Can You Really Use This Drugstore Eyeshadow as a Contouring Cream?

I'm a big fan of this Maybelline cream shadow, but are the rumors that you can contour with it true?
Publish date:
May 6, 2015
maybelline, makeup brushes, contouring, multitaskers, real techniques

Extreme cream contouring was one of the biggest makeup trends of the past couple years, but the drugstore is short on good options to make it happen.

The first rule of contouring is to use something matte, and general advice is to go for a cool brown rather than a bronzer. I’ve heard that Maybelline's cream eyeshadow Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe (or Permanent Taupe if you’re in the UK) recommended as an affordable cream contour product, and I think it was an xoVain commenter who recently who reminded me to try it.

I’m a big fan of Tough As Taupe in its original function. I’m also a big fan of products that do all the things. And saving money. You could say I had high hopes.

I don’t usually contour my face, but if I do, I use the NYX Powder Blush in Taupe, applied pretty sparingly under my cheekbones and jawline. I use the Real Techniques Contour Brush, which, unsurprisingly, is pretty good for contouring. It’s a good size for getting all in there and being specific with your contour application without drawing a straight up line on your face.

I went with what I know and used the Real Techniques brush without altering my technique: brush into product, brush onto face. I moved the brush in tiny circles, moving into my face from the top of my ear.

This is not going well. I tried on my other cheek with much less product and a much lighter hand.

I mean, it’s… adequate, but I think the colour is actually too cool. It’s bordering on purple, and even with only the tiniest amount on my face, you can see where it’s placed. It just doesn’t look like it’s really a shadow.

I think contouring with this product might work if you have a) very pale skin, and b) very cool-toned skin. Realistically, though, it’s not the magical bargain cream contouring product I had hoped it would be.

While the search continues, I’ll still be using Tough As Taupe as an eyeshadow base. It’s not too shabby for filling in my eyebrows either, so not all hope of multi-functionality is lost!

  • Have you tried Tough As Taupe as a contour product? Did it work for you?
  • Any other drugstore cream contour recs?