MAC just launched four new contouring trios they call All the Right Angles Contour Palettes ($40 each). Each palette has three products cased in a two-tiered mirrored square compact to contour, shape and highlight with one Cream Color Base (4.5 g/0.15 oz) on the bottom, and on the top one Sculpting Powder (2.5 g/0.08 oz) and one Shaping Powder (2.5 g/0.08 oz). All the colors in this launch appear to be available for purchase individually with the exception of one of the Cream Color Bases in the Medium Dark Palette (Naked Universe) – so you may want to keep that in mind before buying one. MAC sent me Light as a press sample which I found too pale for my medium olive skin so I ordered the other three to review – partly because these are perfectly packaged for travel and also because I’m a huge fan of the cream color bases. Many of you have asked me what makeup items I’ve used up. At this point it’s hard to remember every single thing I’ve used up and repurchased, but I have used up several cream color bases in the past (Hush, Tint, Improper Copper, Virgin Isle). I think they make great bases for powder eyeshadow or as a blush highlighter.
Onto the products in each palettes – the quality and texture of the products in the palette is the same as the individual options. For those new these products, I’ll give a mini review on each in case you haven’t tried any of the items before. Cream Color Bases retail for $22 (or $14 in Pro Palette Form). These are emollient solid cream based products that gives a soft dewy finish of color or highlight. They are extremely versatile and can be used on eyes, lips or cheeks and work well on bare skin or over powder/foundation. If you have oily skin you may find they get a bit shiny by mid-day. For my normal combination skin they last all day without fading or budging.
Sculpting Powders are available in several different formats as well. In the past they have been available separately similar to the MAC blushes. As of now they are mostly available in Pro Palette Form for $17 each or in Sculpt and Shape Duos for $22. These are semi-sheer matte powders that are darker in color designed to create natural looking shadows. I find these are best applied with a light and loose fluffy brush and also with a light hand – they go on the skin smoothly but as with any darker colored powder you want to lightly sculpt and build to create natural dimension.
Shaping Powders are lighter in color compared to the Sculpting Powders. They are are available individually in similar formats to the the Sculpting Powders with most of the Shaping Powder shades available in Pro Palette Form. The Shaping Powders have an ultra fine shimmer in them – but on my skin they have more of a satiny finish. The shimmer gives the powders depth and dimension. Finish is semi-sheer but buildable.
When it comes to contouring I’m a less is more kind of girl. I can definitely improve my technique and take more time to carefully contour the face or nose for a more polished look – but in the mornings when I’m in a rush I feel like contouring is an extra step I don’t have time for. I often do add a bit of a darker powder or bronzer as a soft contour applied in loose soft sweeping motions around the edges of my face to add depth, but I rarely take the time to do an actual contour along the cheekbones, nose or eyes. I think proper contouring takes time to blend – it’s something I’m just honestly too lazy to do on a daily basis. If you already own a number of contouring powders (ie from MAC, NARS or Kat Von D) I will say up front that you probably don’t need the new MAC All the Right Angles Contour Palettes as they will replicate what you have. I do appreciate that MAC has launched these in travel-friendly packaging and that they have created four options for different skintones. It simplifies the contour/highlight options based on your skintone to three key shades rather than having a large palette of several colors you may never use.
Onto swatches of the palettes side by side and then close ups of each option:
Cream Color Base in Luna which is a pale white pearl
Shaping Powder in Emphasize a soft white cream shimmer
Sculpting Powder in Bone Beige a soft warm-toned brown
Cream Color Base in Hush which is a champagne peach pearl
Shaping Powder in Accentuate is a peachy cream
Sculpting Powder in Sculpt is a soft brown taupe matte
Medium Dark has:
Cream Color Base in Naked Universe which is a tan gold shimmer
Shaping Powder in Lightsweep is a medium beige pearl
Sculpting Powder in Shadester is a deep medium warm brown
Cream Color Base in Improper Copper which is peachy copper shimmer
Shaping Powder in Warm Light is a medium peach
Sculpting Powder in Definitive which is a neutral deep brown
Many have asked what my MAC shade is – if you’ve read my blog over the years you know that I cannot wear MAC foundations or powder foundations because I’m allergic to their formulas. It’s been at least 5-6 years since I’ve last tried a MAC foundation and depending on what time of year it was that I was matched, I’ve been anywhere from MAC NC30, NC35, C3, C30, C35 to C40. Bottom line is I really have no idea what MAC shade I am – but I’m usually within the medium olive tone range. Right now I’m in between NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz or a Becca Aqua Luminous in Beige and for the MAC All the Right Angles Palettes, the best one for me is Medium. In Chanel I’m the Velvet Perfection Lumiere in 30 Beige. For Tom Ford I’m best matched to the Traceless Perfecting Foundation in 04 Bisque.
For tools, I like to apply the Cream Color Base with fingers on the eyes or cheeks – it can be a bit messy but it’s what I like best. For the Sculpt or Shaping Powders – the compact is on the small side so taking a large fluffy brush will most likely mix the colors. I’ve found the MAC 116 Blush Brush, MAC 118 Small Duo Fibre or Wayne Goss Brush 02 work best of you want to apply on the cheeks. If you want more detailed highlighting or eye contour – any eyeshadow brush works.
If you’re looking for a simplified contour palette with a shaping powder, sculpting powder and cream highlighter that’s versatile and travel-friendly, these are great. If you already own a lot of contouring products these will probably replicate many of the colors you already own. In terms of contouring powders go I think MAC is on par with the Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Duos for quality and having a natural look – the Marc Jacobs powders are softer and have a more velvetly matte finish while the MAC is harder in texture with a slight shimmer in the Shaping Powders. I feel the texture of the Marc Jacobs is more velvety and powdery and some of the light shades can almost be used as a setting powder for under eyes while the MAC has a more natural less matte look if that makes sense.
You can find the MAC All the Right Angles Contouring Palettes for $40 each at all MAC counters. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
Have you checked these out yet? If not – have you tried any of the Cream Color Bases, Sculpting Powders or Shaping Powders from previous launches?
Light sent as a press sample. Other shades purchased by me.