As we all know contouring and highlighting storm has taken over the makeup world. Till now, I have always used powder contour product my absolute favorite is the Kat Von D Shade /+ Light palette which I have reviewed here, but I recently picked up this Smash box Step by Step Contour sticks because I wanted to try my hands on cream contour and these seemed like the ideal product.
An exclusive set of three ultra-blendable, creamy sticks that glide effortlessly onto skin for targeted, precise application and a totally even finish.
What it does:
These hot contouring products have always been a best-kept secret of those in the know. Now Smashbox has made it easy to put your best face forward with three shades that mimic perfect lighting: Contour sculpts by creating shadows, Highlight mimics light reflection to pull features forward, and Bronze provides a smooth transition that eliminates the look of harsh lines. The result is flawlessly shaped features from defined-looking cheekbones to a seemingly perfected nose to the appearance of a sculpted jawline. The kit also includes a how-to insert with simple instructions for achieving the best look for your face shape. This set is exclusively available at Sephora.
This set contains:
– 3 x 0.12 oz Contour Sticks in Contour, Bronze, and Highlight
– How-to insert
Basic contouring steps:
-Use the dark Contour shade on the sides of the nose and under the cheekbones to add dimension.
-Apply the Bronze shade above the Contour shade on the cheekbones.
-Highlight the bridge of the nose, center of the forehead, under the eyes, and the top of the chin.
Tip: you can apply the Highlight shade to collarbones for a lifted statuesque look—perfect for strapless or off-the-shoulder styles.
This product comes in a stick format with 3 shades which are Highlight, Bronze and Contour. It is very travel friendly. I love the fact that a sharpener is provided in this kit as with the sticks being so thick, it might be difficult to find a right size sharpener for them. I usually don’t prefer products which require sharpening because it leads to product wastage, but if the product is good, this will not be a deal breaker for me. This kit also comes with a super helpful illustrated guide.
These are the easiest-to-use cream contour kit in the market. The pencil format makes it easy to draw streaks wherever you want the product to be placed and the extremely blendable nature makes working with this product a breeze. I find that the best method to blend this product is using a stipple brush or a beauty blender. I found a very helpful video by the renowned beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill in which she demonstrates the cream contour technique using this product which is the exact technique I use.
Shades: All the shades in this kit are completely matte. These shades would most easily work with light-medium skin tones.
Highlight: A matte cream shade. It helps bring out the area forward and give it a lifted appearance without any shimmer. I love to use this shade to highlight tops of my cheeks, bridge of my nose, middle of my forehead, cupid’s bow and chin. I will also on occasion use this shade over my under eye corrector to brighten the under eye. I also use this to carve out my contour and give it sharp edge.
Contour: A perfect contour shade which mimics shadow for my light-medium (NW23) skin tone. When blended, it looks extremely natural and does not look muddy at all. It gives illusion of shadow hence help chisel out the face.
Bronze: A matte light brown. This shade has warmth to it hence it gives a bronzed appearance. The way it is directed to use this shade is use it as a transition between your contours and highlight. I place this right over my contour close to my ear and blend it. This gives a slim appearance to my face and does not make my contour look too harsh and unnatural. This shade ties the whole look together.
All shades blend seamlessly and I did not find them to disturb the foundation I have on underneath. They are super pigmented too.
Staying Power: I do find this contour kit to be long wearing, creamy, and hydrating. They do not accentuate pores or dry patches and don’t seem to slide around the face. On my dry skin, I do not feel the need to set these, but you could do it with a similar shade of powder to give more depth of color or you could set your entire face with a translucent powder. Now you may ask which is best for me? Should I go for a cream or powder contour? I feel like cream contour products though look much more like skin and blend incredibly well into the skin, they are too much work for everyday. Also, it does take some skill to master the cream contour and there is a lot of room for error and looking like a muddy mess. I feel cream contouring is best done on special days whereas powder contour is good for everyday as it is also less time consuming and low maintenance.
If you are looking to try your hand in cream contouring or if you are beginner with regards to contouring, look no further than this product. I highly recommend this.
Pros of Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio:
• Easy to use.
• Easy to blend.
• Looks very natural.
• Great shade selection, works perfectly with my light to medium skin tone.
• The pencil format makes it good for beginners.
• Sharpener is provided.
• Does not slide around but is very creamy and hydrating.
• Does not stick to my dry patches nor accentuates pores.
• Very versatile.
• Travel friendly.
Cons of Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio:
• These 3 shades may not work for all, especially deeper or really pale skin tones.
• I usually don’t like products which need sharpening, but in this case I will make an exception because I like the product overall.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer
Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner – Onyx
Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Fair/Light
Revlon New Complexion One Step Compact Makeup
Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Radiant Primer in Pink
NYX Wonder Stick Highlight and Contour Stick – WS02 Medium/Tan
Hard Candy Angel Face Highlight and Contour Cheek Duo
Kryolan Color Corrector Paint Stick 303
MUA Makeup Academy Sage 3 In 1 Extreme Contour Eye Pen
L’oreal Paris – Color Appeal Trio Pro Eye Shadow Review & Tutorial