*This product was gifted to me as a PR sample
With the over-saturation of product launches and releases within the beauty market, it can be really difficult for brands to capture the attention of beauty lovers and to generate a sense of excitement amongst them. This product release, however, is one that excited me and captured my attention immediately; not least because it’s Clarins’s first real venture into contouring palettes and powders. Admittedly, I’ve never really been a fan of those big, clunky contouring palettes and kits, because I find most of them to include too many shades; the majority of which are unnecessary. This palette, however, is very compact, and takes it back to basics with the only three sculpting shades we’ll ever really need.
Firstly, let’s look at how much product this palette houses. The powders total to 13.8g of powder, which is a fairly good amount of product and is comparable to similar products on the market such as Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette, which features 14g of product. As another point of comparison, the 4.6g weight of each pan within this palette (13.8g in total) is the same weight of product featured within NARS’s single blush pans; so we really are getting a standard and good amount of product here. This palette retails for £36, which I think is a fair price point for a brand such as Clarins; particularly when we account for the amount of product within the palette and the accompanying travel-sized brush. Said brush, which is reminiscent of Estee Lauder’s sculpting foundation brush, is a dense brush; designed to hug the contours of the face with precision. And although my personal preference lies with a fluffier, tapered brush for a naturally sculpted look, I think that this is a nice offering for those who favour a more defined, precise contour.
The sculpting shades themselves, are housed in this most beautifully sleek, golden palette and undoubtedly fits Clarins’s simple, sophisticated aesthetic perfectly. The aforementioned shades include a matte highlight, a dusty rose blush and a contour shade that leans toward the cooler end of the spectrum. I was rather dubious about using a matte highlight initially, as I don’t particularly have any textural concerns or oily skin, but I was really pleasantly surprised. And whilst I definitely prefer a reflective highlight with shimmer running throughout for my dehydrated skin that has the tendency of looking a little dull, this highlight really does lift the cheekbones in a very natural way and works beautifully as a setting powder for underneath the eyes. As you can (hopefully) see from the picture of me wearing this palette, the highlight is subtle but definitely lifts and accentuates my cheekbone! The formulation of the powders is very consistent; the powders themselves are very fine, blend well and do not turn patchy at all after a day of wear!
I really do love this palette; the formulation of the powders is beautiful, as is the packaging, but there is a shortcoming – the claim that this is a universal palette, ‘tailored to suit all skin tones’. I can’t imagine the contour shade in this palette working well for someone with a reaaaallly dark complexion. That being said, this is a limited edition palette and so hopefully, it will go down really well and Clarins may release a wider shade range!
This product was released on the 8th of January 2017, is £36 and can be purchased here.