5 Drugstore Contour Powders for Light & Pale Skin (Plus Tips + Tricks)

Contouring the face is starting to get a bad rap. I think the way overdone "Instagram face" combined with the wrong products have contributed to that. Time an issue? It doesn't have to take a ton of time either to contour--just something to define the cheekbones works wonders for the face and brings depth and dimension. 

But most of the contour products are geared towards those with darker and warmer skin tones, which makes sense because of American population demographics. Regular contour products don't work for me--I have light skin, and when I apply bronzer or contour, most of the ones sold leave me looking muddy and dirty.

Since I do makeup on myself and others, I've figured out some tricks for those with lighter skin tones. Go for a color that is cooler, more of a grayish cast than a warm brown. Try using an eyeshadow or blush if you can't specifically find a contour shade that looks right on you.

Think contour products have to cost a lot of money? Nope! Luckily, I've got 5 options from the drugstore that work well for lighter skin tones.

Bronze Booster Highlight + Contour Palette


Make sure you get the MATTE SCULPTING one

Use the middle shade for contouring

BONUS: you can use all three as eye shadows

Prime & Fine Professional Contouring Palette


Try the shade Ashy Radiance (uh, forgive the name)

HD Blush in Taupe


Don't let the word "blush" fool you--this works well on lighter skin


plenty of options in this palette--try Rite Aid or online to buy

Infallible Pro Contour Palette in light


great compact option

not from the drugstore, but a drugstore price

Sephora Colorful Collection in Tranquil
$7 (on sale)

I can do a high end version of light contours if you're interested!

What's your favorite contour product/palette?

Extra Elle:

Hey y'all! I'm back from a mini vacation. I stayed home but took some time off from here and social media--always good to recharge the batteries, right? I also ended up getting out of jury duty, so I have an extra day off, yay! 


DUPE? Urban Decay Naked 3 VS LA Girl Nudes

I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I became a pink girl. I never really liked the color growing up--I was too cool for pink. Pink was too girly for me. I was tougher than pink. And to think many, many years ago, boys wore pink and girls wore blue. Wearing pink means you're weak? Being girly is weak? I'm glad I'm over that ridiculousness. What a silly stigma to throw on a color, right?

I've always been drawn to jewel tones for some reason--perhaps because they compliment my dark hair better. I don't know. But maybe blame it on being a blogger, blame it on the fact that the new pink shades are more appealing and are everywhere, but I've totally embraced it. Pink sort of calms me in a way--there's a creaminess to it. I'm now drawn to pastel pinks. It's even become part of my eye shadow collection--something this various shades of brown wearing girl never thought would happen.

And whereas before pink shadows made me think I looked sickly wearing them, the trend of nude shades has made them more versatile than bubblegum pink. And the love of nude shadows and palettes really came together in a glorious combination made famous by Urban Decay. But their palettes are around $54. Could there be a much more affordable alternative? This Dupe Detective put on her pink hat (of course) and got to work. I'll be comparing the Urban Decay Naked 3 vs. LA Girl Nudes palette. Do we have a dupe here? Keep reading to find out:


12 shades

Can be easier to find online (try Amazon) than in stores. I've seen it at ULTA, Walgreens, Walmart, etc.

The packaging is nothing fancy, and you might not like all of the ingredients (I linked to them above), but the colors are really pretty. I think you can get quite a few looks from this palette. 

And what, fellow beauty enthusiasts, does this palette remind you of?


Online, ULTA, Sephora

Here we have a side by side comparison, with the L.A. Girl being on top. You can see there are some similar-looking shades, but not an exact dupe of every shade.

Let's try them on, shall we?

On your right, I am wearing UD naked 3, and on your left, L.A. Girl. By the way, those are my natural lashes--you might recall I got lash extensions at the beginning of May--here's to prove that no, having extensions didn't make my lashes fall out or ruin my eyes. It's all good, y'all.

And now for some swatches! L.A. Girl is on your left, UD is on your right.

I chose not to swatch every single shade, instead, only the definite dupes. It's hard to tell, but there are 5 definite dupes, with some shades being very similar, and some shades that are exclusive to each palette.

The quality of the shadows for both palettes is very similar. UD has some shimmery shades that have too much fall out. Covergirl has a Roses palette that is also similar, but it's around $12. I think if you are going for a dupe or similar palette that definitely won't break the bank, L.A. Girl Nudes is a great one to add.

Do you think this is a dupe?

Extra Elle:
Thanks for the love on my last post. I wish I would have opened up sooner. Thanks to your support, I am feeling more and more like myself every day. I love and appreciate you so much. Thank you.


We Need to Talk

Friends, we need to talk. 

After 7 years of blogging 5 days a week about beauty products and some of my life, I realize I need to do more of the latter.

I'm a very private person and never want to trouble anyone with my problems. But I have realized that not reaching out for help or not sharing our struggles only causes us pain the long run and creates this unnecessary stigma of weakness.

So here goes:

I have been suffering from extreme anxiety.

Anxiety is nothing new to me. I have had it since I was about 4. But lately it has hit an all-time high. It all started back in October. TMI alert here, so you can skip this paragraph, but essentially I ended up having a period for 3 months. Yes, you read that correctly. It really wore me down, just having no relief, and that I got no answers as to why it happened. Everything is fine now, but it kind of made me depressed, I guess you could say. My hormones definitely felt out of whack. I didn't feel like myself.

Then in December, as I was leaving for Christmas break, I overheard at work that my position would end when the new school year begins. I am a nanny and the youngest will start preschool, so they won't need me anymore. I love the family and my job and 100% support their decision. However, it totally broke my heart and I finally got the confirmation it was true a couple of months later. I will miss those kids something awful. I began to panic on needing to find in job in 8 months. That's plenty of time, but at the time, I felt overwhelmed.

In February, I had the flu. In March, I had pneumonia. I felt so down, so tired. No energy.

And then after a really good end of 2016, my blog stats, my Instagram, everything started to plummet. It really bothered me. Why was this happening? Was it me? Why didn't people like me? I refuse to be a blogger that does things for click bait--do your makeup with Cheetos using a sock! Um, no. I refuse to be the blogger that buys every single new beauty product, every single shade, just to be first. I can't do it. I don't look like the contoured to the Heavens girls of Instagram. I don't want to be like everyone else.

I began blogging just a few times a week. I thought maybe taking a break would help. It didn't. It made things worse blog-wise and that made more anxiety.All things beauty--my biggest passion--weren't enough. My last haul was in January. I never shared any of those products and they sat in a box for months. I quit painting my nails, wearing makeup most days, even doing my hair. That sounds SO artificial/first world problems/vain, but those things make me feel better about myself. I wear makeup/paint my nails/do my hair only for myself. I didn't feel like myself. 

All of these things, plus some additional personal issues, caused my anxiety to build up. I began to retreat into myself and away from everyone.

But one day I couldn't take it anymore. Something had to give.

I began to open up to others and share what I'd been going through.

It turns out that I'm not alone. Imagine that!

I began to practice self-care--that sounds like such a selfish thing to do, but taking time out for myself really, really helped. I know we're all busy, but scheduling that time really helped.

This was drawn for me by Rebecca Jo! Thank you!
I turned to my faith.

I focused on the good, on the positive, on the things (not necessarily material here, just a general term) I have instead of the negative. Is __issue worth getting upset over? Will it matter in 5 minutes? A month from now? No? Then let it roll off your back.

Instead of focusing on overwhelming big problems, I put them into smaller pieces.

I realized that it's okay and that there is no shame in having anxiety.

While I am not currently on any medication for my anxiety, there is nothing wrong with that either. No shame. The same goes for talking to a professional.

I write this today because I see that light at the end of the tunnel. I am closer to feeling back to myself than ever before, closer than I've been in months. I feel like I am over the hump and running towards the finish line.

Not allowing anxiety to have its grip on me has been the most freeing feeling. Taking things one day at a time, allowing myself to feel emotions and not hide them or bottle them up is freeing. And then letting them go.

Today I feel free.

Have you suffered from anxiety?


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.

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