Contour kits exploded onto the scene last year, and the self confessed ‘original contour kit’ was Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) with six powder shades; three highlights and three bronzers. I kept hearing it being mentioned EVERYWHERE, it seemed like every makeup tutorial whipped out the ABH Contour Kit to sculpt their face. I wanted it, but for someone who had never really contoured before, I was a bit dubious about parting with $70 NZD to buy it online, and there were no shops I could go in and try it out. I did a bit of research online about some of the ‘dupes’ that were available in New Zealand and decided to buy the Australis AC on Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit for $21.50 NZD. As you can probably tell from this post, I got really into my contouring, and decided it was worth investing in the ABH palette.
The similarities between the palettes are firstly the look; the black packaging, the pan size, the layout and colours of the powders. Both brands also offer three shade varieties (light, medium and dark) and are available in cream contours. So for the price difference, is ABH really worth all the hype? Or should you save your money and stick with AC on Tour? Hopefully by the end of this post you will have made up your mind.
Anastasia Beverly Hills empty palette
Anastasia Beverly Hills pans upside down
Some of the differences are the AC on Tour comes in hinged plastic housing with a small clasp and the pans are glued in. ABH is housed in a laminated card with a magnetic opening. The entire base is also magnetic and each of the pans are removable; in the US you can buy individual pans to replace them as they run out or you can build your own palette from scratch.
The real differences though are in the formula of the powders. Above I have named each of the colours in both palettes and below you will see swatches of them all. In the following photos AC on Tour is always on the left and ABH on the right. I am using AC on Tour in Light and ABH Contour Kit in Light to Medium.
Shade 1 vs Vanilla:
Shade 2 vs Banana:
Shade 3 vs Sand:
In the highlighter colours you can see that Australis has a more peachy tone to them whereas ABH is more neutral and sheer. You can also see the Australis sits more powdery on my skin, so you need to be careful not to give yourself a chalky finish.
Shade 4 vs Java:
Shade 5 vs Fawn:
Shade 6 vs Havana:
As you can see the colours in the Australis palette are a lot more pigmented, this does mean a little goes a long way, whereas with the ABH you may have to build the colour up to get your desired effect. Bear in mind that with bronzers too much pigmentation can be a bit of a nightmare if you apply it too heavily, as you really want it to appear like natural tan and shadow on your skin.
You can see in the video demo below that the ABH powders are a lot more fine whereas the Australis powder is quite crumbly and leaves a lot of fallout. For the purposes of comparison, I am using the same brush, the same pressure and the same method of application for both products.
When using the Australis palette I would definitely recommend that you always tap excess product off your brush before applying to your face, use a very light hand, and blend lots. Although this may sound like a lot of effort, I would say, in this instance, you get what you pay for. Although I would always reach for my ABH over the Australis palette, the Australis palette is a good option for the price.