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.

CONTOUR
•    Sides of nose
•    Under cheekbones

BRONZE
•    Above contour shade on cheekbones

HIGHLIGHT
•    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

Favorite highlighters & contouring products

Top Ten Tuesday is into highlighting and contouring. I’m just learning about contouring and it’s a slow but interesting process. But it’s slowly coming along because, as they say, practice makes (almost) perfect. Now highlighting is something I love so it was easy to find what I wanted to share with you. Though my college shows 9 products, it’s actually 10 which I’ll mention below. What highlight & contour products do you like?? — Marcia
1429474283_luxlight-revitalizing-foundation1-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT HYDRATING PRIMER * ($14.99) is what I often start with when I want a more glowy look. I have other illuminating highlighters but this is the one I grab. The price is right, as is the Candlelight shade which gives a peachy radiance.
1429474197_mi-01-2tDEX COSMETICS MINERAL ILLUMINATOR ($33) is the unknown brand. No one talks about DEX, it’s more of a cult brand. When Lisa and I went to IMATS once she fell for the line, therefore I bought several items. This mineral illuminator is the one to find if you love a soft beautiful glow wherever you’d highlight. It brightens up the undereye area and looks great at the cupid’s bow to help your pout.
1429473863__82371DIOR SKINFLASH RADIANCE BOOSTER PEN ($38) is available in 6 shades. I bought 002, Candle Light, during a makeover. The makeup artist aka my sister loves this more than my favorite Touche Eclat. I still prefer TE but Dior did a great job on this pen. I mostly use it to soften the look under my eyes.
1429473386_luxlight-illuminator-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT ILLUMINATOR PEN* ($11.99) has the best price and it’s very close to the original Touche Eclat, Luminous Radiance, shade. Mine is in Candlelight for cool skintones and it’s also available Arclight for warm skintones. This stands out from the crowded field because of its excellence and price.
1429473252__9457300CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER ($35) is the first CT product I bought when it came to Nordstrom. I’m still deciding what else to buy from the brand but I wanted to see if I could find something better than Touche Eclat. I bought it in shade 1, Fair, which is lighter than my TE so it works great as a highlighting concealer.
1429473050__5813776YSL TOUCHE ECLAT, RADIANCE ECLAT ($42) is the first highlighter that I ever bought. Since then I’ve bought dozens of other brands but this remains my favorite. It is now available in 10 shades but I’m still in love with the original, Luminous Radiance. There’s just something about this that I can’t describe.

highlighting pens

highlighting pens

highlighting swatches - YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

highlighting swatches – YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

1429472802_2264104__detail_?1429472802IT COSMETICS HELLO LIGHT ANTI-AGING CREME ILLUMINIZER (and Hello Light Anti-Aging Illuminizer, the powder version*) ($24) is aaaamazing. I love creme products so that’s why this is the one in the collage. I can get this exactly where I want it to be and blend it with my fingers. As with all IT Cosmetics products for me, it’s the cat’s meow.
1429472649_2264092__detail_?1429472649IT COSMETICS MY SCULPTURED FACE ($38) has been in my collection for a long time. After I bought it though, I was afraid to use it. When I see dark colors for contouring I run. Once I started using it, I saw that IT Cosmetics only had my best interests in mind. The tones in this give you everything you need for highlighting, concealing, contouring and bronzing. It’s the perfect travel companion.

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

1429472501_smashbox-step-by-step-contour-stick-trioSMASHBOX STEP BY STEP CONTOURING TRIO *($45) is the best concept of all of these items. Three separate crayons that Contour, Highlight and Bronze

•    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

A full review is coming up tonight.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Now that you’ve seen my mostly highlighting choices, which of these 9-1o products would you want to try? And what others would you recommend? I know my other blogger friends have some ideas for us all and I’m ready to check them out.  — Marcia
*products were pr samples

Further reviews on these can be found on Beauty Info Zone
IT Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Creme Illuminator

