Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette ($46.00 for 0.72 oz.) includes three highlight shades (0.08 oz. each) and three contour shades (0.16 oz. each). I wish the palette ran cooler in overall tone, or at least had the first set of highlight/contour be cool-toned, the middle be more neutral-cool, and the last set be deeper and more neutral-cool. They all run warmer both in the pan, swatched, and applied. The texture of the powders is incredibly silky and smooth with a little bit of powderiness, but it’s not excessive, and it seems to make these incredibly easy to work with, so blending and diffusing the color on the skin isn’t frustrating. If you are fairer and prefer very subtle contours, this palette might be too dark overall, but the shades are quite forgiving and blendable, so I think that they can all be worn across most skin tones, just depending on the intensity of application.

Lucid is described as a “pinkish nude.” It’s a brightened, light beige with subtle, yellow undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and silky–just slightly powdery–but sat well on the skin. It had good color payoff and was both buildable and blendable, as desired. It wore well for eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sombre is described as a “true taupe.” It’s a medium taupe brown with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that was easy to work with. It wore well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lyric is described as a “yellow beige.” It’s a brightened, yellowed beige with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It was nicely pigmented with a very soft, finely-milled texture, but it was a bit powdery. I thought it exacerbated dryness if/when I had any, but if you have oilier skin, I don’t think it will be an issue. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shadowplay is described as a “soft brown.” It’s a medium brown with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had fairly good color payoff, but it was weaker compared to other shades in the palette. The texture was soft, blendable, and not at all powdery. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. The color appears more bronzer-like than a true contour, though it has a muted quality that makes it not quite as warm or orange-toned as a bronzer can be. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Levitation is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a yellowed peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff that was easily sheered out or blended, depending on the look you wanted. The texture was finely-milled, incredibly soft and smooth, but a little powdery. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Subconscious is described as a “deep brown.” It’s a dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had nice pigmentation that was blendable on the skin with a soft, silky texture. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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See more photos & swatches!

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Lucid Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lucid Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Lucid Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lucid Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lucid & Sombre Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Sombre Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lucid & Sombre Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Lyric Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lyric Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Lyric Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lyric Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lyric and Shadowplay Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Shadowplay Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Lyric and Shadowplay Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Levitation Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Levitation Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Levitation Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Levitation Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Levitation and Subconscious Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Kat Von D Levitation and Subconscious Shade & Light Powders

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Your left: Lucid/Sombre; Your Right: Lyric/Shadowplay

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Your left: Lucid/Sombre; Your Right: Lyric/Shadowplay

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Your left: Levitation/Subconscious; Your Right: Lyric/Shadowplay

Kat Von D Subconscious Shade & Light Powder
Your left: Levitation/Subconscious; Your Right: Lyric/Shadowplay

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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Powder
On lips:
  • MAC On Cue Mineralize Lipglass

About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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115 Comments

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I think it’s because, in the pan, warmer colors are more appealing to look at. The same goes for eyeshadow palettes, which always include a “pretty” bronze/gold shade in an otherwise cool palette. Taupey/grey-toned face products make people think they’ll look muddy/ashy when applied to the face. That said, contouring can really be done with *any* color, as long as it’s darker than the blush, is a matte, and in the same color family as the blush.

I don’t understand why contouring powders need to be cool. Because someone said so. I like warm contour colors. I don’t use anything cool toned so why should I contour with cool powders. I think cool powders are good for cool toned ladies.

Hi Christine,

I see you mentioned that you wish these were cooler-toned (me too!!) Is there a contour palette you’ve come across that is suitably cool toned?

Thanks!!

I’ve only tried the original pre-made palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills but on her website you can custom bill your own and it looked like there was a lot of cooler tone powders and i believe there is a discount to making a palette versus buying the pans individually.

The Smashbox Contour Kit’s contour shade is pretty cool! It also comes with a slightly warmer bronzing shade (close to the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer which isn’t so warm that you couldn’t use it as a contour anyways). The highlight in the kit is slightly yellow toned. Overall it’s one of the best contour products I’ve found works for my pale skin without being too warm. Not large, only has one contour shade, one bronzing shade, and one highlight shade. Simple and to the point.

They do highlight, though I prefer a more shimmery highlight myself. You can also use them to soften the contour color!

Gorgeous Temptalia. What is your undertone? this packet seems like its perfect for fair to medium with your undertone. Anyone past that may look ash!t especiall on me since I’m golden yellow orange.

This seems like a great palette but I don’t think it would work for my skin tone. But there’s other options for me. Especially the Anastasia custom contour palette. 😀

OK, thanks! If you do end up getting/reviewing the Anastasia Contour Kit, I would love a comparison! I bought it because of the raves on YouTube. I haven’t tried it on myself yet, though.

I could probably use Sombre and Shadowplay, but would have no use for the rest. Matte highlighters definitely wouldn’t work for me. Wish they were individual or packaged as separate options for light/med/dark. This might be good for makeup artists or someone who tans significantly in summer.

I like the highlighters and Sombre. The other two contours look too dark and warm for my pale skin. This does sound like a wonderful palette, though.

I like this whole idea and I am honestly a bit overwhelmed by all the contouring products coming out! This one seems to include a very wide variety of skin tones in one palette which is great if you are a professional.I guess you could mix. Personally, I agree, it’s too warm overall. I prefer contour with a hint of grey/coolness and I am not seeing that here. So, even if I were a professional, I’d pass.

OMG..Kevyn Aucoin needs to add tones and make a palette with Starlight, candlelight, and another matte light highlight. That would be so Amazing! I love the singles of his sculpt and highlight shades. But, I like my ABH palette because you can soften and deepen the shades to suit your coloring and/or occasion. Need to mash those two together!

The more reviews I hear about this palette the more I want to get this one. Anastasia has more shades to work with but the highlighting powders in this one are more pigmented. Fair to light/medium skin tone though. Anyone with deeper or warmer skin these shades turn ashy. 😉

But apparently not white enough on uber fair sikin like mine. Sign…..

The tone in both the Anastasia and Kat Von D highlighters are very similar. Which is too colour rich for me…. I guess I’m saving myself $55 either way but it makes me sad. I loved Sombre.

Hourglass ambient in Ehereal is very nice. it’s white . But, it’s not going to be like stark. I have been using it under my eyes and center of my face. I am more medium skin. But , they seem to adjust. There are also some cream palettes if you really want white, that may be the way to go.

Your face is the perfect illustrative canvas for this palette, Chrustine! Beautiful photos and thus seems like a good one for the near future. Love it. Thank you for the post, thanks for all you do. XO Beth in Pgh

I tested this in-store the day it hit the shelf before the masses destroyed it. On my c45 skintone the highlighters showed up ashy on my skin and the darkest contour powder was the only hit. Everything else did not work. I knew that it wouldn’t work on me but my curious mind needed to be put to rest. lol

I’m glad the product blends well, and it looks great on you, Christine! Sadly, it’s almost all way too warm/dark for me. A number of the shades will literally just make me look like I’ve rolled in mummy dust (but I’m a vampire so that is NOT HARD TO DO, LOL!)

I kind of feel like rather than one supposedly catchall palette, she should have released a warm and a cool, or a warm and a cool each in light/med/dark. Maybe? I wouldn’t demand it as necessary or anything, but I wouldn’t buy a palette I’ll only ever use two shades from either.

It seems contour palettes are the product of the year, though I’d rather buy a single that works for me than six that don’t (or only kind of).

Hm. I can’t decide whether I want this or the Anastasia Contour Kit. They both seem to be pretty good quality and i like the colours in both, just not sure which i like better. Christine, do you plan on reviewing the Anastasia one?

I have been waiting for this review for so long and i’m very happy with it. So if i understand, if i want to contour i should use something else. Is the new marc jacob duo better ?

Not sure this is me or your site but all the words are running together. The light shades and medium shades look great on you! Still too dark and warm for me.

