Makeup Collection Series | #6 CONTOUR KITS

Friday, July 21, 2017

best contour kits for medium skin nc40

A few months ago I made the decision to cut down my makeup collectionkeeping only the things that I use often and enjoy using. Although I have significantly fewer products I am happier now with my makeup collection than ever before. It can definitely be cut down a lot more and I've somehow accumulated a few extra bits and pieces since decluttering. I thought I'd share which products remain in my collection for each category and why I kept them. And also use this as another opportunity to see if there's anything still lurking here that I can get rid of. Oh and I've snuck in my wish list for each category too ;)

N.B. I use recycled Ferrero Rocher boxes for storage and use this as a limit for how many products I can keep for any given category. Generally this works great, in some cases this hasn't worked at all. You'll see...

sleek face contour kit medium review, charlottte tilbury filmstar bronze and glow review

When contouring first took off in the mainstream makeup world a few years ago, I convinced myself that I couldn't use makeup to add structure to my round, festively-plump face. I then convinced myself that I would never invest in a contour kit because I'm not a makeup artist and really and truly you'd only need and make use of such a product if you were working on many different faces and makeup looks. I then somehow got convinced to give contouring a go. I even convinced myself that getting a contour kit was a good use of my money. Long story short, I have grown to love the art of contouring because I've found a way that works for me, and I know which products work for me best and which ones I'm forcing myself to use.

I don't contour my face every day and rarely do I attempt to contour my nose. I add a little product just above the hollows of my cheeks to add the illusion of higher, more defined cheek bones. I like contour shades that are either neutral toned or on the warmer side without being a straight-up bronzer. Even though everyone says to use a cool toned shade, on me, I find it too obvious and jarring on me and that's not the level of contour I'm looking for (maybe it's because I'm not very skilled at it!). I also don't want to spend all day on it so something quick, easy and not overly unnatural looking is what I'm after. I don't often use matte highlighting powders and prefer to just set my under-eyes with a bright setting powder. I don't do the whole under the contour line highlighting/baking and although it can help accentuate any contouring, it's just not something I enjoy doing. Right enough about me ;) let's get onto the products in my collection...


Sleek Face Contour Kit - Medium | £6.99

Whenever it's a special occasion and I need my makeup to look flawless all day, I reach for this little kit. It comes in a super slim and sturdy compact, its affordable and easily available and comes in a number of shades to suit a variety of skin tones. The contour shade is just the right tone for my skin, being neither too warm or too cool. It's quite a dark shade but the formula blends so easily and seamlessly, leaving a very lovely finish. Also, the highlighter is beautiful and I've used it plenty. It's not too gold or too silver, and is super flattering on me and I've made a significant dent in it. I love this product because of the ratio of the pans. It's my perfect contour kit and purchasing higher end contour kits hasn't made me change my mind about this; instead they've made me realise how awesome this product is and that I wasted my money even looking for an alternative.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow | £49

This is a totally luxurious splurge, making a statement with its Art Deco detailing and stunning rose gold packaging. This comes with two equal sized pans of a light bronzer shade and a gorgeous champagne toned highlighter. Where the Sleek compact is my go to for special occasion looks, this is perfect for everyday, nude makeup or really when I want to feel special. The bronzer only just shows up on my skin, which makes it perfect for the most inconspicuous contouring, adding a touch of shadow where I need without looking like there's any product on my face at all. This is perfect for natural makeup/no makeup makeup for me and although it would've been nice for the shade to be a notch deeper, I'm so glad this works on me because I took a huge gamble when I bought this. The highlighter is perfect and is the best finishing touch to any look. Both powders are so finely milled that they blend in with the skin beautifully and leave a very flawless, polished look on the face. Truly I don't need this product in my life but I love it so much and definitely need to get more use out of it.


Kiko Rebel Romantic Contouring Pencil | no longer available

As you can tell, I'm not one for cream contouring. I fear the formula would be too drying, would remove the makeup I've applied already, or look muddy and messy on my skin. This crayon is the perfect thickness for me to draw a couple of stripes on my face where I want to add some colour and definition. I then take a stippling brush or damp sponge and blend it into the area I want. I really love the results on my overall makeup look when I do use this but I tend not to use for this often just because the potential for it going wrong is there and I'm not skilled enough to use this with precision every time. Otherwise it's a product I'm happy to keep in my collection because I do enjoy it when I do use it, and it's good for me to have one cream contour product in my collection.

Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit | £6.49

I used to be obsessed this wonderful affordable palette. There is a choice of warmer or cooler shades, which I love because I prefer a shade that's in between. The highlighter shade wasn't great on me but that's not anything to write this product off by. This is actually a great product and a good dupe for the ABH palette actually. I just don't use it anymore and it's just sitting there for no reason so I'll be tossing it out. It has been in my collection for a couple of years now and it's served me well. I would highly recommend this if you're looking for a good drugstore contour kit and I think it's great that the palette comes in a couple of shades too.

THE ONES I'M UNSURE ABOUT (and probably could/should get rid of)

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette | £37

When I purchased this, it was highly coveted and not available here in UK. That was partly why I wanted it and now thinking about it, it was partly why I enjoyed using it (that feeling of exclusivity eh?). This palette contains 3 large contour shades of slightly varying undertones and three smaller highlighter pans in different shades. The best things about this palette is that I was able to work with all the shades, the formula is super buttery making blending a dream and the packaging is bloody gorgeous. On the other side of things, there is a lot of powder kicked off when you put your brush in any pan, the highlighter shades are very cakey and difficult to work with to get them looking right, and the contour shades are a little too pigmented for my skill set. Also, the one I have is the original palette where the shades are not removable or refillable. I think if you are a master contour-er or a makeup artist then this palette will be worthwhile. Otherwise, it's a bit of a faff having this massive palette with so many choices for a product that you need so little of. I really did enjoy using this palette and when it looked good it looked great, but when I applied too much product it was a mess to try to fix. This is not a bad product at all but it's just not something I reach for anymore.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit - Light/Medium | £39

When this product first started getting a lot of hype I kept shaking my head and tutting, thinking, "Why are all these girls who aren't makeup artists buying this kit? You can only benefit from it if you work on numerous clients." And yet a few years later I bought it. I didn't need it. I got it purely because I was curious to compare it to the Kat Von D palette. And similarly I hate the highlighting powders in this, especially the random shimmery one at the end. The formula of the contour shades is fine but I remember preferring the KVD one in this instance which was just easier to blend out. If you love contouring daily or you're a makeup artist then you will appreciate this. If you're a regular makeup lover like me, only doing makeup on yourself, then this is probably going to be a waste for you too. This has already been passed onto a new home.

Seventeen Define & Conquer Contour Kit | £5.99

You probably can't tell from the image but I've used this palette a fair bit. The contour shade is borderline a bronzer being on the warmer side which I loved. I would often use it as a contouring blush shade. The highlighter shade was a little too chalky for my liking although I gave it a fair chance. The compact is pretty sturdy, comes with a mirror and has that NARS-esque look and feel about it. It is highly affordable, comes in two shade choices and is another high street option I really enjoyed. But again, I don't really reach for it anymore and if I'm truly honest I'd recommend the Sleek over this one.

Mahogany Naturals Contour Palette* | £35

I don't actually hate this product but it's just not a contour kit for me - the contour shade is far too warm and works better as a bronzer but isn't the easiest to blend out. The matte highlighting shade is a peachy powder that works better as a nude blush but since I prefer a little more colour on my complexion I very often don't even use that one. The shimmery rose gold highlighter is absolutely stunning although it does contain quite a bit of chunky glitter. I've been using this as an eyeshadow palette and for that it works perfectly. I use the peach shade all over the lids, add a small touch of the matte bronzer in my crease and along my lower lash line, then pat on some of the rose gold shimmer on the centre of my lids for a really pretty, simple eye look. But as a contour kit it just doesn't do it for me and I think it's quite pricey in relation to that fact.


Nothing. Hooray for finding the perfect products so I can stop looking ;)

contour kits compared, abh contour kit vs kat von d shade and light

If you missed the previous installments of this series, you can catch up here:

Do you love/hate contouring? Do you have a favourite contour kit or contouring product? Do you like/hate any of the ones I have in my collection? I'd love to know...

Sal xxx
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*This post contains PR/Gifted items. All opinions are my own & 100% honest. Please see my Disclaimers for more information.

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