Contouring for Fair Skin

I understand that this post may be a little more ‘niche’ than usual, but not only is finding contour products for pale skin almost impossible, it’s also a problem that I feel I have a lot of knowledge about. As most of you will know, I am THAT pale friend – the one that has to stay on SPF 50 the entire holiday, the one that gets burnt in winter. Now, most contour products, whether they are high end or drugstore, tend to be rather warm-toned even if they are designed for ‘Light’ skin. This proves a biiig problem for the porcelain-skinned, as the it gives an unnatural look; almost like you put bronzer in the wrong place. And trust me, finding cool-toned contour kits is NOT easy… That’s where I come in. In attempt to join the contouring craze of the past few years, I pretty much tried out almost EVERY kit out there, be it £3 or £30, and this is what I’ve found…

My Top Contour Products for Fair Skin

Day to Day

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For a day to day look, you want something a little less dramatic, which equates to ‘a little more blend able’ in makeup talk. Hence, the products that I have selected here are all cream-based products that I love to use for contour. My biggest piece of advice is: don’t worry if it’s intended for contouring or not – don’t be afraid to create a shadow using a deeper foundation or define the cheeks using a cream blush instead.

Clockwise from top left: Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in Camisole Blush, NYX Sculpt and Highlight Duo in Taupe/IvoryRimmel London Scandal Eyes Shadow Stick in Trespassing TaupeMaybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Cameo.

Going Out

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When you’re going out, that is the time for some serious contouring, like damn, create some killer cheekbones even if they’re not natural. For going out, I find that powders generally work much better; they have a longer lasting-power, especially when set with a setting spray. My all time favourite has got to be NYX HD Blush in Taupe (only £5.50 as well!) – it’s cool toned which works perfectly for super fair skin.

Clockwise from top left: Make-up Geek Break Up, NYX HD Blush in Taupe, ABH Cream Kit in Fair, Barry M Chisel Cheeks

and the worst…

Now, I’m not really one for slating products, as I know that most products perform differently on different skin types and colours, however, below I’ve listed a few pieces that you might want to avoid if you’re pale like me; the following, I find, are simply too warm toned:

Face: NYX Shine Killer Primer, Bareminerals Complexion Rescue in Vanilla, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H, MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer in NW15, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15, NYX HD Blush in Taupe, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, NYX HD Blush in Soft Spoken, Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder, Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder Highlight in Grace, Make-up Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Setting Spray.

Eyes and Brows: ABH Brow Wiz in Caramel, Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in 2, Benefit High Beam, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Too Faced Natural Eyes palette, Zoeva Rose Golden Palette, Benefit They’re Real Lash Primer, Icona Milano Emotions Allowed Mascara.

Lips: MAC Lip Liner in Subculture and MAC Kinda Sexy.

What are your must-have contouring products? Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x


Highlighters: My Collection

Todays post, as you’ve probably gathered from the say-it-as-it-is title is all about my highlighter collection. Now, over the past few months, my collection has been growing rapidly – 5 of one type of product is a lot for my budget! However, recently, as I’m slowing falling into the depths of cosmetic addiction, I decided to splash the cash on MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (see my post on it here). The MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter was my first highlighter, at only £3, as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m often dubious about certain new products, like primers and highlighters, for example, hence the budget buy. I received the No7 Skin Illuminator as part of a deal (there’s a ‘free gift’ deal on similar to this one right now when you buy two No7 products at Boots!) , when I purchased No7 Shine-free Primer (£12.50) and No7 Precision Lip Pencil (£6.75). And finally, the mini Benefit highlighters are out of my Party Poppers advent calendar, which my WONDERFUL mother bought for me as a treat (she keeps moaning that I haven’t posted about it yet, so I thought I’d treat her to a mention).

