Sunday, December 4, 2016

Contour Palettes for cosplay: A three-part guide and review/recommendation.

For those who don't know, I'm crazy about contouring my face when it comes to cosplay, may it be for male or female cosplay,

I always reach for my contour palettes to create the perfect base to reshape my face for a cosplay. We can't all be born with the perfect face, eyes or nose shapes for some characters, so as a cosplayer you should be able to rework your face with the optical illusion of creating contours and highlights on your face. Now, to say that it's easy to pick the right palette for your cosplay, is an understatement. So let me help you pick out the right palette for your cosplay.

Left: Sleek Make Up's Cream Contour Palette in Medium
Right: Makeup Revolution London's Ultra Cream Contour Palette

In this part I will be discussing my favorite type, which is cream-type contour and highlight palettes. There are now several types ranging from pan-type palettes or the handy stick-type contour palettes that are ready and rarin' to go if you're the type to do your makeup at the venue itself. But I'll be talking about the pan-type palettes as they usually offer a wider range of shades as well as more value for money when it comes to flexibility in terms of shade. I'm partial to this type myself because there's just so many to choose from from so many different brands out there. I picked two of the ones I like to use the most to share with you. One, that's extremely heavy and pigmented, good for photography and another that's capable of being built-up every layer you put up till you're happy with what you get.

Let's start off with Sleek Make Up's Contour palette in Medium.

Sleek Make Up's cream contour palette comes in a matte case, which I find annoying 

I chose the medium shade because the light shade's colors tend to disappear on my skin tone.
I needed a darker shade for the heavy contouring I do for photography.

 Sleek's cream contours come in three shades, Light, Medium and Dark. For the sake of trying it out, I chose the medium shade as the shades on the light palette tended to disappear on my skintone. So you get 3 lighter shades for highlighting (from L to F: Medium 01, Medium 02 and Medium 03) and 3 darker shades for contouring (L to F: Medium 04, Medium 05, Medium 06).  The cream is thick but pliable, not sticky or annoyingly rough like some contour creams I've tried in the past. These are smooth and velvety, buildable coverage/color and easy to work with. Best blended out with a damp blending sponge to create a light coverage or with your fingers if you're the type who likes to warm the product up with your fingers.

Swatched using a brush.

I recently used this particular palette for my Doppio Vinegar cosplay trial, at first I had a bit of difficulty working the color but I eventually got the hang of it and even used Medium 04 to create my freckles. 
Moshi Moshi? Bossu?

It's fun to use for creating heavy drag-king style makeup for crossplaying and blendable enought to work with makeup that demands less darker shades for contour or a more natural look.

  • Easily blendable and thick enough to only use a small amount to achieve good coverage. 
  • Smooth and creamy formulation
  • Paraben-free formulation.
  • Comes in a variety of shades, depending on your skin-type.
  • Comes with a basic printed-out guide for newbies at contouring
  • Can be used for skin-texturing/ adding facial markings such as old scars, freckles, moles, etc.
  • Great for cross-play/drag-king makeup

  •  A little too thick for ordinary looks, may need alot of blending with a damp sponge to get the  best light finish. 
  • Personally, I really hate that it comes in a matte plastic case, as I feel like it attracts so much dirt vs. a smooth and shiny case.
  • Shades may be too limited, IMHO, the lighter shades for this particular palette can still be used for contouring vs. using them for highlights. 
  • Price is a little high if bought in-store at malls at around 900+. I had purchased mine from Lipstick All U Can over at their Trinoma stall at Pop Culture for P 890. You can also check out their shopee store over here
  • Only has 6 months shelf-life from the day it's been used/opened according to the box.
Moving on to the next palette that I personally use, it's one from  Makeup Revolution London. It's their Ultra Cream Contour Palette, the one I use on not-so-heavy makeup looks or for usual makeup. 
The box

The shiny black case it comes in

One early warning I must bring up with this brand is that it contains some parabens, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone who might be sensitive towards that particular ingredient in cosmetics. Personally I like this particular cream contour palette as not only does it include multiple shades, it also has a really nice frosty highlighting cream included in the palette that works nicely if you're the kind who likes to add a little sparkle to your look. The downside though is that it's limited to just this ONE palette, no variations for skintones, just this one palette. 
All 8 shades including the frosty highlighting cream that I adore.
My swatches. Once again with a brush. The lighter tones tended to disappear on me

This particular palette needs a bit of build-up if you're after a heavy makeup look, but for lighter looks, this palette is my go-to one. I'm especially fond of the fact that it comes with so many shades to choose from, the down side though for me is that the light shades are TOO LIGHT for my particular skintone, but I believe they'd work well enough for others. 

I used this particular palette to create my Sombra makeup trial.


  • Buildable color and smooth formulation. Good for lighter makeup for cosplay that doesn't involve harsh lighting. 
  • Smooth and buttery, easy to blend. 
  • Multiple shades in one palette plus one shimmery/frosty highlighter
  • Has a shelf-life of 12 months/1 year. Good for long-term makeup plans/multiple cosplay shoots that span a year.
  • Relatively cheaper for the amount + multiple shade you get. This palette usually goes for 500+-800+ Pesos. 
  • really large mirror
  • Contains parabens
  • a little bit thin and on the oily side, but workable with a little powder.
  • may be too pale for some folks and only comes with this particular palette/shades.
  • Not as accessible as Sleek as they don't have an official store in-malls.

Overall, I usually recommend cream contour palettes to cosplayers who are much more well-versed when it comes to applying makeup as it's harder to control and blend out versus powder contour and highlight makeup. I'll be covering the powder-type contour palettes and show off a few that I use in the next post. Till then!

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