It’s possible they aren’t eye safe, but you’d have to find out from the brand. There are some ingredients that are used in lip/cheek products that aren’t safe for eyes.

I love the look of this palette and the colours are gorgeous on you Christine, but I would have to try it to see if it worked on me. I think that there would be some shades that you wouldn’t use (therefore a waste). One size does not fit all. At least it is a palette of quality.

i’m pretty pale, but these contour colors don’t seem too warm for me, so i really enjoy this palette.. lately i’ve been using it more than my anastasia one. i use the left and middle highlight shade to set my under eyes and it seems to work well! i can get away with the right highlight as a super subtle blush

Hmm, probably pass on this and just try the KA sculpting powder instead.

The look you made using it though it AMAZING. I want to touch your face because it looks so smooth haha, okay I’ll try and stop being creepy now.

Always love your reviews – so informative and really detailed! Great to see your input on this contour palette! I have the Anastasia beverly hills contour kit and when a new contour palette is launched it is hard to not want them all when in fact we really don’t need so many different contour kits do we! lol!

Hi Christine!

I have lately been into this whole contour & highlight thing. Now, I can’t go out without contouring or highlighting. I really want to invest in a good contour & highlight palette. I have been eyeing on this palette, as well as the Anastasia Contour Kit. Which one would you recommend more? I have a medium neutral skintone with SUPER oily skin, because I live in such a hot & humid place.

Thanks 🙂

I have to say, all the contour products have made me curious about contouring but I still wasn’t sure about buying another product so with a bit of stash shopping I found Urban Decay’s Naked shadow from my Naked palette as it isn’t a colour I am fussed about on the eyes and it did seem to work as a contour on me. I’m fair and I’d say I probably come out almost neutral and have found contour colours are either too dark or too orange or both for me but Naked is working for now!

Glad the palette got such good scores, but I can only use maybe 2 shades for contouring, the others are too warm or dark, but I could use as shadows. I wish this kit was broken up into separate sets, into light, medium, dark. Or wouldn’t it be great if they allowed you to create a custom kit and you just pick out colors that work for you?

Christine, do you think MAC’s Omega eyeshadow would be a good contouring shade for fair skin?.. Even though it is an eyeshadow, and the texture might be off..?

This is next on my list of things to buy 🙂 I adore the palette, although I heard the brush isnt that good. This is a great palette for women with darker skin tones. I don’t use mac foundation but in UD I’m a level 7.0, and i really do prefer warmer toned contouring colors. Thanks for the review !

Loving the ‘Levitation’ and ‘Subconscious’ look – I do enjoy the fact that there are some pink’ish lights to offset the warmer darks.

Thanks for sharing, but I have to comment on your perfect eyebrow shape! do you use anything in them or are you naturally blessed with fab brows?!?

So warm, and the lightest highlight is the same color as my skin. Hard pass, though it looks like it’s gorgeous quality! Big bummer. I so wish that a mainstream company would put out a lavender/taupe toned contour palette. I honestly think that those shades look best as contour colors, even on warmer skin tones.

Have you checked out the IT Cosmetics contour palette? It’s got a lovely range of shades. Very light to very dark.

Shadowplay looks like it might work as a nice bronzer on lighter skintones! I know you mentioned it has more bronzer like tones, not quite as orange, which for me would work out well, LOL!

I agree that I find a more cool toned contour works. After doing my Hallowe’en makeup I discovered that I really like Mac’s Quarry as a contour! Used with a light hand and well blended it looks pretty natural. (I confuse Mac associates every time I go to get matched – they can’t decide if I’m warm or cool. I’m neutral with some yellow, some olive and a teeny bit of peach. It’s hard to find a single colour, i usually have to mix)

On slightly different but still Kat Von D – I’d like your thoughts. I’m trying to decide between the Monarch palette or the Too Faced Semi Sweet. Which offers the most unique shades and bang for your buck, in your opinion??

Monarch is probably more unique, though I don’t really think either are that unique! If you prefer more shimmer, Too Faced, and if you prefer more mattes/satins, Monarch. Semi-Sweet is also very, very warm-toned, while Monarch is warm but not as warm-toned.

