This was my first time buying a dedicated contouring product. It was also my first time successfully contouring! My past attempts had been with darker and lighter shades of liquid foundation and by the end, I had so many layers of foundation on my skin, it looked awful! Also, I think the darker contouring color needs to be a somewhat greyish (i.e. not yellow or pink based like most foundations) to look like a shadow and not a tan.
This set creates perfection! The highlighter is not super-light (I bought the lighter option palette)- honestly, it could be a little lighter and still work with my NC20 skin, but it works and is very natural. The dark color is absolutely perfect. It also has an excellent bronzer, although I find it requires a light hand. I love that the bronzer more red based than yellow because even with yellow undertones, mu natural tan is more like this bronzer and not Nars laguna, for example. The instructions are great and its hard to mess up I think.
Finally, it comes with a great brush! I used to love all the Smashbox sets that came with brushes and it seems less popular now, so that was great to see. Its a small brush, which is PERFECT for contouring, highlighting and even blush. The powder texture is excellent and makes skin look glowing (although it is mat- you know what I mean, mat but not flat!) and photographs beautifully.
One of the best make-up purchases I have made!