I've been dragging my heels on this product review a looong time, my beauties. I'm sorry. As you can see from the mucky-looking palette above, I've used Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette (20) quite a few times—I just feel like I haven't quite *gotten* it yet. I wanted to be better at using it before I told you what I thought, but I don't think it was meant to be. Here goes.
The beauty world has been obsessed with contouring and highlighting for ages, and in response, a whole bunch of brands have come out with sculpting palettes featuring a variety of shades for both contouring and highlighting. Personally, I have no idea how a palette like this or this makes sense unless you're a makeup artist. Will one person really suit all these colours? I don't see how. Even if you tan. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate, but I'm not going to hold on to a palette when I like only two of the shades. Hello, waste of my hard-earned cash! But to each their own.
I promise this is going somewhere: My lack of understanding of multi-coloured sculpting kits makes me really, really appreciate Make Up For Ever's simple approach to a sculpting palette: Choose the quad that works with your skin. There are four, for light (20), medium (30), tan (40) and dark (50) skin tones. In your quad, you get one contour shade. One shimmery highlight. One matte highlight. One blush. Done. Amen.
The big challenge for me with Make Up For Ever's new Pro Sculpting Palettes is that they're cream-based. I find creams tough. They're more work for me to blend than powder-based products. Why? Partly because I can never, ever find a brush I like using with cream products. (And I've tried a LOT.) I always come back to my fingers and a Beauty Blender, which can be quite inexact. I also find creams a challenge because not all creams are created equal. Some are thick and cakey, some are cream-to-powder, and others are very, very slippy. All require a different technique. It makes my head hurt.
So what do I really think about Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette in 20, the lightest shade? I have a few thoughts:
1) As far as cream products go, this is pretty easy to work with—even for me. I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills' Contour Cream Kit in Fair because it seemed to have the best colour selection for my pasty-white skin, but it ultimately went back to Sephora because the product was just too thick for my liking. I looked heavy and cakey by the time I was finished my makeup. Not cute. Fortunately, the creams in Make Up For Ever's kits are much thinner.
2) The products are very sheer and blendable—almost TOO sheer and blendable. The creams are very emollient with a LOT of slip, and they sheer out quickly. This is probably a good thing for most people—particularly in light of what Isaid in 1). Yet when I've blended everything away, I'm not always certain I look any different than I did before! (Does anyone else have this problem?)
3) The packaging is sleek and simple, which I like. I don't like things that take up a ton of space. I don't like packaging that screams, "You paid as much for me as you did for the makeup!" I like being able to see the colours inside at a glance. Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette wins on all these points.
4) As I mentioned above, I like that you can buy only the colour set that works with your skin. No wasted product.
5) I don't like the fact that the palettes come only with a warm-toned blush. I'd like to see colour options for cool-toned beauties like me. To be fair, as far as peach blushes go, this one is very subtle and flattering! But it's a peach blush, and I'm really more of a pink girl.
Enough chatter. Ready to see what this looks like on the skin?
In the above photo, I'm really not sure whether I look subtly contoured or the same as I did before. I will say that if you like the dewy look, you'll like these. I haven't powdered in these photos, so you can see what the finish looks like.
Below, I just look dirty—like I didn't blend the product out nearly as well as I thought I had. (Don't you love how photos are just so much more truthful than mirrors? *shiver*)
The verdict? Alas, I don't have a definitive one. I do know I'm going to keep trying this product. I don't love it, but I like it enough to persist. For now.
What's your go-to product for contouring? Have you tried this one? What did you think?
Disclosure: This product was provided by PR for my consideration.