Anastasia Contour Kit: Photos, Swatches and Review

This Contour Kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills seems to be popping up everywhere lately so I had to try it! It comes with three colors to highlight and three to use for contouring, all in one small, easy to travel with palette. It’s great for both personal and professional use so I can see why this appeals to so many people. The colors in this palette are great for almost everyone, though as someone with fair, neutral/cool skin, I had a hard time with most of these colors. I’m not sure this would work well on deeper skin either because it’s very matte and the contour colors are mostly warm. Anyone who is in between should find this palette easy to use, though. Later on in this review, I’ll go more in depth about which colors are best for certain skin tones, so keep reading!

Contour Kit Product

There are two highlight colors in this palette (Vanilla and Banana) that are perfect for under the eyes and for areas like the chin, top of the cheekbones, down the center of the nose, etc. Sand is a shimmery color that’s more for a highlight on the top of the cheekbones. The three contour colors are pretty basic shades for contouring and are usable for many skin tones, but may not make much difference if you’re pale/fair, and may be far too light if you have dark to deep skin. You’ll have to play around with these a bit to see which you like and what works best for you.

The texture for all of these is smooth and finely milled, so they’re easy to blend out. That’s a good thing too, since they’re all highly pigmented! Some of these do seem excessively powdery, though, which makes it feel like you’re wasting product. All of these colors but Sand are matte and wear well… For the contour colors, I got an average of 8-10 hours of wear before I noticed any fading. Same for the highlight colors, too. Sand only gave me 7-8 hours of wear before it began to fade but that’s understandable since it’s a shimmery color.

The packaging is alright but I feel it could be a little more sturdy. It’s the thick type of cardboard packaging (like what the Urban Decay original Naked palette was made of, minus the fuzzy coating) but has no mirror. I think that if this were in a plastic palette, it would not only look better, but would also hold up better over time, especially for professionals that are tossing this into a kit a lot. Eventually there will be refill pans available so you won’t have to buy the entire palette all over again once you run out of a certain color but I’m not sure when those will be for sale. This kit also comes with a how-to insert that’s helpful for beginners, so that’s a plus if you’re just getting into contouring/highlighting, or if you just need some tips and reminders.

This palette is available now on www.anastasia.net for $40 (pro discount unfortunately does not apply). Each color contains 3.0g / 0.11oz of product.

If you compare these to MAC Sculpt and Shape Powder Refills Pans that are twice the size at 6.0g / 0.21oz of product and cost $16.50 each full price or $9.90 if you have the 40% PRO Discount. With the PRO discount, the MAC ones come out to be a better deal and you can pick the colors individually depending on what you prefer for yourself or for your kit. If you don’t have a MAC PRO card or are just getting into contouring or highlighting either for personal or professional use, the Anastasia Contour Kit is a great value and does contain high quality product for that price. As you know, these reviews are my personal opinion, so if you want the Anastasia Contour Kit, go for it! I’m just trying to give you all some options ;)

For application of the contour colors, I suggest using something like a MAC 109 brush, which is slightly domed, but still small and dense enough to apply the contour color heavily enough to show up well, then blend it out flawlessly. Another good option for a softer application of color is the MAC 168 angled brush. It fits perfectly under the cheekbone and around the jawline, hairline, and temples. For smaller contour areas like the side of the nose, I like using a MAC 224 brush. It’s domed, but fluffy enough not to apply the product too heavily.

To apply the highlight colors, you will want a flatter type of brush… I like using a MAC 116 for the area under the eyes, on top of the cheekbones, and on the forehead area. You can also use a smaller brush like a MAC 227 Large Flush Brush for the under eye area and down the center of the nose.

TIP:   When applying powder contour products, it’s best to apply these after you do your liquid foundation, concealer, then setting powder. You always want to apply a powder over a powder so it doesn’t stick too heavily to the liquid or cream foundation. My personal preference for application is 1) primer, 2) foundation, 3) concealer, 4) setting powder, 5) contour, 6) highlight, and 7) blush. After that I take what’s left on my powder brush and blend everything out, softening the colors around the edges and such. You may also want to buff the area around your contour with whatever is left on your powder brush after applying the contour powder. That will soften the lines and assure that it doesn’t look too drastic!

Contour Kit Packaging

Contour Kit Label

Contour Kit Color Label

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Highlighters swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Highlighters swatched on NC15 skin.

Vanilla

Vanilla

Vanilla:   Vanilla is a light, slightly warm toned highlight with barely there pinky-peach undertones. It has a matte finish and is nicely pigmented, showing up only slightly lighter on the skin than it is in the pan. It’s not completely opaque coverage but as a highlighter, it’s not really supposed to be. Vanilla works well on fair to medium or even medium dark skin if you want a more drastic highlight.

This color is ideal for facial highlights as well as under the eyes to brighten. It’s very finely milled, but not to the point where it’s super dry and powdery… However, if you have dry skin or deeper lines under the eyes, you may want to just stick to using this on the face as it can emphasize dry or textured areas. I got over 8 hours of wear before I noticed this fading.

Dupes:   Vanilla is very similar to Ben Nye’s Luxury Powder in Cameo. It’s also close, but warmer toned than MAC’s Shape Powder in Emphasize.

