Monday, November 19th, 2012

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: Contouring Powders

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to aboutcontouring powders. What drives you bananas? What makes them necessary?

my answer: I love them! I wish there were more brands that had them.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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47 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Contouring Powders

  1. Contouring powders are absolutely fantastic! Cream contour products aren’t compatible with my very oily skin type, and they take more work to look natural, without being too sheer. Plus powder products help with longevity too.

    My HG contour product is the MAC Pro Sculpting Powder in Sculpt.

    • Miss J

      Ditto on MAC Sculpt! It’s my perfect contour shade. :)

      • Great to hear!

        Also, thanks for all the great discussion question submissions recently. I haven’t commented on Temptalia in consecutive days for months! But in the past week, I’ve been commenting everyday!

        Nice work, Miss J!=. ;)

    • Avatar of Ellen Ellen Farkas

      I love it too! Thank you to Christine for letting me kwow they were available on mac’s website. It is the perfect replacement for a no name taupe eyeshadow that I have been using for the same purpose for years! Taupe turns brown on my redhead skintone (I never know if I am cool or warm because every line has a different definition of what they think these shades should be, but that makes finding foundation tough not this great contouring/blush powder). But I think neutral eyeshadows are the answer to anyone who’s skintone does not work with currently available contouring powders. If you know what shade you are looking for, find it in a good quality neutral eyeshadow. Powder is powder, and what works to shadow your eyes will work to shadow your cheekbones, or any other place you know how to contour!

  2. Courtney

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE contouring powders! I have very weak bone structure and contouring powder gives me the definition I don’t naturally have.

  3. I don’t really contour myself, but I do know how much of a change it can make on some faces! So I’m all for contouring powder.

  4. If by contouring powders, are you referring to using a darker shade or bronzer on areas below your cheekbone, nose and neck?

    I really like the look when I see it done professionally. However, as for my applying it to my own face, oh my gosh. Horrific. It just doesn’t look right. Probably using too heavy of a hand,

    If you do or have done a tutorial on this, I’d love to see it.

  5. becca

    I’m still looking for the perfect one. I love using them but I have issues with the colors. I’m very very pale so i have to be careful with what i use. some look orange, turn muddy, fade, too dark, or too hard to apply. A lot of them give me acne too, like the mac sculpting powder and the guerlain bronzers. I wish i could find THE ONE, i would use it every day.

    If you have any suggestions please let me know!!! I wear shade #2 in giorgio armani foundations and i have oily acne prone skin.

    • Kristabelle

      I also have pale, oily, acne-prone skin, and Benefit Hoola works amazing for me. You do have to use a light hand and blend out, of course, but it looks natural and hasn’t broken me out.

      • Avatar of Hayley Hayley

        I’m pale, oily, and acne prone as well and I use Benefit Hoola as well :) good luck!

        • Same here! I have pale, acne prone and combination (So sorta oily) skin and I LOVE hoola. I also like the shape of the little brush that comes with it for getting a nice sharp contour under the cheekbone.

          • Olga

            I am also pale with combination skin and on my second Benefit Hoola box. I use it every day for my very professional office look. It never looks orange on me and overall is just a perfect matte color for contouring.

            • Avatar of Kate Kate

              I too am pale with acne-prone combination skin and love Hoola for contouring! I just use a light hand and blend well and it looks very natural.

    • Courtney

      What you might need is the right brush. Blending out contouring powder is vital.

      I just got Chanel Notorious which is very dark. Like you, I’m also very pale. I use a light hand, then blend my blush over it, which makes it look a lot more natural rather than two different colors.

      • Avatar of Alison Alison

        Chanel Notorious is fantastic! Especially for women who find bronzer too warm or muddy. If only it were permanent!

  6. Avatar of Thanae teaesse

    i use ben nye contour powder no 1 and looove it.

  7. Terri

    they are all orange except Chanel’s LE one that just came out. I don’t want to be orange and when you are pale and anyting lighter than MAC’s NC20 it looks like total poo on your face.

    At least that’s my opinon.

  8. stephanie

    I wish there for more darker colors. I usually end up using a dark brown eyeshadow (Embark, Showstopper, Handwritten, Shadowy Lady, all by MAC) but I would like a little more product, and something formulated for the face.

