One night over a month ago I was browsing Groupon (as usual) and came across the Aesthetica Cosmetics Contour Kit for $19.99. Being someone who has only ever highlighted with cream products and never contoured period, I instantly got curious for an entire kit being sold at that price. Aesthetica Cosmetics is cruelty-free, and this product is vegan and formulated without talc or parabens, so that got me even more interested. It normally retails for $60 on their website, so Groupon's price is an exceptionally great deal. Even with my discount at Sephora, I knew I wouldn't be able to get a price this good on a big-brand product, so I decided to try this one out. You can buy the kit by itself for $19.99 or the kit with a contour brush for $24.99. I chose the kit with the contour brush.
The 6 products that come in the kit are pressed powder, and you get; highlighters, bronzers and contour. Contouring has always been around in the makeup industry, but it seems lately every company big and small has been putting out their version of the "best contour and highlight" products. Having only ever used cream highlighting products before, I wanted to try this out just to see the difference between the two types of products. I was not disappointed.
I don't use bronzer, ever, so for me the 2 shades of bronzer in the kit were immediately put in my eyeshadow palette for future use. The thing I like about this kit so much is that there are little slots next to each pan so you can pop them out and put them into a Z palette if you're traveling. The kit itself is actually really small and can easily fit into an average size purse. It was also surprisingly light and the packaging felt sturdy. It had a nice big mirror on the inside and it came with instructions on how to highlight and contour for different face types, which I found very helpful.
The brush that came with it is awesome. It was very easy to contour with and great to clean. Brush and packaging aside, I really love the product: the powder felt high-quality and blended beautifully. It didn't go on patchy at all. In the middle of the upper row there's a yellow-er shade that I used under my eyes to set my under-eye concealer, and then next to it are highlighters. The one to the left is a non-sparkly highlighter, and the one to the right is a sparkly one. I tried all three in the upper row and I'm officially hooked.
On the bottom row, the one in the middle is the contour. The ones to the left and right are the bronzers (due to the warmer undertones), but the contour is perfect. I thought it worked beautifully with my skin tone. I think this kit is meant for light - medium skin tones due to the shades of highlighters and contour.
I heard through the grapevine that this kit was a knock-off of the Anastasia Beverly Hills palette, and so I pulled up some pictures for comparison:
To the left is Aesthetica, and to the right is Anastasia. They are pretty much identical, however, Anastasia's kit retails for $40, whereas Aesthetica's is on Groupon for $20 right now. My recommendation? I've never tried the Anastasia kit, but this is a great-quality product and it's at half of the price of the big brand. If you're looking for an affordable contour kit that's great quality, I would go with the Aesthetica kit <.3