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Smashbox Contour Stick Trio (4)

 

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Guess what’s on the agenda today? How did you know πŸ™‚ Yes I am waffling allΒ  about the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio. I decided I was going to pick these up with my Boots points, so I had been patiently saving my points and then I went online to browse the Boots website. They were on special for €38…and so… they were bought and the story begins.

So as you can see there is three pencils. A highlighter, a bronzer and then a contour.

Smashbox BeautynookYou get a sharpener in the box too which I think is very necessary as these pencils are really creamy so use up very quickly. I think if you were using these everyday you wouldn’t get a huge amount of time out of them.

Here they are swatched on my arm. You can see how pigmented and creamy they are.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio SwatchThe highlighting shade is pretty light, I could probably do with a shade lighter for my pale skin, this is the story for most of these kind of things.

The contour shade (in the middle) is a grey toned brown, perfect shade for it. And then the bronze shade is a warmer toned brown for warming up your complexion, as I am sure you know πŸ™‚

So onto using it on my mug.

First up here I am without any of the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio’s applied and some lovely bed hair too πŸ™‚

Irish Beauty BlogI first apply the highlighter stick.

Irish Beauty Blog Highlighter

I applied it under my eyes, the centre of my nose and eyebrows, the tops of my brows and above my cupids bow.

Then the bronzer.

Beautynook Contouring

Contour and Highlighting

Smashbox say use the product in an x formation and I think it does work best because you tend to use less product than just drawing lines around your face.Β  I personally use it around the periphery of my face and then blend it down. You could use the contour shade in the same way too, I just like the warmer shade around my face. I don’t contour my nose or anything like that because I feel that it is pretty small already so I don’t really find it necessary.

I use the contour shade of the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio just on my non existent cheekbones.

Smashbox Contour highlighting

Beautynook Beauty Blog

I am only gorgeous I know πŸ™‚ Again using the x formation around 2/3’s of the way down my cheek. Just follow where you naturally have a hollow. If you’re chubby like me do the fishy face to find out where it is.

So then onto blending. Blending the Smashbox Contour Sticks is actually really easy, they don’t take much work at all. I just use whatever foundation brush I used. I blend the bronze shade into my skin more, whereas with the highlighter and contour shades I keep the blending more isolated to where I applied them.

 

Cream Highlighting

Cream ContouringYou can see the bronze and the contour shades do warm up my complexion and give a slight illusion of definition on my cheeks, happy days. The highlight shade really doesn’t do a whole load for me, I’m just too pale.

Here is the whole shabang with powders and lipsticks added and the gruaig looking a bit better too.

Beautynook blogOverall, I really like the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio. They are easy to use, easy to blend and the colours are mostly good. They are by no means a necessary step in your makeup routine. For me, I like them for when I want a more pronounced contour for going out. I will layer contour and highlight powders over top. Or for a more subtle highlight, I will just setΒ  the Smashbox Contour Sticks with face powder. Obviously there is tonnes of alternative products to get your chisel on, the sticks are just a handy one as they are small and easy to control. It’s only a matter of time before the highstreet brands are all over it and bring out their own versions. I look forward to that πŸ™‚

What do you think? Let me know.

xxx

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bourjois Bronzing Primer

The bit of sunshine in Ireland is making me slightly obsessed with bronzer and bronzing at the minute, I haven’t really shut up about them in the last while so apologies if you’re not a fan πŸ™‚

I’ve owned both the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel and the Bourjois Bronzing Primer for a long time now and they always tend to get pulled out more around this time of year. What are they you might ask? They are bronzing bases, that you can use to warm up your face under foundation, or just on their own if you are lucky and have lovely skin.

I personally use them as you would a cream bronzer. I to use them after I have applied my foundation and hit the parts of my face I would normally contour. I use them on their own if I am just going for a more subtle look or I apply powder on top for more definition, really depends on the day or the situation.

They are both two very different price points. Do they do the same thing?

The Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel.

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanelel

The Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel is a cream product with a dense formula, that in my opinion is best applied with a dense synthetic brush.

Close up Soleil Tan De Chanel

As you would expect from Chanel, it is really pigmented and easy to blend into the skin.You can build it up quite quickly. It does have a slightly orange undertone so a light hand and alot of buffing is needed if you are lighter skinned like myself. It has a lovely light florally scent that is familiar to Chanel.

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel swatch

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Swatched

 

The Bourjois Bronzing Primer.

Bourjois Bronzing Primer

The Bourjois Bronzing Primer has a whipped, creamy formula. It is mousse like to the touch.

