NYX Highlight & Contour Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette ($25.00 for 0.72 oz.) is a set of four highlight powders and four contour powders. All of the shades included in the palette can be purchased individually, and the palette is refillable, so shades can be removed or rearranged. The only downside is that they don’t sell the palette empty, and there are two additional highlight powder shades (Bone, Soft Peach) and two additional contour powder shades (Sienna, Saddle) available as singles (each single is $5.00). I liked that two of the four highlighters had some shimmer to them, so for those who like a little sheen to their highlight, you’ll have those options, and you can always tamp down the satiny sheen by dusting one of the more matte highlight powders on top to stretch out the others if you like less shimmer. The contours all had a semi-matte to satin finish, so none were totally matte, and they looked natural on the skin without looking too shimmery or too flat. I had some trouble blending out the contour shades at times, and I had the best luck by applying with a more feathery brush to lay down the general outline of the contour, and then going back to darken as needed. The highlight shades are soft and smooth but powdery.

Highlight Powders

Ice Queen is described as a “pearly pale white.” It’s a very light, cool-toned white with a frosted finish. It had semi-opaque coverage that was buildable to fully opaque color if desired, though it’s likely a shade worn more diffused for most, so luckily, it blends out quite easily. It just slightly emphasizes pores if I’m not careful or don’t buff it out enough. It lasted for eight hours on me. Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is less shimmery, darker. L’Oreal Ice (P, $12.99) is cooler. LORAC Shimmer Highlight (P, ) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Soft Light is described as a “matte nude.” It’s a very light, white-beige that is fairly neutral in undertone paired with a matte finish. The texture was soft and smooth but noticeably powdery. This looked chalky against my medium skin tone, so it is probably better mixed with one of the contours or for fairer skin tones than mine. The coverage was semi-opaque and slightly buildable, but with how powdery it was, it tended to sheer out if you blended out the edges at all. It started to fade after seven hours. NARS Highlight (P, ) is warmer. Kat Von D Lucid (P, ) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Cream is described as a “matte soft yellow.” It’s a soft, buttery yellow with warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had good pigmentation with a really soft, smooth consistency that was easy to blend and apply to the skin, though it was powdery in the pan. On me, it started to fade after seven and a half hours. Dolce and Gabbana Eva (P, $51.00) is lighter. Kat Von D Lyric (P, ) is lighter, cooler. LORAC Yellow Highlight (P, ) is lighter, cooler. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Nectar is described as a “pearly soft peach.” It’s a light-medium, yellowed peach with warm undertones and a soft, frosted shimmer. It was less frosted compared to Ice Queen. The texture was soft, blendable, and slightly powdery/dry but didn’t appear dry on the skin. The shimmer didn’t emphasize the skin’s natural texture or pores. It wore well for seven and a half hours before turning a little patchy/faded. IT Cosmetics Hello Light (P, $24.00) is more shimmery. MAC Star! (LE, ) is more shimmery. Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment (Original) (P, $30.00) is less shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Contour Powders

Tan is described as a “matte soft brown with slight red undertones.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a satin finish. It had good pigmentation with a smoother texture that was slightly firmer to the touch, and it could have been a little more blendable on the skin. I started noticing fading after eight hours of wear. NYX Sculpt (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer. Urban Decay Toasted (P, $26.00) is darker, warmer. Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour (P, ) is less shimmery, lighter. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P, ) is lighter, warmer. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is less shimmery, lighter. MAC Matte Bronze (LE, $70.00) is lighter. MAC Matte Bronze (LE, $70.00) is lighter. Colour Pop Poolside (P, $8.00) is more shimmery, warmer. Smashbox Bronze (P, ) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Toffee is described as a “matte neutral brown.” It’s a muted, medium brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin sheen. This was one of the more shimmery contour shades (it’s not matte at all!). The color payoff was fully opaque, while the texture was smooth without being powdery. It lasted for eight hours on me. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P, ) is less shimmery, lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour (P, ) is less shimmery. Too Faced Dark Cocoa (P, ) is lighter. Colour Pop Paradise Cove (P, $8.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Colour Pop Poolside (P, $8.00) is more shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Sculpt is described as a “matte taupe.” It’s a muted, medium-dark brown with a hint of gray overtones but the stronger, more orange undertones made it look warmer and browner. It had a very slight satin sheen, but it was the more matte of the four contour shades in the palette. It had good color payoff with a soft, silky texture that was a smidgen powdery. This shade blended fairly well on the skin, and it wore for eight hours. NARS Paloma Contour (P, ) is lighter, warmer. MAC Matte Bronze (P, $25.00) is lighter, warmer. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is warmer. MAC Matte Bronze (LE, $70.00) is lighter, warmer. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (P, ) is more shimmery, lighter. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (P, ) is more shimmery, lighter. Kat Von D Shadowplay (P, ) is lighter, warmer. NYX Tan (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Hollow is described as a “matte deep brown.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a satin finish. It had good pigmentation with a slightly firmer consistency, which made blending more challenging than desired. Once on, it stayed put for eight hours. Kat Von D Subconscious (P, ) is less shimmery. LORAC Deep Contour (P, ) is cooler, better quality. Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour (P, ) is lighter, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
8.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total
Ice Queen
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total
Cream
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
Nectar
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total
Tan
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total
Toffee
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total
Sculpt
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total
Hollow
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total
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See more photos & swatches!