Eddie Funkhouser Hydrating Primer and Illuminator Pen

Beauty Trends of 2015 – Makeup Wars edition

MAKEUP WARS is getting trendy. We decided to look into some of the trends we see for 2015. I’ve chosen 3 trends: Micellar Waters, matte lipsticks and contouring. These are the things I’m seeing over and over in blogs, on cosmetics sites and in magazines. I haven’t used a lot of these products but they all appeal to me in one way or the other.
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MICELLAR WATERS
First let’s talk about Micellar Waters since that’s not a term most people know. I’m no expert on it but the way I see these is that they are a form of cleansing. It can be a water or a lotion. They micro-emulsify impurities so that your skin is left both soft and cleansed.
1425153019_300SIMPLE SKINCARE MICELLAR CLEANSER WATER Simple® Micellar Cleanser Water is our most advanced yet gentle cleanse to date.  It is made with skin-loving ingredients, including Vitamin B3 and C, and Triple Purified Water, our purest possible water, to help remove contaminants known to irritate skin. I found this at drugstore.com but I’m sure it’s available at other retailers that sell the Simple Skincare line. At $6.99 for a bottle it’s a great way to find out if this is a product you want to introduce into your life.
1425152959_2236353__detail_?1425152959LA ROCHE-POSAY Physiological Micellar Solution ($20.99) is a 3 in 1 product since it cleanses, tones and can be used on a cotton pad as a makeup remover. There is no soap in this micellar solution and La Roche-Posay is a well known trusted brand. What makes this one unique is that they use their thermal water as the base for this solution.
1425152891_16030430801BIODERMA SENSIBIO (Crealine) H2O MICELLE SOLUTION is the hottest brand around when it comes to Micellar Water. This has gotten raves in Europe for so long and travelers always made sure that it was in their suitcases when they came home. It’s available on StrawberryNET.com and will be back in stock at Beautylish.com soon. Because this is also recommended for sensitive skin you can use this as an eye makeup remover as well as a cleansing solution.
1425152684_0000038_micellar-lotion_450EMBRYOLISSE MICELLAR LOTION – This is the one I have. The last time I was at IMATS this was one of the featured items from Embryolisse and I was so anxious to finally try a Micellar Water. This is a little thicker than the typical one and it does have a fragrance yet it can be used for eyes, lips and face. “This Micellar Lotion is so gentle it is suitable for even the most sensitive skin – it contains micelles (gentle cleansing agents) in solution in cornflower, camomile and witch-hazel water, combined with glycerin to soften, soothe and tone the skin.”
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MATTE LIPSTICK
1425152566_2226183__detail_?1425152566NYX COSMETICS MATTE LIP CREAM – NYX also makes matte lipstick but I’m more attracted to the lip cream since it doesn’t show lines quite as much. At $5.99 (and often sales) NYX is a good way to find out if you like a matte lip. My one warning about wearing mattes is that your lips need to be exfoliated and prepped with a lip balm.
1425152493_265x265xlovely_off_copy.jpg.pagespeed.ic.gz-vsnrxx9ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS LIQUID LIPSTICK is the talk of the town. Instagram is loaded with pictures and talk of this liquid matte. Many people bought them early at IMATS and that started the buzz. It’s a very intense and highly pigmented product. ($20)
1425152435_82JORDANA COSMETICS MATTE LIPSTICK is the one to try if you are taking baby steps. There are 35 shades available at $1.49 each. Yes, slightly more than a Snickers bar.
1425152379_0607845024576NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL is my favorite of any matte lip product. I’ve had some for years. It combines my love for lip crayons with some terrific Nars shades like Roman Holiday, Sex Machine and Red Dragon. There are 18 shades ($26).
1425152326_0607845010111NARS SEMI MATTE LIPSTICK – Nars is popular for lipsticks in general and their matte lipsticks stand out from the crowd. The Semi-Matte lipsticks aren’t quite as drying in my opinion and have a little more life to them. The 13 shades ($27) are hydrating and highly pigmented.
1425152274_0607845035091NARS PURE MATTE LIPSTICK is their newest addition and these are truly matte and truly pigmented. Better have exfoliated and smooth lips with these beauties to let them do their job well.  They contain wild mango butter, known to provide advanced moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling, and Vitamin E and açai oil for antioxidant benefits. ($27, 18 shades)
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CONTOURING is going to take over the world in 2015. Every brand is coming out with a contouring palette or repromoting them. What has Kim Kardashian done to this world??
1425152201_282NYX HIGHLIGHT CONTOUR PRO PALETTE ($25) has a little bit of everything since it has both highlighting and contouring shades.1425152116_web_cocoacontour_composite_2TOO FACED COCOA CONTOUR ($40) has that cocoa scent that people are going crazy over. Too Faced is well known for their bronzers and they’ve expanded that to a contour set that has 4 shades (3 shades of cocoa and a pop of light) and that cute little buki brush.
1425152075_265x265xlight_med_main.jpg.pagespeed.ic.unscl4upwkANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS CONTOUR KIT – Anastasia has a Contour Kit that you can find at places like Sephora and Ulta ($40). It’s available in 3 shades: Light to Medium, Medium to Tan, and Tan to Deep. In addition on their website they have a $150 Contour Book with all 29 of their shades that would normally sell for $14 each.
1425152029_cover-fx-contour-kit-g-light-mediumCOVER FX CONTOUR KIT ($48) is available in 6 different palettes. The consistency of this is creamy and is supposed to be very easy to blend because of that. It comes with a card showing placement that is quite helpful. Each of the 6 combos have a Highlight Shade (1): brightens and enhances features. Illuminating Highlight Shade (2): reflects light for added glow. Contour Shade (3): defines and visibly slenderizes. Deep Contour Shade (4): offers a more dramatic effect.

The one I forgot to put in my collage is from IT Cosmetics and it’s MY SCULPTED FACE

IT Cosmetics My Sculpted Face Contour Palette

IT Cosmetics My Sculpted Face Contour Palette

My Sculpted Face is the first contour product I ever bought ($38). It’s said to be a universal kit. It uses IT Cosmetics anti-aging formula and it comes with a guide to help you along.

What do you think are the trends of 2015? Are you a fan of contouring, matte lipsticks and/or micellar waters? I’d love to know. — Marcia

I’m curious to see what my fellow makeup war bloggers think are the new beauty trends. I have a g.c. waiting in the wings!!