KKW Beauty Creme Contour Highlight Kit + Contouring Tips From Kim
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, then you know that Kim Kardashian launched a highly anticipated contour/highlighter kit under her KKW Beauty label. The Creme Contour Highlight Kits sold out in less than two hours (!!!). The first color sold out in seven minutes — boom!
Luckily, I got my hands on the goods and had some time to play around with these coveted kits. And, in one word, obsessed. Who knew that contouring could be this fun and easy?! I’m no pro yet, but I’ve certainly been practicing, and, as they say, practice makes perfect.
Each kit comes with three products: a dual-sided contour (a lighter shade and a darker shade), a dual-sided highlighter (a matte finish and a shimmer finish), and a dual-sided brush (a sponge side and a bristled, kabuki-style side, which Kim modeled after her favorite MAC kabuki brush that was discontinued). So, you actually get six products, but who’s counting (uh, everyone). The kits come in four shades: light, medium, dark, and deep dark. Each kit sells for $48.
The thing about using cream formulas to contour is that you have more flexibility with the layering of the colors. And you can use your fingers to blend, which is always a bonus. But these contour shades are actually shaped like a thick pen with a pointy tip (more on the tip later) so you can apply directly to your face, without a brush or a finger. The formula is much sheerer than it looks in the stick, so should you make a mistake, you can simply wipe it off. They also slide on with such ease, so no need to pull or tug at your skin (which causes wrinkles, peeps). Cream formulas are ideal for contouring if you are after a more natural, glowy finish, as opposed to a powder which can tend to be a bit harsher. Kim said she wanted to launch a cream contour because it gives the complexion an all-over bronzy glow while still allowing your actual skin to show through. In other words, it’s you, just a prettier, more sculpted version of you.
But how do you contour, you ask? With this kit, it’s almost goof-proof…almost. And here is what I’ve learned from Kim, the kween of contouring (you can find most of this info + tutorials here, but some of these tips she taught me herself):
Kim likes a shorter forehead, so she applies the darker side in the dual-sided contour to the center and sides of her forehead, hugging the hairline. She told me to focus on the each side of of the forehead, creating a semicircle starting from the hairline on either side. This trick is great for people with longer or more oval faces.
She then shades down the hairline, to the cheekbones, and around the jawline. She calls this “shading in threes” (basically, creating number 3 from the forehead to the hairline to the cheekbone to the hairline to the jawbone, ending directly under the chin. Then a reverse 3 on the other side.
Remember that pointy tip? It was designed that way for good reason. Kim lines her bottom and top lash lines with the contour shade — and around her lips – like a lip liner. Then it all gets blended to look natural-yet-defined. You can also do your entire lid in the lighter contour shade for a creamy, barely-there beautiful brown lid, then line top and bottom lash lines with the darker contour shade and you’ve just created a 30-second smokey eye. Score!
Mario, Kim’s longtime makeup artist, uses the lighter side of the contour to thin the nose. Starting at the inner eyebrow, and going in a line down each side of the nose. This confused me a bit, so I asked Kim for clarification. She said it’s actually down the side of the bridge of the nose. This thins the nose. Kim then said she likes to add a dab of contour on the tip of the nose, which gives the illusion of a shorter nose. She said to blend all of this first, actually, dab it in (don’t blend it out!), either with fingers or, Kim’s favorite is to wet the sponge side of the applicator and use that to dab in the contour shading. For the actual bridge of nose, apply the shimmer side of the highlighter and don’t blend or dab – leave it shimmery, explains Kim.
The matte side of the highlighter is perfect for under eyes and brow bones. And I like to use it in the center of my forehead too, as it offers a beautiful contrast to the darker contour at the hairline.
The shimmer side of the highlight is great for inner corners of eyes, cheekbones, bridge of nose, and cupid’s bow for a luminizing pop of pretty. Mario also likes to add a dab on collar bones and shoulders.
Okay, so now you’re all lined and defined — but how about the blending? After all, blending is key to perfecting a contour. Kim says she likes to use the bristled side of the applicator, and she blends in circular motions, going out and up. At the hairline, she blends into the hairline, then pulls it back out; in and out, and repeat until any harsh lines or coloring is completely buffed in.
As for the nose and lips: use the sponge side of the applicator. As Kim recommended for the nose, wet the sponge and dab, don’t actually blend. I, personally, also like to use the sponge after the kabuki side to press (again, dab) the formula into the skin; it gives it a slightly airbrushed look and makes it have a more natural finish. Not going to lie, I’m also a big fan of blending with my fingers. I feel like I have more control — and these cream formulas are made for finger painting.
Want more definition? Play with the contour shades – mix them up, layer them. Buy two kits and you’ll have double the colors (and double the fun!). I’m mixing the light and medium kits. The light highlighter is everything, especially the shimmery side. It’s kind of — dare I say — the perfect pearlescent shade.
So, there you have it. KKW Beauty’s first launch is a home-run. If you missed your chance to purchase, don’t worry, they’ll be restocking soon.
In the meantime, check out these other fab cream contours and highlighters: