Review: Contour Palettes | Kat Von D, Anastasia and Makeup Forever

by - May 26, 2016

Hello, gorgeous!
     For the past few weeks, I've received several requests to review some of the face palettes I own. I finally got time, and decided that I would dedicate a post for contour palettes only. As you can tell from the pictures below, I've use one of them religiously and that is because I've owned it for more than a year now. However, other palettes are recent in my collection. 

     Before starting with the reviews or my impression on each of the palettes, there are a few points that I want to mention. 
  • While some shades or some palettes look unused in the pictures, they were actually thoroughly tested so that I can write this post. The pictures were taken a few weeks ago when I planned to write this post. 
  • All pictures are edited to look brighter, and so shades look different in real life. I forgot to take actual swatches of the products, but Im sure you can search for swatches on any skin tone online. 
  • My skin type is combination - Oily T-zone, normal-dry sensitive cheek area.
  • Just for reference, my skin tone is neutral medium-light. I do not know my MAC shade yet, but the shade 123=Y365 in the Makeup Forever Ultra HD stick foundation is a perfect match for me.

     There is also a very important point about contouring and highlighting that I want to clear up. I find that many ladies are confused when it comes to highlighting. There are 2 types of highlighting:
  1. Using a light shade to bring an area "forward", meaning bringing attention to it by just using a lighter CREAM or MATTE shade. This could be done for the middle of the forehead, bridge of the nose, brow bone, under the eye and chin.  I usually refer to the product used for this purpose as a HIGHLIGHT.
  2. Using a SHIMMERY shade to reflect light off an area and draw attention to it. This could be done with both cream or powder products, but the product is usually shimmery or has a satin finish. This could be done for all areas mentioned above, in addition to the cheekbones and cupids bow. I usually refer to the product used for this purpose as a HIGHLIGHTER or ILLUMINATOR.

Now onto the reviews, in order of the oldest palette to the most recent in my collection.

Kat Von D | Shade and Light palette

     You can tell from the picture that I've abused the palette, especially the highlight shades and lighter contour shades. 
     Many found that aside from the banana shade, the highlight shades were useless. I, however, liked to mix the shades to use under my eye. Before getting a loose banana powder, I used to use the highlight shades to "bake" under my eye with a dry beauty sponge. This method worked perfect for me as it really brightened up the under-eye area and set the concealer. Just make sure you use the concealer that creases the least on you. For me, that is a mix of Maybelline Fit Me concealer and L.A. Girl concealer.
     As for the contour shades, I've only found use for the lightest shades. This palette is perfect for makeup artists as they can use it on many skin tones, but maybe not on lighter skin tones. Anyway, what I like about the contour powders is that they are undetectable on the skin. Yes, the powders in the palette are really powdery, but they are also very blendable. The shades look very natural on me - not too warm and not too cool. Perfect for daytime as well as special occasions.
     Many said that their contour fades off with time, which is expected, but I personally think they last for an average of 4-6 hours on me.

Anastasia Beverly Hills | Cream Contour Kit in Light

     When I first got this I didn't expect to love it. When I first got started with contouring I tried multiple cream products and concluded that they would never work for me, that powder contouring is my best bet. However, this changed my opinion on cream contouring. 
     The products are thick yet very creamy, meaning you only need a  small amount of the product. While the products are cream products, they have good pigmentation blend easily, and also set into a powder-like finish.
     The contour shades are not too warm and not too ashy, a perfect in-between. I like to apply the contour shades with my finger and then blend with a dense brush like the Real Techniques Expert Face brush or even a small duo fibre brush. I only use one swipe of the contour shade under my cheekbones. As for the rest of my face, I still prefer to do it with powder. My tip is not to use too much of the contour shades as your face will look "dirty" if you do.
     Whats great about the highlight shades in this palette is that they work perfectly for both the under-eye area as well as the rest of the face. While the products set into a powder-like finish, they blend nicely under the eye. I like to mix them with concealer under the eye then blend both together at the same time, this gives me both the coverage and the brightness I look for. On the face I like to use the highlight shades on their own. I blend both areas with a damp beauty sponge.
     If you are worried that the contour shades would be too dark for you, and you don't care about the highlight shades being too light, my tip when getting this palette is to go a shade down. In other words, if your skin tone is considered medium, I would recommend considering the Light palette first. I am personally considered light-medium, being more on the medium side, and I find that the I can use mostly the lighter 2 contour shades. The highlight shades are a little too light for me but with blending they look fine. 

Makeup Forever | Pro Sculpt palette in 30

     This is a very recent palette from Makeup Forever, its from their Pro Sculpt line. As I've already mentioned on my Instagram, this palette includes 4 shades - highlight, contour, illuminator and color (or blush). 
     Just like the ABH palette, the cream products in this palette also dry to a powder-like finish. However, unlike the previous palette, the creams are less thick and more creamy, and set faster. Given that, I do find that I get the option to layer the products to get the pigmentation I want, but I should avoid over-doing so.
     Honestly, I enjoyed using the contour the most. The contour shade in this palette (in the shade number 30) is more warm than the contour shades in the previous palettes. I would recommend not using too much of it as it could turn orange. I like to apply it using a small duo fibre brush like that in the picture as it picks up just the right amount.
     The reason why I didn't like the highlight shade is because it felt dry under my eye; I think it would work better on other areas of the face but not the under eye. 
     I did try the blush and illuminator along with the contour shade several times to write this post. I think the blush and illuminator lasted between 2-4 hours while the contour lasted for up to 6 hours. Maybe this is due to the fact that I set it with a powder contour.
     Thats all I have to say about each of the palettes. I hope I did not forget to mention key points. If there is anything you would like me to answer, leave it in the comments. 

Thank you for reading. 

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