Contouring kits that are worth every penny

For someone who's opposed to the concept of contouring, I do own an awful lot of contouring kits. I think my aversion comes from the videos I see on Instagram, where people baste themselves with layer upon layer of foundation, like pakoras coated in besan. That’s not contouring for me, but a mask-making technique, because it completely erases what you look like underneath. That said, I do love a bit of enhancement. A touch of matte bronzer under and an illuminator on top of my cheekbones to make my face look ‘done’ even without eye makeup or lipstick. The idea is to contour with a light hand. Too much and you lose the fragility of your features. I’m going to post a video on soft contouring later this week, but for now here are two kits that are completely different from each other. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book Volume I
With six illuminating, shaping and contouring shades (which includes two of the iconic Celestial Powders), this is pure luxury. The colours are all very soft and perhaps may not be right for those with very dark complexions. When blended together the shades create a candlelit, soft focus effect, so it’s a mistake proof kit for women who are not very confident with brushes. But it doesn’t come with a brush. However, it does come with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to contour your face and your eyes. The best part is that all the colours can be used separately on the cheekbones, eyes and brows. 

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit in Deep
(Available at Sephora)
The three shades are made for serious contouring with deeply-saturated pigments and a matte finish. The bronzer as a touch iridescence but not so much that it will make uneven textures or large pores stand out. In fact, you can mix the deep contour shade and the terracotta bronzer and use it as a warming blush. This kit is perfect for dark skinned women as the shades are complimentary and flattering. It comes comes with contouring instructions according to your face type, and an angled, contour brush. However, if you’re used to good quality makeup brushes then you might find that you will have to work harder to blend all the shades with this accompanying brush.