Monday, July 14, 2014

Contouring Options For Neutral, Fair to Light Medium Skin Tones

Contouring is something that I have long struggled with. Finding a contour placement I liked - not to mention the right color match, was more work than I had anticipated. I loved the effect it gave other people, but on me…There was something I was not doing right. No matter what I tried or how much I  would blend, I seemed to end up with two dark stripes that didn't blend properly with my blush or bronzer that day. 

Over time I found that placement is an individual preference, something I had to play with. But there were color options that could help me personally like the results.

Fair to light medium skin tones might find cooler browns or grays too garish in contrast to their skin color. For this reason, bronzers and even some neutral blushes or mauve-leaning blushes are often used to replace sculpting/contouring powders on the market.

Below are some of the contouring options I currently own. 

For reference I am a neutral, fair to light medium skin tone. My closest foundation matches by color are Bobbi Brown Cool Beige, NARS SG Ceylan and my closest match in MAC is NC15 though I don't tend to buy their foundation.

L-R NARS Contour Blush "Olympia", Bobbi Brown Illumninating Bronzing Powder "Telluride", NYX "Taupe" Blush, MAC "Sculpt" (below NYX Taupe), and Kevin Aucoin "The Sculpting Powder" in Medium

L-R Nars Olympia, Bobbi Brown Telluride

Top Left: NYX Taupe, Bottom Left: MAC Sculpt Right: Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder (Medium)

Swatches L-R: NYX Taupe, MAC Sculpt, KA Sculpting Powder, NARS Olympia, BB Telluride

I find the KA powder a little too dark so I have to use it sparingly and blend it out very well -or use it as a bronzer. MAC Sculpt is a touch warmer than I like for a contour, almost leaning peachy when I blend it out. I have just purchased NARS Olympia so I can't review it fully. But I like the idea of using it in conjunction with my current favorite contour BB Telluride, to blend out. It might be too light for me to use as a contour, and if that's the case I may use it as blush. It's a beautiful neutral rose beige. Keep in mind that while Telluride and Olympia look "rosy"or mauve in the swatch above, that is mainly in comparison to the other powders which are more warm/neutral. Also, the arm I swatched the powders on is a shade paler and cooler than the color of my face. On my face, Olympia and Telluride read more natural in tone.

What is your favorite product for contouring, and what is your skin tone? Any secret weapons or brushes that take the guesswork out of it for you? I may do a separate post on brushes I like in the future...