Review – The Contour Book Volume III – Kevyn Aucoin

The Intro

Well, first of all, Kevyn Aucoin needs no intro. He was a beautiful person who transformed the makeup industry in a truly wonderful way. He inspired so many, myself included. His passion for life and his art was and still is infectious. His story is a huge reason for my own personal evolution with beauty, he taught me that makeup isn’t about covering up or changing parts of the face that you don’t like, rather instead, it’s about seeing the beauty within and bringing it to light. It’s about a creative, artistic expression that is unique to each person who wears it. It’s not about being more “attractive” to others, it’s about feeling your most beautiful from inside out and doing it just for you. It doesn’t matter what others think, if you want to challenge the norms and go against the flow, you do you because your makeup isn’t for anyone else.

And without further ado, I am pleased to introduce you to one of my favorite products from his line. It’s something that has changed the way I do my makeup for the better, it’s made my makeup application much easier and quicker and has given me an incredible amount of confidence when it comes to one of the trickiest parts of doing your makeup, contouring and highlighting.

Here is Kevyn Aucoin’s: The Contour Book: The Art of Sculpting & Defining Volume III

Kevyn Aucoin Contour III

The Down and Dirty on the Contour Book III

This contour book is a palette that truly delivers. It’s like that one worker who is constantly getting promoted. They go above and beyond. They live for performance, exceeding expectations like it’s oxygen to them. Here’s exactly what this contour book has to offer; the best of the best contouring shades, two absolutely gorgeous and multi-use highlight shades and a beyond beautiful blush that has two to three shades as well as a bronzer. The contour shades that are included are absolutely legendary in the beauty world. Sculpting light, medium and dark are without a doubt, some of the best contour products on the market. It just doesn’t get any better.

If you are new to contouring, a seasoned pro or still contemplating giving it a try, these are the shades for you. They are simply everything a contour shade should be. The key with contour is the shadow. When you contour, think of painting or sculpting, or better yet, painting a sculpture. When you want to create dimension and depth you work on bringing certain things forward and using other colors to push other things back. I’m not doing a great job explaining this, but think of cheekbones, we often want to have higher, more prominent cheekbones, yes? And thus, we want the part of the cheek right beneath the high cheekbone to look a little hollowed, a little recessed, if you will. This not only gives you those beautiful, high cheekbones, it also slims your face. So to do this, you want a product that will accentuate the high points of your cheekbone to bring it forward and then you need another product to help the hollows under the cheekbones recede a little bit. Now at first, we might be thinking of these two elements in just light and dark, but we need to remember that the key to a natural-looking recession is to create a shadow. If you use a perfect contour shade, no matter how deep your skin is, you’re going to need a shade with some grey tones in it. It can be a really cool-toned brown even, or a light, cool taupe, but hidden somewhere in the shade there needs to be a hint of that perfect grey. This is how you get a contour that looks like an actual contour of your face, instead of just some muddy, dead giveaway lines streaking across your cheeks. Because yes, that is exactly what it looks like when you contour using the wrong shade. It becomes painfully obvious that you do not know what you are doing and if you go in too heavy-handed, it can absolutely destroy your entire face. Yeah, I went there with that serious tone.

All this to say, Kevyn Aucoin gets it and he gave it to us right with the sculpting shades. #wearenotworthy #blessed #thankful

Then there are his gorgeous highlights. Oh my god, you don’t even know. They are perfection. It doesn’t matter if they are your first highlighters or your thousandths, you need them in your life. What I love most is all the different looks you can create with them, their versatility is incredible. If you want a supernatural highlight that is bearly detectable, you’ve got it. If you want a super intense wet highlight that can be seen from space, you can do it. If you want something in-between, no problem. And we’re not even done, these highlights are also perfect as eyeshadows, great for upper lip highlighting, brow bone and inner corner, and shoulders and clavicle highlighting too. They are perfection, a godsend, in that they were actually sent by a god, thank you, Kevyn, who will forever be our makeup messiah.

And now for the blush. It’s a beautiful spectrum of colors, like a gorgeous ombre starting with a light peachy tone, gliding into a beautiful light warm pink, transitioning into a deeper more almost berry pink and then it ends in a beautiful bronze shade. Each shade is more beautiful than you can imagine. I am so picky about blushes and bronzers so I’ll be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I love these shades. I thought to myself, there’s no way. It’s a palette full of perfect contour and highlights, no way they get blushes and bronzer down pat as well. But like that overachiever who lives and breathes on exceeding your expectation, the contour book III pushes the limits of perfection.

The Facts

The Contour Book III by Kevyn Aucoin is available for $59 at Sephora. While this price is steep, you’re actually getting a hell of a deal, especially when you consider that one of Kevyn’s sculpting shades alone will cost you $44. And in this palette, you get three contour shades, two highlighters, and a blush that contains at least four shades; three blushes, and a bronzer. Also, this is no baby-sized palette, just eyeballing it I’d say the dimensions are about 5″x5″. Also the mirror it comes with is huge and amazing. It’s quickly become my favorite handheld mirror for applying other makeup as well.

The Breakdown -This is going to be fun

Score: 10/10

It’s perfect and then some. It will absolutely change your makeup game and the best part is how easy and foolproof it is to use.

Pros: Everything is a pro, perfect contours, beautiful highlighters, gorgeous blushes and a beautiful bronzer, what more could you want from life? You crazy hedonist.

Cons: None. I could be cheeky and say the price is high, but honestly, you get what you pay for and in this case, you are paying for perfection. Also, I do truly believe it’s a really good value for all those amazing shades.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Have fun, just relax with this palette and go for it. You can’t really go wrong. If you are contouring for the first time, I recommend practising and also watching tutorials. One of the easiest ways to practice is to do it right before you’re going to wash your face. This could even be right before you jump in the shower, grab some foundation or apply to your bare face and just try new things out, see what you like and what looks good to you. Remember to always take a step back too, don’t analyze a contour from up close, if you’re in the bathroom then go to a different room so you can see what you look like from further back so you can really get a feel for it.
  2. Tutorial videos are your friend, but make sure you’re learning from pros here. You don’t want to fall into the muddy, brown hole of mistakes. Ew my god, sometimes I should think before I say write things. But seriously, you don’t want to end up on Contouring Nightmares. So here are some tried and true contour tutorials that will set you off on the right path of your chiselled dreams.
  3. Here’s a great tutorial by Lisa Eldrige where she really goes in-depth, and here’s a quicker video also by Lisa that shows a bit of a quicker and lighter application. I would recommend watching both, but trying out the second video yourself first to get used to it, then move onto the longer video when you are ready.
  4. Here’s an excellent and very helpful tutorial from Wayne Goss, this changed my contour game and once I started following his guide, I feel like I finally figured out how to do a good contour that looked truly natural.
  5. This is a tutorial that also really helped me master the natural-looking contour. It’s by Karima McKimmie who is just lovely and total #makeupgoals.
  6. Finally, no contour tutorial list would be complete without a video from the contour king himself, Mario Dedivanovic, who alongside Kim Kardashian, changed the game of contouring and took it to new heights. Whether you like Kim’s heavy contour or you prefer a more natural look, either way, everyone can learn a lot from Mario. I feel like every time I watch him do makeup, I learn something new and even if I apply it in a lighter, more natural way, his methods will take you to the next level of your beauty journey.
Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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