Got your cuppa? Ready? OK, here’s the question of the day: How do you find out about new products besides reading them on blogs?
Just a couple of weeks ago, while waiting for our dinner date, I walked past a Metro outlet and found out it was having a moving out sale. Obviously I went in to have a look at the beauty department, wondering if I would be able to find some hidden gems at a fraction of the original retail price. I chanced upon a shelf filled with Australis products, and something about the hot pink-on-black packaging of the Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit tugged at my heart strings. The tester was wide open, tempting me with all six shades of the palette.
I went away after some time (there were three of the palettes left at this point) but couldn’t help reading online reviews on the palette throughout dinner. Poor Mr. Ratatouille had to bear with my, “I think I need a contour palette,” and my, “I don’t have one. Now’s a good time to get it!” and finally my, “Let’s go back and take another look.” So, with our tummies satisfied (they serve the best pancakes ever at Paddington House of Pancakes), we went back to the beauty counter. That’s when I found only two of the three palettes left. I hurriedly grabbed the nicer looking one, just in time before another girl took the last one right after me.
And I can’t say it enough, that this is one purchase I’ve never regretted.
The palette has six shades in all – 3 highlighting shades and 3 contouring shades. The shades don’t have individual names but are simply numbered from 1 to 6. Shades 1, 2 and 3 are the three highlighting shades at the top row, while shades 4, 5 and 6 are the contouring shades at the bottom.
From other reviews I’ve read, most people are madly in love with shade 2, calling it the “banana shade” and gush about how awesome it is as an under-eye colour. However, it seems that the not-so-good things about this palette are that the contouring shades can’t be blended easily and that there are way too many shades in total.
Here’s what I think:
First up, I love that the palette has 6 shades. Any less would be a bit limiting, while any more would be excessive. Before you start wondering if you’d ever need that many shades for personal use, my answer is yes. You definitely do because your skin colour isn’t the exact same throughout the year (and powder products can last for at least 3). You’re fairer in the winter months, or when your work requires you to stay indoors more often. Conversely, you’re more tanned when it’s beach season. Assuming your skin tone doesn’t change drastically month to month, a palette with slightly varying shades would be a good investment to make.
Shade 1 is a matte, basic beige highlighter shade. Shade 2 is yellow and also matte. Shade 3 is slightly darker than the first shade but it has shimmer. Here’s how you should use the three shades:
Shade 1: Basic highlighting for the forehead, nose bridge and chin
Shade 2: The under eye area
Shade 3: Cheekbones and brow bones
You don’t have to use all 3 shades at once for highlighting but that was just a guide on how you can use them, even if on their own. Now let’s move on to the dark shades.
Shades 4, 5 and 6 are all matte – just how contouring powder should be made. Shade 4 is a basic contour shade. Shade 5 is slightly greyer while shade 6 is the darkest of the three and is more reddish than shade 4. Here’s how I use them, and how you can too:
Shade 4: Basic contouring under the cheekbones, temples and sides of nose bridge
Shade 5: Anywhere near the hairline
Shade 6: Same as for shade 4 (for when you are more tanned)
Again, you don’t have to use all 3 contouring shades together but you should use them according to how I do. I use shade 5 near the hairline because it is greyer and would blend better with the natural colour of my hair.
The contouring shades can be a bit tricky to work with, but only if you pick up too much product at once. These shades are so pigmented that you only need to touch the pan ever so lightly with the tip of your brush once to get product on it. I had no problems blendinga them.
Start applying the product from the outer edges of your face and work your way towards the center. That way, you create a gradient that is darker on the outside and blends better on the inside.
The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit is a dupe of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit but it’s much more affordable for a quality product. The only thing I wished this palette had was a mirror on the underside of the cover. You should use this with an angled blush brush, which gives you precision and better control (especially so when you’re dealing with contouring shades). I use my Galeries Lafayette one and you can read my review of it here.
I did some searching online, and found that you can get this palette on Pucker if you’re in Singapore. You can also find this at Watsons, Metro and Laycy. If everything fails, check out their Facebook page.
I don’t know if you’ll get this, but this product has been one of my best beauty buys ever. A part of me tells me that it will also be a staple for as long as it lasts.