4 Jul 2012

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder Review

Kevin Aucoin The Sculpting
Powder in Medium.  Drool.
I have posted a blog about contouring products in general here and the tools I use here  I have an oval face but round cheeks and not particularly high cheekbones and personally have always tried to slim down my face and exaggerate my cheekbones.  So I got to grips with contouring very early on in my makeup endeavours.

I have a huge array of contour products and tools and a few different techniques that I use, but I'm always on the look out for the "perfect" contour product.  I have found my perfect cream contour product but was still searching for the powder equivalent.  In a recent trip to Harvey Nichols, I stumbled upon the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and fell immediately in love... So one purchase later and I'm hooked.

This contour powder is formulated with brown, gray and red pigments to create the look of a natural shadow.  Medium is a warm cocoa shade is a suitable for most complexion tones, as you can build up or down as necessary.

What makes a good contour product?

A good contour product will mimic a shadow.  If you think about it, a shadow technically doesn't have much actual colour in it, it's mostly just a greyer version of your skin tone.  If you put just plain grey on your face however it looks a bit unnatural, so contour products tend to be a neutral beige-brown shade with a mix of undertones, preferably mostly cool shades like grey or pink.

Here's the thing though, some of these contour powders have more of a cool orange or cool pink undertone - which can be used perfectly well for contouring (as long as they're not too warm-toned), but orange tones in particular generally don't photograph well for contours.  So whereas those are fine for day-wear, makeup for photography is a different kettle of fish.  And some of the contour products have just a little too much pink in them for my personal liking, I prefer something with a lot of grey (I'd say "taupe", but this is technically not a colour, to be a total nerd about it).

Why not just use a bronzing powder?

There are a few reason why contouring with a bronzing powder is a bad idea.  Most of them bend more towards an orange or bronze undertone, which doesn't look like a shadow.  And most of them contain some form of shimmer, and a shadow doesn't shimmer or shine.  You've heard of bronzers being used to "warm up" the face - that's exactly what they're supposed to do - to bring warmth and colour to where they're applied, whereas a contour product should create a shadow, which brings cool tones and depth to the face - the complete opposite of a bronzer in fact.

The skinny on Kevyn Aucoin's offering...

So why do I like this product so much?  It is extremely pigmented (+1).  It lasts the day (+2).  It's very very cool with a dirty grey base (+3).  It is dead matte but not chalky, as it's very finely milled, so it also blends like a dream (+4 +5 +6).  It seems almost dirty green-brown-grey in the pan, but it does a great impression of a shadow when applied (preferably with a brush) to the face (incidentally, the sponge that comes with it is more or less useless; it packs on way too much product.  I don't use it).

It comes packaged in a mirrored compact and is eye-wateringly expensive (-1) for a coloured pressed powder - I think it was around €48 (but don't quote me as I can't remember exactly).  But it will be the last contour powder you will ever need to buy again.  Ever.  I promise!

Contain talc, parabens and silicones, so not for everyone, but I have definitely found my go-to product.


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