|Kevin Aucoin The Sculpting|
Powder in Medium. Drool.
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.
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.