Tested on animals:No
Laura Mercier's Flawless Contouring Palette claims to have an advantage over other palettes because of its blendable cream formula, but we found it has some drawbacks, too—enough to make it a palette you might want to skip.
Flawless Contouring Palette comes in a cardboard compact with a mirrored top. Inside are five cream shades: Three brown-based colors intended for contouring and two shimmer shades meant for highlighting. This palette is definitely best for those with normal to dry skin, as the creams are very emollient—they "warm up" and become quite creamy with the slightest touch.
Those with oily or combination skin will find this won't last long at all over oily areas, and can emphasize shine. We found the best way to apply this fragrance-free formula was to dab it directly on to areas we wanted to contour, then blend it in (which can be done with a brush, sponge, or fingers).
Of the three brown shades, Contour #1 is the most versatile. It's a slightly warm medium brown that looks dark in the pan, but with enough blending, it sheers out to be workable on light to medium skin tones. We should note that it might be too warm if your skin is pink-based or "cool-toned."
Contour #2 Medium has the same warm base but is a darker brown that works best on medium to deep skin tones.
Contour #3 Deep is a neutral dark brown that's best for deep skin tones. We wish Laura Mercier offered a couple of different versions of this palette, because for those with fair to light skin only one of the contour shades is useable, as is the case for deep skin tones (Contour #1 and Contour #2 Medium are too light to show up on the deepest skin tones).
As for the highlight shades, Highlight #1 is a yellow-based cream with flecks of sparkles. On fair to light skin, it doesn't show up much, except for the flecks of glitter. On darker skin, it appears quite yellow and doesn't resemble a natural highlight. Highlight #2 is the better of the two options—a shimmery bronze that can work on lighter skin tones as a bronzer, and on deeper skin tones as a highlighter.
As for wear time, we found on normal to dry skin that this did wear well without fading during a standard workday. As mentioned above, those with oily skin will likely find that its cream texture emphasizes already-shiny skin.
In the end, Flawless Contouring Palette just isn't as "flawless" as claimed. Its lack of versatility, both in contouring and highlight shades, means this just doesn't have the wider range of appeal that can be found in other palettes, so this doesn't get our enthusiastic recommendation. To find products that do, see our list of Best Contour and Highlight Products.
- Contour #1 shade is workable for some light to medium skin tones (despite how dark it looks in the pan).
- Contour #2 Medium shade and Contour #3 Deep shade work well on their intended skin tones.
- Highlight #2 shade can work well as a bronzer or highlighter.
- Contour #1 shade will likely be too warm for pink-based or "cool" skin tones.
- Lack of versatile shades means some will go unused.
- Highlight #1 shade is not ideal for light or medium to deep skin tones.