Friday, August 10, 2012

NYX Cosmetics Powder Blush in Taupe and Raisin used for Contouring - Review, Pictures, Swatches

NYX Raisin
NYX Taupe
During the Most Expensive Face Challenge I showed you two blushes I used to provide contour to my face.  But for Day to Day use I actually use a much less expensive alternative. NYX Cosmetics Powder Blushes.  They come n the familiar square compact with the quilted pattern in the powder.  These incredibly well pigmented powder blushes cost anywhere from $7 to $5 USD and you get a lot of product for your money.

Before I get into how and which blushes I use to contour I want to show you WHAT on my face I contour. I found out about contouring from the late, great Kevyn Aucoin.  The first book I purchased by him was called Making Faces.  That is an awesome book where Mr. Aucoin transforms celebrities into OTHER celebrities.  So intrigued by his talent I picked his other book Face Forward  Let me tell you. This book has a wealth of information in it.  Contouring is one of those important nuggets of information.  Contouring is a technique that helps recreate natural shadows on the face after using foundation that could otherwise leave your face looking flat, two dimensional or too monochromatic.   The face has natural areas that create light and dark shadows.  When we apply one shade of foundation we mask these shadows. By adding the shadows back to the face using darker and lighter products we bring out that natural sculpted look to the face. I find that when wearing full coverage foundations (like I do) it is an essential step in creating polished and more natural look.

Mr. Aucoin's book Face Forward has a very famous face chart on where to apply contour and highlight.  I don't think I have the rights to use that chart so I recreated it using my own face and a little Photoshop added "paint brush" application.  As you can see in the over exaggerated chart above, the dark lines show the strategic places to add contour and the white lines show where to add highlight.  However where you add your own contour and highlights may be different as you may want to highlight or shadow different parts of the face...but for the most part the chart above shows where most contour and highlight is placed on the face.  For example. I do not highlight down the bridge of my nose or on my forehead a) because I fairly pale so it's light enough already and b) because I am fairly oily and my skin will produce its own shine sooner or later.  I also contour the area above my lips between my cupids bow.  This does not normally stand out on my face so I like to create a bit more depth in that area to define my lips even more.

NYX Raisin
When I contour I choose a darker, matte color. That's why the NYX Powder Blushes are great for contour as they are matte and do come in some very common contouring shades. NYX Taupe blush is good for almost anyone as a contour.  Remember to use a light hand in application and BLEND or else you end up looking like a reject from the 1980's blush disaster era. Want to see pictures from a makeup book from the 1980's?  Check out this link.  It's scary. I promise.

NYX Taupe


So anyway, NYX Taupe is a great all around contour blush that works for almost anyone.  Unless you are like me and you are a special snowflake so you have to make things difficult, then you might want to turn to another NYX Blush called Raisin.  Raisin is more red based but still very dark.  I have A LOT of red in my skin and sometimes a brown blush does not look "natural"  That's when I like to layer certain areas with a more red toned contour.  This is a personal preference. I am not saying you should or have to use the Raisin blush, but it's what I use and it works for me.

NYX Raisin
The NYX Powder Blushes can be purchased at a variety of locations, but I find that Cherry Culture has the best selection and prices.  However, their shipping is INCREDIBLY slow. If you need something right away, this place may not be the best to order from.  I waited a couple of WEEKS to get my order of two blushes. It was agony for an instant gratification/Veruca Salt/I Want it NOW type of person that I am.
NYX Taupe
I like to use the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush when applying the NYX Powder blushes as a contour.  It's the smaller version of the MAC 187 Brush. It is often referred to as a Skunk Brush.  The brush is perfect for highly pigmented powders because it picks up just a little of the product and effortlessly blends while applying.  It's also smaller and thinner than the 187 brush and able to apply in the hollows of the cheeks and along the sides of the nose without making me look like a clown with too much blush all over my face,  Of course you can always use the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Contour Brush but I have not personally used it so I can't say if it works better or not.

No matter what brush you choose, what method of contouring you choose, and what type of product you use to contour (Blush, Creme Blush, Darker Foundation, Contouring Powder, etc.) Remember the Less Is More rule.  You don't want to make it obvious that you have contoured. you want to make it look as natural as possible....and subtle is better! 

Do you NEED this?  YES!  The NYX Powder blushes are incredibly well pigmented, the are easy to apply, they are perfect for contour and the cost on average $6!  You can't go wrong with spending as little as $6 on a blush!  In face Cherry Culture is having a sale and you can get them for only $5 right now!

Do you contour your face when you apply makeup?  Have you always wanted to but never tried?  What's your favorite tutorial on contouring on youtube or on another blog? What products do you use to contour?  Let us all know in the comments section.



