This palette retails for $25 at NYX, where it says:
Define your features like a pro with our refillable highlight and contour palette! Each set includes eight customizable highlighting and contouring shades perfect for emphasizing your favorite features. When it’s time to swap out a pan or two you can find the palette’s Pro Singles HERE.
The plastic palette itself is also available separately for sale, as are the shades themselves. (Link given in description above) There are 8 shades in the palette while as singles there are 12 shades available for $5 each (2.7 g each).
So basically you can purchase a shade separately should you not wish to shell out the full amount of the palette. Also, if you have the palette and wish to replace a shade with another one, you can buy a refill (or a new shade), pop the old one out of the palette and replace it with the new one.
Choices abound with this palette, that is for sure.
Shown above is one of the pans popped out of the palette.
Click on any of the pictures to enlarge.
Shades are named and numbered, as detailed at the back of the palette as well as the back of its outer packaging.
I’ll discuss the pros and cons shade-wise plus overall.
Let’s get one huge con out of the way – these kick up so much fallout/excess powder when you swirl or even just dip your brush into them. The highlight shades, especially. They are very fine and legit one swirl in one of the pans leaves powder from the shade all over the palette.
While soft, all 8 shades, in particular the matte ones, require well moisturized skin and are not forgiving on dry patches.
The 4 highlight shades, while pigmented, are not as pigmented as the contour shades. If I were to rate the highlight shades, they’d get a 7/10. The contour ones get an 8/10.
Ice Queen is a shimmery white-silver. Ice Queen has visible shimmer and is best used under the brow bone or as an inner eye corner highlight. This is a relatively soft shade though I don’t use it often as I don’t think the silvery undertone suits my skin tone.
Soft Light is a light vanilla-beige, described on the site as a matte nude. It is very matte and requires well primed, hydrated skin underneath. I use this mostly to set my makeup, on my cheeks and on my t-zone. Sometimes I “bake” with this shade, mixed with Cream, and it does a decent job.
Cream is a light banana yellow. I often read about people with lighter skin tones who have a hard time finding a yellow powder that doesn’t look too yellow on their coloring. This, IMO, is a good option if you have that particular dilemma. It isn’t too bright or vivid, can be applied lightly under the eyes to set concealer, or can be built up and used to bake as I mentioned above.
Nectar is a lovely light champagne with shimmer, or a “pearly soft peach” as NYX says. Honestly, I love this shade. It looks wonderful on its own or mixed with Cream or Soft Light and then swept over the cheeks for a legit lit-from-within glow. There is no visible shimmer when it is applied. The only con here is that it requires hydrating primer/moisturizer under it and you kick up a lot of product while applying this. On its own, this shade gets an 8/10 from me.
Let’s come on to the contour shades.
Tan is described by NYX as a matte soft brown with red undertones which is correct. It would suit people with yellow undertones better, IMO. I use this as a base bronzer when making full use of this palette and apply it with a fluffy brush to lightly cover a larger area under and around the hollows of my cheeks.
Toffee is a “matte neutral brown” says NYX, and I disagree. This has fine gold shimmer in it. The name is very apt though, it looks very, um, ~tasty~ (?!), and would be a great bronzer for a night out. I don’t use this often though because I prefer matte bronzers and contour shades. The shimmer isn’t obviously visible, though.
Sculpt is a favorite of mine. It is a “matte taupe” as per NYX and I agree. It is very easy to build this shade up around areas where the contour should be light while making a difference (such as the nose). Also, it is very hard to go overboard with this shade. It is easily blended out in case you think you might have applied too much. If you have light/medium/olive/tan skin, this shade is a great option.
Hollow is a “matte deep brown” says NYX and so do I. This is pigmented AF, man. For real. I have to use a careful hand when applying this because it is easy to overdo it. This shade has grey undertones which makes it a fab contour shade for so many skin tones.
If I were to personally recommend any shades from this palette, I’d go with Cream, Nectar, Sculpt, and Hollow.
The overall good
- Great number of shades for a very reasonable price, within the palette and individually.
- Shades are soft and finely milled.
- Shades are pigmented, especially the contour shades.
- Last 7-ish hours on me before requiring a touch up, only on very oily areas like the t-zone. Impressive staying power.
- You can easily replace a shade with a new one, whether it is a refill or a different color.
- Should you wish to create your personalized palette, the palette itself is available separately as are individual shades.
- If you don’t contour often, if you are a beginner, if you want to know what the hype is about while getting enough choice to play around with colors at a reasonable price, this palette is for you.
- Good for warm weather.
- Especially good for oily skin.
The overall bad
- So. Much. Powder. Is kicked up whenever a brush is swirled into any one of the pans. Its like a mini dust storm.
- Highlight shades in particular might appear a bit “chalky” if not used over moisturized skin.
- Packaging is a bit faulty, the individual pans tend to “clatter” in the palette when it is shaken or something. Idk, the noise annoys me a bit but not too much.
In a nutshell
Look. I have the Anastasia Beverly Hills palette too. I hoard contour palettes like a woman possessed. With the ABH palette, you get 6 shades for $40. Individual pans are for $14 (3 g). With the NYX palette, you get 8 shades for $25. Individual pans are for $5 (2.7 g).
I am not saying the two are equal in terms of quality. But I do believe that if you don’t contour much, or if you just got into the world of contouring, or if you simply want to see what the deal is with this technique, then the NYX palette is a good option. It also makes a good present for a makeup obsessed friend/family member/acquaintance.
It is good for the summer months and especially for people who have oily skin.
Rating the overall palette (I know, rating stuff seems to be my new thing this year), I would give it a 7/10 with 3 points cut off for the powder-based dust storm it kicks up when used, the chalky-ness of the shades (to a small extent) and the slightly annoying packaging.
I bought this palette because Huda from hudabeauty showed how to use it on her Snapchat (realhudabeauty). I don’t regret buying it at all, and I’ve used it often now.