The Essence Contouring Duo is one of a few new things I picked up in December. I’m always on the lookout for new contouring products because I feel like there aren’t that many out there that fit what I’m looking for. So many of them are yellow or orange toned against my complexion and end up being bronzers on me. Unfortunately, that is the case with this one as well.
As for the performance, the product works well on me. The powders are soft and smooth and have just the right amount of color payoff while being easy to blend. The deeper shade has a subtle warmth to it that is just barely in bronzer territory. If you have a very warm skin tone, then it might work for you as a contour. It goes on the skin evenly and quickly without any patchiness. The lighter shade in the duo is too dark on me to be used as a matte highlight (and I really don’t like matte highlights anyway). It happens to be a good tone to use as a corrector for the green veins on the inner corners of my eyes so that is what I’ve been using it for. It could also be used to help blend out the deeper shade if you get too heavy handed with it but that shade blends easily enough on its own that it doesn’t need the help of the lighter powder.
These are available 2 variations – one for lighter skin and one for deeper skin and retail for $5.99. Not a bad budget option if you think the shades will be a good fit for you.
Before & After
For the after, this is applied a little bit heavier than I would normally wear it. It can be applied more lightly if you prefer a more natural look.
Dupes and Comparisons
These are some of the other contouring products I have in my collection along with comparison swatches. For the swatches, I only included the deeper shade from the Essence Contouring Duo and the cooler toned shades in any palettes you see in the photo.
Swatches from left to right are:
- Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Light – Similar level of warmth as the Essence powder.
- Physicians Formula Matte Sculpting Palette – The middle shade is a little bit more red than Essence. Quite an old product, not easy to find anymore.
- Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette in Light/Medium – I swatched the lightest of the three shades. This is one of my all time favorites but is REALLY hard to find. Much lighter/sheerer and more neutral against my skin tone.
- Essence Contouring Duo in 10 Lighter Skin – The deeper shade has an orange undertone. It doesn’t look “orange” on me though, just a little warm.
- LA Girl Just Blushing Blush in Just Because – Another favorite that is actually a contour on me.
- NYX Blush in Taupe – More red toned than Essence.
- Loreal Infallible Pro Contour Palette in Light – Discontinued but you possibly may still be able to find it. The tone of this is also red but it is sheer enough to look very natural. Not a fan of the split pan though.
- Fenty Freestyle Cream Bronzer in Amber – I really like this product as well but it walks the line between contour and bronzer on me. In the pan, it looks very grey but the more I blend and sheer it out, the more yellowy/olive toned it looks.