I was on the hunt for a new contour palette as I’ve made an impressive dent in the contour powder of my Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit and my Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette died an untimely death leaving behind it’s mark on my cream carpet. During my Priceline drugstore haul (here), I spotted the Australis AC on Tour Contouring and Highlighting Kit. Now I’d only ever come across this brand and this particular product once before and it was courtesy of Sydney-based youtuber, Sharon Makeup Artist. To be honest, I didn’t even remember if she had shared her thoughts on the palette, I just remember her using it in one of her tutorials.
Intrigued, I looked at the testers they had on display and there were three shade selections; Light, Medium and Dark. Normally, I’d be somewhere in the middle and go for the Medium but the Medium and Dark powders looked rather warm. Surprisingly, the Light looked like the right mix of warm and cool tones with a selection of warm bronzers and a cooler toned contour powder. I definitely prefer a cool tone, grey tinged powder when it comes to contouring as I feel it gives off a more natural-looking shadow.
Upon swatching, I was even more surprised by the quality of the powders. Too often have I dipped my finger into a powder only to be greeted with a texture that is dry and chalky to the touch and where the pigmentation is somewhat lacking. This definitely wasn’t the case with this palette. The powders were smooth and extremely soft to the touch and the colour payoff was pretty impressive too. Needless to say, it ended up in my basket rather swiftly.
So let’s talk packaging. Not ground-breaking. The word ‘basic‘ springs to mind but I guess for the price point, you can’t really expect anything more. However, it does feel sturdy, has a satisfying ‘click’ upon closing and has a handy, illustrative guide on the back showing you, step by step, how to contour and highlight and how to pick the right shade. Whilst it might add to the cheap look and feel of the packaging, and I would have probably preferred it to come with a pull out booklet instead but we all know that they tend to go AWOL, it is handy for those who will rely on it as a little demo (and it won’t go missing as it’s stuck to the back) as a guide.
Inside the palette, there is a huge mirror which I appreciate. More often than not, budget brands will forgo the mirror to save on costs but I don’t think they realise just how vital a mirror is especially for travelling. Now as for the powders themselves, there are six of them – two rows of threes nestled within circular pans. Very ABH. In the top row, there are two matte highlighting powders and one shimmery one. The first of the matte highlight is a pale pink, a shade that I tend to stay away from but would work well for those with fair skin. The second is a light yellow, perfect for setting your base or concealer with just a light dusting or to highlight certain points of the face such as under the eyes, centre of the forehead etc.
Both matte powders are extremely soft to the touch and smooth on the skin. I found that along my hairline, across the top of my forehead where I’ve managed to catch quite a bit of a tan, the yellow powder looked slightly ashy when applied so this would not work well for those who have darker than a medium skin tone. On the other areas of my face which was less tanned, the powder mattified and slightly brightened up the skin with no ashiness at all.
The shimmery highlight powder is a warm, peachy champagne. Whilst I normally steer clear of pink highlights, peach is a bit more forgiving as there’s a bit more warmth to it that makes it rather flattering on my warm complexion. It’s a rather fine and subtle highlight, not too dissimilar to the likes of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, although the Hourglass ones are slightly more sheer resulting in the shimmering particles appearing a touch more…shimmery? If you’re not into highlighters that you can see from outer space and something that is appropriate for everyday then this peachy guy is for you.
On the bottom row, there are two bronzers and one contour powder. The first of the bronzers is a neutral to warm, mid tone tan shade, whilst the second is much warmer and a pinch darker. This gives you the option of going for a deeper colour say for when you are a bit more bronzed. The contour powder is a cool, mid tone brown with grey undertones. They hit the nail on the head with this shade as it’s perfect for mimicking a natural shadow. All three powders, like with the matte highlights, a super soft and are ridiculously pigmented to the point where I question whether they might be a bit much for someone who is quite fair despite this being the lightest of the palettes available. Due to the nature of the powders, there is a bit of fall out so tapping off the excess is an absolute must. Despite being very pigmented, you can apply the colours lightly if you go in with the smallest amount of product and with a very light hand. But if you want to go all out, it’s very easy to pack on the pigment with just a couple sweeps of the product.
I was really impressed with the longevity of the powders, particularly with the contour and the bronzer, which lasted most of the day without getting patchy or blotchy on the skin. I found the lighter bronzer worked best for my skin tone as the darker one was a bit too deep and too warm. The contour powder sculpted out my cheekbones from beneath the layer of chubby, fat cheeks in the most natural way without looking muddy or ashy. For a precise contour, I like to use the Makeup Geek Rounded Blush Brush and build up in sheer layers. To help blend the contour whilst warming up the complexion, I use a big powder brush like the Morphe E2 Round Powder Brush on the cheeks over the contour and around the perimeter of the face. The yellow, matte highlight shade does a good job at setting my foundation and concealer, eradicating shine without looking heavy and the shimmery highlight gives a glowing finish with just a subtle sheen. I take this along the tops of my cheekbones where the light would naturally hit but it also works well on the brow bone as well as the inner corners of the eyes.