It’s no secret that I love a good contouring powder, and despite having oily skin, I’m a big fan of highlighters too. I mean, who can resist those sparkly pots of shimmer? I’ve tried quite a few different ones this past year, but my fail-safe routine, the Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio from Smashbox, has always been there to fall back on – like a trusty friend who never lets you down. And as a result, I happily re-buy time and time again.
The Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio is a not only my favourite and fail-safe way to contour, but it’s also the easiest, and quickest method to chisel my cheekbones in the mornings. Those mornings pre-school run, where the time just escapes me no matter how early I get up, those mornings when I want to look my best but don’t have quite enough time? Well, those are the mornings I’m especially glad of these little sticks of contouring genius.
The trio has sticks in three shades – a highlight shade that’s a pale cream, to highlight the bones and catch the light. Note: there’s no shimmer in it, it’s a contour highlight. Not a highlight-highlight. Then there’s the contour shade, which is a darker colour to create shadows in the hollows of your cheeks, and everywhere else you’d need contrast. Then finally there’s the bronze shade which is a transition shade designed to help blend the difference and soften the edges between the highlight and contour shades.
The three sticks themselves are beautifully creamy in texture, when applied they feel soft and gentle with a very easy to work with formula that blends excellently. It’s not stubborn, in fact it’s very forgiving, so you can work it into your skin very precisely as you go – giving you chiseled cheekbones in the style you like best. The shades are universal so there’s not really a skin type that couldn’t work well with the set. For me personally, being so pale skinned, I tend to use the bronze as my contour shade and very minimal of the contour stick. It works best for me that way and still creates a great contrast. But the sticks are so versatile you can work them whichever way is best for you.
A quick few minutes in the mornings, blended with a brush or even beauty bender and I’m good to go. They’re literally so easy to use, mess free and great for blending.
One new product I’ve been using in my contouring routine is the Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand. Which is a click-through pen style highlighter with brush applicator. A bit different to my usual powder highlighters, I’m really impressed by the Pearl shade wand. It’s a very light highlighter with tiny shimmer flakes that perfectly catch the light. It’s not overbearing – I’m not one for those over-highlighted looks, but it draws light where I want it and shimmers perfectly. I use mine on my cheekbones and also the brow bones. If I’m going out, I’ll apply down the centre of my nose, above my top lip and just a dab above my brows. It’s perfect for those with pale skin like me, who don’t want to blind people with their highlight, but still carry off the look of subtle but pretty highlighter!
So my steps for achieving contoured and highlighted cheekbones:
1. Apply your chosen contour shade (I use the bronze shade with a tiny bit of contour) to cheek hollows, temples, outer nose and jaw line
2. Apply highlight shade to cheekbones and in a straight line down the face and circle the forehead
3. Blend contour shade first, then highlight
4. Apply extra bronze or in-between shade to any areas where lines look too harsh, and blend
4. Dab on Halo Highlighting want to cheekbones, brow bones and nose centre. Apply with wand but dab with fingertips.
This posts contains gifted items, but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.