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Highlight, contour and blush shades – nice, but why now, MAC?
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MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette

"If I were a starting-out makeup artist, I'd gravitate toward the MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette for my kit because I know I can use all those shades on a variety of skin tones," says senior MAC makeup pro Melissa Gibson. "Actually, I have them already! And as a woman who wears makeup, I'd want it because I know I'd be able to wear every single colour."

No question the MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette ($72 CAd at and $60 USd at is a pretty and unthreatening palette for those of us looking for natural highlight and contour results (no super-shimmer or disco glitter here, lovelies). But isn't it strange that MAC, a brand that sets trends, has released a palette like this only now?

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette open

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette

Again I say that contouring and highlighting (or strobing) isn't a trend. It's a basic artist technique that, thanks in part to those heavy-makeup YouTube tutorials, more of us understand. And in addition to the colourful, push-the-boundaries collections MAC releases every week, they do great basics – like this Contour & Sculpt Yourself kit.

"It isn't just a multitude of browns," says Melissa. "This palette is about adding life to your face. Those mid-tone peachy pinks also make it okay for blush to come back, too."

mac contour & sculpt yourself palette how-to

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette shades

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette shades

Of course I asked Melissa Gibson about application tips for every skintone – when you've got an expert to consult, you must, right?

  • "Yes, you can separate contouring as a technique on its own, but then it turns into what bronzing used to be: you're just adding depth," says Melissa. Combining it with highlight and blush adds dimension.
  • "Sculpt is a perfect mid-tone taupe that has very little red in it, so it's beautiful on so many different skintones. On much darker complexion, you could use it as a soft, almost bamboo-toned highlight."
  • "Emphasize on lighter skin is a beautiful highlight; it's also fabulous on darker skintones."
  • "Trace Gold is a brown with a hint of gold and a slight sheen; it's stunning on all skintones. Like Sunbasque, it adds a little more life to the skin than a straight-up matte highlight."
  • "The peachy-pink mid-tone shades, Peaches and Fleur Power, are a satin and a sheertone texture; they don't have shimmer, they just add colour."
  • "Although this is a versatile pre-done palette, it's refillable, so you can swap out shades if you need to. On a darker skintone, you might switch Sculpt for a deeper shade. On the other hand, maybe this palette will be all about highlighting for darker complexions instead."    
MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette

MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette – it's refillable

The MAC Contour & Sculpt Yourself Palette isn't the only contour + highlight + blush palette we've seen recently. The Maybelline Master Contour Palette is a trio version that comes in Light to Medium and Medium to Deep. The Rimmel London Kate Sculpting Palette comes in three shades: Golden Sands, Coral Glow and matte Golden Bronze (see swatches here). Too Cool for School's got one, too: the Dinoplatz Triceratops Multi-Face Palette, which I find myself coveting as if I don't have enough stuff already. And then there's the amazing Smashbox #Shapematters Palette that offers a wide array of sculpting and highlighting hues for the face, including brows.

Do you already have a contour + highlight + blush palette? Are you contemplating one? What do you think of the MAC version?

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