Nicole Keen
Nicole Keen

The Best Off-Label Uses for Your Contouring Palette

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that contouring is kind of a big deal, and when it comes to must-have beauty buys the contouring palette has been IT for quite some time. I own one myself, but I’ll confess that I never really got behind the whole contouring craze. I’m a minimal makeup kind of girl at the best of times, and frankly contouring just seemed way too complicated for me to master.

kim-kardashian-son-secret-contouring-183055_w1000(The Kontour)

The good news is: Maybe I don’t have to figure it out after all…About a month ago, Kim Kardashian, the Queen of Contouring (or should I say “Kontouring”?) declared that she’s “over” contouring. “I think right now it’s all about nontouring, like real skin with less makeup on it,” Kardashian told a crowd of on-lookers at the Vogue Festival in London, England. “Now when I travel, I just bring a small makeup case, and I’m content with that.” Say what?

Kim-Kardashian-nontouring-contouring-new(The Nontour)

Considering Kardashian’s recent declaration (and the fact that I never figured out contouring anyway), I decided to brainstorm some off-label ways to use my contouring palette. The seed of this idea was planted at a recent NYX event when my makeup artist Nikki mentioned that some of the shades in the brand’s Highlight & Contour Pro Palette work well as neutral eyeshadows. I started experimenting and realized that there are actually several different ways to use this palette. This is especially useful info considering I have some short trips planned for the summer, and I like to keep my luggage limited. I love the idea of one palette (plus a couple of other key products) meeting all my makeup needs. Here are my favourite unique ways to use my contouring palette:

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

Under-eye concealer
The yellowest shade in the palette is perfect for disguising the shadows under my eyes. You can thank basic colour theory for this quick fix because blue and yellow are opposites on the colour wheel. This hue definitely cancelled out the blue in my skin and made me look instantly refreshed.

Basic highlighter
The lightest, silvery shade in the palette works perfectly as a subtle highlighter. Using my fingers, I patted it onto my cheekbones, brow bones and cupid’s bow for a pretty pick-me-up.

I picked one of the medium brown shades to use as an eyeshadow, and you’d never know this wasn’t its intended purpose. I just added a few swipes of mascara (Maybelline New York’s Great Lash Mascara), and my eyes were popping!

Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara

To complete the look, I reached for one last product (an amazing multi-tasker in its own right): Stila’s Convertible Color in Fuchsia. I love that I can wear this as both a lipstick and blush—perfect for packing light.

Stila Convertible Color in Fuchsia

One last note: You could also use your contouring palette to fill in your eyebrows. None of these shades were quite right for me (I tried, with sorta tragic results), but if you’re a golden blonde I feel like you’d definitely find a match!

Nicole Keen Contour


Stila Convertible Lip & Cheek Colour in Fuschia


Stila Convertible Lip & Cheek Colour in Fuschia