I’ve owned the ABH Powder Contour Kit in light to medium for a while now and seeing as I’ve had a good chance to play around with it I thought I’d provide an honest review. Although I like to write about products that I am truly passionate about, I also reckon it’s important to give reviews on products that I may not be as blown away by too. I am aware that many makeup gurus adore this product, and all I read is glowing reviews, but I have a slightly different opinion about it.
At first, I truly didn’t get on with this contour palette, I found it was annoyingly difficult to blend and would make my cheekbones look muddy! I was even considering selling it on ‘Depop’ as I felt sourly disappointed due to it being rather pricey, but I thought I’d persevere, as it may look better when I came back from holiday and had some colour on my face.
I wouldn’t say I am in love with it now, although, it has been a slow burner as I have discovered multiple methods of using it that work well for me. Who says it should only be used for contouring your cheeks right?!
The palette itself is presented in a smooth matte black magnetic case, which secures the six highlight and sculpting shades. For a product that is on the pricey side, I am not too impressed with the quality of the packaging. As you can ascertain in the images, it gets dirty very quickly and the writing is wearing off, not to mention the scruffiness of the packaging. Also, when it arrived, my initial thought was where is the mirror?!
The six highlight and contour shades sit in a round magnetic pan which is detachable and I feel is the only redeeming element of the packaging, as the pans can be refilled. The palette is split with three shades designed to contour; ‘Havana’, ‘Fawn’ and ‘Java’ and three shades for highlight; ‘Sand’, ‘Banana’ and ‘Vanilla’.
They are all matte shades, apart from the highlight shade ‘Sand’ which contains slight glitter particles, but nothing too extravagant, though, I would have preferred it had as I like my highlight to have that glow factor.
I use ‘Banana’ to set the concealer under my eyes and also on my eyelids to set my eyeshadow primer, which I feel it’s amazing for. I have hardly used ‘Vanilla’ as I’ve failed to find a purpose for it 🙁 Please let me know if you have any suggestions?
As I’ve mentioned, although the shades are highly pigmented I personally find them difficult to blend out and can look patchy on me. The only way I have found the contour shades to work for me is when I layer them on top of my ‘Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess’ which you can buy here at lookfantastic.com. I apply the bronzer on my cheekbones and mix ‘Java’ and ‘Fawn’ to apply over the top of my bronzer et voilà, no more patchiness! You can purchase the palette here at Cult Beauty.
Some other ways I found that work for me are when I apply it with the ‘Real Technique Contour Brush’, which has soft bristles so it will not pick up a lot of product, as opposed to a dense brush. By applying it over the bronzer with that brush, I can appreciate the beauty of how pigmented it is without looking like Kim Kardashian went wrong!
I also feel that if you have quite dry skin like I do, it is important to prime your face before so the contour can sit seamlessly on your skin. I personally love to use the Benefit ‘Porefessional’ primer, when going for a heavier look as it really helps everything glide on smoothly.
As this palette has made it into my everyday makeup bag, I discovered other ways to use it other than contouring my cheekbones. Dare I say that I love to use this palette more as an eyeshadow than contour and highlight.
As the pigment is so beautiful, I really find it easier to blend out on my eyelids, maybe due to the fact that they contain more oil. I typically put ‘Sand’ (the highlight shade) all over my lids and as mentioned before, I like to set my primer with the ‘Banana’ shade. I then take ‘Havana’ in the crease of my lid and blend it out. This creates a really quick and easy everyday look with the shades lasting well in the eyes, perfect for long working days.
|Everyday simple and quick eye makeup look using the ABH kit|
I also like to use the palette for contouring my nose. Especially If I am creating makeup looks for my Instagram page and want to look extra fancy. I will then go ahead and use ‘Fawn’ to draw out the contour line on my nose using an angled eye makeup brush and then take ‘Banana’ down the center and sides of my nose. Now, you must remember to blend the lines out well to avoid looking like you drew on your nose! To finish it off, I like to add ‘sand’ (highlight shade) down the center and the tip of my nose and there you have it, a faux nose job in mere minutes!
|Here me wearing ‘thaw’ over the ‘Estee lauder bronzer’|
To conclude and as noted before, the pigment is stunning, but I do feel the blend-ability factor is lacking, for me. Saying that, it may apply better on oilier skins, as mine is quite dry so please take that into account. Luckily, I have found ways to make it work for me over time, so, in the end, I have made it worth my while.
As this was one of the first contour kits that came into the market after Kim Kardashian made contour and highlight the craze, I have yet to try other alternative contour kits, so have nothing really to compare this with.
What is your favourite contour kit and what do you recommend I try next?