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18 comments:

  1. Kevyn Aucoin's "Face Forward" was my first book on makeup and I still regard it as one of the best. Even when wearing light makeup, I always use a little blush and a little bronzer.. Foundation in itself may improve one's appearance, but it's contouring that really gives that healthy and appealing glow!

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  2. I only use highlighting on my face. I found contouring is a bit too much for daily wear. Unless I'm going to an event and I will be photographed, I will contour my face.

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  3. Thanks for this really informative post! I am pretty clueless when it comes to advanced techniques, so this helped a lot!

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  4. I love NYX, so I trust you if you say this is a NEED item :-)I don't contour myself, though. I have a long and slim face and contouring makes me look gaunt. I do contour on models, though. I usually use MAC for that, or even ELF contouring palette.

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  5. I've been wanting to check these out, and now I'm more motivated. I really love seeing positive reviews for "bargain" products, especially from those who have alot of higher end products at their disposal. Taupe was the one I really wanted to look into, but Raisin looks like it'll be a good actual blush color for me. I'm currently using NARS Zen as contour, and Nico or Albatross for highlight, although I have a pretty decent e.l.f. highlight palette I sometimes use, and I've been on the prowl for a cheap contour.

    I've been doing the highlight/contour thing since high school, but it always looked odd. Maybelline put out a trio in blush, highlight, & contour in the late 80s-early 90s, and it came in 4 shades, each according to a season. They were of decent quality, but the colors were awful, as were the package instructions.

    I was a theatre major in college, and we had to take a theatrical makeup class, and that's where I picked up my techniques. I don't wear blush regularly, but I always contour & highlight.

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  6. i loved the Taupe one for contouring. I feel that whatever is the skin tone, a cooler toned contouring powder is the one that really contours as the coolness in it mimics the natural shadows of the face.
    Warmer shades for contouring look like a rash if not done properly.!

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  7. I use Taupe for contouring because it's actually pale enough on me! I need to pick up Raisin or something else, because sometimes i want a plummy type shade.

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  8. I just discovered your wonderfully irreverent blog, and am really enjoying it! Thank you for spilling the beans about contouring - I'd never heard of it before, what a revelation. Great reviews too. Now I really wish I hadn't already used up this month's budget for, erm, self-indulgence, as I've just realised the fatal lack of taupe in my collection of eye shadows.

    May the force be with you!
    Sanne - copenhagenish.me

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    1. Sorry - didn't see the bit about the website :(

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    2. Hi Sanne! That's OK I always give people a few posts w/ a link if they are new. Thanks for visiting me and for your lovely comment!

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  9. i heart Kevyn Aucoin and his Face Forward. Your highlight/contour recreation is great ;)

    ps. love the watermark

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  10. Oh, the late, great Kevyn Aucoin! I remember flipping through the latest Allure magazine to read his monthly column. I loved his talent and how he saw the beauty in every woman, not just the famous people he worked on.

    Those pics fo retroCRUSH were so bad that they were awesome! It reminds me of a book my mother had, "Color Me Beautiful" (or something like that). I'm so glad makeup, hair, and fashion has evolved since then.

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  11. I've been doing a little contouring lately with Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips bronzer in Vegas. Bottom portion for darker contouring, top portion for lighter contouring. I'm light skinned, lean cool to neutral, and I find the golden tone to the bronzer works fairly well. I also have a pretty cheap ELF bronzer quad that's got two tones in it that make an acceptable contour/highlight for when I don't want the sheen/glow of the PF one. However, my BB cream tends to leave my face pretty matte, so I'm satisfied with the finish of the PF most days.

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  12. I've heard Nyx Taupe is good for contouring, but as I don't contour, I don't really know. I'm curious though...this isn't expensive so maybe I'll pick one up to play around with light contouring

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  13. I use Burberry's Earthy blush to contour. It's the perfect colour for my pale skin.

    That link is hilarious. I particularly love the gigantic fake freckles!

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  14. Today is Saturday and I had no plans but was looking for something funnish to do and now you've graced me with something that entices me: I will go to Ulta and see if I can pick up some of these items you use here!! You're so wonderful that you can make me laugh so hard even before I've had one single sip of coffee yet, you "Special Snowflake" you!! Thank you, xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-)

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  15. I had that book too! I'm not sure what happened to it-I would worship that stupid thing and his genius-taken from us too soon :(
    I do the same with NYX bronzer and a NARS multiple-carve out that cheekbone! Great post,as always :)

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  16. Wow! I have Raisin, and I will test it for contouring! Thanks! :)

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