Purchased by me. Contains affiliate links.
Contouring palettes are everywhere. While I'm not a fan of anything OTT or the look of those Instagram gurus, to each their own. That said, I still contour gently, with a light touch, every day. I prefer a less bronze contour shade and previously made a custom taupey color with Giella Cosmetics. All of the current contour palettes seem to be really bronzey, which isn't the best shade for contouring, despite being so popular for that use. Think about it. When you see a shadow on a face, is it bronze? Or more of a taupe, less warm shade? So while I don't think anyone is getting it right just yet, I still wanted find a contour palette that would work for us very fair women.
Out of all of the palettes easily available now, the one that worked best for my super fair skin is Laura Geller's Baked Sculpting Bronzer & Highlighter Palette in Porcelain/Fair. This baked palette is the same size as Laura's traditional baked foundation powders, but instead is divided into three shades. A very light highlight, a deeper, cool contour bronze shade and a peachy champagne highlighter. This compact comes with a sculpting brush/paddle sponge.
The highlighter in this compact is actually light enough to work perfectly on my fair skin, creating a highlight that isn't shimmery or overly noticeable. It's actually fantastic for fair skin. (Which is really hard to get right!)
The deepest shade, which I'll call the contour shade, is really skinny. While the color blends easily without looking crazy, the stripe of color is so thin, it's a little tricky to manage.
The champagne-ish color is lovely as a slight bronzer, for actual bronzing purposes. It's satin, not sparkly, and gives the skin a gorgeous glow.
I do wish the darkest stripe was thicker and wasn't so brown. That said, it's a very light brown and won't ever look stripey. However, the contour color is almost a deal breaker for me, but the siren song of everyone else grabbing up contour palettes won me over. I feel like this was meant to be a bronzer palette, not a contour palette, but once the craze hit, they changed the label to fit the trend.
If you want an easy to find contour palette that won't give you that drag look, this is a nice start. I actually love the sponge end of the brush for the highlighter (you'll never hear me say I love a sponge again!). You'll need to use the pointy end of the regular brush to pick up just the contour shade, so you might want to switch to a fluffy shadow brush.
Despite its shortcomings, this is still the only contour palette in the Sephora / Ulta / B-Glowing world that worked at all for my skin tone. Try it yourself for $36.00.
Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here.