Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio defines beyond belief

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

When you know nothing about contouring but you do know that it’s the hottest game in Beautyworld, then you need to find out how to contour so you can be part of the in-crowd. Smashbox sent the Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio probably to test me out and see if I could step by step my game up.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

The set consists of 3 creamy pencils and a pencil sharpener to fit the larger size. Earlier today I wrote about contouring and highlighting and I gave a small hint to this product. I like it so much that I wanted to elaborate on it.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio - Contour, Bronze, Highlight
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio – Contour, Bronze, Highlight

•    Contour: A darker shade that sculpts by creating shadows
•    Highlight: A light shade that pulls features forward
•    Bronze: A transition shade that eliminates harsh lines by blending the contour and highlight shades

One way Smashbox really helps is with an informational pamphlet inside that shows 5 different face shapes and where to place each of the three sticks to get a look that will contour and highlight without looking like you did. The finished look isn’t obvious; it makes a subtle difference that makes me feel so polished.

Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet
Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet

Not only do they show the face charts but they explain how to determine which shape is yours. For example on a round face they’ve written “Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face. Your jawline is round and curved.” Directions always start with the contour shade with a diagram to show exactly where to apply that pencil. Next they want to give your face some warmth with the bronze shade. The highlight shade is to help you change the shape every so slightly. Since my face is round they suggest using the highlight to help give an illusion of length by applying it to the center of my face. Of course after you use each of the three crayons you need to blend and for me that’s best done with a facial sponge.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches
Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches

The colors are basically universal because the key to this is not seeing the crayons, just to create the illusion, blend well, and then apply your foundation without rubbing it. I like a liquid foundation that I can apply with my Beauty Blender sponge. It takes practice, or it did for me, but it’s worth it to finally understand contouring and highlighting.

•    Sides of nose
•    Under cheekbones

•    Above contour shade on cheekbones

•    Bridge of nose
•    Middle of forehead
•    Under eyes
•    Chin

While the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio isn’t going to be for my everyday look, it’s fun to use these when I’m going out for the evening and want to look my best.

What do you do for contouring? Or do you skip it like I used to? — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration


  1. Carol | 21st Apr 15

    This looks like a cool and easy product. How well is it stay on?

  2. [email protected] | 22nd Apr 15

    Nice little kit for contouring!

  3. Nidia - Lit From Within | 22nd Apr 15

    I do a little bit of contouring – a little bronzer on the temples and jaw, and under my cheeks, and a little highlighter sometimes above my cheeks and on my browbone, sometimes down the center of my face. I’ve only tried a ‘kardashian’-esque contour once, and I was too light-handed to really do it. Chicken.

  4. BeautyJudy | 22nd Apr 15

    I read an article that named this one of the most returned items at Sephora – that was my only knowledge about it; but I think it seems like a nice kit to try contouring, personally! I’m curious to see it blended out and in action! I have just learned to contour in a way that looks good for me. I use a powder and a contour brush and use it on three areas of my face.

  5. Carleen | 22nd Apr 15

    These look interesting. I never pull off contouring correctly!

  6. Julie | 22nd Apr 15

    I have had these on my wish list for months! I tried the Tarte contour stick, and it was way too orange, but these look great!

  7. Cindy | 22nd Apr 15

    These are definitely on my wish list. I love Smashbox products, and I really love how they provide how-tos and explanations in their products. Such great tips.

  8. Lola Seicento | 22nd Apr 15

    Now this looks like an easy to use set! I love Smashbox!

  9. [email protected] | 22nd Apr 15

    I love that these are in stick form – it seems like a much easier way to apply contour.

  10. Color Me So Crazy | 22nd Apr 15

    oh this looks so fun and easy to use. The guide included is such a good idea. I love anything that comes in a crayon form, too. They are easier for me to use.

  11. Anastasia | 22nd Apr 15

    I am a total klutz when it comes to contouring, but I think I could make it work with these pencils.

  12. Kath TheFabZilla | 23rd Apr 15

    Contouring has to be the most-hyped beauty trick in recent times. I only do it very very very rare. Nice to see some options ‘tho…

  13. Erika | 23rd Apr 15

    I have read some good things about these but they look too warm for me for contouring. I like to use good old NYX Taupe blush. It looks like a natural shadow on me and works a treat. And it’s dirt cheap, too. Leaves me more monies for palettes and lipsticks and polish and junk. 😀

  14. Renu | 23rd Apr 15

    I’ve skipped contouring as such but I love bronzers. It’s so hard to find something that isn’t too orange or muddy.

  15. Kim | 23rd Apr 15

    I’m afraid these are a bit too warm for contouring.

  16. Jess Scull | 23rd Apr 15

    This looks like a great contouring kit! I have heard awesome things about these sticks!

  17. Honeygirlk | 23rd Apr 15

    Oh my – I really want to try this. I’ve been eyeing up some of the contour pencils I see and want to try one… I know it will make it so easy.

  18. Laura MyNewestAddiction | 23rd Apr 15

    These are awesome. I just got them in the mail!

  19. Lisa Heath | 24th Apr 15

    I need to try this! Been looking for an easy to use and control contour kit and this might be it

  20. Kendra | 24th Apr 15

    It looks like an easy enough product to use.

Leave A Comment