I bet drag queens are having a field day with the amount of mainstream contour products available nowadays. Lately my social media feeds have been filled with reviews after reviews of new contour products such as KKW Beauty's cream contour sticks, infamous for the outrageous price and little amount of product. Personally, I've been a powder kind of a gal. I do have a couple of cream contour/bronzer pots in my possession, but despite their high quality I always need to remind myself to reach for them.
Still, I was super excited when Rouge Bunny Rouge generously sent me their new contour liquid for consideration. And it's a wand, not a pot or a jar! Personally, I dislike sticking my fingers in jars as much as I fear the product will dry.. I loved my Illamasqua cream contour pigment, it's now dry as bone despite the lid being closed. Please notice that my thoughts are always honest and 100% my own, I share products if I'm intrigued or feel there isn't enough reference images online. I'm not obliged to post anything and never accept any commission. I hope you'll enjoy this post!
Rouge Bunny Rouge: SHADOW PLAY
Natural Defining & Contouring Liquid in DUSK comes in a decent 12ml/0.4 fl oz size tube (made in Italy) for 35€/$41.3. The tube itself is beautiful with black floral pattern embossing with the RBR Neo-Victorian vibe. There's only one color option, DUSK 070, which is a light-medium matte umber with rose undertones. RBR makes wonderful products and impeccable colors, but sadly their shade range(s) have always been on the fair side. I hope that in the future they add darker shades that compliment deeper skin tones as well.
The tip of the tube has a soft, popcorn shaped sponge applicator for defining cheekbones and the jaw line. The sponge is not removable and thus not easy to clean. It raises some minor concerns in me as I'm a bit of a hygiene freak when it comes to makeup and skincare. Especially liquid and cream products are prone to bacteria, but so far I've avoided having a panic attack over the matter and used the sponge directly on my face. In theory, you could put the squeeze tube in "off" mode and try washing it or just dap some color on the back of your hand. I'm using a brush to blend any hard edges, so you could use a brush or a beauty blender for application as well.
The tube is soft, squeeze type with a smart ON and OFF mechanism. You twist the upper part of the tube (under the sponge tip) to either let some product out or seal it in. I find this very handy to control the amount of color and use it sparingly. When in ON mode, only little squeeze of the tube is needed to release a good amount of product to the sponge. Then I'll turn the mechanism OFF and begin contouring. For me, the sponge often has enough product left for a second application, but this depends on your personal needs.
Color & Swatches
Here's RBR Contouring Liquid in Dusk swatched next to RBR Bronzing Glow Powder and Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. I have more contouring shades in my collection, but I think I'll do a dedicated post in the future. KA Sculpting Powder is quite old school and should be familiar to many while RBR Bronzing powder is a lovely choice if you're not into liquids or strong shading. It has a satin finish and the color is pretty natural beige-brown. I do love both of these powders, but if you look closely, see how "powdery" the texture looks (especially KA) next to Dusk? The difference might seem faint, but in real life I feel Dusk is the most seamless once applied on skin.
Dusk does pull quite red while the Sculpting Powder looks almost green or olive in comparison. Out of these 3 I think the RBR bronzer is the most neutral toned. My complexion is fairly pale neutral-warm (I'm about MAC NC15 for reference) and I thought Dusk might be almost too red to imitate shadows of my face. This might be the case if you're very warm/olive, but for me the result is surprisingly natural. For more sculpted definition I do wish the color was more neutral taupe.
In the first image I've used swiping and dabbing motions to apply the RBR Contouring Liquid under my cheekbones, jaw-line and on my temples. For me, I think adding that extra dot of contouring color on temples helps to define the cheekbones even better. Like I said, the color comes out pretty generously from the tube, so I put it in the OFF mode after initial swipes. Then I'll blend the product with my trusty Koyudo BP014 brush for a smooth and seamless finish.
I simply haven't had any issues while using the Contouring Liquid; this is how all liquid blushes, contour colors and highlighters should apply. While the color is sheer, you can build up layers for more intensity. The color sets fairly quickly but you have the perfect amount of time to blend. There is no stickiness or transfer during the day and lasting power is good. Below you'll see the finished result (beware big closeup of my face).
As a side note: if you've ever needed a multi-purpose goat hair brush for liquid and cream foundation or sculpting products, I'll tell you Koyudo BP014 is it! I've loved this brush for years, it's not ultra soft (like Saikoho goat hair), but pleasantly soft enough for the purpose. Firm, efficient and also affordable.
What do you think? I've been doing this contouring routine a lot lately, even in a hurry as the application and blending takes me only a minute. Pretty natural and subtle definition, but again - this is not a product for those Kardashian cheekbones. My boyfriend is slightly paler than I am, so I tricked him to test the product on his hand - it looked even better! (No, I doubt he is going to model me how Dusk looks on a different skin tone haha)
If you're on the fairer side and enjoy a natural yet defined makeup, then Rouge Bunny Rouge's SHADOW PLAY Natural Defining and Contouring Liquid could be a go-to product for you. It marriages together portability, fuss-free use and application with beautiful results. The only con I can think of is the limited shade range (at this moment): if your complexion is medium plus or very warm/olive, then I'd skip. Despite my initial doubts due the reddish undertones, I've been liking Dusk a lot and reaching it over my usual contour powders.
By the way, I saw Charlotte Tilbury just released new liquid contouring/highlight products with very similar packaging and price (couldn't find the amount of product you're getting though), but personally I'm not intrigued to purchase as her colors seemed way too intense for me. I'm also on a No Beauty Buy (click to read more). If you wish to purchase the Contouring Liquid in Dusk or any other RBR products, feel free to use my 20% off code: RBR-LAURALOUKOLA20 (yup, still non-affiliate/commission/whatever - just their generous gift for my readers).
Have you tried the RBR Contouring Liquid? What's your current favorite sculpting product? I'd LOVE to hear! Hugs and have a lovely day! x