I’m kind of obsessed with contouring! Over the years I’ve collected five popular high end contour palettes and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them for you guys. I think this is worth the read if you want to buy a nice contour kit but don’t know which one!
1. Marc Jacobs #InstaMarc Light Filtering Contour Powder, $49
This contour kit from Marc Jacobs is just two shades, a highlight and contour, in really large pans. This comes in 3 different shade options, so it’s good for all skin tones. I have the middle shade. These powders are super silky and blend like a dream. The packaging is super sleek and looks really luxurious. This is a good option for someone who doesn’t see themselves using more than one contour and highlight shade.
2. Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II, $65
This contour kit comes with both a cream and powder formula for contour and highlight. The sculpting shade is a perfect neutral-cool toned shade for contouring. The candlelight shade is a beautifully subtle highlight if you’re over the #highlightonfleekseeitfromspace style. The palette also includes four eyeshadows and it opens like a book with basic tips on how to use the palette on the first “page”. I honestly LOVE everything about this palette. The formula of every single pan is on point and the colors work really well for me. Since this includes eyeshadows I think it’s great for travel. The only bad thing is that this palette doesn’t come in any other color options so those with darker skin might be able to use the single of the sculpting powder in “deep” but this palette only contains the “medium” shade.
3. Anastasia Contour Cream Kit, $40
This is Anastasia’s contour kit in the cream formula. The one I have is in the “light” shade and this palette comes in 4 different color options to cover every skin tone and they also sell the pans as singles. I do LIKE the formula of these creams, but they’re not my favorite. But they certainly get the job done! I like using stippling brushes and synthetic dense brushes and they blend really well that way. The highlighters can look thick on the skin if you apply a lot. But if you really want a dramatic look, this is definitely a good option. I love using this when I go full glam. The “fair” color option of this palette is also really great for those who struggle finding contours that don’t look muddy or orange.
4. Anastasia Original Contour Kit, $40
I don’t know how, but it seems like Anastasia really makes a lot of trends blow up with mainstream brands and they really seem to be trailblazers (they were also one of the first big players to launch a full liquid lipstick line and started the glow kit trend). This was the first sort of “mainstream” brand to make a contour kit for regular consumers. Before that, people really only owned matte bronzers to use for contour. I really like the formula of these powders and I love the shimmer highlight in here for a subtle glow. I do think that two of the contour shades are better as bronzers because they’re just so warm. But this also comes in 3 different shade options to cover all skin tones (this is the original, now called light to medium). They also sells them as singles if you ever need a refill.
5. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette, $46 (refillable one is $49)
This was kind of the second big mainstream contour palette in the makeup world. The formula of these powders is a bit nicer than the Anastasia ones, but the shades in this palette are not customizable. She does now sell these specific shades as refills though, so buying just one highlight/contour color and putting them in a z-palette can be a good option! I find I don’t have a lot of use for the two darkest shades and those with darker skin probably won’t find much use for the two lightest shades, so that is definitely a con with this palette. This palette is ideal for someone with fair-light skin who can get a nice tan in the summer to use all of the shades.
Most people don’t actually need a whole “kit” to contour with for just themselves! But if you love makeup and you’re extra like me, then these are my overall thoughts:
- If you want to splurge and are light-medium skin toned, go for the Kevyn Aucoin kit. It’s amazing.
- If you don’t want a million shades to choose from and just want a solid contour/highlight, get the Marc Jacobs or two singles from Kat Von D.
- If you are very pale, get the Anastasia cream contour kit in fair.
- If you have deep skin, go for an Anastasia kit in either the powder or cream formula, depending on your formula preference.
- If you like the idea of having a range of shades to choose from in an awesome formula, get the Kat Von D.