Contouring has become increasingly popular over the past year and I myself am not immune to it’s allure. Who doesn’t want to give the illusion of a slimmer face and more structured features? I was tempted to invest in either the Anastasia Beverly Hills or Kat Von D contour palette, but I have so many bronzers & highlighters that I already love and really just wanted a cool-toned contour shade. I was pretty sure I’d only get good use out of the banana shade & the cooler contour shade from either palette. I usually do a sort of contour/bronzer hybrid technique with whatever is my bronzer of the moment. And because I don’t go for a strong contour anyway, I thought it looked okay. But really, it just doesn’t look like a natural shadow when using a bronzer, which is typically on the warmer side. I’d heard many sing the praises of the Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder and decided to go ahead and finally decided to try it.
The packaging is quite nice and sleek, with it’s deep red, fading into black lacquered face with the brand written in gold lettering. You actually push the gold bar at the bottom of the compact to open the lid. There’s a mirror inside which is nice, but honestly I like to see my whole face when I’m doing any contour, bronzing, or blush application so I can see how it looks as a whole. It also comes with one of those little velvet covers to protect it from any damage.
The Sculpting Powder is in shade Medium, I’ve only seen this shade sold so I think it may be the only one. It’s definitely a cool-toned, greyish brown color which I’m not used to so I was a little nervous about how it was going to look on my face. It has good pigmentation and is buildable depending on how strong you like your contour. I like to use the Nars Ita Brush to apply is to my temples, hollows of my cheeks, and jawline. It seemed a bit powdery when I first dipped my brush in, but it applies smoothly and after using it, I completely see why a contour powder looks more natural than using bronzer. It just looks more like the color of a natural shadow on your face.
A view from the side:
It really does create that ‘shadow’ effect when trying to add structure to your face. I’ve also used it to contour my nose slightly and it works well for that too. I swatched a few bronzers next to it for comparison:
I like to use the Ecotools bronzer brush after I’ve finished applying my blush to blend everything together. I don’t think it’s as evident in the pictures after initial application, but if you’re going to use a brush like the Ita to contour, I think it’s good to go in with another brush to blend out any harsh lines.
After finishing my makeup, I was really happy with how the overall look of the contour came out after my makeup was complete. It didn’t give that obvious contour effect that I was afraid of when I first swatched it. I have a medium skin tone and I think this shade works well, I think it would actually be good on a fair complexion as well because it’s so buildable. I haven’t stopped using The Sculpting Powder since I got it, once I just did bronzer, then went back 5 minutes later and used it to contour. It really does make a difference in the overall look of your makeup (read: it gives you chiseled cheekbones).
What are your favorite contouring powders? Do you go for a strong or more subtle look?