I'm sure any fellow Australians would have read their fill on the Australis Contouring & Highlighting Kit by now! This bugger has been so popular, there's an Australia wide shortage on it. It isn't, however, limited edition, so if you want it, but you ain't got it, hang tight! This sucker caught everyone's attention due to its extreme likeness to the Anastasia Contour Kit which has gotten many a rave. Since Australis is much more affordable and accessible (as a brand), it's really the perfect alternative!
|L-R: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
The palette is smaller than I expected in the flesh. It's very slim and compact and only slightly bigger than my hand. The only thing it lacks is a mirror which would've made excellent use of the empty space in the lid.
Let's talk formula. I actually didn't have high hopes for this (I wasn't even planning on purchasing until I saw all of the hype!) but I guess you could say I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. These powders are soft, almost...too soft. They're very powdery so if you're not careful, they'll kick up a storm and a lot of product will end up on the brush, which isn't always what you want when it comes to contouring! Make sure to tap off the excess, and be gentle. The powders themselves are pretty dang pigmented as you can tell from the swatches, but luckily they are blendable to some extent. Better safe than sorry when it comes to contouring though - apply sparingly and build as you need!
I wouldn't say the shades are exact dupes of the Anastasia ones (from the looks of things), but they're going for the same idea. It comes with three highlighters (two matte, one shimmer) and three contouring/bronzing shades. Shade 1 is a pale pinky-toned cream shade, shade 2 is along the same lines but yellow-toned and shade 3 is a pale beige-champagne with silver shimmer. The shimmer isn't too intense or sparkly, but adds quite a nice glow to the skin. I haven't gotten much use out of the matte highlighters, just because I'm not big on undereye highlighting, but they'd be perfect for setting undereye concealer while still keeping it bright.
Shade 4 is sort of the best of both worlds in terms of contouring and bronzing. It has some warmth in it to warm up the skin, but is also deep enough (and neutral enough) to be used as a contour. For every day, I tend to just sweep this under my cheekbones with a fluffier brush (Real Techniques Blush Brush) and it works really well to add shade. Shade 5 is strictly for contouring, being extremely cool toned. You want to apply this sparingly and only exactly where you need it with a smaller brush, to really carve out those cheekbones. Get too carried away, and it could look muddy! Shade 6 is the bronzer of the kit, having quite warm tones to it but is perfect if you're after a bit of warmth and colour.
Overall, this palette is an excellent buy for the price ($16.95) and really on it's own on the drugstore scene. It covers all bases and I think would suit many skin tones. It's great for those starting to get a bit more confident with contouring and wanting to try with more shades! I definitely recommend picking one up when it comes back in stock. Lucky for one of you though - I'm giving one away in my giveaway, so check it out :)
Have you managed to get your hands on this elusive palette?