Fellow bloggers, allow me to introduce you to another new addition to my cosmetic collection - Illamasqua's 'Sculpting Powder Duo'. I swear I'm like a broken record on this blog, aren't I? I'm forever harping on about contouring products! I shan't tell porkies - it was another one of my little impulse purchases - but it's one that I knew for a fact I wouldn't regret. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a bit obsessed when it comes to all things contouring related - I'm a big fan of defined and sculpted cheekbones and my makeup never feels quite complete without a dusting of powder and a touch of highlighter. As soon as I saw this duo on the ASOS website, I snapped it up right away. I adore Illamasqua blushes and have recently purchased their 'Blush Up' brush which is perfect for contouring (post here) - so I knew I'd get lots of use from this compact - Illamasqua are always spot on with their pigmentation and consistency and I'm still yet to be disappointed by their products.
The palette consists of two shades - a matte contour named 'Heliopolis' and a champagne toned highlighter, 'Lumos'. I personally don't think there's a great selection of sculpting products on the high street that work a treat - unless you want to pay a fortune! (Kevin Aucoin anyone?) Sleek's Contour Kit was as good as it got for me - and although I love it to bits, I have to admit I always find the contour shade far too bronze and orange toned for a perfectly natural look. That's why I jumped for joy when I stumbled upon Illamasqua's offering. At £26, it isn't the cheapest duo on the market but it's one of the best powder contour products I've come across. The matte contour shade is perfect for my skin tone - it isn't too dark or too light - it's just the perfect colour and I can imagine it will still blend seamlessly when I get a bit of a tan during the summer months. Although it still has a slight hint of bronze, it doesn't have that orange tone that a lot of 'contour' products seem to have and it definitely leans more grey - perfect for creating a natural shadow. It lacks that warm tone that a lot of products on the market seem to have. I was unsure as to whether I'd like 'Lumos' or not - I'm admittedly hard to please when it comes to highlighters and I often find them too glittery or false looking. But I've been pleasantly surprised - 'Lumos' is stunning. It's a gorgeous champagne tone which blends into the skin seamlessly and effortlessly and doesn't contain any glitter flecks (yay!). It gives that much desired 'soft-focus' finish and the consistency is unbelievably buttery - honestly, it's so soft and creamy! Only the lightest touch of a brush is needed so the palette is all set to last quite some time.
To apply, I simply use my Real Techniques Contouring Brush or a tapered contour brush that I have in my collection from Elf. I've also found that the Illamasqua 'Blush Up' brush mentioned above works wonders - especially with the matte bronze shade. The duo gives a really subtle finish that can be built up for a stronger more defined look depending on what you're going for, and doesn't look harsh in daylight. I've also been using this kit for contouring the jawline and highlighting the brow bone.
Overall, it's a massive thumbs up from me. I really cannot fault this duo one bit. I was worried it might be too small to be worth the £26.00 price tag - but you get quite a decent bit of product for your money. The compact is bigger than Illamasqua's standard blushes (I didn't know this as I've never owned any of their duos and just assumed it would be the same size) - it also comes with a mirror and is really lightweight - perfect for me as I will be taking this away on holiday over the summer! It gives that naturally enhanced look to the cheekbones without looking like you've tried to fake it - and the quality and pigmentation is second to none. Illamasqua has gone and done it again!
Have you tried this palette? What's your favourite contouring product at the minute?