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Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a medium-dark taupe brown with subtle warmth and a mostly matte finish. Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour (P) is warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium (P) is a cream product. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is warmer, lighter. MAC Coffee Walnut (LE, $20.00) is a cream product, slightly darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

After falling in love with Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo, it seemed imperative to test drive the powder version of the contouring shade. It’s a very shadowy contour, so for those who have bemoaned the plethora of warmer bronzes and feel like there is too much orange in other products marketed as contouring powders, this might be a great option. It reads warmer in tone in the pan and swatched, but even against my warmer undertones, it read shadowy, cool-toned, and very much like a true contouring shade. The product is incredibly pigmented, and a little goes a long way. The first time I applied it, the contour was deeper and more dramatic than I anticipated, so less is more with this one. It had a silky, smooth, and blendable texture that applied nicely and sat well on the skin. The contour wears well for eight hours before fading slightly.

I wish the brand also had a light and deep option, because I bet they could nail the right variation in color and undertone so it could fit a wider spectrum of skin tones. I’d also like to see a price reduction, because when they changed packaging, they reduced significantly (0.23 oz. to 0.11 oz.) without reducing the price–the product is so, so good but knowing it used to be double the size for the same price is hard to overlook.

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Guerlain Dore (04) Meteorites Compact

Guerlain Dore (04) Meteorites Compact
Guerlain Dore (04) Meteorites Compact

Guerlain Dore (04) Meteorites Compact ($62.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as having “gold dots to illuminate, while fuchsia dots joyfully revive radiance and chocolate dots warm up the skin.” It’s a translucent pink with subtle warm undertones and a very subtle sheen. Guerlain Crazy Meteorites (LE, $69.00) is actually rather similar, but I think it was smoother and silkier. Guerlain Angelic Radiance (LE, $53.00) is more pigmented (more like a blush, as it was intended, in comparison to this) but similar in tone and effect, so I think it might be the way to go if you want actual color. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

I was surprised to see as much color in this as there was, given that there were only three pink-hued sections. It seemed to brighten the skin while adding a little bit of radiance, but I think it had less luminosity compared to Clair and Medium. The texture, while soft to the touch, was a little drier–it just didn’t feel as luxurious or as smooth to me as the other two, but luckily, it still sat well on the skin and blurred imperfections. It had the subtlest effect of the three shades on my skin tone; it brightened subtly but didn’t add any warmth that I could see, and it added a little illumination but not much. I could barely detect it in person, and I don’t think it picks up in photos at all. I think if you have pinker undertones or a fairer complexion, it might be really nice for brightening without adding a lot of sheen, but from my experience, it misses the mark on two of the three things it’s supposed to do. It did prolong the wear of my foundation by an hour, even though it is a finishing powder (not a setting powder).

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Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact

Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact
Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact

Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact ($62.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “beige and champagne colors” that “unify while peach dots add a perfecting touch.” It’s a translucent powder with very fine shimmer that translates into more of a soft sheen on the skin rather than detectable shimmer or sparkle. As much as I love Meteorites, it can be difficult to distinguish differences between them at times, and this is one of those times. Visually, I really just don’t notice a difference between the effect of this compared to Clair (02 on my skin tone. I think some skin tones might find one works better than the other, but on my medium complexion, they both give a subtle luminous effect that simultaneously blurs imperfections while giving the skin a brightened, livelier appearance. I love the effect of both on the skin, but I don’t think you need both unless you’re very fair or much deeper and perhaps your skin tone will allow any nuances to become visible. View comparison swatches / view dupes.

I like wearing it alone over bare skin, but I typically use it as a finishing powder dusted all-over the face after I’ve applied setting powder (and it is a finishing powder, to be clear!). I get an extra half hour of wear out of my foundation if I just use this and skip the setting powder, but I have normal-to-dry skin. The powder is violet-scented, though I don’t notice any scent when it is applied.

For those who were wondering if the pan could be removed: it is supposed to be glued in, and in fact, the one I ordered arrived with the pan itself rattling around, because it wasn’t actually glued in any more (but you can see where the glue was). I hope I was just one of the few unlucky ones to have this happen to them, and it isn’t prevalent (the other one I ordered was fine).

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Guerlain Clair (02) Meteorites Compact (2015)

Guerlain Clair (02) Meteorites Compact
Guerlain Clair (02) Meteorites Compact

Guerlain Clair (02) Meteorites Compact ($62.00 for 0.35 oz.) uses “green dots [to] hide redness, white dots [to] illuminate, and champagne [to] even out skin tone.” I feel like the best way to describe Meteorites and their effect on the skin is that people start asking you, “What are you doing with your skin? It looks amazing!” You get comments on your skin, not your makeup. That being said, I also feel like it’s a product that is more believable in person than in photos. On me, it imparts subtle luminosity and gives my skin a smoother appearance while minimizing pores and skin texture. The texture is soft, finely-milled, and it feels velvety and smooth on the skin. Even though this shade is technically designed for fair skin, it worked well on my medium complexion (likely due to the translucent nature of the product).

