The Gloss Report: Face contouring kits

3 July 2014

1 / 6

The Gloss Report: Face Contouring Kits

If you were blessed with Keira Knightly-esque cheekbones and an Angelina Jolie jawline then lucky you. However, the rest of us need a little help sculpting and shaping in that area from time to time.

Ever since Kim K posted her pre-blended face on Instagram the Glossy Posse have been itching to give contouring kits a whirl and have been filled with so many questions about their purpose. Do they work? Are they way too difficult to use? Will we look like Kate Moss by the end? To end this madness we’ve been testing out contouring kits all week - here’s our reviews on the top 5 on the market.

2 / 6

Hourglass Illume Crème-to-powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset

Price: £40

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Feedback: "I’ve always been a big believer that when you look at someone, you should see their face first and their makeup second. Face contouring is no exception to the rule and it can often be difficult to do it in a way that enhances your bone structure and doesn’t transform it.

"This particular face contouring kit definitely abided by these makeup rules thanks to its subtle, natural finish and the soft dewy glow it gave to my skin. Perhaps a little too light in colour for my skin tone to really provide a big enough contrast to give that ‘chiselled’ look, I would definitely recommend it for those who have fair to medium toned complexions for adding a subtle contour and a pop of rosy colour to cheekbones. The texture was a particular plus – beautifully rich without being greasy, I can confidently say that it ticked nearly every box for me with regards to providing a more wearable option for mastering contouring that’s suitable for both day and night time."

Did it have the Kim K effect?

Yes. If Kim K was looking to dial it down a notch...

Was it worth the money?

Yes, provided you have the correct skin tone.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Yes (provided she was fairer-skinned!)

Reviewer: AM

Score: 9/10

3 / 6

Daniel Sandler Sculpt and Slim-effect Contour Face Powder

Price: £24.50

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Feedback: “I’ve always been a little wary of contour kits. Firstly, because I’m not sure there’s any real need for them, and secondly, because nobody likes huge brown splotches on a pale and pasty face. This kit from Daniel Sandler however may just have changed all that. With step by step instructions printed on the back, the kit is super easy to use and comes in shades which suit almost any skin tone. It felt great to apply and the subtle colouring meant it was difficult to go OTT - even if you’re a contour kit virgin!"

Did it have the Kim K effect?

Although not as drastic as queen K herself, this kit definitely gives the effect of sculpted cheekbones and a more defined face. The fact that the matte contour shade is a brown rather than orange means it keeps the look natural and a whole lot more sophisticated, and the highlighter adds a sublte shimmer that improves your look without making it obvious where the magic is actually happening!

Was it worth the money?

For £24.50, I’d say this product is definitely worth the money. It’s a kit you can use every single day and the nature of the makeup means it will last and last before you need to replenish your stocks. I can’t think of a situation where the product would not fit perfectly into your daily makeup ritual.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Thanks to the price and the subtlety of the shades, I would definitely recommend this product to a friend. For a look that's more sophisticated chic than OTT TOWIE, Daniel Sandler’s Contour Face Powder makes it really difficult to get sculpting wrong, even if you’re a first timer.

Reviewer: EJ

Score: 9/10

4 / 6

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma

Price: £30

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Feedback: “This NARS contour blush is a must-have tool for your makeup artillery. Available in a duo compact, this clever kit includes a blush to create dimension and a highlighter that works to add bursts of radiance to high points on the face. I applied the blush to the hollows of my cheeks and blended the harsh edges (while I lust for Kim K's sharp defined lines, I'm too scared to carry it off myself).

“My face instantly looked more sculpted and I was suddenly gifted with cheekbones. I then swept the highlighter across my cheekbones and towards the temple to further soften any harsh lines. The greatest thing about this contour blush is that you can easily blend or build depending on the level of definition that you’re aiming for. Perfect for contour pros and beginners alike.”

Did it have the Kim K effect?

It could have, if I didn’t wimp out and start blending…

Was it worth the money?

Yes. It may seem slightly pricey but it’s a good investment, whether you’ll be using it every day or saving it for special occassions to amp up your look.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Yes! Whether they’re looking for something more defined or soft, it suits all needs.

Reviewer: HI

Score: 9/10

5 / 6

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow

Price: £49

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Feedback: "I have to admit I was a little bit of a contour sceptic. Don’t get me wrong I love shading and highlighting as much as the next beauty junkie but I already do it with individual products - I just can’t really see the need for an actual ‘contouring kit’. This was my oh-so-naive opinion before embarking on this gloss report and if there was ever a brand to prove that I really have no clue - it’s Charlotte Tilbury.

"Makeup artist to the absolute elite I couldn’t have been in safer hands for my first experience with contouring makeup. The compact comes with two shades - a warm bronze that is the perfect universal blend of pearl and pigment which works to slim and trim your features, while the highlighter is built up from a golden base and uses Light Flex Technology to give a golden glow that sculpts and shapes the face. Light, smooth and beautifully blendable this product couldn’t have been easier to use and despite my initial reservations it gave a much more uniform, flawless finish than individual shading and highlighting products. I admit total defeat."

Did it have the Kim K effect?

Not quite as prominent as Kimmy’s look but it had more of an ‘I look like this naturally’ effect - which I prefer.

Was it worth the money?

Asolutely given that it allowed me to unearth my cheekbones and realise my face had a shape.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Definitely.

Reviewer: KR

Score: 10/10

6 / 6

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in Intensity One

Price: £55

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Feedback: "I have Kim Kardashian to thank for my slight obsession with contouring. Say about her what you will but the queen of selfies' contouring capabilities are faultless. Rather embarrassingly, I've attempted to recreate her look more times than I care to admit and in doing so have not only learned that a) less is truly more b) this is not really a daytime look but also c) the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate duo is all you really need to get the job done.

"Despite having olive skin, I opted for the Intensity One palette as the hue of the 'shade' cream was akin to a muddy bronzer and my main concern was that going any darker would lead to a look that was more coal miner than Kardashian. That said, when blended in, the colour was very subtle and highly effective (as was the case for the highlighter). The quality of the product and the way it seamlessly blends into the skin is key to its ability to create natural-looking chiselled cheekbones, but then if ever there was a man who understood the architecture of a woman's face and could create a product to really enhance facial symmetry, it's Tom Ford."

Did it have the Kim K effect?

Definitely.

Was it worth the money?

A little bit of a splurge but well worth the spend.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Yes, but only if they like creamy products.

Reviewer: KB

Score: 10/10