The Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book Volume II is finally back in stock! It first appeared on the scene last fall, but sold out very quickly due its amazing value. For $65, it includes 4 full-sized pans of the brand’s famed sculpting and highlighting products as well as 4 eyeshadow colours. To put the price into perspective, a single pan of their Celestial Powder highlighter is already $44 and Sephora’s estimated value of this palette is $226.
For what you get, I think this palette would have been a steal from even a mid-end brand…but Kevyn Aucoin? All I have to say is RUN DON’T WALK. When I bought this last year, it took me checking a few different Sephora stores to find mine and when I did it was the last one left on the shelf. I wouldn’t wish that kind of anxiety on anybody.
The “book” opens up to instructions and diagrams on how to use the products it contains. There is some shockingly bad advice here (for the love of God, do NOT use a shimmery highlight on the centre of your forehead or limit your eyebrow colour options to blonde/burgundy) but the real contents of the book are what matters…
Behold the beautiful, full size pans of The Creamy Glow Sculpting Cream, The Creamy Glow Candlelight Cream, The Sculpting Powder in Medium (powder contour) and The Celestial Powder in Candlelight (powder highlighter), though their names are abbreviated in the labels on this packaging. The four eyeshadow shades are Brighten (pearly white), Starlight (light shimmering pink), Cool Tan (light brown), Ruddy Earth (dark red-brown).
The only way this palette could be more perfect would be if it had included a blush (like the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette) and a cool dark brown eyeshadow that could actually have doubled as a brow powder substitute. Volume III designers, I’m looking at you.
In any case, onwards to the swatches:
As you can see, Sculpting Cream is slightly warmer than Sculpting Powder. They aren’t noticeably different on my face, only in heavy swatches. Candlelight Cream is more sheer, less reflective and slightly less golden than Candlelight Powder. The creams sheer out nicely and the powders are finely-milled and blendable, so you can achieve subtle results with either set…or layer them for a more dramatic look.
My skin is oily so my preference is typically for the powder products (I’ve reviewed Candlelight Powder here, as part of my Highlighter Chronicles) but I did get good use out of the creams in cooler weather and can honestly say they are truly forgiving, foolproof and all-around fabulous.
The eyeshadows are all very smooth, pigmented and apply/blend very evenly. I’m so taken by the quality of the mattes that I often find myself using them without the shimmer shades at all. Speaking of which, you might recognise Starlight from The Celestial Powder range – this eyeshadow and the highlighter from their main line are indeed one and the same, which makes this palette even more compelling to a highlighter junkie like me. FYI, this is an extremely heavy finger swatch of Starlight; it sheers out and looks significantly less pink when applied with a fan brush as a highlighter.
Brighten can also be used as a highlighter, though it would work best on fair skin in that capacity as it’s quite a stark white. Candlelight Powder is still my favourite though!
Pricing & Availability: Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II is USD$65 and available at Sephora.com
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