My Picks for Easy Contour and Subtle Shadows

It’s true. Makeup are there to make us look prettier. It’s there to enhance our features. To make us more confident. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

As for myself, I feel my face lacks the definition, stronger lines. I opt for contour powders to make up what’s missing. Below, I’m going to share you the products that I use to achieve it.



I don’t go for the lengths of Kim K or other massive contouring devotees. It’s just too much for my own preference. I aim for subtlety and softer edges. Just enough definition so I won’t look like a shapeless blob.

I go for a serious product instead of utilizing bronzer as a contour (because that doesn’t always work). My first choice went to Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder Medium. It’s an easy choice, I picked an actual product for contouring and the product itself has gained a cult following. I’ve been using this for more than a couple of years now and during that time I acquired a few of other products that shares the a similar function.

The current three products in my rotation:

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder Medium – my first love and I understand why it’s very popular. With the right placement, it makes a believable effect. It creates shadow to make you think it’s been there the whole time. It doesn’t make my skin look muddy. On the contrary, this seems to have the poorest texture out of the three. By poor, I don’t mean it’s that bad. It’s just not as smooth and buttery. It’s a bit dry to be honest. But it blends out on the skin beautifully.

Burberry Beauty Light Glow in Earthy – I have an obsession towards Burberry blushes (read my reviews). They have a very beautiful, if not best texture and formula, in my opinion. It’s hard to surpass Burberry’s texture. It’s silky soft, velvety smooth and buttery at the same time. Earthy can be used as a nude blush, bronzer and contour. On my skin tone, using this as a blush is a bit tricky. But, not a problem, I bought it because I want to use it as a contour. And it works, though it gives a different vibe than the other products (more details to follow).

Innisfree Mineral Shading #7 – is the lightest among the three. My girlfriend Jess gifted it to me and I liked it instantly. The texture of the powder is surprisingly smooth and blends easily into the skin. The light color also means I can worry less about applying too much. This is the one I go to when I just want to have something simple, nothing too obvious or pronounced. Frankly, I can’t believe I like it as much as I do. I clearly underestimated this product in the beginning.

face-contour-powder-kevyn-aucoin-burberry-earthy-innisfree-mineral-shading-review-swatch-photos-3Window lighting.

face-contour-powder-kevyn-aucoin-burberry-earthy-innisfree-mineral-shading-review-swatch-photos-4Outdoor lighting.

Bear with me while I’m trying to do this. Looking at all these brown shades got me confused *HA*.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder Medium is without a doubt the darkest in shade. But I had to layer several times with my finger to get that intensity, due to the less-than-perfect texture. It was kind of uneven when swatched on my arm, but thank goodness, I never encounter any problems with the actual application on my face. It goes nicely, given using the right brush(es). It has the coolest undertone out of them and quite ashy. Perfect to mimic an actual shadow or hollow. For this reason, I love it for contouring the bridge of the nose and I only use this product to this date. I can use the other products, but the result doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Compared to the others, Burberry Beauty Light Glow Earthy has an undertone that’s quite far off than the other two. It has a touch of a rosy undertone. With this kind of uniqueness, it doesn’t go well with all of my blushes. But, when paired with the right tone, it creates such a beautiful harmony. I love to pair this with its sister blush, Cameo. Any rose/beige nudes will work, as long as there isn’t any dominant bright pop of pigment. Earthy also doubles as a make-do eye shadow.

FYI, Innisfree Mineral Shading #7 is not yellow, the camera captured it that way I don’t know why. I’m guessing it has to do with the sheen in the powder. It’s not too obvious, in fact, I just noticed it when I did the arm swatch. It’s more of a light beige brown in real life. The sheen doesn’t seem to translate on the skin. As I said earlier, I reach this often when I just want something in a pinch. I don’t have to spend special care on blending the shade, making sure I don’t have a line on my face. A little sweeping motion here and there and I’m good to go.

All of these three products have a common trait: they don’t have orange undertone in them. This is an important bit because orange doesn’t translate well as a contour. If any, it makes my skin looks dirty. The key here, or the goal rather, is to create a convincing fake shadow.


For the brushes, I rely on these three:

Hakuhodo G5522 – I use this one specifically for contouring the nose and it’s excellent for the job. It’s actually an eye shadow blending brush, with quite fluffy bristles and a soft pointed tip. The mix of blue squirrel and goat bristle picks up Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder Medium lightly. In turn, I can built the intensity slowly without going overboard. Sometimes, just sometimes, I like to take this and strategically place the contour powder right on the hollows of my cheeks. Just to give an extra oomph.

THREE Face Brush M – I utilize the longer side of the brush to place the powder underneath my cheekbones, jawline and hairline. The brush is on the flatter side, so the product placement won’t be too wide. The bristles are soft (gray squirrel and weasel). It picks up a little bit more product than the Hakuhodo Fan Brush, but it’s just a matter of slight of hand. This is my favorite tool to apply the Innisfree Mineral Shading #7.

Hakuhodo Fan Brush – This brush was a inspired purchase, thanks to Karima from Shameless Fripperies. This is my favorite one to contour the face. It has the same bristles with Hakuhodo G5522 and it grabs a small amount of the powder, but still even. Application and blending is super easy. It has a special place in my heart because of the unique shape. There’s just something so eloquent when I hold it and sweep it under my cheekbones.


My favorite out of the three? Still Kevyn Aucoin’s. Despite my affinity to the the others, Kevyn Aucoin still reign because it fits the bill for a proper contour shade. There’s a reason why I stick with this for my nose ;)

There you go. Another snippet of my makeup details :)


  1. Burberry earthy blush is my fave too, Tik! Udh hit pan cuma belum abis2 untung nya jd blm hrs repurchase xD. It is soo foolproof yaa jd enak dipake nya.

    Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder is on my wish list , cuma agak susah beli nya disini jd hrs extra pesen dr luar.

    I’ve been loving CHarlotte Tilbury Filmstar bronze glow too. The contour shade is similar to Burberry Earthy jd cocok sm complexion aku.

    As for brushes, my favorite is Zoeva 109 and Real Techniques contour brush :D


    1. Pammmm

      Seriusss hebat kamu bisa hit pan haha. Aku penasaran kan katanya Burberry reformulated the Light Blow blushes and the colors aren’t the same as the old one, I wonder how does Earthy look like now deh. Cepatlah beli yang baru hihi.

      Kamu harus cobain Kevyn Aucoin sih, at least once in your lifetime LOL. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will try CT’s products again. You know why :p Tapi klo sekadar colek ok lah.

      Thank you for sharing your favorite products and brushes! :D


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