What it is: Sephora Collection Colorful Contour Matte Powder in Fair to Light is a very cool toned contouring powder with sheer, buildable color payoff and a nearly matte finish.
Price/Quantity: $14 for 0.12 oz / 3.5 g
Availability: Sephora, Kohl’s
Shade Range: This product comes in 4 shades. I chose the lightest (and I presume the coolest) of them. Looking at the shades on the product page, it looks like they aren’t all so incredibly grey-toned.
Packaging: Clear plastic compact with a snap closure. It’s fairly large and very easily allows me to fit a large fluffy brush into the pan. It feels lightweight but decent enough quality that I don’t feel I will break it easily. The pan is not easily removable as it is pressed into the compact with adhesive dots. With careful patience and some precision tools, it could probably be maneuvered out if you really wanted to.
Smell/Fragrance: Even if I get really close and try hard to see if there is any smell or fragrance, there is very nearly zero smell to it.
Expiration/Shelf Life: I don’t see any indication of shelf life on the packaging.
Mica, Kaolin, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Microcrystalline Cellulose, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), C13-15 Alkane, CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ethylhexylglycerin, Sorbic Acid, CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), Aluminum Hydroxide, CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, CI 15850 (Red 7), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).Sephora.com
Shade: Fair to Light is a light greyish taupe with an ultra subtle purplish tone and a nearly-matte finish. Of all the contours I have tried this truly is the coolest-toned, greyest one yet. It does not have red/rosy tones like many “cool toned” contours do and it doesn’t warm up in color on my complexion as I blend it out. It stays truly greyish/cool as I complete application. I mention the purplish tone only because it is noticeable when swatched alongside other contours I have, but I do not notice any purple tones with actual use on the cheek or eye. The matte finish is not dry or flat looking but I also do not pick up on any visible shimmer or pearl particles in most lighting situations. The only time I see any hint of sparkle is with overhead pot lights. Window light and diffused studio lights do not show these sparkles at all.
Application: I have only used this a handful of times and in a couple of ways but I have found it easy to work with. It applies much more evenly than I was expecting for being so grey and blends out well without patchiness. As a cheek contour, I have been using it with a Morphe M510 brush, which is a fluffy brush that is smaller than a blush brush but larger than a fluffy eyeshadow brush. It allows me to pick the product up lightly and apply it a little more precisely than I would apply a blush. I’ve also used this as eyeshadow and found it picked up well on a flat shader and blended well with a crease brush. Color applies sheer, builds up gently and slowly, and diffuses gracefully. It is definitely possible to over apply this though! If I build it up too much, I go past “believable shadow” to “is that eyeshadow on my cheek?” before I realize it. The fact that this is pretty sheer is absolutely a good thing.
Texture/Finish: Sephora describes this as being ultra-fine and I have to agree. Running my finger over the pan, I feel zero grittiness and powder picks up in a thin, even layer without feeling dry or dusty. I get very little mess or powder kickup when tapping a brush into the pan. I have to dig into the pan repeatedly with a brush before I start seeing loose powder collect on the surface.
Pigmentation/Color Payoff: Sheer but buildable. Adheres well and evenly though.
Pros and Cons
Things I like:
- As contours go, this is extraordinarily cool-toned, which is difficult to find.
- Sheer pigmentation makes application nearly fool-proof.
- Color applies evenly and blends out without patchiness.
- Really nice texture. Very fine, smooth powder.
- Nice large pan with a good amount of product.
- Reasonable price.
Drawbacks and other considerations:
- It can be over applied in a way that is jarring compared to an over applied bronzer. The grey tone is really stark against the color of skin when it is layered on too heavily. It’s not super easy to overdo though and once you figure out where that limit is, it’s pretty easy to avoid overdoing it again.
- A few other reviewers mentioned this not being truly matte. There is a very small amount of fine shimmer that occasionally shows in certain lighting. I don’t find it obvious or pervasive enough to interfere with the general matte effect though.
Do I Recommend It?
Yes. If you struggle to find a truly cool-toned contour, this one is worth trying. I kind of expected them to get the color right but I am pleasantly surprised that the quality is also really nice and for a fair price.
From left to right, what I have swatched above is:
- Sephora Collection Colorful Contour Matte Powder in Fair to Light
- Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer in Amber
- L.A. Girl Just Blushing Blush in Just Because
- Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette in Light/Medium (lightest shade swatched)
- Loreal Infallible Pro Contour Palette in 813 Light
- Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Light
- Essence Contouring Duo Palette in 10 Lighter Skin
- NYX 3 Steps To Sculpt Palette in Fair
- Nars Contouring Blush Duo in Olympia
Note: Anything not linked above is either discontinued for sure or is likely discontinued. Most of them seem to be findable through third party sellers though.
L.A. Girl Just Because is the closest shade I have to the Sephora contour and for a long time it was the best cool-toned option I had.
Fenty Amber is also a great option that I love but this one warms up on me as I blend it out. In the pan it looks pretty grey and similar to the Sephora contour but as I sheer it out on the skin, it begins to look more olive toned. Although it changes color, any warmth I get from this is very subtle.
Kevyn Aucoin, Essence and NYX all have that tiny bit of red in them that kind of bothers me and makes them not really contour-y in my opinion.
Fiona Stiles was my *favorite* for a long time and I still find it to be unique in lightness and tone. Very sad this was discontinued.
L’Oréal is pretty good and mostly cool-toned. It also has a sheer buildable quality but I hate the split pan. I would have loved this to be a single contour shade separate from the highlighter.
Nars Olympia isn’t really much like the others but I threw it in just to help see the difference in tones a little better.