blendability: Contouring products are mainly judged by how well they blend into the skin and how natural the end results look. We love creamy and well-blending textures.
- Shade range: We prefer vegan contouring products that offer something to every skin tone from the fairest to the darker and deeper skin tones.
- Easy to use: Contouring should not be a full-time job. We like simple vegan palettes and kits that even beginners can easily manage with.
- Average rating: The experiences with vegan contouring products vary greatly, so we only list products with a good average rating from the beauty community.
Why Trust Us
At Vegan Avenue, we review vegan contouring products by trying them out on our skin. We also trust the recommendations and reviews of established makeup artists and beauty influencers. None of our reviews have been incentivized by the brand or retailer.
FAQ About Vegan Contouring Products
Contouring products are not always vegan. Sometimes contouring products include animal-based ingredients such as carmine and/or are animal tested.
The best selection of vegan contouring products is available on Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora. Just look for contouring products with vegan and cruelty-free markings.
The best vegan contouring product is the Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit.
No. The Palette is not vegan and includes animal-derived carmine.
Skinstick has both vegan and non-vegan options. The following Skinstick shades are vegan: Soft Amber, Amber, Amber Suede, Suedish, Mocha, Truffle, Espresso, Ebony, and Caviar.
No. This product includes beeswax and is falsely labeled vegan on Sephora.
While not all contouring palettes are vegan, there are many vegan and cruelty-free options on the market today. Above all, we like vegan contouring products from Aesthetica, KVD Beauty, Milk Makeup, and Milani.
Whether you prefer a vegan contouring kit or a simple one-shade vegan contouring stick, hope you found something suitable from our list. As we keep trying new vegan-friendly contouring products, we will keep this list updated with our favorites.
See also: Vegan Highlighters