Sunday, October 27, 2013

Contour Crazy

Top Row L-R: Hollow, Tough as Taupe, Bronzing Primer, Hoola, Taupe
Bottom Row L-R: Delicata, Shade & Illuminate I, RCMA (top 2 shades), At Goldcombe Bay
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in "Hollow" ($26 from Sephora): Accurately described as a "matte toffee"  this cream pigment works best for me in the winter when I'm have an exceptionally pasty complexion (MAC NW 20)... Unfortunately, during the summer when I'm an NW25, it can be a little too light. In my mind, it has the perfect amount of coolness to create a believable shadow. It's a unique shade too and I don't really have anything that comes close it a "dupe".

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in "Tough As Taupe" ($6.99 at Ulta): At the risk of sounding like a broken record, these Color Tattoos are such a great drugstore beauty product. The formula of this particular shade is a little thicker and drier than the others in the collection. It reminds me a lot of clay. Once I started using this to contour, I rarely use it on my eyes. It's extremely cool-toned and has a fair amount of purple in it, so I recommend using it sparingly, but it does create a great shadowy-effect, particularly on lighter skin tones.  It lasts all day and has never broken me out. I prefer to apply it with my fingers and blend out with a dense face brush.

Bourjois Bronzing Primer ($11.57 on ASOS):  I really loved this initially and were it not for the fact that it breaks me out, I still would. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my skin hates silicone-based face products... such is life. That said, I think this is a good product. It's more similar in tone to Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate and even though it's on the warmer side, when used lightly, it still is able to create the illusion of shadow. As the name would suggest, it also is a great cream bronzer.

Benefit Cosmetics "Hoola" Bronzer ($28 from Sephora): This is cool-toned for a bronzer, but not as a stand-alone product. Especially if you compare it to some of the other products in this post. Still, I love it. It's quite a dry powder but it packs a good amount of pigmentation and gets the job done. I think this was the first product I bought with the intent of contouring and it's one that I frequently return to. I almost always use this to set Shade & Illuminate which makes it last longer and also makes S & I less warm-toned.

NYX Blush in "Taupe" ($5.50 on Cherry Culture): This little gem was a little hard to track down as well. It was sold out everywhere at the time but I ended up picking it up on Cherry Culture. This almost has a purple-tinge, which if not applied carefully, has a tendency to make me look ill. However, when I apply it right, it also is able to create the illusion of much better cheekbones. I really like to apply this with an angled contour brush, like the Tanseido WH14.

Rouge Bunny Rouge blush in "Delicata" ($28 on Beauty Habit): Technically, a blush but it doesn't add any pink color to me. It's described as a nude/beige/rose. I find it far more nude/beige than rosy.  It actually does a great job at creating a very subtle contour. There's a small amount of pearl in it, and it just makes my skin glow. Not an attribute you'd associate with a contour product but somehow it creates a shadow yet keeps skin looking luminous. Easily one of my favorites.

Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate in "Intensity 1" ($75 at Saks): This was a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of. They were sold out or backordered from every retailer I could find online and there aren't any counters near me. I called a few in neighboring states but they were sold out as well. On a whim, I called the counter at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and they quickly had it sent out to me the following day and even included some amazing samples. Despite what some of the reviews said, this is actually quite warm-toned. Still, if I use it sparingly it does a great job of creating shadows. I also really enjoy using this as a bronzer. I will say that this doesn't last all day unless I set it with powder. A great product, but for the price, I think it should preform better. Again, I prefer to apply it with my fingers and blend out with a dense face brush.

RCMA Highlight & Contouring Palette ($30 from RCMA): This great cream palette would be perfect for a makeup artist kit as it has colors that would work on a multitude of skin tones. I personally prefer the lighter of the two contouring shades, which is essentially a cream version of Benefit's "Hoola" Bronzer. This lasts longer than Shade & Illuminate but not quite as long as the Color Tattoo.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Powder in "At Goldcombe Bay" ($39 on Beauty Habit): Very accurately described as a "satin finish natural beige brown with goldfish pearls".  They also recommend it as an eyeshadow or highlighter (for darker complexions, I'm guessing). Natalie from Flowerbomb31 on YouTube recommended this as one of her Rouge Bunny Rouge must-have products and compared it the the Tom Ford Bronzer (which I've been eyeballing). I asked her which she preferred and she said this, so of course I had to pick it up. The first ingredient in this is talc and I think that's pretty evident in it's texture. It's a dry powder, pigmented, but slightly dry. I like it but it's not my favorite formulation.

Not to further complicate your lives, but I can't pick an absolute favorite. My top three picks would be "Hollow", RCMA's lighter contouring shade, and "Delicata". If I want a more dramatic and long-wearing product, I reach for "Tough as Taupe". During the summer, I use "At Goldcombe Bay" and "Hoola" the most. And of course, if I'm in the mood for a good skin break out, I grab the Bourjois Bronzing Primer.

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