Saturday, June 7, 2014

Em - Chiaroscuro - Contour & Highlight Stick - A Review

So, I've finally gotten around to doing a post on this. As you know, I indulged myself and ordered a few Em goodies from the States last year which included some make-up bits which I've already featured on my blog (obviously!) but this was my favourite piece out of everything.
I ordered the Chiaroscuro as I've always wanted to learn how to contour my features and make them more defined and, well chiselled. Seriously, I have no idea how to do this, I know people like to use bronzer but this scares me no end given my rather pale complexion and most of the powders seem to be a little cray cray on the glitter front.

The Contour & Highlight stick comes in 4 shades, and naturally I opted for the lightest tones that Em offer.What really appealed to me about this was the fact that the stick itself is double ended, meaning the contour and highlight shade should, theoretically, compliment each other so no worrying for me about getting two separate products.
In addition, as both ends looked as though they were a cream based formulation (as opposed to powder based which I've mentioned above, kinda scare me) I was hoping they'd be easy to blend and it'd be pretty easy to rectify if I happened to make a rather glaring mistake.
The highlighter end does have some shimmer, but it's pretty subtle all things considered, it's in no way glaring or in your face.
The contour shade does look a little bit scary in the stick, but it's not what you'd expect once it's on the skin. If you want more definition, you can simply press harder or add a couple of layers.
This is a swatch taken in day light and as you can see the shimmer is pretty subtle. I've only done one sweep with each end of the stick here so it's certainly not a swatch done to any sort of intensity.
The above is with two sweeps of each end and you can see the colours have much more intensity so it is buildable.

My favourite place to use this is on my nose, I use the contour down the outer edges and around the tip, and the highlight down the centre before blending out with my fingers. It really adds some subtle definition. I've also used the highlighter on the tops of my cheeks (it peeks through my blusher), and the contour around my jawline. I've not used this in the hollows of my cheeks just yet, I reckon I need a wee bit more practice before venturing out in public.

The texture of both ends is amazing, it feels like a cream, but once it's set, it's so light it could be a powder for all I know! I certainly don't feel like this is sitting on my face, and I've never had any issues with it setting into my pores as some powder based highlighters can do. 

Another thing I love is that I don't need to use a brush to blend it out, my fingers do a great job and I'm never left with any residue on my fingertips either. I use light pressure at first and can use a wee bit more force if I've over done it with the application.

All in all, I think this is a really great product, I love the idea of having both a contour and a highlight in one handy stick (this would be amazing for travelling!) and both ends do work well together. It's amazing for us contour-phobes and is a good starting point for those of us who'd like to be a little braver with our make-up but aren't brave enough to invest in bronzer just yet (I'm sure it'd be harder to correct a mistake that's for sure!).

My only bugbear? I have to order it from the States as I'm yet to find anything quite like it in the UK. Ah well, I'll just have to build up an Em wishlist before re-ordering!

Have you used the Chiaroscuro Contour & Highlight Stick yet? What did you think?  


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