The latest trend at the moment is definitely contouring and highlighting and everyone seems to want to get their hands on a kit for it! There has been some debate as to what contouring is, and what products can be used for them, for example "can't you just use bronzer?" Firstly, bronzer is for warming up the tones of your face, to show where the sun naturally hits. The tones you can buy for bronzer are usually more orangey based, and lots have a slight shimmer to them. I use the Bronzing Powder in 'Refined Golden' and if you look at the colour of that you can see it is the wrong colour for contouring!
A contour should have more of a grey tone to it, as the point of contouring your face is to create shadows to accentuate a more defined look. Shadows are naturally more of a grey colour anyway, so that is the tone you would want for a more natural look.
The highlighters however can have a greater range of colours. Kim Kardashian has promoted using Ben Nye's Banana Powder to set over her concealer as a highlight, therefore the more yellow tones are now very popular!
Now I know it seems like EVERYBODY in the whole WORLD seems to be raving over the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit!! I mean I would love to own it however I am a poor student and can't quite afford spending almost £40 plus shipping for it. So I did my research to find a high quality but less expensive dupe....
What I found after searching the web and YouTube was the Australis 'AC On Tour' Contour and Highlight Kit. I have purchased from Australis before and loved their products so decided to go for it! it is just $16.95 AUS dollars! This translates to just £7.94!!! Yes, I know!!! The shipping however was an extra $30AUS which is around £14.03, it would be shipped half way around the world though so you can understand this. I'm sorry but that is just £21.97!!! That is half the price of the Anastasia one!!! Oh my goodness I could not believe what I had found! It is also a powder kit, as opposed to cream, as I find the creams make my oily skin look even more shiny - plus you would have to set it in powder anyway, so you may as well skip a step!
Right now lets analyse these colours! The contour tones are so pigmented i can't even describe how good they are! You hardly need any on your brush which of course is more economical, and it's always better to apply less,add to it and blend, than risk making big mess by overdoing it. The middle colour on the bottom row is the most grey. I tend to use this for my cheekbones to really show the definition that I otherwise would not have. I use the bottom left to contour my nose, as it is a bit more brown so will look more natural when it comes to shaping my nose. I don't tend to use them bottom right hand one because it is quite tan, but if you are out of bronzer for your forehead then this would work.
As for the highlighting tones, also very pigmented! Plus this has that very talked about banana yellow colour on the middle of the top row! Like I said before, this is the perfect colour for setting the concealer which you have put under you eyes. It will make you look less tired and make your eyes pop more! As you can see on the swatches I did on my (incredibly hairy - sorry) arm at the bottom, it is blends well with my skin tone, so although will show some difference, it won't wash you out. It has a more peachy tone on the top left, which I tend to brush under where I have contoured my cheeks, just to make that stand out more. I will also dust this down the bridge of my nose and in between my eyes at the bottom of my forehead. The final powder has almost a coral tone to it which does not suit my skin tone so I don't tend to use that, but it may work better if you have more tanned skin.
Just to let you know also, Australis is a completely Animal Testing FREE company, and some are even Vegan friendly.
On a final note, I bought this kit about a month ago and the only negative I had about it was wishing that it had a mirror, but do not fear my prayers have been answered! Not only has the updated kit got a mirror in it, it is also for pale, medium and dark skin tones, so will suit every colour!
I hope that you have found this post helpful and will look into this amazing kit! Leave any comments or criticisms below.
Yours Truly, Kate x