Close Up Bourjois Bronzing Primer

It applies much more liberally that the Soleil Tan De Chanel as it is more of a wet consistency. I prefer to apply this with a small synthetic duo fibre brush as you can control your application that way. This is a pigmented product, so apply a little at a time, but it does blend out quite sheer. You need to build it up if you want a more intense bronzing effect. It smells like coconut and chocolate, nice if you like a sweet holiday scent.

Bourjois Bronzing Primer swatch

Bourjois Bronzing Primer Swatched

These products compare pretty closely. In the pan they look different, obviously the packaging is a bit more swish and fancy on the Chanel offering. They both have the same amount of product in the tub. They both bronze your face and do it nicely. They are both a matte finish. The Soleil Tan De Chanel does pack more of a punch in the pigment stakes and you don’t need as much of it as you do the Bourjois one, and it sets quicker on the skin, it’s also €38.50 though! The bronzing primer from Bourjois is not as elegant but it is a hell of alot cheaper at €12.99!!

I love having the Chanel one, it was a treat from the bf and owning anything Chanel makes me feel ladylike. I think when I run out of both and decide I still want a cream bronzer I would be more inclined to pick up the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, it just makes better mathematical sense (you won’t hear me say that very often).

Do you have either of them? What’s you take on it? I would love to know?

xxx

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette

 

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette So this is the brand, Seventeen Define and Conquer Contour Kit. Contouring has taken off so much in the mainstream world. It is not just a makeup artists secret weapon anymore. I have spoken about contouring before, but it is a much more expensive product, have a read here if you are a makeup junkie πŸ™‚

At first glance, this looks very similar to a Nars palette or if you are familar with Elf, they do a product very similar looking too but again mimicking Nars.

The packaging is smooth to the touch and inside it boasts a large mirror..never a bad thing.

It contains two powders. A matte grey toned bronze and a pinkier toned lighter powder. A highlighter and contour duo.

The dark shade is on point for my light skin tone, the highlight shade is pretty much my skin tone so it won’t be doing much highlighting around these parts. As you can see below it’s barely even visible. With tan on and maybe a darker shade of foundation it may work though, I can use it as a setting powder on normal days.

seventeen define and conquer swatchThe Seventeeen Define & Conquer is a good damn product. I think I would be so rash and say I like it better than some of it’s highstreet counterparts.Β  The deep shade is the perfect tone for contouring. It’s a soft powder, it blends in really well and does a great job of defining your cheekbones without looking dirty or grubby, as well as your nose or temples depending on how much contouring you like to do.

Before application

Before application

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette on skin

After application

I have a round face, so I need more than a bit of powder to give me definition but it does make things look better that’s for sure. I tend to use it under my chin too for a bit of shadow, I need all of the help I can get πŸ™‚

As I am pretty oily, my skin tends to eat up makeup during the day. I found the Seventeen Define & Conquer powders lasted really well on me and I could still notice the contour in the evening when I was washing the day away.

If you are new to contouring and want something to learn with, this palette is perfect for you. It even gives you a little step by step guide to get you started.

This Seventeen Define and Conquer Contour Kit is available in Boots and is €7.59 a bargain or what?

xxx

 

Kevyn Aucoin

I have spoken before in passing about my beloved Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium, but I really think it deserves it own blog post!

I have not been blessed with anything angular on my face (or anywhere for that matter). I know contouring is not a necessity in everyday life, it is a complete choice, and for me it’s a choice I make everyday. I have tried many different products for the “chiselling” process and to date the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder has been the best one I have personally used. Now, I will say I only use this in the cheek bone department, I tend to use bronzer around the perimeter of my face, this is just what I feel comfortable doing. If I am dolling up for a night out, then I may put some under the double chin region to help it look less…well double chin like but that would only be if I’m really packing on the face!

The Sculpting Powder really is a luxury item, this set me back just under 42.00 euro from Mise Beauty, madness I know as it’s nearly the size of an eyeshadow, 3.10grams to be exact.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder

IMG_3989

However, I have had this for maybe 6 months, have used it everyday and there is just barely a dint in it.

This powder, unlike alot of bronzers on the market has no red tones to it at all, it has a grey undertone. This makes it perfect for contouring, particularly I think for pale gals like myself. The purpose of contouring is to create a shadow like appearance wherever you add it to the face tricking the eye and making your features appear slimmer or more angular, as highlighting is used to enhance features you want to draw more attention too.

