Finding the perfect contour shade and product has been a bit of a struggle, it also doesn't help that I'm a complete noob when it comes to contouring. I can never fake that glorious shadow-line of a well carved cheekbone. One product that has quickly become a favourite though in helping me look like I have moderately okay cheekbones is the Illamasqua Concealer in shade CC325. I snagged this on clearance for only $6 and thought, why not give it a go for cream contouring?
Despite this being marketed as a concealer, I have doubts that it would work well as one. The formula is a very stiff and dry cream that honestly doesn't feel creamy or emollient at all - even when 'warmed up' with a finger. I think that its dry formula would cling to dry skin making it ineffective on blemishes, and I expect that it would be drying or cakey looking on the under-eyes. However, when used with a brush (my personal fave is the Real Techniques Contour Brush) it transfers amazingly. It's like its a powder (but more stiff, and obviously not powdery), but it kind of just 'melds' into the skin when blended with a brush. The edges are diffused but is still precise, it looks natural and never obvious - which is exactly what you want when it comes to contouring (NO body wants a brown line down the side of their face!). I feel like with fingers it can apply a bit patchily (the swatches above) but I don't find that's an issue with a brush. Although it's very dry, it doesn't dry to a powder, the texture is very hard to explain! Regardless, I also find the staying power of the product to be absolutely stellar. It lasts much better than any typical cream blush type product and even better that some powders. I suspect this is due to its dry nature so it really sets and sticks to the skin, hanging around till the end of the day.
Shade wise, it's pretty awesome too. It's probably the darkest brown in my collection. It is warm but doesn't give off any orange tones at all, it looks very natural and even quite convincing despite my cack-handed approach! It's a shade or two darker than the contour shade in my Sleek kit, and cooler in tone. It's probably most similar to my e.l.f bronzer from the St Lucia blush/bronzer duo, however that one contains shimmer and it probably a bit warmer.
Overall, the shadow this gives is very natural and when used with the right brush can really mimic somewhat of a cheekbone! Woo hoo! Haha, I'm really glad I picked this up and it will be filling the void of a contour shade very well!