Beauty Exploration: Defining Duds.

NYX Wonderstick and RT Bold Metals 301 Contour Brush

Hey there bow friends,

So I’m a little chubby and round faced.  It’s not the most flattering thing, but I definitely work with what I’ve got.  In order to add some definition into my face I like to contour and highlight.  I usually use powder products (The Balm Betty-Lou Manizer and Tarte Amazonian Park Avenue Princess Bronzer) and my Real Techniques Contour brush to get the job done, but recently I decided to try a cream formula and new tool to apply it.  In come the NYX Wonder Stick in Deep and the Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 contour brush.

Applying the contour shade

Contour and Highlight Applied

The NYX Wonder Stick is a dual ended product with a twist up cream highlighter and contour stick.  It comes in 4 shades – light, medium, deep, and universal.  Contour products should be cool toned and matte in order to mimic the natural shadows that appear on your face.   I was surprised to see they were all so orange looking even though they were meant for contouring, but thought deep was going to be the perfect shade. I ordered this product online and based on the photos, deep was the most cool toned shade.  Unfortunately, in person this shade is orangey despite the photo on Ulta’s site.  I’ve been using it anyways just to see how it works and it isn’t anything to write home about.  The shape and size of the stick is perfect for applying to the hollows of your cheeks, but the shade is just off.  I also noticed after some light blending it basically disappears.  I’m all for products blending well, but blending into nonexistence is a shame.

The highlight has the same formulation and for whatever reason isn’t much lighter than my own skintone even though the shade I have is deep.  I have olive skin and I’m currently paler than usual – not in any way a deep skintone.  It’s extremely disappointing to think the shades offered won’t work well with anyone whose skintone is darker than mine.  To be honest, they barely work with mine.

All in all this product failed my expectations.  Finding contour products in the appropriate shade is so hard for people with darker skin and I’m experiencing the struggle right now.  I thought this  product would be the perfect solution to not being able to find a cream contour product in an appropriate shade, but I guess not.  Sad face.

Blending the contours and highlightsFinal Face

I love Real Techniques brushes.  Absolutely crazy about them.  They recently released a range of professional brushes called the Bold Metals range.  The brushes are gorgeous and I love the rose gold ones so I had to pick up the 301 contour brush.  The brushes are weighted and I’m still getting used to it, but it’s extremely comfortable to work with.  The bristles are some of the softest I’ve ever used and are densely packed and shaped like a squared off version of the Expert Face Brush.  As lovely as the brush is, I find that it performs just as well as any of my cheaper brushes when it comes to contour.  I think I might try it with foundation to see how it performs.  Fingers crossed.

Have you guys tried either of these products?  Did you enjoy them?  If you have any contour – powder or cream – recommendations, let me know! I’m still looking for the one. I just got back from Playlist live and man I’m happy and tired.  Do check out my twitter to see all sorts of stuff about who I met and what I did.  Oh, and don’t forget about the Valentine’s Day giveaway!

We shall talk soon.

-Tara Joy  ♥

18 thoughts on “Beauty Exploration: Defining Duds.

  1. Jamie Wiley

    Have you ever tried a regular foundation that is darker then the one that you use for contouring? I bought a cheap foundation a few shades darker then my skin tone and that seemed to work better then any of contour creams.

      • atalyab

        It’s a liquid foundation and I’ve just got it and didn’t get the chance to try out yet. It’s seeme like a tricky technique – liquid contour – but a good-results one… as for the all over sticks they are quite nice though not so comfortable in terms of the way they are shaped, when holding them to apply. It’s a good enough solution for a small price, tried them twice and still figuring them out…

      • Jamie Wiley

        I’ve been using Maybelline Instant Age rewind foundation for the contour and Make Up Forever HD foundation as my all over foundation. I tried the Maybelline because it was cheap and I figured if it didn’t work it wasn’t a big deal. The one I use is 2 shades darker then my skin tone plus I still use a contour powder on top of that. So far it has been the best combo I found.

  2. shaybellamakeup

    Real Techniques brushes are to die for. Quo has a nice contour brush – the shape is what I love most but the bristles are a little…scrape-y. Xo Try an Estée Lauder powder-foundation shade in a dark colour for your contour! I usually find one suitable for my darker skinned clients!

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