Price: $8 * Buy At: Target * Size: 16 g / 0.56 oz
The Elf Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Face Palette is a small quad with a highlight, bronzer and two blushes.
Elf has other quad palettes, with blushes, illuminators and contour. I liked this one because it has all three, and since it is so small, I figured it would be great to travel with. Since this quad is part of the new Beautifully Bare line instead of Elf’s studio line, the packaging is different. Instead of the matte black, the entire compact is mirrored, which could actually come in handy, in addition to just being visually appealing. All four shades felt smooth and creamy to the touch, but once I tried to swatch them on my arm, they became sheer and patchy. The contour shade is the best, but it's still not something that would make me reach for this quad, and I wouldn't say it alone is even worth $8. The two blushes aren’t great, and they look like the same color! So, if you aren't a fan of peachy, coral blushes, they won't be your cup of tea. The highlight is too dark on my fair skin as well, but it would be fine on anyone darker, however, it is hardly reflective and hardly even has shimmer, so I don't even know how flattering it would appear on a different skin tone. In case it wasn't apparent, I really don't like this quad and I was super disappointing. I usually like Elf products, so this was a big let down.
Price: $30 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 6 g / 0.21 oz x2
The Tarte Don't Be Afraid to Dazzle Highlight & Contour Palette is a contour and highlight powder duo.
The duo isn’t too large, but it does have a decent sized mirror, so it makes for a pretty good travel companion. The packaging is pretty simple, it's just gold with a rather boring purple title on the lid. What drew me in to the duo was the contour shade--it’s not warm toned at all and it is a good color for my fair skintone. It is sort of interesting, however, because the highlight is a bit dark in comparison...so while the contour shade is perfect for my light skin, the highlight doesn’t show up as much as I would like. So in all honestly, while the contour is great for my skintone, I'd say the overall duo is designed for a medium skintone. One of my favorite highlights is in Tarte's Showstopper Palette (which is super underrated and I use it all the time), so if the highlight in this duo was the same as the one in that palette, this duo would be the best thing for me. Don't get me wrong, I do still like this duo. The contour shade is pigmented, but easy to blend out and the highlight also has a soft texture and applies evenly. Yes the contour and highlight shade are both full sized, but at $30 for two shades, it is honestly not the best deal. If you don't have a ton of contour or highlight shades, I would recommend putting in an extra $10 or so to just get a larger contour/highlight palette over this duo.
Price: $15 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.45 oz
The Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette consists of four highlighting and four contour shades.
The Ultra Cream Contour Palette comes in the same black packaging as Makeup Revolution’s other palettes. The shades have nice pigmentation, but are not super intense, so I do not think this palette would be ideal for darker skin tones. The texture of the creams is pretty thin and slippery, which has its pros and cons. The slippery texture tends to be easier to blend out than a drier cream product. Because the creams have a thin formula, they aren’t as intensely pigmented, but that could be good or bad depending on your preferences. The creams also have a bit of a dewy finish, which may or may not be what you are looking for with a cream contour palette. While the formula of the palette is not perfect, you do not see many cream contour palettes at drugstore prices, and it still gets the job done, so I will continue to use it.
Price: $32 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.2 oz
The Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder in Luminous is a champagne with iridescent shimmer.
The Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder comes in a pretty cardboard box that has a lower compartment with a small brush. The packaging is a bit on the bulky side, so it is not a product I would travel with. The product on the inside has a dome shape and a drier texture, since it is a baked product. Despite the dry texture, Luminous still provides the right amount of pigmentation to look gorgeous on the skin. I know that this kind of highlight is not for everyone, as it does have straight up shimmer, but I find it to be absolutely gorgeous. Because of the shimmer, it can have a bit of fall out on the face, but the packaging catches any powder kick up when you swipe your brush. You really only need a tiny bit of the powder to get the glowy look, so this is a product that would surely last a long time.
Price: $5 * Buy At: Target * Size: 0.44 oz
The Wet n Wild Contouring Palette in Dulce De Leche is a duo featuring a matte highlight and contour powder.
The duo comes in a fairly large, circular compact with a clear lid. Both shades come with quite a bit of product, and since the pans are so large, it is easily fits most brushes. The powders have a smooth, silky texture. They are a bit powdery and do kick up some excess product in the compact, but it does not affect the final result. Both colors have great pigmentation, as you can tell in my swatches. The contour shade looks quite natural on the skin--it’s not too warm or too cool, and it blends out very easily. Since the highlight shade is matte, it is geared more towards brightening up and setting the skin, than to give a glow. As far as drugstore contour products go, I definitely think that this Wet n Wild duo is a great product, in addition to being super affordable.
