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Contouring for Fair Skin

Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Contouring for fair pale skin
Contouring for fair skin can be mighty tricky. First you have to find a product that is light enough and cool enough so it doesn't look muddy or orange. Then you have to build it up easy and blend like a fiend so it isn't stark against your super pale skin. Believe me, I know! Hopefully these products and tips can help make it a little quicker and easier when you are trying to sculpt out some cheekbones on a rushed morning. 

For this post, I will be focusing on true contour shades rather than bronzers. Sometimes I use bronzers like Benefit Hoola ($51) and Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light ($62) to create a little shape by warming up the perimeter of the face. A true contour though looks like a real shadow to recede the places you want to look more sculpted. Basically, with highlighting and contour you want to contour the places to create more structure and push them back and highlight the places to bring them forward and up. There are so many people that do contour theory and mapping better than me so I'll leave it to them but I do have some experience with struggling to find a contour product for light skin.

Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow $31
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow  review swatch contour fair pale skin
This is one I've had for ages and I still come back to it, especially for special occasions because I honestly don't contour everyday. I prefer to look fresh and glowy for everyday and save the carved cheekbones. That said, this one is actually pretty subtle and very versatile. You can even use it under foundation if you want it to be incredibly subtle but I usually use it over the top before powdering. The formula is very blendable to the point where it is very forgiving; you can blend mistakes away to almost nothing. The shade is cool and really looks like a natural shadow which makes the contouring effect subtle yet effective. 

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light $54.20
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light  review swatch contour fair pale skin
This one is admittedly a big step up in price but it just screams luxury and quality from the first second you use it. I'd wanted to try the Sculpting Powder for ages but I worried that, because the formula is incredibly pigmented, the original Medium shade might have been a little hard to work with. Of course, then they released a Light and Dark shade to extend the range and I just had to. The powder is pigmented but incredibly buttery and blendable which makes it so easy to work with. As long as you build gradually and blend out with a good quality brush, you will have sculpted cheekbones in no time. On the downside, the pan is pretty small but it is Kevyn Aucoin so expensive comes with the territory and I still think it is worth it because this product will last forever. The powder is a tiny bit soft too; mine cracked in my travels in Europe which isn't exactly surprising considering how mistreated my poor bag was but it was the only powder pan that cracked in my makeup bag. 

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight Palette $97
Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight Palette review swatch contour fair pale skin
I wasn't sure if I should could include this one because it is quite bronze. I would categorise it as half way between a contour and bronze shade. It is really unique and somehow just really works as a contour where similar shades pull really warm. I love it for a more classic look because it has a warm classic contour feel to it that really suits the name and makes you feel like a classic movie star. It is also a bit more luminous so I wanted to include it for something different. 

To compare the shades, I have included swatches of these three favourites and some other contour shades I honestly don't love as much but make for some more affordable alternatives that are still good quality. I have also included some bronzer swatches to show that a contour shade really is quite different from a bronzer shade. The last three are so much warmer and honestly don't make for the best contour shade unless you are purposely doing a really bronzed look and even then it can look orange fast.
Contouring Contour Pale Fair Skin review swatch swatches Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow, Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Sculpt & Highlight Palette, L'Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Palette, Revlon Sculpt and Highlight Contour Kit in Light/Medium, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in 1 Golden Light and Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette in 002 Coral Glow
Left to right: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow ($31), Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light ($54.20), Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Sculpt & Highlight Palette ($97), L'Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Palette ($29.95), Revlon Sculpt and Highlight Contour Kit in Light/Medium ($24.95), Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($51), Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in 1 Golden Light ($62) and Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette in 002 Coral Glow ($16.95). 

On a quick last point, I have also included my favourite brushes to sculpt and contour.
Contouring brush rae morris 2 mini kabuki brush, real techniques contour brush, designer makeup tools and benefit hoola
  • Rae Morris #2 Mini Kabuki Brush ($24): a beautiful small tapered fluffy face brush with the softest bristles ever. The quality is insane and it is perfect for really getting under the cheekbone.
  • Real Techniques Contour Brush (In the Your Base Flawless Core Collection $47.50): This brush has a very similar shape and size as the Rae Morris brush but the bristles obviously aren't as good quality. 
  • Designer Makeup Tools 417-18 Angle Contour Brush ($18.95): I am always pleasantly surprised by the quality of these Designer Makeup Tools brushes. It is a beautiful small angled contour brush with amazingly soft goat hair/synthetic blended bristles.
  • The small brush that comes with Benefit Hoola ($51): This is one of the few brushes that comes with a product that is actually amazing. Though I don't own the Nars Ita Brush ($80), I have checked it out at Mecca and it reminds me of this Hoola brush which is actually a bit softer.  
So there you have the rundown on how I best contour on my fair skin. I hope the product recommendations help you find the perfect contour shade for your skin tone. Happy contouring!
3 comments on "Contouring for Fair Skin"
  1. I really want to try out the Illamasqua pigment! I am super pale and currently use Hoola, and I agree that it definitely does pull more bronze.

    x Tash / becomingtashh.com

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    1. You totally should try out the Illamasqua pigment! Did you see that they are going to bring out a new Hoola shade for light skin? It looks great. Thanks for reading :)

      Emma

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