I love me some contour powder but the right color for my skin tone is hard to find. I’ve been using a shaping powder by Inglot for years now and the color is perfect. However, it’s been hard to get my hands on it. I also like to try new things, so I decided to buy the MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette. Yes, that’s an unnecessary long name for a contour palette. But there yah go, this is the contour palette I bought during the black Friday sale last November. It was actually pretty affordable with the discount, but is it worth the full price? Check my review to find out!
Product: MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette in medium dark/dark.
Brand: MAC cosmetics
Promise: This expertly edited palette contains three matte contouring powders and three subtly shimmery highlighting powders to sculpt, shape and enhance your facial features. Each highlighting shade contains soft-focus technology to softly reflect light while the contouring colours provide sheer coverage to create natural-looking shadows. The effect: maximum impact with minimal texture, according to the MAC website.
Price: $39,50 or €39,50 in Europe.
Where to buy: At Douglas or Bijenkorf in Europe, at Bloomingdales and Nordstrom in the US and Harrods for the UK.
Why I bought it
After doing a lot of research, I found that the MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette has the best shades for my skin tone. I’m quite pale with a very strong yellow undertone, especially during the summer. Most contour powders are too orange and warm for my skin. I always prefer shades that mimic actual shade. This means I always end up with very cool toned, taupe and almost grey powders. Let me tell you, those are hard to find but this palette comes very close!
If you are looking for a contour palette with a lot of shades, the MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette is a good option. They have two color options and I chose medium dark. In this palette you will find six shades: Soft focus, Lightsweep, Warm light, Shadester, Shadowy and Definitive. I mainly bought this palette for Shadowy. That is a very dark and cool toned contour powder that looks a lot like my old one. Bonus points for that! I can also appreciate Lightsweep, Shadester and Definitive depending on the season and the state of my skintone.
If you have a skin tone that changes a lot during the seasons, I think this palette could suite your needs. Because the shade selection in the MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette is quite versatile. Being able to mix the shades makes this palette very suitable for different skin tones from light to dark. I personally mix two shades a lot and I consider that a plus. As a make-up artist I would also appreciate the shade selection as you’d work with different skin tones all the time. One palette could definitely get you very far!
Let’s talk pigment, because MAC does not disappoint. All the shades in this palette are very pigmented, but be aware of Soft Focus and Warm light. Those two are quite sheer and might not give you the same results as the actual contour shades. Let’s have a quick chat about the packaging which is very sturdy. MAC does not disappoint when it comes to packaging. You can easily bring this palette with you in your bag without having to be too worried about powders shattering. The big mirror is actually really clear and big enough to use on the road.
I also like they printed the shade names on the lid, so you know which ones you’re using. I found another benefit of the MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette. The contour shades in this palette stay put all day long! I went to the gym with these contour powders on my face twice, and my face still looked flawless afterwards. Although I don’t sweat too much, I definitely do move around and touch my face a lot. I expected some smudging and less intense colors, but nope! These contour powders didn’t budge!
I get why they sell a palette with six shades: People like options. To be honest, I find it a waste of money. Mainly because I’m a make-up artist and a minimalist, which is a weird combination. Trust me, I know! Because as a make-up artist I want a lot of choices. As a consumer and minimalist, I just want the contour shades I actually use. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to sell these shades individually in the Netherlands, otherwise I would have just bought Shadowy. And I’d be very happy with just that shade, as I have plenty of highlights and blushes ready to go!
Let’s talk shade selection: Soft focus and Warm light don’t make much sense in my opinion. Soft focus is too yellow to act as a highlight and Warm light is very orange. These two are also quite sheer, but even as a soft glow I don’t see the point!? It barely adds anything to the contour process. Even on other skin tones I fail to see how these colors would help you contour your face. That also has to do with my philosophy about contouring: It’s all about creating shade and lighter areas, there’s no color involved.
I also think the texture of the contour shades could be better. A little bit of powder goes a long way, but I don’t find them very blendable. I often struggle with blending these contour shades and it annoys me like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve noticed it depends on the foundation I’m wearing. The MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette works better on my favorite Chanel foundation. My Estee Lauder Double wear foundation seems to be ‘too textured.’ It holds on to powders super well, but that’s not very handy when it comes to these MAC contour powders. I’ve often had to blend my contour lines a little too long for my liking. Just to make sure it doesn’t look too striped or chalky.
The MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette is not a bad option. I would not buy it again though. There are too many shades in this palette I don’t use because they make no sense to me personally. As a make-up artist I would like this palette and I might buy it again for my kit. In this case I have to say that buying this palette depends on your needs. If you just want one good contour powder, I’d suggest saving your money and just buy that one powder. If you like options, playing around with shades or work as a make-up artist, this palette is a good purchase.
As mentioned, these contour powders are very pigmented and long lasting. However, they behave different depending on the foundation you use. I personally like them best over a light to medium coverage foundation that doesn’t mattify too much. This helps the contour shades come out very nice. They can look a bit chalky and dry over mattifying foundations. If MAC released a three-shade palette with Shadester, Shadowy and Definitive I’d buy it in a heartbeat. The other shades just don’t cut it for me, therefore the full MAC studio fix sculpt and shape contour palette isn’t going on my personal holy grail list.
What do you think about this palette?