My Highlighter Collection
The Line Up
So, here we have it! First of all, let’s talk about packaging (as this is what usually draws me into a product), never mind all that “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” stuff…

I don’t love the No7 ‘tube’, to be honest; I’m very weary of tubes, because in the past they’ve had a tendency to explode on me, also, I think it makes the product look much cheaper than it actually is (£11). Don’t forget that tubes can be a right pain in the backside to get the right amount of product out of too! Onto MUA, a similar packaging to MAC Skin finish, slightly flimsier, but what do you expect for a £20 price difference?! Simple but sophisticated, in my opinion, this product doesn’t look cheap whatsoever. Next, Watts Up by Benefit –  classically humorous with illustrations of bulbs all over the lipstick-like casing. In my eyes, the strong packaging is very suitable for the solid, but creamy highlighter inside and allows quick and easy application. MAC, oh MAC, how I love you… The matte black casing is just so sophisticated and, for me, simplicity is the key – the only thing better than MAC packaging is MAC special edition packaging! (Think Alluring Aquatics collection.) Finally, High Beam, I’m not really a fan of the brush “nail-polish”-like applicator, as it makes it difficult to apply the same amount of product each time you use it, but the packaging itself is OK. I know that Benefit products are meant to look fun on the outside, but sometimes, like this, they look a bit like a seven-year-old’s first cosmetics kit.


Highlighter Swatches

Swatches: From the bottom, No7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid (£11.00), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (£24.00), MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder (£3.00), Benefit High Beam Highlighter (£19.50), Benefit Watts Up Highlighter (£24.50).

Onto the actual product, wahey, first in line is No7 Skin Illuminator in Peach. This is recommended to be used underneath foundation for a ‘perfectly healthy glow’ or on top for a little highlight, personally, I think it’s a little too shimmery for under foundation, especially for us combination/oily skinned girls. In shade ‘peach’, this has a lovely golden colour and being a creamy liquid highlighter, it’s super easy to blend out. It’s staying power isn’t amazing, but if this is what you want, I would recommend using a powder highlighter anyway. Wonderful for warm undertones and more tanned, beigey skin tones, but for me, this isn’t great.

Next up is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, which is my most recent purchase out of the lot. For the hefty price tag, I don’t expect good things, no, I expect bloody miraculous things! Thankfully, miraculous things is just what it’s given me!  Soft and Gentle is by far my favourite at the moment; it gives you a radiant sparkle and adds glam to even the most natural of looks without looking out of place. Without realising when I bought it, one of my best friends actually adores this product too – using it for cheekbone definition (not that she needs it, that gal has cheek bones of a goddess). I’m amazed at how this shade truly suits any skin tone, and with my skin being so pale, this adds a very subtle hint of colour to my complexion too – which is nice in winter time.

Oooh, time for the bargain buy – it’s only MUA’s Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder! At just £3, the pigmentation of this product, although obviously not as good as the likes of MAC and Hourglass, is unreal! The sparkle-factor of this is just as high as any other luxury brand highlighter; my only dislike is the baby-pink colour of this – it’s not very easy to blend into foundation and can make the highlight look a bit obvious. But, seeing as I love everything else about the MUA highlighter and the quality is such good value for money, I’m definitely up trying this in other shades!

Now, onto Benefit High Beam, a widely adored highlighter. I think this is because, like Soft and Gentle, it suits any skin tone, no matter how fair or dark you are. The thing about this highlighter, is that it’s very VERY subtle thanks to it’s liquid consistency; some people love this, some people hate this. Me? I love it. I would advise wearing this over BB/CC creams and tinted moisturisers to go with the natural and youthful glow it gives.

And finally, let’s talk about Watts Up… (get it?!) In the packaging it appears to be a very quick and easy way of applying highlighter, just like Clinique Chubby Stick Highlighter (£19.00) and Kiko (a brand you MUST try!) Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter (£8.50), but upon application, I discovered that this is pretty hard to blend in due to it’s solid consistency. Additionally, the heavy bronze tone of this highlighter is way too orange for me, especially when it’s difficult to blend out – this would be best for darker or more tanned skin tones, in my opinion. Probably one of those products that I’ll just have to pass on to my less ghostly friends…


What are your favourite highlighters on the market? I need some advice as to what to add to my collection next! Let me know below…

Emilia x