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

NYX Ice Queen Highlight Powder
NYX Ice Queen Highlight Powder

NYX Ice Queen Highlight Powder
NYX Ice Queen Highlight Powder

NYX Soft Light Highlight Powder
NYX Soft Light Highlight Powder

NYX Soft Light Highlight Powder
NYX Soft Light Highlight Powder

NYX Cream Highlight Powder
NYX Cream Highlight Powder

NYX Cream Highlight Powder
NYX Cream Highlight Powder

NYX Nectar Highlight Powder
NYX Nectar Highlight Powder

NYX Nectar Highlight Powder
NYX Nectar Highlight Powder

NYX Tan Contour Powder
NYX Tan Contour Powder

NYX Tan Contour Powder
NYX Tan Contour Powder

NYX Toffee Contour Powder
NYX Toffee Contour Powder

NYX Toffee Contour Powder
NYX Toffee Contour Powder

NYX Sculpt Contour Powder
NYX Sculpt Contour Powder

NYX Sculpt Contour Powder
NYX Sculpt Contour Powder

NYX Hollow Contour Powder
NYX Hollow Contour Powder

NYX Hollow Contour Powder
NYX Hollow Contour Powder

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Ice / Tan

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Cream / Sculpt (with NYX Banana Split Lipgloss)

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Soft Light / Toffee

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette
NYX Nectar / Hollow

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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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68 Comments

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Good on NYX for putting out something like this. I might want Sculpt as a single. What lipstick are you wearing in the first pic, with the lavender eye look?

Loving your makeup with the soft purpley eye and orange lip, Christine! 80s in a great, unexpected and not over the top way, especially with the tasteful contour. Makes me want to copy it. 🙂

I love your look in 2nd pic. Beautiful!
Of all, the current, contour pallets you have a rated so far, is this one the best for fair skin tone? I had watched YouTube reviews on the Lorac Contour pallet and they said that was great for fair skin but when I read your review it seemed like Lorac was made for medium skin tones or the same type of skin tone that Kat Von D type would have.

Thank you. I agree , this is why I don’t have any. I saw MakeupByTiffanyD say, this was her favorite but wanted to wait for your review.

I tried the Kevyn Aucoin sculpting medium and don’t know why more brands don’t include a taupe-y contour. These look too warm to contour with to me?
I have medium skin with very yellow (almost green) undertones and I thought it would be super ashy on me. It looked scarily grey swatched on my hand, but the MUA applied it on me as a subtle contour and it actually looked really good like a natural shadow. The colour didn’t look like a blush like contour shades with red/orange/peach undertones does on me, or too muddy like some browns do.

I use MAC Pro Sculpting Powder Shadowy or MAC blush Blunt to contour, but these powders *seem* truer to the concept of a sculpting powder where they cast a shadow more than the higher end palettes that are in Sephora

I’m trying sooo hard to resist this one, LOL! I’ll most likely pick it up eventually, when I pare down my wishlist a bit more.

This looks great on you! I love after seeing so many high end versions that there is a more affordable drug store one that got a good rating!

I think I’ll check out the single of Sculpt, and some of the highlighters. This palette is mostly too dark and warm for me. It would be nice if they sold empty 4- and 8-pan palettes so you could customize what you want.

I am pretty impressed overall with this and am really glad to see the drugstore brands are stepping up to the plate. I have two contour palettes too many at this point. I barely use those.So, I will probably “leave it” . Although, in hindsight, it may have been a good step into the “contour palette” scene. I really like the first “look” in the photos. Any chance you recall the shadows and lips?