I love how all these contour palettes look, but as a fair person, I find myself passing on them and getting single products or duos that are more functional for me. I totally agree that 2 out of the 3 contour powders are too warm for me, so I would never use them, and matte pale highlights dont really show up on me. Also, because I have pink undertones, I have no use for banana colored powder like most girls do.

Havent tried many contouring palettes but this looks pretty nice.. 🙂 .. I am jumping into the world of contouring and have a big wishlist of contour products 😀

When this palette came out I was also lamenting the lack of cooler contour colors, but I caved in and bought it and I was pleasantly surprised by how good the looked once they’re applied! I ended up really liking the product.

Hi Christine,

Your skin looks amazing with these powders on! Do you mind letting me know what brushes you used to contour and highlight?

Thank you!

Hi Marisa,

I’m not sure which ones I used here, as I use a different brush for each color. I usually reach for Sephora’s Pro angled brush and Chikuhodo Z for highlighting.

I wish these were cooler toned too. My go to for contouring is still Bahama Mama. I’m warm toned myself but I can’t stand warm toned contours.

I’m fair and I want it so badly. Right now there are so many contouring palettes out there, this one always gets the best reviews I think. One may wonder, how many shades can one single person use for contouring&highlighting? I don’t think I need 6 shades (plust what I already have at home). But if the quality is good I can just use it also for bronzing, eyelooks, setting certain areas, etc.

I like this a lot more than I expected to, surprisingly. I like the highlight shades especially, which I usually find too frosty/gold. The brown shades look much warmer in the pan than I was expecting as well. I’m warm toned but like somewhat cooler contour shades. I may pick one of these up, actually. Although I’ve already got more contouring products than I’ll ever use in my lifetime! Oh well, guess I’ll have to will my collection of cosmetics to someone in my family that’ll get a lot of use out of it 🙂

hi, Christine!
i’ve been reading your blog for years and just now decided to make an account.
mostly made an account just so i could say: i pretty much only come to your blog for reviews on products, you’re the most informative and reliable!

anyway, i really want this palette..
HOWEVER, i feel like this contouring palette craze is, well, a bit crazy? like, unless someone’s a makeup artist, they’ll only end up using a couple shades from the palette on themselves and the rest go to waste. i’m starting to think maybe i should just find a nice eyeshadow to contour with. 😡

Hey Veronica,

Thank you for your readership! 🙂

You don’t NEED a contour palette, but one may be practical for someone who likes to contour – kind of like someone who loves highlighting may find it practical to own half a dozen or more highlighters. Contour palettes are ideal for someone who likes to change up their contour color – either making it subtler or heavier, perhaps more red-toned vs. gray-toned, rosier vs. orange (same with the highlighters), but if you just want the ONE that works best for you, then a contour palette wouldn’t be your best bet 🙂 Hopefully that makes sense!

thank you for the reply!

i totally understand. i guess i’m just one of those people that figures once i find a contour color that works well, i don’t need much others! ( although i’m still trying to find that perfect color for me. ugh 🙁 )

on the other hand, i go absolutely crazy when it comes to bronzers and highlighters. i’m definitely a bronzer fiend.

Yep! Think of it as someone who wants multiple contours like you like multiple bronzers 😉 Because I can tell you that for some, one bronzer is all they want/need! You definitely shouldn’t feel like you NEED a contour palette, though, just because so many brands have put them out, because for sure, they’re not all getting used enough to merit a whole palette. I think it may be harder to find single contouring products these days, though 🙁

Christine after seeing this palette I wanted to buy it, but wasn’t sure if I could use it. I have acne prone skin and was trying to look up their ingredients in their palette but couldn’t find them. Just wanted to know if it had any mineral oil in it. Thank you for doing the swatches. Looks like an amazing palette.

Sorry, I don’t keep boxes, so I don’t have the ingredient list! Your best bet is to reach out to the brand directly!

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