My Custom(ish) Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit – Swatches on Dark Skin

Before the full ABH line came to Canada in all Sephoras, I asked my mom to pick me up the powder contour kit in the “Tan to Dark” shade on a trip to the US. She gave it to me for Christmas, and I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t an everyday staple for me. With some minor shuffling, that’s changed – I use this baby every single day.

My initial problem with the kit was that the shades were a little bit awkward. The darkest shade was a warm bronzer on me at best, and two of the mid-tone shades were exactly my skin colour and so not usable as highlight or contour. Also, what was I supposed to do with a straight-up orange powder?

What I ended up doing was ordering one of the ABH powder refill pans in the darkest shade, Carob, during one of the VIB Rouge sales. I then removed one of those awkward mid-tone shades that were so close to my skin colour (because who needs two skin-coloured powders in a contour kit?) and replaced it with that darkest shade. This is what I’m left with: an awesome, user-friendly, semi-custom contour kit that I use basically every day. Seriously – I barely touch my bronzer and contour singles!

I can use Latte sparingly if I want a fairly bright highlight under my eyes. More often than not, I mix it with Nutmeg for my perfect highlight shade.

Nutmeg is great for setting underneath my eyes on more natural days. It brightens things up down there just a little, without giving that reverse panda eyes effect.

More often than not, when I use L’Orange, it’s as a blush. It makes a lovely matte orange blush! Sometimes though, if I’m extra tired or forgot to colour correct under my concealer, it’s just what the doctor ordered in the colour correction department.

Cinnamon makes a nice all-over setting powder if I’m in a hurry, don’t feel like using a loose powder, or need a little extra coverage on my face.

Espresso – the darkest shade in the original palette – looks cool when swatched in this light, but shows up warm-to-neutral on my face. It makes a really nice bronzer that’s not too red or muddy. Because of this, I find that I can also use it to sculpt the face – not quite a true contour – if I want a more natural look. On my skin, this is by far the most versatile shade in the palette.

Carob is my favourite contour shade that I own. The depth of colour, the fact that it pulls cool, the texture that makes it easy to blend – it’s just perfection. I like it on its own, but I often mix it with Espresso to deepen up my contour if I’m going for a more natural look. On its own, it makes for a truly Instagram-worthy contour. I often use it when I’m filming for exactly that reason!

Now. Does the average person need a contour kit? Absolutely not. Contouring is not a necessity, and for most people dipping their toes into the waters, a single contour shade and a single highlight shade are perfectly adequate. But for the makeup obsessed, this is certainly nice to have!

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