Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder ($44.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium, subdued brown with warmer, rosy undertones and a matte finish.MAC Taupe (P, $24.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Zoeva Heavy Crown (PiP, ) is darker, warmer (85% similar). YSL Golden Contouring Contour (PiP, ) is lighter (90% similar). LORAC Light Contour (P, ) is darker (90% similar). Zoeva Unfinished (PiP, ) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Tarte Contour Soft (Tarteist) (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). Too Faced Medium Cocoa (PiP, ) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Make Up For Ever S116 (P, $23.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). Make Up For Ever S112 (P, $23.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Sculpting Powder is supposed to feel lightweight with buildable coverage from sheer to full. Recently, the brand expanded the Sculpting formula to include two new shades–Light and Deep–to complement the existing Medium shade. I don’t consider it a very buildable formula as it is rather pigmented, and a little can go a long way, but it is soft and finely-milled, which makes it easy to blend and diffuse to sheerer coverage, if desired (or just use less and build up). The texture felt smooth and silky to the touch, and despite being very matte, it didn’t look dry or powdery on the skin. I have more light-medium colored skin, and I am able to use this shade and achieve noticeable color, though it is definitely lighter than Medium and should work well on lighter skin tones but very fair complexions may find they still have to sheer it out quite a bit for a subtle contour. I also think this one may be better on cooler undertones, as the rosy tone makes it appear more dramatic as it contrasts with my skin tone more than Medium or Deep does (I have soft, yellow undertones). On me, the contour wore well for eight hours on me.

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Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Deep (your left) | Light (your right) The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Light The Sculpting Powder

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Makeup Look
On face:
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Clarins Rosewood (02) Eyeshadow Palette
  • Sephora Welcome to My Loft Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Shiseido Red Crush (RD715) Rouge Rouge Lipstick
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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45 Comments

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I have the “medium” sculpting powder and I love the formula. One day… a long time in the future… when I finish that, I will definitely get the light shade because it’s probably even better for my skin tone!!!

This product is one my good friend’s “it” bronzing product and I can tell why! It’s not as harsh or deep as Hoola and it strikes the right balance between being warm and not too orange!

I haven’t considered using a reddish toned contour to make it pop more! I think I tried a MAC contour like that and really liked it.

I own the Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II which has the cream and powder sculpting shades and I love it, I think it’s such a great value and my favorites are the cream and powder highlighters. But the contour shades, The Sculpting Powder Medium and the cream contour, have absolutely no staying power on me. They fade within the hour and barely remain by the end of the day. Do you think that there is a difference in quality between the individual pans and and the palette or does the staying power of a cream becomes compromised if it’s slightly dried out?

I didn’t notice any difference when I tried one of the palettes with respect to wear time myself!

It is possible that the exposure to air has made the cream change over time, but I’m not really sure if it would impact the wear time. Are you wearing the two together always or are they both equally short-wearing alone as well as together?

Hm, maybe it just doesn’t work well on my normal/combo oily skin? I always wear the two together, and I think that extends the wear a little bit. Cream on top of my foundation, set with silica powder, then go in with the contour powder. I’ve also tried using the contour powder before my silica powder but it doesn’t make much of a difference and gets muted even more lol!

I think it’s a YMMV thing as well. I have the medium cream sculpt/highlight duo compact and the cream doesn’t last as long on my oily skin as many other creams. I use Pumpkin and Poppy’s Oak Bark loose contour powder to set usually but yeah it can be a tricky one for me. I imagine the air exposure is much greater with the larger palette as well. But I know other people on which the cream wears like iron. One of the many joys of makeup 😛

I think this would be useful for mixing with a cooler/grayer-toned contour underneath to achieve a nice balance of rosey-mauve+ash-gray/taupe on very light neutral-cool skintones.

With the red undertones, this could be a bronzer on me if applied with a very light touch. Glad KA has extended the range. Thanks for the review, Christine.

I have the Medium, but increasingly use others because it is just too ashy for me. This looks like it might be a better option! It reminds me of a very subtle Chantecaille bronzer I have (and use as contour.) Love your eyes in this photo.

I was very curious about this shades as lighter should be better for pale girls but I get the feeling this would be too warm on me, so sticking to the Medium shade it is. 😉

I should clarify it’s like the difference of Too Faced Milk Chocolate and Chocolate Soleil powders. Milk Chocolate reads warmer on me than the original Chocolate for a contour/bronzer shade as well.

I have the medium sculpting powder and love it. If I hit pan I don’t think I’d get the light. For me the medium is perfect. I purchased it because I got tired of using bronzer as contour.

Even though I know that *technically* I ought to be using warmer shades for contouring as my skin leans in the soft yellow department itself, I still go for very cool tones in this vein, ie; Nyx Taupe Blush. Mainly to get that dramatic shadow effect! This one is definitely a little light for me compared to Taupe. But I actually DO love the effect this gives your cheekbones, Christine.

I need something that’s pretty neutral – anything too yellow makes me look swallow but anything too gray looks unnatural on me, lol! So hard to find just the right contour!

I’m very fair but I still have yellow undertone. I can’t decide whether light one is better or sheered out medium would look more natural? Makeup struggles:))

I too am very fair & have neutral to slightly warm undertones; I don’t use MAC but am N10-15 in CoverFX.
I haven’t tried the Light powder but have the Medium & love it, & while a little certainly goes a long way, I don’t have to be crazy careful or go overboard w/ sheering it out in order for it to work wonderfully as a very wearable & quite natural-looking day-to-day contour. I’m love makeup but am not into anything approaching a heavy/ cake-face look – light coverage is as heavy as I go foundation-wise 99% of the time, if that – & Medium works well for me w/ in that context. While I have other powders & cremes that I do use & like it’s by far by tried & true favorite contour product; to date I have been unable to confirm that KA is cruelty-free, which means I won’t be repurchasing, & while I’m nowhere near running out, I’m already dreading having to settle for something else!
Hopefully I didn’t confuse you further; I’m by no means saying that Light won’t work for you or that it might not even be the better option for you (or me!) but rather, as someone w/ similar skin color/ tone, just wanted to let you know that Medium works wonderfully for me.

Thank you very much for such details comment! Just one makeup artists told that medium will suit even play girls and I trust that women. But she recommended it when Kevyn aucoin had only medium shade. And now she can’t compare them. I looked at swatches side by side but they don’t tell me much as on skin we don’t apply the same as for a swatch.

Hi there, thanks so much for writing all these detailed reviews on your products! I absolutely love reading them and am largely always guided by your thoughts.

I’m an NC20 at mac and I was looking to buy one of the sculpting powders. Sadly i can’t find it in a physical store near me and can’t try it on my face. Would you suggest that I go for the light shade or the medium one?

thanks so much for replying!

also i love your makeup so much.
even when your review is that the product looks patchy or doesn’t apply well, i sit there in awe at how pretty it looks.

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