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      You may want to take a look at MUFE #139, a grey-brown shade. MUFE shadows are formulated to be used on eyes or face, and you do get a bit more product.

      If that particular shade doesn’t work for you, MUFE has several others in the same color-range, but darker or lighter. I’m about an NC15, and it works well on me when really blended out, but the color is great.

    • Avatar of Ellen Ellen Farkas

      MAC’s Pro Sculpting powders are now available online. The colors that are available keep changing, but there are tones for both light and dark skintones, check it out at maccosmetics.com!

  9. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    While I prefer the look/finish of a liquid or cream, soetimes powders are just easier. Lately, I’ve been using NARS Zen, but now that I’m losing my tan, I’ll probably go back to NARS Blondie eyeshadow. I actually prefer to use eyeshadows, as they tend to look more natural, especially if they’re more grey in tone. NARS actually has several that work well, depending on one’s skin coloring, like Blondie, Bengali, or Bali. MAC also has several neutral matte shadows that work well, as does Revlon.

    I love contouring, so I’m always game to try different products, even if it means repurposing. I really want to get ahold of NYX Taupe blush & Chanel Notorious (which I doubt will happen, LOL).

  10. Avatar of Rebecca Rebecca

    I absolutely love Sleek Makeup’s contour kit, they come in two shades and have a contour powder and highlighter. My cheeks look amazing all day :)

  11. Avatar of Anisa frckls

    I LOVE CONTOURING. The thing is, the products designated specifically for contouring are very rarely the right color. Sometimes they are either too muddy, too ashy, or too orange. The latest sculpting cream collection by MAC are all off. My favourite choice of products for contouring are MAC Espresso and Benefit Hoola.

  12. Avatar of Cat Cat G

    I’ve tried and watched tutorials but can’t seem to make it work. Usually it looks really bad, actually. :/ Never have found the right color and apparently don’t have the skills for it either lol

    • r0saL1n3

      I’ve been using the bare mineral warmth to contour my face. I have a square face and didn’t know how to contour either. I learn my using the “E” or “3″ method which actually works on my face. And because I have a flat Chinese nose, I contour using light brown eyeshadow. The trick is to blend it well!

  13. I’ve never used a true contour powder, but I’m keen to try. Sometimes in summer I “shape” my face using bronzer, however as it’s bronzer I’m also imparting colour, hence why I ONLY use it in summer! I’m NC15, so while I’m very pale, I’m also very warm/yellow based (which in winter can look sallow!), so I tan easily.

  14. Avatar of ANTIGONE ANTIGONE

    I am pale skinned with naturally rosy cheeks.
    DOLCE & GABBANA TAN BLUSH is my HG.
    BURBERRY EARTHY was very blah looking on me.

  15. Avatar of Marian Marian Humin

    Rant. I think they’re too much for the average person. They’re highly visible and artificial looking in daylight. I would only wear one in a dark place like a night club.

    They look good on celebs during professional photo shoots.

    • Anna

      Rave.
      If you use the right colour and amount they are completely invisible. Foundation withouth contouring at least on cheeks leaves you so flat. Though I don’t think they are absolutely MUST have they do make a difference.
      I use the MUFE one.

    • Avatar of Kendra Kendra

      I agree with Anna, if you have the right shade and brush (and make sure to blend well), it should look very natural. Also you do not necessarily need to use bronzer to contour. There are specific powders that contain a touch of gray so they match the natural “shadows” of the face, but you can also use foundation powder or I’ve hear of people using eyeshadows.

      Although I understand it can look like to much for day, if someone uses a shade that is way to dark, so the look is very dramatic or they use a bronzer that is too orange, which just looks unnatural.

  16. Mindy

    I’m new to contouring, and recently tried Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil and I just love it. I’m pretty pale, and the “milk” version is the perfect effect. Not muddy, ruddy, or splotchy. You need a good contour brush, however, to pull this look off.

  17. Sue

    I would love to contour my NC42 face but Benefit Hoola is too expensive-I’m all about saving money at the drugstore! I tried Wet ‘n Wild Sunny and it was too light/orange for me, but may work for lighter tones. I just bought Milani powder and seemed to work well.

  18. Avatar of Amy Amy

    I love contour powders. The only 2 “problems” I have with them are that not a lot of brands make it or have a shade for very fair skin and people keep mistaking bronzing powders like Hoola, Chocolate Soleil etc. as contouring powders. A true contouring powder would have gray undertones.

