Review | Kat Von D Shade Light Contour Palette and Brush
If Kat Von D were to be reincarnated, she would return in the next life as a marble bust of Ludwig Van Beethoven immersed in tar. She has a strong Neo-classical/ post-punk aesthetic that, for better or worse, dribbles into everything she does. When I received her contour palette ($46) and dual-ended brush ($36) they did not disappoint in delivering her one-two punch of "Old English typefaces" and "Instagram."
It comes with three contour shades and three highlight shades. All six colors are matte, which makes for the most nearly undetectable contours. The pans come grouped vertically in a way that you can find your corresponding highlight and contour shades without a hitch.
Levitation/ Subconscious: pale pink/ minky taupe
Lyric/ Shadowplay: pale yellow/ golden tan (think Hoola by Benefit)
Lucid/ Sombre: true peach/ mid-tone fawn brown
[editor's note: See what she did there?]
Straight away, I realized this palette doesn’t cater to a wide range of skin tones. The first pair is ideal for Tilda Swinton, Charlize Theron, and the protagonist in Powder level fairness. The second could accommodate a sunnier medium like Mickey Rourke in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Kate Mara, and Steven Avery. The last seemed to be the best fit for those complected like Johnny Depp or Frida Pinto. For this to be the darkest shade seems precariously oppressive. Anyone deeper than a Kerry Washington shade might be disappointed. There’s plenty of politics surrounding this phenomenon in the beauty industry, but that’s a different blog post.
The powders are sheer in a way I can appreciate. With contour colors, too much pigment right away can be perilous. You should be building up the ntensity, not laying it on like a chimney sweep. They’re powdery, but blendable and pair well with the dual-ended Shade Light brush. The brush comes packaged in a coffin-esque case which would be handy if I were to ever make some sort of sacrificial offering. It’s that kind of middle of the line Sigma-tier quality that seems ubiquitous in the makeup world right now. Not two-bit, but not Hattori Hanzo grade either. They’re synthetic, soft, and thoughtfully constructed. One side is a pointed buffer for highlight (great for under eyes,) and the contour side is slanted (for a familiar feeling application.) The density is about 85% but thoroughly welcomed, because it helps marshal product application.
Together they make for a decent duo for fledging makeup artists looking to build their kits– just make sure to make sure you expand on your collection for deeper skin tones. It is 2016, after all.