I own several contour palettes. From Anastasia Beverly Hills to Kay Von D to Wet n Wild to this ELF kit so I definitely have experienced a pretty good range of contour palettes. For the price, this ELF palette is fabulous! Also, since you're new to contouring, this kit will be great for you! It's very easy to work with. I would definitely suggest starting with a light amount and building it up as you go until you reach your desired look otherwise it will be hard to blend out. As far as issue with the powders breaking, I haven't had any issues at all.