Strobing, highlighting… whatever you want to call this “trend”, in my opinion, it is most certainly not phasing out the infamous contour. Is anyone actually over it? Personally, I have been contouring since before I had even heard of the word, and will be contouring till the end of time (#contourenthusiast #callmekimk). However, at the moment it’s a case of ‘another day, another contour kit hits the market’, no? It’s saturation at its best. The vast majority of products on the market are powder contour kits, and more recently we’ve seen an increase in cream products; but nonetheless, I definitely hadn’t come across a cream product in a stick format.
When I saw the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I probably say that about most products I purchase, I know, but these really caught my eye. What attracted me the most is the convenience of having sticks you can use to map your face shape with. It’s not only easy, it’s very quick – draw on, blend out. I also liked that it includes all shades required to create a sculpted look: a Highlight shade, a Bronze shade and a Contour shade.
Highlight: A yellow-toned matte shade. On my NC35 skin tone, this does highlight quite well. I love taking this shade under the eyes in a triangle shape, bringing it up to my temples. I also use it under my eye concealer for extra brightening, around the mouth, down the bridge of the nose, and to carve out/clean up my contour.
Bronze: A medium, warm-brown matte shade. This is such a lovely bronzing colour – not too orange or red. I place it where I would a powder bronzer – mostly on my cheeks, forehead and jawline for extra warmth.
Contour: A medium brown with a slightly cool undertone. I really like this shade, a lot more than I originally anticipated! It mimics shadows quite well. As my face shape is oval and I don’t have a very large forehead, I only place this shade in the hollows of my cheekbones, down the sides of my nose (only for night-time looks), and under the jawline.
So, what are they like?
These crayons are just a breeze to work with. The matte formula is creamy enough that it allows for effortless blending, but thick enough that it doesn’t transfer, move around, or lift your chosen base product. Although they’re matte shades, they’re not flat at all; in fact, they look like skin. All three crayons are incredibly pigmented, but can still be built up to your chosen intensity – you can go natural, or a bit more defined. I also haven’t had any issues with them emphasising pore size or dry patches, score.
The application process is phenomenal. The Beauty Blender blends the product away quite nicely, and provides a natural finish. In terms of brushes, I prefer the synthetic type – I like the Real Techniques Contour Brush or Sculpting Face Brush; but you can get away with using most brushes, as long as they’re not too dense.
All three shades last all day on my skin – 9+ hours. Admittedly, on most days I set my whole face with a translucent powder (I get a tiny bit shiny), but I’ve tried them without setting and they lasted just as long.
Have I lost you? New to this whole contour thing? Don’t fret. Smashbox included a leaflet that is very useful; it outlines an easy-to-follow guide for all face shapes, allowing you to identify what areas need to be brought forward, or shadowed. The face charts are so handy for those who are just dipping their toes into the scary contouring pool.
It’s worth mentioning that, although I am not typically fond of products that require sharpening (I don’t like wastage), these come with their own sharpener and somehow you don’t end up wasting too much. Thumbs up from me!
You will like these if:
- You’re a beginner
- You have trouble placing contour/highlight products on the face or blending them out
- You’re an expert contourer (I made that word up)
- You want precision, convenience and portability.
Things to consider:
- Lack of shade range – only light to medium skin tones will get away with this trio
- Pricing is steep – $59 for 3 x 0.12 oz. of product.
The bottom line:
As you have probably gathered by now, I think they’re fantastic. I’ve been reaching for them non-stop since purchasing them, especially the bronze and contour shades – they’re currently my go-to. I highly recommend them.
The Smashbox Contour Stick Trio is available from Mecca.
What are your favourite contouring products? Do you prefer powder or cream? Share below!