Price: $4.99 * Buy At: Target * Size: 11.5 g
The Wet n Wild Megaglo Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink is a four shade illuminating compact.
The Megaglo Illuminating Palette comes in a large pan with a clear lid, which I prefer so that you can see the inside powder. Since the pan is quite large, you could use the four shades separately with the right brush--I tend to use the two lighter shades on the left side of the compact. The powder applies smoothly to the skin, it does not look chalky or glittery, as some drugstore highlights can appear. On my more fair skintone, Catwalk Pink is not a super intense highlight, but could appear more dramatic on a darker complexion. Since the shades lean towards the pink side, this highlight could work well on top of a blush as well! If you are searching for an affordable highlighter, I would definitely recommend this one
Price: $40 * Buy At: Anastasia's Website * Size: 6 x 0.15 oz
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit is a palette of six unique highlighting powders.
All the shades in the Moonchild Glow Kit have some kind of color shift. Blue Ice shifts blue, Pink Heart shifts pink, Star shifts a bit silver, Lucky Clover shifts mint, Purple Horseshoe shifts blue and Blue Moon shifts silver. The shades of the palette are not traditional highlights, but that does not make them unwearable. I use a lighter hand with these shades, but if applied more intensely, this palette would work well on dark skin, especially the two shades on the right side of the palette. The formula of each shade are consistent in pigmentation and texture. The powders are very smooth and soft--they just glide onto the skin. The colors are quite reflective, especially with the color changing shift. I am definitely a fan of Anastasia's Glow Kit, but this one is my favorite one yet!
Price: $45 * Buy At: Ulta
The Lorac Pro Contour Palette is a slim palette with three highlight powders and three contour powders. All the shades are matte, with the exception of the shimmery highlight.
The Lorac Pro Contour Palette has the same rubberized packaging as the Pro Palettes, which is nice and compact, but will get dirty faster than other kinds of packaging. The formula of the highlight and contour powders is very similar in texture to the shadows in the Lorac Pro palettes. The powders all have a very soft texture, making them prone to powder kick up. This is not a big problem, especially if you tap off your brush before applying product to the face. The color selection of this palette works quite well on my fair skintone. This is quite nice to see, since many contour palettes have a lot of shades that are too dark for me, or they have contour shadows that are far too warm in tone. This being said, this palette probably would not work well for darker skintones.
Price: $25 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 8 x 0.09 oz
The Nyx Highlight & Contour Pro Palette comes with four contour and four highlight shades.
The Highlight & Contour Pro Palette is rather big and bulky and has a clear lid. The palette is designed to be able to remove shades and replace or refill them, but I find it difficult to actually get the pans out of the palette. The texture of the shades is quite soft, but they do have some significant powder kick up, which is not always the best for highlight and contour shades. The color variety within this palette should suit most skin tones. Because of this, personally, a couple of the colors are much to dark to be used on my skin, but I plan on replacing those shades with blushes and saving them for use on other people. Although this palette is up-there in price when it comes to drugstore items, it is more affordable than similar highend products. My favorite contour palette is the one from IT Cosmetics, and I will say that the Nyx palette is comparable. The only thing I’m not crazy about is, as I mentioned earlier, the bulky packaging, but that can be overlooked for the product quality.
Price: $5 * Buy At: Five Below * Size: 6 x 1.8 g
The City Color Contour To Go Palette comes with four contour shades and two highlight shades.
Each contour shade has a very smooth texture and is highly pigmented. On lighter skin tones, applying the contour colors with a light hand would most likely be necessary, but if you have darker skin, this palette would be a great choice. The two highlight shades also have a smooth texture, but are a bit chalky and chunky--especially when swatched with your finger. Once the excess powder is removed, the highlights do look nice and are pigmented, but the formula is not quite as nice as the contour powders. They do apply nicely to the skin, however, despite a slightly chalky swatch on my arm. I prefer the cooler toned bottom row, since the top row can look orange on my cool-toned skin. Overall, this contour palette is great, especially when considered that it is only $5 for six shades--you really cannot beat the price! I have loved every City Color product I have purchased, and would definitely recommend the brand!