Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration
Lately it seems that the beauty world can’t get enough of contouring/highlighting products and to that end, MAKE UP FOR EVER has recently released their take on this trend with the Pro Sculpting Duo (CAN $45.00/available in 2 sets of shades). The simple flat black compact, opens up to reveal a product of intense visual appeal, embossed with a honey-comb like pattern on the surface and the intricate – yet delicate – shimmer of the highlighter. Seriously, I can just sit and stare at it for hours.
Created with skin-enhancing ingredients including Spherical Powders and Polymers to smooth and perfect the skin, light-reflecting Synthetic Mica for radiance, and Micronized Pigments of pure colour, this duo will help provide a naturally defined appearance without seeming obvious, eliminating the usual harsh demarcation lines that you sometimes experience with similar products. Personally, I’m not one for over-the-top or detailed Kardashian-style contouring, although there are areas of the face that I don’t mind deflecting with a little bit of beauty illusion (jawline, sides of the face). Depending on your face shape, there are some understated measures you can apply using contour/highlight to help balance features out:
- Long – focus along the chin and upper portion of the neck, hairline along the forehead, tops of cheekbones
- Oval – focus on the tip of the chin, sides of the neck, smooth arc from temples to tops of cheekbones
- Square – focus on the sides of the face and neck, keeping the centre portion of the face free (with the exception of along the sides of the nose, if needed)
- Triangle – focus placed on the lower 2/3 of the face, upper cheek area & cheekbones, sides of jaw and neck, keeping the chin free
- Round – focus lightly along the upper cheek/cheekbone area, sides of jawline and neck, keeping the forehead and chin free
- Inverted Triangle – focus along the hairline at the forehead, upper cheek/cheekbone area, tip of the chin and sides of the neck
At the end of the day, it’s about creating dimension and avoiding a flat, 1-dimensional look to the skin – and that’s where highlighting/contouring products really come in to their own; the Pro Sculpting Duo just made that job a little bit easier, by combining both products in one travel-friendly compact.
MAKE UP FOR EVER | Pro Sculpting Duo & N°156 Flat Blush Brush
Pro Sculpting Duo 01 (Pink Beige) is the cooler-toned of the two versions available. This unique gel-powder formula (talc-free) is incredibly lightweight feeling upon the skin and created with the most finely-milled texture imaginable, meaning it will be virtually undetectable when applied for a ‘natural & accented appearance’. What is hard to capture in photos, is the complex shimmer of the highlighter portion, with its subtle pink iridescence that provides gorgeous light refraction properties – and how beautiful it looks (as well as, behaves) with one’s complexion.
By comparison, I find that the contour section a touch amber-leaning in colour and too warm to be used as a contouring product in the traditional sense, although I am nonetheless surprised to see how well it works in that context just the same – I’m guessing that the reason for this is due to the texture of the powder, which presents beautiful blending potential. Personally, I prefer using this portion more in a bronzer capacity, as it provides a gorgeously tanned & long-lasting glow, or even swirled together with the highlighter for a unique shade that can then be used along the high points of the face where light naturally hits (tops of cheekbones, temples, bridge of the nose, brow bone, or cupid’s bow). Either way, it’s really lovely and subtle enough to give skin colour, dimension, and luminosity.
N°156 Flat Blush Brush (CAN $43.00) is a synthetic haired brush of exceptionally soft bristles, bearing enough density to deliver a soft wash of colour to the skin. Slightly smaller than traditional blush brushes and with a thinner profile as well, this brush is excellent for those with smaller features, as well as for more precision work – or when you want more control over product placement (as opposed to a diffused swathe of product along the face). For the Pro Sculpting Duo, I prefer using this brush on the highlight portion only, as it picks up a light amount of product per swipe (making it difficult to overdo application, thankfully) but I found it to be much to soft for traditional contouring for using the darker portion of the compact (a denser-haired brush would be ideal in that capacity, but would still need to be lightly buffed in).
MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Duo 01 swatches (separately & blended)
MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Duo 01 swatches (separately & blended), alternate light
MAKE UP FOR EVER is a brand that continues to amaze me with their range and textures, as well as producing some of the best beauty tools in the industry and their newest Pro Sculpting Duo is a product that does not disappoint, even if I’m not exactly going to be using it for actual contouring per se. There’s something almost magical about the quality of this powder (both the highlight and tanned portions) that offers up limitless possibilities – from contouring (all dependent on your skin type and brush used), highlighter, bronzer, blush, or even eye shadow (which will look simply fab against a light tan) that make it well worth investigating & experimenting with. If you can make yourself mar that gorgeous surface first, however.
Available now through Sephora, sephora.com and MAKE UP FOR EVER boutiques.