Contouring has been named as one of the beauty trends of 2015 that we should ditch in 2016. Personally? I'm happy to keep contouring away and adding that touch of subtle highlight, and it's not something I plan on giving up any time soon.
I've always found people's opinions of contouring to be a little love/hate. You can either do it, to your own preference whether that be subtly or more accentuated, and in turn love it - or you can't get to grips to it and automatically dismiss it as unnecessary and hate it. Either way just like with any aspect of beauty, if contouring makes you feel better about your look, if it gives you confidence or you simply just love adding in that chiseled to perfection look, then you go for it! Your face, your beauty, your decision.
I shared quite a few must-have contouring products in 2015. I shared my love for the Daniel Sandler Sculpt & Slim-Effect Contour Face Powder, which still remains my favourite product for contouring and highlighting in a subtle and natural way. I hailed the Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit as a fantastic way for everyone from beginners to experts to contour, bronze and highlight, especially with it's perfect taupe undertones making it suitable for paler complexions too. Of course, it's not just the high-end brands who cottoned on to the popularity of contouring products and kits in 2015 and I shared a couple of my favourite budget contour kits under £7. Of course it's not just kits that work well for contouring, so I even made sure to share my top contouring products, including taupe toned bronzers that work just as well.
After going a bit contour-crazy in the first half of 2015, I stopped searching for new products and kits which would tick my contouring needs, perfectly happy with the ones I had in my makeup collection which fit the bill and effortlessly did the job. By the end of the year my curiosity got the better of me again and I was ready to delve into a new kit, hoping I'd fall in love with it like my faithful Sculpt & Slim-Effect or Step by Step Contour Kit, and so came into my life the beautifully presented Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Kit (£32).
A kit I've found myself reaching for most days over the past couple of months, it features four powders as well as a handy mini Angled Contour 'Buki' Kabuki Brush. Presented in a slim and light-weight cardboard compact, it's very well made and sturdy so unlikely to break apart and even includes a large mirror and guide on contouring for both different face shapes as well as different desired looks and finishes. The aim of the kit is to make contouring and highlighting effortless, and after using it for quite a while I think it's safe to say that's a claim it easily meets.
The lightest powder is Light Cocoa which is described as a matte highlighter and I'd say that is a fair representation. Because I have an olive complexion I have found Light Cocoa absolutely wonderful as an brightening powder, particularly when used under my eyes and in any areas where I will then go on to highlight. It's subtle and easy to work with, not too stark and doesn't come across as 'white', quite a nice pale cool toned shade. Medium Cocoa is the shade I opt for using for contouring, it's a lovely cool toned brown with taupe undertones so great for a contour that isn't stark and definitely far from that overdone 'dirty' finish some contouring powders can have. The matte finish also makes it very flattering to wear, which the same can be said for Dark Cocoa. Warmer in tone and more golden, it's a shade I've being using as a bronze and not one I'd personally try to use as a contour shade, as I suspect it could come across slightly orange in tone if used to contour opposed to adding a touch of warmth as a bronze. Last but not least we have Pop of Light, which is a really lovely highlight shade that actually doubles up nicely as a pretty shadow, too. The only shimmering shade within the kit, it's perfect for accentuating cheekbones and brow bones, but not one I'd try to use elsewhere as a highlighting product, due to the shimmering aspect.
Each of the powders are buttery soft, easy to apply and blend with no worry of fall out and like all Too Faced products, the colour payoff is great whilst having very decent longevity. The powders have been created with an exclusive 'Cocoa Complex', which is a blend of antioxidant rich cocoa powder that has a hydrating aspect with moisturising cocoa butter, helping to ensure the finish is smooth and flawless. Like many Too Faced products, it has that scrumptious distinctive chocolate scent that I just can't resist, which is a lovely added bonus to a pretty darn wonderful kit.
If 2016 is the year you give contouring and highlighting a try, then I can't recommend this beauty enough. Available in-store and online at www.debenhams.com.
*PR Samples - Disclaimer.