Over the past few years the popularity of contouring within the world of beauty and the rise of Instagram has gone through the roof. Contouring is now everywhere. Brands are continuously launching new contouring type palettes in one form or another, and for many consumers shape-shading now forms part of their everyday makeup look. With such an array of contouring palettes out there I went in search of one I hoped would be an easy-to-use, fast-blending product and one that wouldn’t be too heavy, dark or muddy for my cooler-toned pale skin. I whittled down my choice between the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette and the equally hyped Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit and I was torn between these 2 heavyweights. Several Youtube review videos later I decided to go with the Kat Von D palette because I felt the shades covered cooler toned skins better and I am so glad I did.
The Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette is now a staple in my kit and my own makeup bag because it rocks the socks off so many others. Its a powder contour kit opposed to a cream based one which to me creates a softer, more natural contour, which as a Mum doing the school run I am all about. I am in love with the light contour shade in this palette, its not to muddy and not too ashy its that perfect inbetween, exactly what I was hoping for. This palette is triumphed by so many for a good reason.
Packaging: I adore Kat Von D’s edgier black tattoo font/gothic-esque styled packaging. This slimline palette comes in a matt-black lightweight but sturdy hard cardboard package, complete with a big mirror inside which makes it an ideal travel companion. You also get a handy guide sheet to assist you with how to use the products to create a more defined face. The palette is easy to open and close via the secure inside magnets and I have never had any problems with the palette opening in my makeup bag or any problems keeping this closed. The pans themselves are lined up with the smaller 3 highlighters across the top row above their larger counterpart contour shades across the bottom. This also makes mixing and playing around with the shades simpler too.
Formula: I love that each one of these shades are matt – no glitter, no sparkle, just a super creamy, easily blendable, buttery soft matte – which makes them an absolute joy to work with. I also love that they can double up as eye shadows because they blend so well. They are all highly pigmented so if you are a fair skinned girl like me go with a light hand on the contour shades, you can always add more if needed.
- Lucid – A pale pink/nude shade which is great for lighter skintones especially more cool-toned skintones like moi, I have also used this as an all over light setting powder due to its colour and creaminess.
- Lyric – A light Yellow/Banana shade – To me this is like a pressed version of the much raved about Ben Nye Banana Loose Powder (an apparent Kim K Favourite), I use this alot to help brighten the under the eye area. One tip is to use this lightly if you have more dry/maturing skin because I have found this can settle a little into fine lines and look abit cakey if used with a heavier hand or layered, but with a light hand and used sparingly it’s brilliant for setting concealer.
- Levitation – A soft Peach shade which can also be used as a colour correcting powder especially for the under the eye area. As a highlighter I find this works better on deeper skin tones.
- Sombre – A taupe shade, which is my kind of contour shade. For me anything too brown just doesn’t work with my skintype for contour. This shade can be blended to look extremely natural on my pale skin without any muddines, instead it can create the chisled cheekbones of dreams. A great one for nose contouring, I also love this as an eyeshadow crease colour.
- Shadowplay – A tawny soft brown with more warmer undertones. This shade doesn’t really work as a contour shade on me as its slightly too warm, unless I have a tan in the Summer when I then mix this with Sombre and it works a treat. It does however work as a year-round bronzer if I use it lightly, creating a gentle but healthy warmth to my skin.
- Subconscious – This deep brown darkest shade in the palette is perfect for a deeper skintone without being too orange or too red based. For my skin this one is too dark so its my least used shade but one I do use alot in my makeup artist kit.
Swatched left to right..Lucid, Lyric, Levitation
Swatched left to right..Sombre, Shadowplay, Subconscious
My thoughts: When I first looked at the palette I honestly thought I would only use the 2 lightest shades on the left but once I started to play with the palette I saw just how versatile this palette was and this is what I love about this palette so much – not only is it a wonderful highlight and contour kit it is so much more – it is so darn versatile! Due to the quality and high pigmentation of each pan you can use these shades (as mentioned previously) for eyeshadows, even for some eyebrows or as a bronzer and because the highlighters are matt shades of yellow, pink or peach you can use them to help colour correct under the eye area, as well as for highlighting the tops of the cheekbone. In some contour palettes you get very similar shades with similar undertones but in this palette I find the range is vast and versatile with the colour base. I purchased this palette from Sephora in the USA and it cost $46.00 which to me is good value for money. Debenhams in the UK now stock Kat Von D (thank you Debenhams!) and this palette costs £36.00. Overall if you a beginner with contouring and looking for something simpler to use go for this, or if you are makeup artist looking for a good all round contour kit for you kit this is a great choice, or finally, if you are a fan of contouring with a passion then this kit ticks all those boxes and them some, in other words it’s a Brilliant buy!
*Also to note that Kat Von D now sells this palette in a refillable version with slightly different packaging. If you are considering this palette I would definitely recommend the newer version then if you run out of your favourite shade you can just buy the refill and still use the rest of palette, then refill again as you go along. I wish more companies would do this with palettes so thank you Kat Von D.
Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette: