Monday, March 17, 2014

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo Review, Photos and Swatches

Contouring is one of those makeup steps that can be rather intimidating. Or at least I've always thought so. You need to use a colour that's strong enough to make a difference, but you have to make sure to blend it down a lot, so it's just a hint of a shadow. Contouring also always felt like an extra-special step, like putting on false eyelashes. Bronzers are typically used as a contour colour and being fair-skinned and liking the pale look, I've never really used a bronzer. It's also tough to find one that's not orange which would be disastrous on me. 

So when I kept reading about Illamasqua's Sculpting Powder Duo, I was intrigued. I had to buy it. 

It's a compact that contains a contour colour (Heliopolis) and a highlight shade (Lumos) and a mirror so you can carry it with you in your handbag. The contour shade is a neutral brown and quite light, so it works well on lighter skin tones. The Sculpting Powder Duo only comes in one shade combination, and while Heliopolis could be layered for depth, this would work best only on lighter skin tones. Lumos is a champagne shade with a good amount of shimmer so it makes for an excellent highlighter, though again, for skintones on the lighter end of the spectrum.

The Illasmasqua Sculpting Powder Duo is priced at $36 CDN and is available at Bay stores in Canada and online. It can also be ordered online at

Some packaging photos:

The compact itself is Illamasqua's signature packaging, a stylized square black shape with curved edges. It's sexy packaging. The shiny surface will get grimy with fingerprints and product pretty quickly (if you care about that sort of thing). 

I should note that this compact is somewhat frustrating to open. The lip that you have to get your finger into and push upwards to open it is a bit challenging. There's not a lot of room and it's tightly closed. It can take a few tries to get open.

Heliotrope is the bottom shade and Lumos is the top shade. They're pretty close in colour and they're fleshtone shades, so they should blend well into the skin. For daily or special event makeup, you want your contour shades to melt into your skin. It should look like a shadow, not a strong line.

Top: Lumos - shimmering champagne
Bottom: Heliotrope - neutral matte
Heliotrope and Lumos go on very nicely and both are well-pigmented. Lumos is quite powdery and messy when dipping my brush into it which is a bit of a pain. I wish it had more of the consistency of Heliotrope which is almost creamy in texture.

Here they are swatched (NW15-20 skintone).

L-R: Heliotrope, Lumos
I use my Real Techniques Contour Brush to apply Heliotrope just below my cheekbone from my hairline to just where the outside corner of my eye starts if there was a line from it down my cheek. It's OK to apply a few layers and then blend. Heliotrope blends very, very nicely. I couldn't ask for any better and the shade looks very natural on me, which is a relief (many products that are meant for contouring are orangey). You can see in the photos below how softly but distinctly my cheekbones have been defined by Heliotrope. I've also applied a bit of Heliotrope softly down the sides of my nose. And on top of my cheekbones, where the light naturally hits, I've applied Lumos. In the second photo particularly, you can see the glow of it just below my eye. 

Both shades work very well on my skintone. Lumos is easy to play down or up. As I am wearing it in the above photos, I've got a small amount dusted across my cheekbones. It easily can be built up for a more dramatic look. Heliotrope is the same. 

I'll do a blog post in the future about contouring, once I get the hang of doing it on myself. Stay tuned!

Grade: A


1 comment:

  1. I think you were probably confused with the name! Haha. It's Heliopolis, not Heliotrope! :D