Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder - Medium





Sculpting and contouring can be a scary concept with even scarier results. As someone who started using makeup in the 1980s, I remember those weird stripes of a dark blush placed where no blush should ever go in an attempt to make one's face look thinner and enhance the cheekbones:



I spent years trying to imitate the effect and make my cheekbones suddenly appear out of nowhere. Thankfully, I had the good sense to realize it doesn't work and never to leave the house sporting a brown zebra face. It was only years later when I discovered Kevyn Aucoin's work and books that I fully understood the idea and principles behind effective face contouring and learn what it can and cannot do for me.

The drawings in Kevyn Aucoin's book are one thing, but watching the magic happen is a lot more effective. Wayne Goss, aka Gossmakeupartist on YouTube has some of the best tutorials on the subject (the British accent makes everything even better):
http://youtu.be/Ow1rdFOlxnk
http://youtu.be/HHn3iKgB4Qo
http://youtu.be/cE2_hKQvrxc

 I can't tell you how many times I watched these until I learned how to work with what I have. While I usually avoid messing around with my non existent cheekbones, I often contour my nose and chin using Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in medium. The reason this product works (unlike the myriad of blushes and bronzers many of us have tried) is a combination of color and texture. The color of Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder in Medium looks quite dark in the pan and may seem muddy in the swatch (I applied it with the useless sponge that came in the compact, so you can see the color as clearly as possible). However, when actually contouring the face you need to use the lightest possible touch (and a good directional brush, not a sponge, please) to get the gossamer shadow-like effect. When you do that, you realize that the color of this sculpting powder gets a taupe/almost gray cast that-surprise!- looks like your skin in the shade.

The texture of Kevyn Aucoin's powder is whisper light and can be manipulated and blended to perfection. It's completely matte- there's no trace of shimmer or any of the light-reflecting elements that make contouring with a blush or a bronzer so horrible-- it's simple, really: a blush or a bronzer are meant to bring light and color to the areas you apply them. It's the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve when shading for contouring purpose.

Bottom Line: this is the one.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder ($42) is available from Nordstrom, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and dermstore.com.

14 comments:

  1. I began wearing makeup in the sixties and we actually did quite a bit of contouring then, too, but it was much more subtle than the brown racing strips so prevelant in later decades. Racing stripes, zebra stripes, snickers bars--whatever you want to call it, it was over-the-top and unflattering. It's no wonder the "look" died out.

    I think a lot of the renewed interest in face contouring/sculpting amongst women has been fueled by the prevelance of cameras. Everyone who has a phone, has a camera and pictures are being taken constantly. Wearing "camera ready" makeup has entered the mainstream collective consciousness :-)

    I was pleased to see you mention Wayne, the gossmakeupartist. He comes across as a friendly guy who loves his work and definitely knows what he's doing. His instructional videos on contouring are first rate. I discovered him when I was looking for reviews on Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate (my HG product). Not only did I find a review, but I found all the wonderful videos about modern contouring techniques. Anyone who takes the time to watch Wayne will never have to worry about looking like a zebra :-)

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    Replies
    1. Eileen, as I researched makeup photos from different decades I realized the very same thing: there was quite a bit of contouring in the 60s, but it was done in a much more sophisticated way. I remember taking a makeup class in 1988 and the brown/orange shade they used to make those stripes... not pretty.

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  2. Me again :-). I just tried your links to Wayne's work. The first one is correct, but the last two are the same and are not about contouring. Anyone who wants to learn about creating proportion and product placement should just go to Wayne's YouTube channel. He has three or four excellent videos about highlighting and contouring. As I said, the man knows what he's doing. I especially liked his video about the "magic triangle". Very informative!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know. Links are fixed.

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  3. What a co-incidence! Wayne Goss mentioned you in one of his videos yesterday suggesting we check your reviews on the Kevin Aucoin brushes!

    I have been improving my skills in contouring as of late as well, though I have yet to find a perfect contouring shade. The best I've found so far is MAC's Wedge eyeshadow. Other that Wayne's excellent videos, you could also check Lisa Elridge's video on contouring. She's excellent! http://www.lisaeldridge.com/video/2273/basic-powder-contouring/

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    Replies
    1. I was watching Wayne's channel late last night and squealed a little (Ok, a lot) when I heard him mentioning me. I was even more amused to see he also showed this product as I already had it slotted for this morning's review. I'm tickled pink-- or even more than pink, fuchsia, maybe ;)

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  4. You made a really good point...cheekbones should never be drawn on. I do believe that a well-blended contour shade along the perimeter of the face is pretty on everyone though.

    I don't contour much, it makes me look boney! I use the Chanel Bronze Universel along the perimeter of my face and a tiny bit to shape the tip of my nose. I leave my cheekbones be, they're prominent enough as it is lol.

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  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't have cheekbones. Every time someone tells me to apply something to my cheekbones I think - where?! So I watch Wayne and I like how he explains how to do things from putting on blush to contouring, etc. Now I just have to practice some contouring. Plus he's easy on the eyes and winks! Could anything be better? :)

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  6. I loooove the KA powders (blushes, highlighters, contour shades, they are all splendid). I agree that contouring is best practiced with subtlety, but I also have to admit an embarrassing fondness for those early 80s hollow-cheeked glamazons. Maybe they remind me of reading Judith Krantz books when I was young and impressionable.

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  7. I viewed Wayne's best products video and was delighted that he is also a fan of yours. The KA contouring powder intrigued me there since he is a contouring advocate and had high praise for it. I did a brief online search and could not find a lighter shade. It may be too dark for a light complexion.

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  8. The primary reason this one scares me is that it's soooo brown. I tend to muddy up browns every single time. While I'd love to try it, the thought of ending up with mud pools beneath my cheekbones (despite my best efforts to go lightly) leaves me quivering in my boots. :) Also, does it come in a lighter color? DRTVMoi couldn't find it, yet the name "Medium" would lead one to believe there's a "Light" out there somewhere. Maybe I should go look a bit harder...

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  9. Hi, do you have any experience with Tom Ford's sculpting cream?
    Would be very curious to know which product you think works best.

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  10. Hi there! Love your makeup reviews. Was wondering if you had any suggestions for which directional brushes would work with this powder? I watched the videos you linked to but it looked more like he was dealing with cream sculpting makeups. Appreciate it!!

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    Replies
    1. There are many good options from Hakuhodo: B103, G511, G5518, G5521, J103, J212.

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