  19. Adeline

    RAVE! I use Lunasol’s Shading Cheeks in 01 Natural Beige. I don’t do very complicated contouring. I just dust my contour powder lightly along my jawline and sometimes under my cheekbones. It barely shows up in real life, but in photos my face looks much sharper and more defined.

  20. Avatar of Gabriella bella

    I love contouring sometimes! However what drives me bananas is when contour products are too orange/warm which just makes you look weird and oompaloompa!

    It’s tricky to find good ones with more of a shadow colour to it.

  21. VickyM

    I´m just learning how to apply blush correctly. I´m not capable to do such complicated makeup yet but I really admire the way some people manage to change bone structure with it. However I do think that would be a hassle to do for everyday makeup, since I imagine it must look really weird if it´s not done correctly.

  22. Avatar of Alison Alison

    I love contouring powders. I wish there were more greys and taupes. I know its not the most marketable shade, but I know many women are the same as me and would appreciate a cool-toned alternative. Bronzed orange or brown shades never work on me – I just have too-cool skin!

    • Avatar of Ellen Ellen Farkas

      Try MAC Pro sculptig powder in Sculpt! It is a taupe that is perfect. I was using a taupe eyeshadow that I got at a beauty supply store with a number, 215. It was discontinued, at least at that store, and sculpt is almost identical!

  23. Avatar of Coco coco

    Rant/Rave i HAVE to contour. I have a longer oval face, and without it i just look weird. That said, it took me a long time to find a darker contour color that didn’t make my skin look dirty or orange! I’ve heard ppl rave about Benefit Hoola and Nars Laguna, but neither color works for me. Went to Ulta and decided to try a darker foundation powder instead of using bronzers – tried Loreal true match powder foundation-and it’s perfect!

  24. Avatar of ANTIGONE ANTIGONE

    DOLCE & GABBANA TAN BLUSH is the BEST for contouring.
    It is trully unique as it has very cool grey undertones and is especially suited for cooler skintones.

  25. Nicole

    I’ve actually been preferring creams lately…a bit harder to master but they look so much better when blended right. As far as powders, the Mac Pro sculpt powders are amazing! Also love Mac Harmony and Bobbi brown bronzers.

  26. Kourtney

    I am always on the look out for great contouring shades as I am extremely pale #3 in Illamasqua or Mac NC10-15 and I’ve recently discovered Kevyn Aucoin’s sculpting powder and its amazing. Extremely easy to blend and very natural looking.

  27. Kathryn

    I agree with other commentors that say it is next to impossible to find a cool-toned contour shade. I am very fair with cool undertones and every bronzer or contour powder I have tried turns orange on me. I end up using cool toned browns or subtle grey eyeshadows to contour.

    I find it very odd when cosmetic companies market contouring powders that either have shimmer in them or they are are a very warm shade of brown. Isn’t a “contour” supposed to mimic a shadow? How often do you see shimmery shadows or orange shadows? I really hope cosmetic companies catch onto this. I know there is a huge market out there for cool-toned contour shades.

  28. Avatar of Emilia Emilia

    i am very picky when it comes to contouring powders, I have tried NARS Laguna,great as a bronzer but not a contour also some too faced ones and MAC harmony and blunt, blunt is a good one but only for people with nc35+ or else it looks to dark, Harmony is better but its to warm toned. I have not tired MAC PRO sculpt powder but i think that more in the direction of what I am looking for. Currently I use MAC eyeshadow cork and wedge lightly with a 168 angle brush and it looks wonderful!

  29. Celleste

    Rant
    So many products touted as contouring essentials are utter garbage for anyone cooler or paler than NC30. Hoola is a dark orange brown that looks obvious unless paired with sheer bronzer. The MUFE powders need to be blended out exceptionally well or photographed in dim light. The MAC sculpting shades are either too pink, too orange, or have patchy texture. Forget anything with shimmer.

    Rave
    In spite of all that, I contour whenever I wear base makeup to prevent a flat, deathly appearance. Illamasqua make a nice cream contour called Hollow. UD, MUFE, and MAC all make eyeshadows that are neutral enough to work and lightly define the face. The ones that look most realistic in daylight while still providing definition for me are UD Naked and MAC Wedge.