I’ve done a roundup of contour powder swatches before, but since I have some different products I’m using to contour these days, here’s an update. Seeing swatches of Chanel Notorious contouring powder inspired me to experiment with using purple-grey eyeshadow to contour, with fantastic results. If you haven’t seen swatches of Chanel Notorious yet, the lovely Karima of Shameless Fripperies has a fantastic comparison post with a swatch here.
MAC Sculpting Powder in Sculpt (a pro product, now available online) is my go-to contour product – the pigmentation is at the right level to make it easy to work with, and it adds definition without ever looking muddy.
I recently re-purchased NYX Taupe after getting rid of it – it really is a great contouring color, but I think it’s better suited to someone who is paler than I am
I love the coolness and depth of Inglot 342 Matte, but if I’m not careful about blending, it can make me look dirty – so I only use it when I have extra time to play. It is quite pigmented (since it’s an eyeshadow), which also makes it a bit harder to work with, but means that the finish is quite natural, since very little product is needed.
Inglot 363 Matte is a cool grey-purple-taupe, and works well as a contour product, though again it is quite pigmented and I need to be careful with application (I often use a stippling brush).
NYX Haywire matte eyeshadow actually isn’t perfectly matte – it has a very slight sheen, but it still works well as a contour product – the sheen disappears when applied lightly. It’s another grey-purple-taupe, slightly greyer and cooler than Inglot 363M. I’d love to see it swatched side by side with Chanel Notorious (any takers?) – they seem similar to me, but it’s hard to tell. This is less pigmented than the Inglot eyeshadows, and thus easier to work with as a contour product.
On days I want an extra-sculpted face, my go-to routine is to use MAC Sculpt first (placing it everywhere I normally contour), then add some NYX Haywire under my cheekbones only.
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