Overall Rating:   3.8 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   3

Banana

Banana

Banana:   Banana is a light-medium, neutral toned highlighter with distinct yellow undertones. The finish is completely matte. Like Vanilla, it does show up lighter on the skin than it does in the pan. The coverage isn’t opaque, but it doesn’t need to be as a highlighter or it would be overpowering. Banana is perfect for medium to dark skin tones… You know that whole “Kim Kardashian highlight” look? Yeah, well, this is the type of color that her makeup artists use on her to achieve that type of highlight.

I like this color under the eyes and for general facial highlights. Like Vanilla, it’s finely milled and slightly powdery, so be careful is your under eye area is dry or has many/deeper lines, as drier types of powder can emphasize them. Also like Vanilla, my client that wore this said she has no fading issues until about 8 hours of wear, and that was after being outdoors for photos all afternoon!

Dupes:   Ben Nye’s Banana Luxury Powder is SUPER similar to this as far as color goes, it’s just in a loose form instead. It’s also nearly identical to Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Finish Loose Powder in Pale Yellow. There aren’t really any comparable MAC powders, as Soft Focus Shape Powder is darker and more peachy.

Overall Rating:   3.8 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   3

Sand

Sand

Sand:   This highlight powder is a light, slightly warm toned champagne sort of color with a very shimmery finish. The color payoff is nearly exactly how it looks in the pan, while coverage with Sand is more opaque and heavier than it is with Vanilla and Banana. Since this is the shimmery highlight of the bunch, it’s suitable for nearly all skin tones.

The texture feels like silk and is slightly powdery but still very soft and blendable. Because this is so shimmery, it’s definitely not something you want to put under you eyes! I recommend this for use on the area above the cheekbones, above the lip, and below the brow. You can also lightly dab this down the center of the nose, a spot on the chin, and a little bit on the area of the forehead between the arches of your brow if you like that type of glow, but be sure to use it sparingly in those areas! Sand gave me about 6-7 hours of wear before I noticed any fading.

Dupes:   There are really so may highlighters that look like this… The first that come to mind are Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish from MAC or MAC’s now discontinued Truth & Light highlighting powder. Many of the MAC Beauty Powders and Extra Dimension Skinfinishes also give off the same neutral/warm color and glow.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   3

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Contour colors swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Contour colors swatched on NC15 skin.

Java

Java

Java:   Java is a medium, warm toned brown with some peachy / soft terracotta undertones. It has a matte finish that gives good color payoff and looks very similar on the skin as it does in the pan. It’s highly pigmented but not 100% opaque… I would say that the coverage yields more like 80% opacity. To me, that’s a good thing, though! These are so pigmented that it’s easy to apply it too heavily, making it more difficult to blend out. I suggest this color for light-medium to medium-dark skin, especially if you have more golden tones to your skin (think NC25-42 in MAC terms). On lighter skin tones, especially if you have cooler undertones, this can look a little red.

The contour colors seem silkier and less powdery/dry than the highlighters in this palette do so they apply more easily and heavily (which is, of course, what you want in a contour color). Application was best with the MAC 109 brush, making an intense line, then buffing it out. The client I used this color on didn’t have any fading issues until after about 8-9 hours of wear.

Dupes:   Java is very similar to MAC’s Sculpt Powder in Sculpt, though slightly warmer. It seems like it’s close to Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep as well. Even Matte Bronze Bronzing Powder from MAC is similar to Java, since this contour color runs so reddish.

Overall Rating:   4.2 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   3

Fawn

Fawn

Fawn:   Fawn is the lightest of the three contour shades in this palette and is a medium, cool toned taupey beige sort of brown with a matte finish. Color payoff is good, being nearly the same color on the skin as it is in the pan. It’s about 80% opaque, like Java, so you can easily tell where you’re applying it before you blend it out. In my opinion, this is the only suitable contour color for anyone NC30 and lighter who doesn’t want a reddish looking contour. I’m NC15 and this color works well on me.

Like Java, Fawn felt smooth and blended out well. It gave me roughly 8 hours of wear before I noticed it fading at all.

Dupes:   Fawn is very similar to Shadowy Sculpt Powder from MAC PRO but Shadowy is a bit darker. If you apply Shadowy lightly, it looks the same.

Overall Rating:   4.2 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   3

Havana

Havana

Havana:   First off, this looks a lot darker in person. I don’t know what’s up with this photo… Anyway, Havana is a medium-dark, very warm toned reddish, terracotta brown with a matte finish. To me, this almost looks like bronzer more than a contour color. That said, this is a gorgeous contour color on medium to darker skin, so long as you have some golden or golden/olive undertones (I used this on an NC30 Persian friend of mine and it looked somewhat drastic, but the color worked). I can see this working on anyone that’s NC or NW 30 to maybe 50 in MAC terms. It also works well as a bronzer when applied lightly to the cheek area more than to an area you want to contour.

The texture was the same as the other contour colors… Smooth, slightly powdery, but still easy to blend. I also know this gets the typical wear time of 8-9 hours.

Dupes:   Dark Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is pretty much the same color, only it has a more natural, satiny finish and is easier to build up and blend out. Blunt Blush from MAC is also close, though slightly cooler toned. MAC’s Shadester Sculpt Powder is also similar but even more red.

Overall Rating:   4.2 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   3

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