Wednesday, May 21, 2014
So I'd be totally lying if I said I wasn't one of those people that totally lost their cool when Anastasia Beverly Hills announced they were coming out with a contour kit awhile ago. Then lost it again when all the bloggers/vloggers started posting reviews about it because it looked so awesome. I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't one of those that sat around all day waiting for it and eagerly snatched it up. But does it really live up to the hype it gets? 

Sure, other products might be able to create this look as well as this palette does but A.) you all know I love my palettes and B.) Anastasia Beverly Hills quality is out of this world so you can almost always expect the best.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is a limited edition (unfortunately) six shade palette - three for highlighting, three for contouring. The darker shades are perfect for defining, shading and creating shadows while the lighter shades are great for brightening and enhancing the definition from contouring. All six shades in this palette are removable for refills. I've also heard they're adding more shades soon so you can basically make your own contour kit.

 I wonder which shade I use the most? ;)

This palette contains two matte brightening shades and a highlight in the top row:

  • Vanilla - a matte light pink. This is great to set your concealer with under your eyes especially if you have pink undertones.
  • Banana - a matte light yellow. Love this shade! I've found that I have yellow undertones so I use this instead of Vanilla to set my under eyes and basically wherever else I put my concealer.
  • Sand - a champagne highlight. I absolutely love how pigmented this is! A little goes a long way. I use this above my cupid's bow, down my nose and on my cheekbones.
This palette also contains three matte contouring shades in the bottom row:
  • Java - a matte brown with a slight red undertone.
  • Fawn - a matte brown with yellow undertone. AKA my new best friend. 
  • Havana - a matte brown with strong red tones.
All six shades have great pigmentation and are smooth and finely-milled. They all really stick and stay all day ("down by the bay, what do you say?" - Happy Gilmore reference). 

Onto my favorite brushes to use for HAC'ing (highlight and contouring):
  • NARS Ita Brush - This brush is perfect for getting right underneath those cheekbones or right next to your nose to create a shadow for contouring. I think this brush appeals to a lot of people because of it's precision. I'm almost positive you can get the same technique from taking your normal contouring brush and squeezing the bristles between your thumb and pointer to create a thinner brush.
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush - Or basically, my everything brush! I mostly use this to bronze up my entire face before contouring but I've used this as a setting brush, blush brush and a contour brush (by squeezing the bristles together like I explained above).
  • Sedona Lace FB03 - It's big. It's fluffy. It's dome-shaped. Awesome for setting my concealer with some powder!
  • Real Techniques Contour Brush - I use this brush mostly for highlighting but have used it for contouring as well.

How I contour and highlight:

First, we're starting with a fresh face. And by fresh face I mean you have foundation on. (You can try doing this with a fresh face, but I noticed that these powders need something to stick to.) For foundation, I used Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in Ivory.

Next, we're taking our concealer (I used MAC Mineralized Concealer in NC15) and concealing underneath the eyes, the nose, the chin - basically anywhere you want to conceal (duh!) as well as brighten. After that, I take Banana from the Contour Kit and with my Sedona Lace brush, press the powder to set my concealer.

(I lost the picture but next you'll just bronze up your entire face, hitting all the places that the sun hits: forehead, cheeks, etc. I do this with Fawn from the kit, my Real Techniques Blush Brush and a light hand because we're going to go in and contour but I still want a little bronze on my face beforehand.)

The first picture is totally optional but I like to contour my nose with Fawn and just a random dome-shaped eyeshadow brush. I draw two lines down the side of my nose, blend them out and apply some highlighter down the bridge. 

Next, I take my NARS Ita brush and try to carve out my non-existent cheekbones. To find your cheekbones (I'm still looking!), take your brush and start at the top of your inner ear and work your way down. Then blend that baby upwards so it's not super harsh.

Finish off by applying Sand to your upper cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and above your cupid's bow.

Ta-da! The finished look! When I'm in a big rush, I condense this down to about 10 minutes (if that), apply mascara and I'm out the door. For me, this isn't typically an every day look, but one I go to when I way to feel extra put together (which has definitely been a lot lately). 

For the longest time, I had NO IDEA how to HAC or even try! Until Miss Maskcara came along and introduced how to HAC for every face shape. Definitely check that link out if you're feeling a little confused. It helped me!

As for the Anastasia Contour Kit, I absolutely love it! It's fantastic to everything right there in one palette. All shades are very pigmented and smooth to work with. I have noticed that these do need something to stick to (foundation, concealer). Overall, I'm SO happy with this kit!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit: Buy | Price: $40
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