Kat Von D’s Shade and Light vs. NYX’s Highlight and Contour Pro

For the price difference, is the Shade and Light palette worth it?

With everyone and their grandmother contouring these days, there are so many products on the shelves in both drugstores and in Sephora. Youtube beauty vloggers have sworn by Shade and Light for more than a year now, but is it really worth it? NYX’s option is slightly harder to find (my Ulta was sold out for weeks), its much less expensive and comes with two more colors.  After using both palettes, I have thoughts.

Kat Von D: Shade & light

Let’s start with the high-end version. The Kat Von D Shade and Light palette will set you back $46 and comes with three highlight shades and three contour shades.

First, the things I love about this Shade and Light: The contour colors are incredibly soft and light. They almost come across looking blurred– which I love because my skin is so fair. Second, all the shades are incredibly blendable so you don’t have to worry about spending forever making sure you don’t have any harsh lines. I also really like the lightest highlight shade, and I put it over my under eye concealer for an extra pop of awake-ness.

While I love this palette, there are a few things I don’t like. First, the price. I held out on buying this for so long, but my lovely boyfriend bought it for me as a Christmas present after hearing me complain long enough. Second, while the contour shades work for me, I’m not sure how well they would work on someone with a darker complexion. Even the darkest shade isn’t really that dark. I am usually the first or second lightest in foundation shades, and even I can use two of Shade and Light’s contour shades.

Top to bottom: Levitation, Lyric, Lucid


The color payoff also is not amazing. That is good for me, because I would rather have to put on more product for a more dramatic look than risk going overboard on accident. Again, fair-skinned girls will like this about the palette.

While I like the pinky color for setting my under eye area, I am not super impressed by the other highlight shades. Personally I like a more shimmery highlight, and all of these colors are matte. Maybe one day I’ll try the other two colors, but I definitely don’t reach for them.

contour, makeup


NYX: Highlight & contour pro palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette costs about $20 on Amazon ($25 at Ulta) and comes with four contour shades and four highlight shades. I got mine at Ulta, but I only found it after the third trip because they kept selling out! Some Target and CVS stores carry the palette, too.

Top to bottom: Hollow, Sculpt, Toffee, Tan

I love the cool contour shade in this palette (the second one from the top in the swatches- hover above photos for names). It works to contour my cheekbones with still seeming sort of natural, without looking like I have a ton of makeup on. One main difference in these colors than in Kat Von D’s is that the NYX colors have a slight shimmer, while Kat Von D’s colors are matte. That totally depends on preference- I usually go for a shimmery blush and highlight, so I prefer a matte contour color.

The pigmentation on these colors is better than Shade and Light- you need less product to get the look you want. That is especially true for the highlight shades– I love the first highlight in this palette! It’s probably worth buying the palette just for that color, honestly.

There are some downfalls to this palette, though. First of all, I’ve found that most of the contour colors don’t really work for me. With the exception of one, I think the others are both too dark and too warm for my skin. In the Kat Von D palette, I can use two of the contour shades and they both look good, while only one in NYX works.

NYX’s shades are blendable, but not quite like Kat Von Ds. It takes a little longer to achieve a seamless look, and there is a decent amount of fallout with every shade. The color pots are also smaller, too.


Overall, I like both palettes a lot. However, I reach for Kat Von D’s more. I think the colors there work for me better, and they are SO easy to blend. I am all about fast, and the quicker I can blend my makeup and get going, the better. Either one of these palettes is a good purchase, but I would definitely consider your skin tone before purchasing either, because that’s the key factor when it boils down to it.

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