My fourth makeup item for 2015 is the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. I’d been wanting this for a while and listing down the stuff I have my eye on makes reasonable shopping easier. Having this limit’s not so bad, either. I’m going to see how well I’ll do once my LMdB sub service finishes (my last month is July), but I’m not so bothered by it. I haven’t been wearing makeup lately, even when I go out of the house. There’s something strangely liberating about that, if I’m honest.
Anyway, the Sculpting Powder is essentially a contour powder, and KA’s Medium is a cool-toned, shadow imitator—something decidedly different from your standard bronzer. I was surprised at how brown it was when I got it, to be honest. I thought it would be much closer to NYX’s Taupe, which I had been using when I contoured. The longevity of that was a bit meh to me, but the color is great. Because it left me wanting, I decided to give this one a go. Prior to Taupe, I’d been using Tarte’s matte version of Park Avenue Princess, which is quite nice but also a lot warmer than both of these. I don’t use that much anymore, and it’s found my way into my sister’s makeup bag.
The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is quite heavily pigmented and can be a bit powdery. It kicks up a fair bit of product when dipping your brush in the pan, which I am incredibly, inexplicably irritated by. It deposits a lot of pigment so one should take care not to overload the brush and over apply. I usually use my NARS Yachiyo Kabuki brush, which is still one of my favorite cheek brushes. As you can see, it’s a very cool-toned brown with just a tiny, tiny bit of grey. I thought it would actually be a bit greyer, but seeing it swatched next to Taupe proves that it’s undoubtedly a straight-up cool medium brown.
Going back to comparisons, the differences between the three products is super apparent here, especially when applied on my skin tone. NYX’s Taupe actually has a tiny, tiny bit of sheen, especially when set against the other two, which are completely matte. Both seem a little chalky, but I think it’s really because most matte powders do feel chalky regardless.
I don’t usually go heavy-handed on the contour… I’ve yet to master the “natural blended” look and tend to prefer a more subtle effect than going to town with shading and looking like a zebra. I’ll get the hang of it, I think. This isn’t the best lighting, probably, but I do love the effect that it gives me. I think that, on my skintone at least, the tone and shade of NYX Taupe probably creates more contrast and a more obvious contour, whereas this is very, very subtle on me.
Compared to NYX Taupe, I find that this actually has a bit of a learning curve to it. It’s not as easy to apply because it’s easy to overapply, since it’s so pigmented. When I’m in a rush, I actually grab for Taupe more since it’s a bit easier to control.
The packaging is a bit clunky, too. The mechanism has a sort of spring in the hinge so that when you press on that gold bit, the lid “automatically” opens up. The gold bit is a little temperamental, though, and it’s just so fiddly. It does look great, though.
On of the things I like about Kevyn Aucoin is also that it’s cruelty-free. I’m still not completely cruelty-free yet, but finding staples that are CF makes me happy.
Have you tried The Sculpting Powder? Am I using it wrong? I like it well enough, but I’m not head-in-the-clouds, stupidly swooning in love with it, really. I’ve had it for a few weeks, so I suppose the only reasonable thing to do is to keep using it and see if I change my mind.
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Well, this is my favourite. I’ve compared this to Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate and I love this one more. You are right about the kick up but keep using it. Great review and comparison!
its such a pretty product ❤
I’m not sure about this one, I’ve read some rave reviews, but seeing that swatch next to my beloved grey/purpley NYX Taupe, it is really very brown.
I’m already cautious blending NYX along my jawline, fearing it might look like 5 o’clock shadow, I think I would be too nervous to use this one.
This is one of my staples !!! 😀 But you and I have different skin tones so that could be a factor. Seriously tho I keep it in my everyday pouch and it plays nicely with the Hakuhodo retractable brush (bought on your reco :p). I use the brush fully extended, dip it in the pan once (!) then pat it under my cheekbones before sweeping to blend. Then I retract til there’s just a bit of brush exposed and pat it into the product again before drawing down the sides of my nose. With the KA celestial powder, I can pretend I have lovely bone structure :p I do find that with both sculpting and highlighting powders, all I need is a tap or two and that’s all the product I need 🙂
i really love this for whatever reason. I find it to be the easiest contour i’ve ever used. not sure how. MAYBE try a different brush? IDK. Good luck! ALSO i’m SO IMPRESSED that this was your 4th makeup item for the year 🙂
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