Contouring has fast become an essential step in women’s make-up routines. Made famous by the likes of celebrities such as the Kardashian family, everyone is now seeking to emulate the chiselled and defined finish. You have only to type the first couple of letters of the word ‘contour’ into youtube, to be overwhelmed by the thousands of video’s dedicated to this meticulous artform.
As someone who has tried and tested quite a few different palettes, from cream to powder and budget to high-end, I thought I would review a few of the palettes that I own, looking at ease of application, speed of use and the end result.
Clarins Palette Contour Visage £36.50 Boots:
This palette is powder-based and comes with a great chiselled brush, to really help to sculpt the face. The powder blends surprisingly well, and illuminates the t-zone, without leaving you looking like you are disco-ready. The darker brown powder is used to sculpt both around the top of the hairline and underneath the cheekbones. I was initially concerned that the sculpting powder would be too dark for my pale to medium skin tone, but it blended easily and gave extra definition where needed. The pinky blush also goes onto the skin beautifully and finishes the look perfectly. By the end of the day the contoured appearance is waning slightly, but given the winter weather and stifling office I work in, I would say it definitely stood the test of time.
NYX Cream Highlight & Contour Palette £12.00
This palette, unlike the Clarins palette, is cream based, so a little more time is needed for application. I prefer to blend the contour creams in after I have applied my foundation, so that I get a clean and seamless finish, with no clumping. Again, the colours have great depth and sculpt the face well. After finishing with a loose powder I achieved the matte finish I like, whilst still maintaining the chiselled look. I would say that you need a little more time in the application of these creams, but the finish was clean and defined and lasted well into the evening.
Barry M Flawless Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit £7.50 Boots
I have reviewed a few Barry M products a while ago, as I really like the new items they have on offer. This palette is very reasonably priced, and for those looking to take their first steps into contouring, this would be a good place to start. Looking at the palette I am sure your eyes (alike mine) are immediately drawn to the dark brown powder. Yes, I too questioned whether or not this would leave me looking like my two year old done my make-up, but I followed the instructions on the inside of the packaging and the finish was flawless. I needed to put a little more time into blending under my cheekbones to get the look I wanted, but it was well worth it. The highlighter didn’t have quite the impact that the Clarins palette did, but for the price I would highly recommend this.
Sleek Make-up Highlight Palette in Precious Metals £9.99 Boots
I absolutely love the packaging for this kit. It feels surprisingly weighty for the cheapest of all the palettes reviewed. The colours offered are rich and creamy and blend well with foundation. I would note that it was noticeably more difficult to blend these in, when compared with the NYX palette, but the tone I achieved looked amazing. By the end of the day however, the colour had faded and my make-up had congealed underneath my cheekbones.
All of these palettes had different strengths and weaknesses. I am usually a fan of powder contouring, for ease of application when I am in a rush. But, having tried the NYX cream palette I will be swapping to this for evenings out or for occasions when I have more application time. It is very reasonably priced and what the packaging lacks, the product makes up for. For day-t0-day wear I would opt for the Clarins palette. Yes, it is more expensive than the others, but the results were long-lasting, the colour balanced well with my skin tone and it passed the 12 hour office to evening test, without congealing and with limited fading.
Which contour kit do you use? Do you prefer cream or powder?
Have a great week folks,