I was lucky enough to be given the new Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio for my birthday from the lovely Claire from Ms This N That Blog (thanks so much Claire x).
Even though I love contouring and highlighting, I still consider myself a bit of a noob at it and I have never really attempted a seriously chiseled contoured look or ever dabbled with cream contour products (I have always seen them as more of a professional product to use). I was so excited to use these contour sticks as a way to take my contouring to the next level... and this is what I thought!
You can buy this kit in Australia at the Mecca website or in store at Mecca Maxima or Kit Cosmetics.
It retails for $59 and in the kit you get three contour sticks, a sharpener and a face chat which shows how to contour and highlight for different face shapes.
This chart would be very handy for people who are new to contouring. I also love that this comes with a sharpener designed for these sticks. I am often reluctant to buy large pencil type products if they require sharpening because I am always concerned that I won't have a sharpener to fit them. No need to worry now!
The Highlight shade is a light yellow toned cream shade, the Bronze is a toffee mid toned brown, and the Contour is a more cool toned chocolate brown shade.
All of the shades have a matte finish, are very creamy and pigmented and blend really well into the skin. These also layer very well so I find that it is easiest to start with a small amount and build up the product rather than trying to apply a lot at once.
I generally blend these out with a buffing brush, but if you apply a small amount at a time then you can use any fluffy brush to blend the product. You can also use your fingers to blend these out, and I find that fingers work well for tapping in the highlighter shade.
This is my first experience with contouring and highlighting with a cream product, and I have actually really been enjoying the results. What I have noticed is that the contour look really natural while giving the face a lot more depth and dimension. Previously whenever I tried to create a strong contour I felt like it looked horrible and unnatural, but these cream sticks look really flattering and natural, even when you apply a strong contour.
Check out my first attempt at using these here:
In the video above I applied the product over my already powered base and found that by heavily buffing in the product it lifted some of my foundation. I find that it's definitely much easier to apply these before you powder/set your foundation and a softer buffing motion prevents the foundation too much. I also like powdering after I have applied these which helps set the cream product and last all day. If you wanted an even more extreme contoured look you could apply a powder contour/bronzer/highlight over the top of the cream product.
The only con that I have about the Smashbox Contour Sticks is that the Highlighter stick would be too dark for a lot of fair-light skin tones. I can just use this as a highlight, but it looks barely noticeable on my light skin tone. If you have skin lighter than mine then you might find that this doesn't give any highlighted effect to your skin. One improvement to this kit would to make the highlighter slightly lighter.
Overall I love the effect that these give and I have been reaching for them when I want my makeup to look amazing, but naturally and effortlessly amazing. I do find myself mainly reaching for either the Contour shade or the Bronzer (I rarely use them both in one look) and if I could buy these sticks individually then I can see myself repurchasing the Contour shade time and time again.
If you wanted to dabble in cream contour and highlight products then I highly recommend these Smashbox Contour Sticks because they are easy to use and give great results.
What do you think of these? Have you tried cream contour and highlight products?