This little box is magic, it contains the softest and most pigmented powder ever, you need such a light hand with it. It blends so beautifully and can be built upon depending on how much cheek bone you are going for πŸ™‚

Kevyn Aucoin Scultpting Powder Swatch

I tend to use a a dense small brush with it. It is not for warming up the face, use your bronzer for that. I have been enjoying using the Nima Brush called “Blaithin” from their Artistic Collection to apply it of late, as it is tapered at the end, dense but still soft enough to blend the product in. And less face it, it’s pretty too πŸ™‚

I do the well known “fishy face” in the mirror to myself and that shows me where my “cheekbones” are, then I add a little of the product directly under the bone concentrating most of at my ear and bringing the brush out, not too far though, I stop just around where my nostril is. Then I blend, the cardinal rule of makeup. The Sculpting Powder doesn’t disappear from blending it just gets more faint and natural looking. Add as much as you want, I usually just add a little for day to day.

Gem Chatterbox Contouring

Gem Contouring

 

And I can safely say that it lasts the whole day, it’s not something I would every bring with me in my handbag unless I was going to redo my whole makeup.

Before Contouring

Before Contouring

After Light Contouring

After Light Contouring

It’s an investment I know, but I think after buying it and using it for a long time, it was worth it.

What do use for contouring, be sure to let me know, there could be lots of hidden gems out there πŸ™‚

Thanks,

Gemma

xxx

 

 

 

Anastasia

IMG_3422

When the Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Kit became available on Cult Beauty I forked out the 45 pound (not euro pound!) no questions asked. There was so much online hype surrounding it and if I’m honest I put myself on the waiting list in hopes of being one of the first in Ireland to get my hands on it.

I waited patiently and when it arrived, I did a little dance, no word of a lie. I opened it and thought…oh ok so this is what it looks like in the flesh…hmm. I wasn’t hugely impressed with the cardboard packaging. But then the Lorac Pro Palette comes in a similar black matte cardboard affair and I love it, so I won’t judge a book by it’s cover.

So let me show you what you get:

Contour Kit

Top: Vanilla, Banana, Sand Bottom: Java, Fawn, Havana

So the top layer of colours would be the highlight shades. Vanilla is matte and slightly pink in colour. On my skin you can’t see it at all (I am quite pale and have pink toned skin), it could just be a setting powder for me. Banana would be what the name suggests. A matte yellow toned powder, that would be used for highlighting or setting under the eyes. Sand it a pink toned highlighter shade with a sheen running through it.

Then on the bottom we have what would be the contour shades. Java is a coffee coloured brown shade again as the name would suggest. I think this would work best on darker skin tones for contouring and bronzing. Fawn is more of a grey toned brown, in my opinion better on lighter skin tones for contouring. And then finally we have Havana a chocolate brown shade. Would be best used as bronzer I think.

As you can see from the picture above, these powders are refillable so when you are finished a pan you can buy them individually and pop them back into the palette which is cool. Anastasia have actually brought out a huge version of this palette for makeup artists with loads of shades to choose from. It would be great if you could mix n’ match the perfect shades for you.

Here are the shades swatched for you:

Contour Kit Swatches

Vanilla, Banana, Sand, Java, Fawn, Havana

As you can see Vanilla doesn’t come out on my light skin at all, apologies for you not being able to see it, it’s there I promise πŸ™‚

So….what do I think of the palette? Honestly, I think it’s ok. I don’t know whether I am too light skinned for the colours, but most of them of them don’t suit me. They don’t seem to stay on my oily skin too well throughout the day either. They aren’t the most blendable powders I have ever come across either. They are pigmented though! Every day when I’m getting ready, my Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder makes it into my hands before I grab for this. I am in love with that product and a little of it goes such a long way, thank goodness because the product and packaging is teeny weeny πŸ™‚

I’ll dip in and out of using the Anastasia Contour Kit and get use out of it but it definitely will not be on my list to repurchase. I love my eyebrow products that I have used from this brand (the Dipbrow and the Brow Wiz) and I would highly recommend them so I am not condemning the brand whatsoever. This palette as much as I wanted it doesn’t really float my boat.

It’s so brilliant that brands are bringing out these types of products. Contouring, when done right really is amazing. I think next on the list has to be Inglot’s version πŸ™‚

So there you have it. Let me know if you have any thoughts on it or have used the Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Kit yourself. As usual, these are just opinions, yours might be completely different and that’s perfectly fine!

Thanks for taking the time to read mine though πŸ™‚

Gemma

xxx