I promise I look through and try to figure it out, but I totally blank. I might have it written down SOMEWHERE, but I can’t remember. I actually bought a planner so I can keep track of it a LOT better (hopefully) and connect what I wore + date + what else I swatched that day (like for blush/lips). I write things down now, but I’m not as consistent or I won’t have a list of what else I photographed for the day so I’ll have the eye look but not what I might have photographed it with, lol!

Oh,Christine. Don’t be hard on yourself. You still have given us a great idea. I probably would have never thought to pair the lilacs with the muted orange lip.You look gorgeous everyday. But,when I’m stuck and need something for a special occasion whether it be a work meeting,family gathering, or girls night out, I always find inspiration in your looks. If I don’t have that exact product, I’ll find something close in my stash. Thank You for doing what you do and don’t work any harder. I don’t want you burnt out ever,lol!

You are too sweet! 🙂 It usually takes about five years before I burn out, and then I do everything I did before, I just don’t remember what I was doing. So… not to worry!

This is a great rating for a drugstore brand and whilst I think that there will be colours you don’t use (and therefore a waste of money in more expensive contour palettes) in this one I think is worth the money. They look great on you Christine. If anyone is new to contouring, then this palette is a great start.

I don’t need 6 pans. I probably only need 3-4 pans. 1 setting powder, 1 contour shade, and maybe 1-2 highlighters. If they don’t sell the pan empty, does that mean you have to buy with the shades already pre-filled, or do you get to pick your own shades?

This looks pretty darn good, especially for the price point! I have avoided getting any contouring/highlighting palettes thus far due to the fact that I seriously doubt I’d be actually using every shade included in such a palette, if not most of the shades contained therein, but this one is a “maybe”. Who knows, I just may!

I’m just so confused by this trend of contour palettes that are completely warm. I can understand “most people are warm skinned so all highlight/contour duos are warm-toned” but isn’t the point of a palette to have options? I’m neutral-toned but even wearing warm-toned foundation bronzer as a contour looks too obvious. I ended up just making myself a contour palette with a gray eyeshadow, a tan eyeshadow, and the NYX Taupe blush. There. I did it.
I might buy soft light or nectar as singles and I would love to own cream as an eyeshadow, but this palette just seems bizarre to me.

They seem to work for a lot of people, I presume, or else they wouldn’t fly off the shelves, but it would be great to see more neutral and cool-toned options!

Hey Christine, you may have typed something twice (you work too hard!).

” Kat Von D Shadowplay (P, ) is lighter, warmer. Kat Von D Shadowplay (P, ) is lighter, warmer. NYX Tan (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.”

Thank for reviewing this, will you be reviewing the Too Faced Dark Chocolate Solei? I need dupes (although I don’t want to let go of that chocolatey goodness)!

Thank you for doing these swatches! I’ve been really curious about Sculpt, if it would work for me. It looks like it might. Ice and Soft Light also interest me. Not that I’ll NEED to purchase any contour products for the next two years but, if I see them, I might pick them up anyway. I’m a rebel… 😉

I might buy a few singles. Cream and nectar look nice. I’m in the market for a banana powder and the undertones on nectar look unique.

I love that lip gloss on you! I like the idea of this palette too. I could do without some of the lighter shades but I like that you can switch the pans out to better customize it. That’s pretty neat

OMG I can’t even read the rest of the review, your first look is so stunning!!!! Really beautiful and I love that pose! Love!! But I have been contemplating this palette for a while, I did not know singles were available so I might go that route

Hi Christine,
I’m torn between this one and the Lorac for a first “contour palette”. I’ve always just used bronzer for a little bit of contour and never done full-on contouring. But it might be fun to have one in the stash. Which one of those two do you personally like better? I’m so indecisive I need some help 😉
Btw I love your new addition to the reviews where you state whether something is lower or better quality than the product being reviewed! It’s very helpful.

Darn I just recently bought the NYX one – but only because it was 40% off at ulta! I figured for $15 why not! I might get the Lorac one too when Ulta sends me the 20% off everything coupon that they send a few times a year. 😉 UNLESS – do you recommend a different contour palette more than the Lorac? I know you’ve reviewed several but none stand out in my mind as being a favorite of yours. Thanks Christine!!

It’s so hard to pick a favorite, because it’s dependent on skin tone/coloring, I think. I always end up reaching for Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting in Medium when I contour over all the palettes.

Ooh I had another question, do you know of anywhere other than NYX’s website that sells the other contour refill shades? Couldn’t find them at ulta. I want to get the 4 other shades you mentioned that are available so I can pick and choose the best ones for me to go in the palette! 🙂

hi Christine,

I LOVE the lipcolor you are wearing the “banana split” do you have a review on it? 🙂
it looks really good on you

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