Shade & Light Contour Palette
Shade & Light Contour Palette joins the numerous options recently launched by many cosmetic brands (capitalizing on the trend with a capital C). Thankfully, it's a refreshingly exceptional palette, which stands out from the crowd for several reasons that we'll review!
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of contouring with makeup, it is the strategic placement of deeper and lighter tones to the face—the goal to create an optical illusion of a more defined bone structure (cheekbones, for example), or a smaller nose or forehead.
Housed in Kat Von D's trademark heavy matte-black packaging, Shade & Light Contour Palette contains six powder shades of varying depth: There are three larger neutral brown tones for contouring, and three smaller pans of lighter shades for highlighting. All have a true matte finish—not even a hint of shimmer—and each has a beautifully soft texture that's pigmented yet blends easily into skin (no fallout among them). Another bonus: Each pan size is wide enough to work with that color cross-over isn't a problem.
In a thoughtful move, Kat Von D cleverly categorized this palette of six shades into three matching duos, with each contour and highlight shade complementing the other's tone and color depth. This grouping takes some of the guesswork out for you, but don't be afraid to experiment with any of the shades depending on your intended purpose (Kat Von D also included a handy instruction card demonstrating a few techniques to get you started).
All six shades are mostly neutral, with some straying a bit into a slightly warmer undertone range. Let's take a closer look at each.
- Subconscious: A taupe/tan shade that is the lightest of the contours and has subtle grey undertones.
- Shadowplay: A soft, tawny brown that has a slightly warmer undertone than Subconscious.
- Sombre: A deep chocolate shade with warm undertones.
- Lucid: A pale, pink-hued sand shade.
- Lyric: A light, golden beige.
- Levitation: Light to medium peachy-pink.
Each of the highlight shades lends a brightened look to skin without shimmer, and doesn't leave a grey or ashy cast.
The shades are easy to work with and are suitable for multiple skin tones, but those with very fair or porcelain complexions may find that they are limited to the very lightest of what this palette offers. We should note that all of the shades are also suitable for use as powder brow color or eyeshadow.
On that note, you may also find Shade & Light Contour Palette appealing for a different reason: It also doubles as an excellent bronzer "palette," allowing you to create a more natural tanned appearance to skin. We tried it on a few different skin tones, and the lighter and deeper shades worked well for this purpose, as a natural tan isn't uniform in color.
It's tricky to use bronzers to contour because such products tend to have inherently warmer undertones, but here you can have the best of both—one more reason we're loving this truly versatile palette!
Shade & Light Contour Palette earned our highest rating for its concept, value (there is a substantial amount of product here), and range of shade options for different skin tones. Each shade looks beautifully natural on skin, and lacks the shimmer and unnatural undertones of other contour palettes we've come across. If you've been searching for a contour (or bronzing) palette, this is one to check out on your next trip to Sephora!
- Contains a wide range of natural-looking shades.
- Each color is matte, blends easily, and wears well.
- Clever design groups highlight/contour shades into groups.
- Doubles as a bronzer palette.
Kat Von D At-A-Glance
Celebrity makeup lines are nothing newweve seen dozens of them over the yearsbut this one is a first in that it shocked us a bit. Kat Von Ds main claim to fame was her successful tattooing enterprise, and her role as a former reality TV show star. Now, she's a makeup entrepreneurand a very good one.
The line launched in 2007 with only two eyeshadow palettes, cream lipstick, and eyeliner, but since has expanded by adding several new products, including remarkable lip products, blushes and more. Just like most makeup lines, this is one to shop carefully; for every great product, there are a few that could use improvement.
All Kat Von D makeup products come packaged with the lines signature images of roses and thorns (perhaps to reinforce Von Ds love of tattoo design), which definitely makes these products stand out among a sea of blandly packaged makeup containers.
Strengths: Excellent eyeshadow palettes and trios; long-wearing cream and liquid lipstick; truly lasting powder blushes and bronzers.
Weaknesses: A few products on the pricey side (this is a minor quibble).
For more information on this brand, visit www.katvondbeauty.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.