Seventeen Define and Conquer Contour Kit

Contouring is a tricky business. It was developed as a stage makeup technique to make faces look impossibly chiselled from a distance. Close up, though, it can look pretty horrifying if done badly and it pretty much never looks natural, even when its done amazingly well - it's always subject to lighting. In daylight, contouring just doesn't fool anyone. It looks like makeup, not cheekbones and that's okay because it can still give the illusion that you have more cheekbone than you really do under all that contouring.

Contour is at its best with heavy makeup. You can of course apply a more subtle contour, but it just won't look as convincing as it will with evening makeup in dimmer light, because it's designed to look most convincing from a distance.

Since I'm pale, I find it difficult to find contour products which suit my complexion. I am rather fond of this new offering from Seventeen, however, and I didn't think I would be.


Apart from the immediately obvious similarity to Nars packaging, the most obvious thing about this product is that it's a matte powder. Good contouring products need to have a matte finish as the aim is to push in the area you apply them to, visually speaking, and create a false shadow. Anything with glitter or sheen will catch the light and won't create the recessed appearance you want. I also love that the highlighting powder is matte (great for a touch of oil absorption), but still has a certain radiant quality which gives life to the skin.


Though the shade is deep, even someone as pale as I am can get away with it. I've applied a little on a clean fluffy brush, and built it up very subtly to create a wearable, barely-there daytime contour. With my skin tone, if I applied it more heavily, I just wouldn't get away with it for day.

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At just €7.59, these powders are a steal and the texture is thick and buttery smooth. The packaging (if a little unoriginal) feels far more solid and elegant than the price point suggests. If you're a contour buff, this is a really sound investment for your makeup bag.

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