Contour can be a bless or curse, like gambling or an answer for a would-be chiseled, sculpted face, one of the finest parts in pro-makeup. We can take a whole day to contemplate making the cut to step by step contour with thousands of makeup artists visually on Instagram and Youtube. It’s about correcting and adding shape and structure on your face that turns from lame to glam. The beauty industry is no longer the only world of runway models and red-carpet celebrities.
Rather, contouring may be a bit too “fancy” for a daily basis, when dashing here and there. You may end up looking ridiculous if it’s gone wrong. So, this tends to be handled with care for events, parties or photo-shooting days. Moreover, depending on which products you are working with. Let’s break down in my review of NYX Wonder Stick in Universal and Medium, whether they make the cut.
1. Some Facts About It
The product is a highlighting and contouring stick duo with a creamy consistency, which promises to be beautifully pigmented and blendable.
There are Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (a polymer and synthetic oil), mineral oil (liquid petroleum) and Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil. These ingredients deliver softening activities with emollient textures for a gliding, smooth appearance. Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is also used to make pigments spreadable. However, be cautious with mineral oil, which is not very welcome due to its comedogenic nature. More likely to trap impurities and ingredients in pores and hence, precipitate breakouts.
Similarly, formulated with Ethylhexyl Palmitate and Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, both of which are thickeners, texture enhancers, solvents and conditioners. Ethylhexyl Palmitate is derived from palm oil with an oil-free, non-occlusive texture, often used as an alternative to silicone and mineral oil.
Plus, the product contains numerous types of waxes, like Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Synthetic Wax, Ceresin, Paraffin and Beeswax. They prevent the oil and liquid parts of an emulsion from separating as well as stabilize ingredients in the formula. Also, help stiffen the oil portion of stick-like cosmetic products with high melting point and improve silky application.
Additionally, the formula consists of many other chemical compounds. Polyisobutene and Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate provide thickening, film-forming, anti-caking and viscosity increasing agents. Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate is also able to work as an absorbent. Glycol Montanate acts as an emulsifier, conditioner and opacifier. Apparently, the contour stick contains some preservatives, such as Tocopheryl Acetate and Phenoxyethanol.
Infused with mineral pigments, including Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) and Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499). Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides are popularly used in cosmetics coloring for their long-wearing effects and opacity. In contrast, Mica tends to add shimmer to the product’s finish.
2. Waxy Consistency
There are many different formats of contouring products, like cream, powder, liquid or stick. The NYX Wonder Stick imparts contour and highlights going hand in hand in two ends. I expected its consistency would lay down a creamy base with a matte finish like a foundation stick. I really love NYX makeup products, yet this time might not be there for me. The products rather leave waxy and lightweight textures as well as glides on bare skin with slight stickiness. The contour part doesn’t totally result in a matte finish, there is imperceptible luminosity in it.
The consistency of contour and highlight literally delivers soft and slippery sensations with emollient textures. These products are really desirable for normal to dry skins. Plus, remember to apply moisturizer beforehand to keep makeup creams or powders from clinging to dry areas and hence, causing blotchiness.
Both Medium and Universal almost have the same contouring color and finish, except for their highlights. The highlight of Medium gives fair color with pink undertones in a matte finish, whereas the Universal’s is pale with transparent coverage and a shimmery effect.
Contouring is supposed to be two shades darker than my skin tone. Both contour sides of these two are kind of light to medium browns which look very bronzy and quite orangey on my fair skin. I think this might be ideal to fake suntan in summer, like bronzer. I’d recommend the colors for folks having medium to dark skin tone. For my contouring, I consider something that is cool taupe and warm brown with gray undertones in order to create shadows naturally hitting my face.
It’s easy to diffuse with a brush which is slanted and has loose bristles. The product tends to sheer out, you may need to do some extra layers for a bolder result. One of the annoying things I got with the contours is that it’s hard to manage to blend and set in place properly to build definition, especially under cheekbones. The product ends up looking muddy on my skin. Regarding the contour, I really covet more matte, a bit more powdery texture and a less orangey finish with more concentrated color payoff.
Speaking of Medium’s highlighter, which is also quite similar to its contour in terms of consistency and texture. I usually apply matte highlighter under eye areas in triangle drawings, center of forehead, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow and chin. That makes the high points of my face pop and adds dimension. Furthermore, the highlighter should have a touch of color corrector. However, the product is more likely to sheer out and sink down when blending. In addition to its low coverage, It seems not pigmented and vibrant enough to bring features forward. Also, I might prefer more champagne tones.
Universal gives us another type of highlighter infused with shimmery reflective particles with a hint of yellow. It’s also called luminizer. This tends to leave a smooth glow to put a spotlight on top of places that you want to enhance and reshape. Otherwise, the product is very subtle and quickly stripped off with very poor pigmentation. You may need to put some more layers to make it noticeable. Since the contour and highlight are tacky, it’s better if you gently sweep translucent powder on top.
3. Tough, Plastic Packaging with Details
Dual contour and Highlight come into a chubby, plastic tube that you can twist up and down to show more products. Kept in a small cardboard box, which is attached with ingredient description, product and brand names and shade number. Interestingly, you can find a short tutorial on how to apply the contour @vegas_nay on the packaging.
The tube is handy to hold and provide precise application. I really like the design, very convenient and weightless for traveling. It does not take too much room in my makeup bag. I feel sorry that I do not like the product.
4. My Rating (5/10): More Suitable for Other Skin Tones Than Fair, Porcelain Skins
Maybe because I received the wrong shades, they seem not to match my skin tone well. Like I said, the contour with cool tones with a bit more coverage and pigmentation is my go-to. I’ll give it 5 out of 10.
The product does not work for me, it does not mean it will not for you. Please feel free to get your self-experience with it. I literally hope it turns out being great on you. Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts with me. I’m humbled to hear you out. Thank you so much for your time!