Finally! I got my hands on the NYX Highlight and Contour palette . . . and no, not from a third-party seller or freight-forwarding company . . . I got it from Clicks! I don’t do many drugstore product reviews on my blog. It’s not because I don’t like drugstore makeup, I only BUY what I like or am curious about. I just needed to clarify that because I do get backlash sometimes for being ‘a makeup snob’ and only doing ‘high-end’ reviews. (Search the blog, I review and have YouTube tutorials using drugstore makeup)
Back to regular programming, I was with my friend at Sandton City recently when we, on our way home, decided to go to Clicks to just ‘browse’. I know that more often than not, the NYX stands are empty (NYX is sold exclusively at Clicks). The words ‘no stock’ is a phrase we have come to know better than the letters of the alphabet.
Sometimes, the shelves are re-stocked in like 4 months, that’s if you’re lucky? If the NYX shelves get stocked earlier, girl, you better take the Powerball and the lottery because that means, Lady Luck, is shining on you!
Ooooooh, I backtracked . . . anywhoo, so when I saw this bad boy (the NYX Highlight and Contour palette), I grabbed it and held it to my chest like a mother protecting her first-born son!
The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro palette has four highlight powders on the top row and four contour powders at the bottom. Depending on your skin tone this could be a warm-and cool-toned eye shadow palette with delightful transition shades or a bronzing palette.
Luckily though, the pans pop out and you can buy re-fills, which I have yet to see in stores but (crossing fingers and not holding my breath) they hit the shelves.
The packaging is a bit bulky for travel. It’s built for wear and tear because it is quite heavy. It has a clear plastic cover so you can see the powders.
The names of the shades are at the back of the palette.
The contour and highlighting guide is on the cardboard packaging, which I will definitely bin, I wish the guide was on the back of the palette , you know, for those people who DON’T collect cardboard boxes. There is plenty of space for it . . . but it is what it is . . .
Two of the four highlighters have shimmer to them. One shade in particular pops and the other, well, on my skin, was a big, fat DUD! Stop looking so shocked! You know I have no filter? That said, the highlight powders are soft and smooth but do kick up dust.
The contour powders all have a semi-matte to satin finish, so, none were totally matte, and the shades looked natural on the skin. This kicks up dust too . . .
Blending? Well, MMMM , ja . . . .eish . . .
The Right Hand side of the palette: Clockwise: Cream, Nectar, Sculpt, Hollow
Cream is warm yellow that is not matte, but not satin, it’s deciding where to go! It isn’t as sheer as Soft Light. It is super pigmented so mixing it with Cream sheers it out both in texture and pigment. It blends easily and has a smooth texture. It is that yellow powder we have all been waiting for in a drugstore palette! Love it!
Nectar is peach with warm undertones that is more matte than shimmer. It was chalky and brightened my skin but didn’t have any sheen. It was very disappointing because I thought this would be a great highlighter for dark skin. (dud . . . waste of space, I know I’m still hanging onto the anger . . . I will let it go now . . . .)
Sculpt is taupe with neutral undertones. It still has a satin finish but it doesn’t have a sheen and leans more to matte. It looks completely grey on the pan but it has a brown undertone to it. The texture is smooth and while it wasn’t chalky, it was difficult to blend. It is highly pigmented, perhaps too pigmented.
Hollow is deep brown with red undertones and satin finish. It is smooth to the touch, applies easily, is very pigmented, and long lasting . . .but is too difficult to blend out. I couldn’t even blend out the edges of the contour. It looked muddy on my skin, it was just a hot mess.
Left Hand Side of the palette ( Clockwise) Ice Queen, Soft light, Toffee, Tan
Ice Queen is white with a frosted finish. I didn’t have high hopes for this shade but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it blended and added a glow to my face. It has a smooth texture and doesn’t look like anything special in the pan. It is also long lasting and I went about 7 hours before any noticeable fading.
Soft Light is sheer beige with satin finish. Again, this looked like it wouldn’t up on my skin but it did! It worked well to clean up my contour. Mixing this shade in with Cream, the yellow shade in the palette, also made for an excellent combo, especially for the under-eye area.
Tan is warm brown with a satin finish. It is very smooth and blends decently when used as a bronzer. It’s long lasting and very opaque applied to the face.
Toffee is a yellow-toned brown. There is a bit of shimmer in it, definitely one to use as a bronzer. The texture is slightly heavier than the other contour powders, it is long lasting and easy to blend.
The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette is a good palette. It has highly pigmented shades and the shade selection is pretty universal in my books. The contour shades and Cream are extremely opaque, even on my skin.
There is a lot of fallout and you just have to tap your brush into a pan and it kicks up dust and spills all over the place. However, I had same issue with the Smashbox Contour Kit. Review is here.
The shade Ice Queen is a beautiful highlighter that I think is glowy and subtle but still makes a statement.
Nectar was a definite pass for me. I wouldn’t use it as a highlighter. Hell, I wouldn’t have it in the palette! Since it’s there, I would use it to set my eye shadow base or dust it over my face make up to set it (if you are dark like me, peach-toned powders will brighten the skin), because there is no noticeable shimmer.
The ‘bronzers’, Tan and Toffee are amazing. Yes, they will require a bit more blending, but you can make it work.
However, the other two contour powders, Sculpt and Hollow, (Haibo! Voetsek! Nee man!) are ridiculously difficult to blend out. I used every brush I own and only with a MAC 187 (large stippling brush) was I able to blend out the edges of my contour! Sometimes super-pigmented and long-lasting is not always good, if the product is s#$#%t because the ish won’t come off.
TIP If you use a light hand and a fan brush, you can make this work. Just don’t go in for the kill and apply too much products.
So it got me thinking about highlight and contouring powders in general. There’s a key element we often miss when we talk about highlight and contouring powders. This is the foundation and concealer we use under these powders. When I used my L’Oreal True Match, (I hate that foundation but it’s a great way to test products) it wouldn’t blend out, it looked patchy and like I had a splotch of dirt under my cheekbones.
However, when I wore it over my L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte, which has a demi-matte finish, it was still was difficult to blend but with a bit more effort, I got better results.
I therefore came to the conclusion that if you use this over a dewy, luminous foundation that is not set well with powder, the contour powders melt into the foundation and become part of the foundation, making it difficult to blend out. It’s like trying to remove oats from a crunchie (sorry, that’s the only analogy that comes to mind)
However, if the foundation has a matte finish, the powders are able to sit on top of the foundation as a thin overlay and is easier to blend out. The same applies to concealer. However, when used over that matte foundation, the intensity of Ice Queen was dimmed but still showed up well. But, Lord, it was beacon of light when I used it over the dewy foundation (L’Oreal True Match).
Do I regret my purchase? No. Because I generally wear matte, full coverage foundations. Skip this if you like to wear dewy and luminous foundations without setting with powder!
Where to buy: NYX counters and Clicks stores
Price: R395 (she’s not to ssssspensive or sshheeep, she’s right!)
Have you tried the NYX Pro Highlight and Contour palette? Do you think I’m a horrible person for hating on Nectar? Do you think you would buy it? Let me know down below.
Until next time,
Stay blessed and beautiful
Love you all to the moon, the sun and the stars,
(PS: I am thinking of doing a demo on my YouTube channel:)