e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette Review, Swatches, and Unexpected Uses

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

Today I am finally getting around to my review of the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette.  I mentioned this palette in my August Favorites post, but September just flew by for me, so thank you for your patience.  E.l.f. is a brand that I know many of you enjoy, but it can be a pain to get your hands on new products so, though the Studio Contour Palette came out in June, many of you may not have it yet.  Here is what e.l.f. has to say: “This beautiful contour palette holds 4 gorgeous shades to mix and match for a custom, defined look. The pigmented colors are designed for contouring, shading, sculpting, brightening and highlighting the eyes, cheekbones, nose, and jawline to slim and enhance features. Infused with Vitamin E to help nourish for gorgeous-looking skin.”  I’ve had the palette for two months now, and I have a lot of thoughts on it.  Let’s take a closer look.

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

The e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette looks exactly like the e.l.f. Studio Blush Palettes that came out last year.  (Feel free to check out my review and swatches of both Blush Palettes.)  There are four compartments that can snap out of the palette.  From what I can tell, the squares in the Studio Foundation, Blush, Bronzer and Contour Palettes can fit interchangeably so that (theoretically) you can create a full face of makeup in one (rearranged) palette.  At this time e.l.f. isn’t selling refill product squares, but you never know what the future holds.  The Studio Contour Palette contains a good quality mirror.  You could definitely use this to do your makeup in a pinch if you aren’t in front of a full sized mirror.  Added bonus, the mirror keeps its position at any angle, so it’s actually a really valuable part of these palettes.  It’s a little larger than I like to carry around with me, but I can’t really complain about the packaging.  Now on to the product itself.

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

The Studio Contour Palette contains four shades, and I want to talk about each individually.

The satin shimmer highlight shade has a white gold tone that is very subtle, but also very pretty.  I love this highlight.  I am not someone who goes for a super shimmery highlight.  TheBalm Mary Luminizer, for example, is too much shimmer for my taste.  I find that this highlight is just enough to give my skin a lovely luminescence, without making me look like a sparkly unicorn.  No glitter or obvious shimmer particles, just a radiant glow.

The second shade in the palette can be used as a setting powder or a matte highlight, depending on your skin tone.  It has a buttery yellow undertone, but is pretty neutral.  For me, it is best suited as a setting powder.  Personally, I think that this shade is a dud.  I found it to be very chalky and much more powdery than the other three shades.  I don’t know what happened here because it seems to have a completely different formula than the other three shades.  It’s hard to believe that they are in the same palette.  It is very easy to apply too much of this product and it looks chalky when you do.  It works pretty well as a matte browbone highlight, but otherwise I am not a fan.

The bronzer shade is a warm terra-cotta color and is pretty light.  Those with fair skin will have no problems wearing this shade, but tan and medium skin tones will have a hard time seeing this shade on the skin.  It reminds me very much of NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny.  It’s a very user-friendly bronzer if you can pull off warm tones.

The final shade is a contour shade that is on the cooler side of neutral in tone.  It is similar in depth as Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, maybe a little lighter.  I believe that those with fair skin will need to be careful when applying this shade because it could easily overwhelm them.  Those with light or medium skin will probably have great luck with this shade unless they have very warm undertones in their skin.  I don’t think the shade is too cool for most people, but it may look muddy on those with very warm skin tones.  The shade will probably be too light for those with darker skin.

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

Here are some very heavy swatches on my hand.  My lighting was a little off as the sun was setting, so I had to pile on the product.  The two darker shades are silky smooth and great quality for a $6 palette.  The first highlight shade looks best with a lighter application, but is still a good quality product.  We’ve already discussed the matte highlight, so let’s move on.  All in all, I think the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette can be a good option for some of you.  Those with Light and Medium skin tones will have the best luck with it, with some Fair and Tan skinned people able to make it work for them as well.  I hope e.l.f. release more shades in the future to accommodate darker skinned customers.  I have see online that the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette is a dead-on dupe for the Smashbox Contour Palette, though I can not personally confirm that.  I don’t contour every time I do my makeup, but I am glad to have the Studio Contour Palette.  I enjoy it.

One way to get a little more bang for your buck and to be able to use the shades in the palette that might not work so well on your cheek is to use the Contour Palette as eyeshadow.  You can create a neutral, everyday look quite easily with these shades.  The contour color looks beautiful as a crease shade, and the matte highlight works well as a browbone highlight.  I’ve used the Studio Contour Palette on my eyes on days when I was just running errands and wanted something simple and it totally worked  out for me.

I hope that you found this review helpful.  I do not think that the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette is a must-have, but I like it and get good use out of it.  If you are curious about contour palettes, but don’t want to spend $40+ on one, this is a great choice.  That having been said, however, I don’t think that these shades are particularly unique.  You may have similar products in your collection already.  If you already own Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, you may not want to bother.  It really depends on what you have in your collection as to whether the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette is worth the $6.  I do think that those of you who decide to buy it will enjoy it.  I do.  If you have the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette, let us know what you think in the comments below.  E.l.f. is pretty hit and miss in people’s opinions, so I’d love to know your thoughts.


About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

2 responses »

  1. I bought this and have been playing with it for a couple of months now. I have mixed feelings about it. I actually think these powders are more pigmented than the ones in my It Cosmetics contouring palette, and I don’t have to work as hard to build them up. But the staying power is lousy! The contouring shades disappear on me after 4 or 5 hours. I actually like the matte highlight, though; I use it to set my undereye area, and it works well.

    Overall I’d say it’s a good buy for $6. I just wish they’d make replacement pans available for this palette (and the blush palettes, too)!

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