Several months back, I discovered my all time fave, holy grail contouring product: the City Color Cosmetics Contour Effects Palette. It delivered the perfect shades and all the pigmentation I needed for super defined cheekbones, a warmed-up face and a fierce highlight all in one palette. You can see my original review of it here.
While I’m totally still using that palette to death, I was pretty excited— but also curious— when they released the new Contour Effects 2 palette. I mean, how could they make this better when it’s already perf? I’ve been using it for over a month now, incorporating it into some of my latest tutorials (like this one and this one), but I wanted to do a quickie comparison/review between the two.
The new City Color Cosmetics Contour Effects 2 Palette is definitely the “girl next door” version of the original. The shades are even cooler-toned and more subtle than the first palette, which lends itself for a much more natural look on the skin. I feel like it would also play nicely with for lighter skin tones, looking less harsh.
I’ve been going back and forth between the two palettes, using the Contour Effects 2 palette for more natural looks, or even when I want to go for the “no makeup” face while still adding definition. However, nothing beats the original for me when I want to feel all dolled up. They both have the same great smooth texture and the shades blend out easily. The palettes themselves are very travel friendly (the original has come on every trip I’ve been on this year), being slim and sturdy.
While I generally seem to prefer the contour shade in the first palette, the highlight shade in the second totally won me over for both every day and more glam looks. As you can see in the photo above, the first palette’s highlight is more white, which can sometimes look dusty. The champagne tone in the second palette’s highlight gives off a more versatile, healthy-skin glow. Even when I use the original Contour Effects palette for contouring, I’ll dip into the second just for the highlight.
Sidenote: I had never noticed this before, but on a recent trip to Sephora I actually caught a glimpse of the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit in Light/Medium, which both of these palettes look awfully similar too! Do I smell a dupe? The Smashbox palette looks almost like a hybrid between the two Contour Effects in terms of shades, but with a much more yellow-toned highlight. Obviously the big difference is the price: $45 vs. $13.99
If you’re on the fence about which palette to go for, I’d say it really depends on what types of looks you wear more. If you’re going for Kim K contouring, or have a deeper skin tone, grab the original. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more beginner friendly, or just more natural looking in general, number 2 is the one for you. Honestly, they’re so affordable, I’d just grab both!
You can find the City Color Contour Effects 2 palette on the brand’s website for $13.99, but you can use the code SlashedBeauty for 10% off or have it applied automatically by clicking here. If you fill your cart to a total of $25 after the discount, you’ll get free shipping!
Do you prefer more dramatic or subtle highlighting?
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