Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Favorite products for contour

1. Dolce Gabana blusher in tan
2. Kevin Aucoin sculpting powder in medium
3. Nars Laguna
4. Bronzer from Lorac Pro To Go Eyes/Cheeks palate 
Special mention: Chanel notorious 

I love contouring. Actually, I am quite dependent on contouring as I have chubby face! I contour my face every. single. day. Two makeup items I cannot give up (no matter how out of time I am in the morning) are mascara and contouring. I rarely wear any eyeshadows. I sometimes wear blusher. I occasionally wear lipsticks. I try to do my brows every day. But I contour my cheekbones and nose, every single day. Now that says something. 

Let me start out with Chanel's limited edition (no longer available) notorious. This is a good place to start because this is a prime example of how a contour shade should be. The purpose of contouring is to create shadow. If you look at your face, your natural shadows have gray almost purple undertone. No tint of red or orange. However, although this product is perfect in theory, this product did not make my top 4 because of the following reasons. First, it is not pretty in day light. This product is best suited for pictures or filming with the camera angled straight to the front of the face. When viewed from the sides in day light, this stripe of gray/purple looks as weird as a stripe of orange down the middle of your face. At least people will assume that your makeup has gone wrong when you walk around with orange stripe. With a gray stripe, your face just look dirty. Unless applied with very skillful hands with the exact right tool, this product will not be your friend in day to day life. It just takes too much effort! Plus, it is almost impossible to get your hands on this product, so don't be so sad. I have mine stashed in the back of my makeup store. I couldn't possibly throw it away because it was so expensive but I am pretty sure I will never use it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the bronzer from my Lorac palate (choice #4)  runs a bit orange. This product is NOT meant to be used as a contour, hence the name bronzer. However, I had to put it in the list because of the quality of the powder. It is sooooo creamy. If you have ever used Lorac eye shadows from their Pro palate, you will no what I mean. You will have to be very light handed. I suppose one of its down sides can be the fact that it is too pigmented for everyday use when you apply makeup in a rush. However, although this is technically a bronzer, it does not look too odd as a contour. What I typically do is to outline the shape of big 3 down the sides of my face and use this mainly as a bronzer that can give me cheekbone definition as well.

Next in the list is my Nars Laguna (choice #3). $36 for 0.28oz. I am sure everyone has heard of this product or even has one in their collection. This is just a goodie. This is the only product in the above list with some shimmer in the pan. However, on the face, it is undetectable. It is just perfectly pigmented for everyday use. Strikes a bit on the orange side in the spectrum of gray to orange. However, it looks perfect fine as a contour in day light. Similar to the above bronzer from the Lorac palate, I outline the shape 3 and use this is a bronzer/contour duo. I love using Real Technique's blusher brush for this.

Next is my old love Kevin Aucoin sculpting powder in medium (choice #2). $44 for 0.23oz. Kevin Aucoin has been known as the the person for contouring in the makeup industry. As you can see from the swatch above, Kevin Aucoin's medium powder strikes the side on the gray in the spectrum of gray to orange. While being not as daunting as channel's notorious, this product still maintains shadowy tone to create perfect shadow. The product looks good from all angles in day light. The only downside is that the product may seem a bit muddy, especially if you have light skin tone. I do not have this problem unless I get too excited and apply to heavily. Further, once this product is on your face, it is very difficult to tone it back down. Even with a clean, dense kabuki brush, it is not easy to "erase" your mistakes with this one. In terms of favorite brush to apply this one, I love using Elf's $3 big paddle brush!

Finally, I get to talk about my favorite Dolce Gabana blusher in tan. This product is interesting that it is actually marketed as a blusher. The only but a BIG downside of this product is the price. $45 for 0.17oz. You get the least amount for product for the most $... and I feel like I go through the product the fastest with this one. If you get over this... this is the more user friendly version of Kevin Aucoin's sculpting powder. In the swatch above, the picture came out quite purple for this one. However, in real life, this one runs just ever so slightly on the warmer side of Kevin Aucoin. But still perfectly capable of creating natural shadows in the hallows of your face.

Before I leave, I just want to mention one more thing. Why do I contour my face and nose everyday? why is it so important to me? I have very round features on my face. Round eyes, round nose, round face... this comes with both good and bad sides. Some of the good things are that people say I look very nice! haha But because of these features, I also look couple years younger than I actually am. And for work, I would like to look sharp and charismatic! This is why contouring my nose will always have a special place in my heart :)

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