I think if you’ve been tempted by the Mythic Voyage Powder, this is an excellent alternative, and I can’t tell the difference between the two applied. It’s really great to see the pressed Meteorites make a return in a more affordable form than the Voyage powders (which do come in a much more substantial compact, but the lower-priced version is easier to travel with). It works well as a finishing powder, and breathes life back into the skin, especially if you tend to use a more matte foundation or setting powder. For me, I have normal-to-dry skin (quite normal at the moment, though), and if I only use this without setting powder, my foundation does last an extra half hour to an hour, but I wouldn’t recommend this in place of a setting powder (I typically use both in a full look). I also like this dusted over bare skin for really lazy days. The pressed version has the same violet scent as their other powder products.

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Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a highlighting and contouring set of shades in a cream formula. I think this will be nice on medium and fairer skin tones, with it being subtler on medium-dark skin tones. The contouring shade may be too subtle on deeper skin tones, though the highlight should be lovely. I was impressed by the long-wear, because both shades have a creamy, thin, emollient consistency that just doesn’t seem like something that would have any longevity, but there they were, nearly eight hours later with both color and a light sheen. (I have normal skin at the moment, for reference.) The contouring shade just made me long to try The Sculpting Powder to see how it works with the Celestial Powder. My only complaint is that actual pans are quite small, and it was difficult to use any of my angled contouring brushes as they were all oversized. I ended up flattening my brushes between my fingers and focused on getting the product primarily on one side of the brush.

Sculpting Medium is a medium-dark brown with yellow undertones and a subtle gray overtone with a satin-matte finish.
Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Days (P, $48.00) is much more shimmery, powder. MAC Matte Bronze (LE, $70.00) is warmer. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is warmer, powder. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is powder. MAC Pure Sculpture (LE, $20.00) is warmer. Becca Lowlight (P, $38.00) is warmer. MAC Coffee Walnut (LE, $20.00) is more olive, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Candlelight is a champagne gold with a luminous sheen and very, very fine shimmer. It translates to a dewy glow on the skin that works as well on bare skin as it did layered over foundation (even when already set with powder). Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is sheerer. MAC Born to Dazzle (LE) is more sparkly. Chanel Camelia de Plumes (LE, $76.00) is cooler-toned. Tarte Champagne (LE) is warmer. NARS 413 BLKR (P, $30.00) is more metallic, warmer. Giorgio Armani Belladonna (LE, $88.00) is a smidgen warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is lighter (I think the effect is similar, but the cream version runs more golden). Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is similar but a powder. theBalm Solid Gold (P, $24.00) is more metallic. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is a smidgen less golden. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Also In This Review

Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Loose Powder Mattifying Veil

Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Loose Powder Mattifying Veil
Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Loose Powder Mattifying Veil

Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Loose Powder Mattifying Veil ($57.00 for 0.7 oz.) is supposed to be a mattifying, translucent loose powder and comes in three shades. I tried Medium, and it was darker than the previously-released variation on this product that I have (but I don’t think I ever got around to reviewing) in Medium, which was frustrating as a long-time customer (consistency is important, especially in foundation shades!). It seems darker than their medium liquid shades (like #03s), just as a heads up, but it is a good match for Joli Teint’s Natural. I wish they had more shades available as well (there is one lighter and one darker).

The powder is very silky and finely-milled, and it sits nicely on my normal-to-dry skin without looking powdery, caked on, or unnatural. It goes on effortlessly over cream and liquid foundations, and it helps to set everything in place. It seems like my base makeup lasts about an hour longer if I use this palette, compared to not using one. The powder instantly mattifies the skin and toning down any natural luminosity that comes through, so it’s ideal for someone who wants a very matte finish, but it does darken the color of my foundation (because the Medium shade is too dark for me), so it will add color. It helps the skin look softer and smoother–pores really get de-emphasized with it on–but I think the pressed version does an even better job. The packaging is overly large–they could scale it back to make it more travel-friendly and easier to store in your drawers! I’ve also had trouble keeping it open/closed so that it doesn’t explode powder half the time I open it (I feel like it never actually closes), which isn’t an issue with the previously-released version (same packaging!). It makes getting the right amount to apply quite difficult and renders using the included powder puff unusable (which is how Guerlain says to apply it), as it leads to over-application.

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