Some types of makeup (glitter shadows! aqua liner! black lipstick!) are made to be seen. Contour powder and blush are not among them. Not that I'm ashamed of my elaborate makeup routine, but I personally would rather have people notice my chiseled cheekbones than the three layers of brown powder I used to get them. And for that, I rely on Make Up For Ever's new sculpting trio.
Since using it, people have been telling me that my face looks brighter, clearer, and more awake — but the truth is, nothing's changed in my routine but this palette. If anything, I've been traveling more and getting less sleep (averaging five hours a night). But, thanks to this, no one needs to know that.
The powders themselves are soft and silky, almost identical in texture to the brand's cult HD powder and pigmented like the brand's eye shadows. They sweep onto the skin easily and seem to melt into my face, never looking patchy, powdery, dry, or overly sparkly. But what truly makes them different than any of the other 5,035 other contouring kits I've tried is how flattering the colors are. Because you can customize your own unique palette, there are seemingly endless combinations of shades you can mix and match for the most believable effect for your specific complexion. Personally, I've found that H106 (a pearly champagne highlighter), S214 (a soft, rose-colored blush), and S116 (a cool-toned, brown contouring powder) most complement my fair, yellow-undertoned skin.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that these pans of pressed powder have changed my life, but I will say that it's not every day a blush and bronzer excite me the way that these do. And if it means I'll keep fielding compliments from strangers, I'll sure as hell keep using 'em.
Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color Highlight, Sculpt, and Blush Powder 3-Pan Palette, $45, available at Sephora.