The Dream Team: cream contouring & bronzing duo

Budget or blow-out, both of these bronzing products are at the top of my recommended list.

Bronzer - Contour - Cream Bronzer - Makeup

Stick-form makeup products are really having a moment. There’s your foundation sticks, blush sticks, bronzer sticks, highlighting balm sticks, even solid oil sticks.  I’m loving it. What could be easier – no messy liquids, no pump bottles, no pipette droppers.

Two products that are really working for me are my cream contour and cream bronzer sticks.  Yes, I switch it up every few days for a change but by and large, I come back to these two, they’re solid. 

After foundation, I go in with Westman Atelier Contour Stick in Biscuit (i.e the only shade there is). I’m into a very natural contour so I only swipe on a light stripe at my cheekbones, and a tiny bit on my forehead or temples if I’m in the mood.  Generally, I feel that a heavy handed contour is aging and can risk making you look either cakey or gaunt. Go lightly. 

Biscuit is such a great contour shade. It’s not too warm, and not too grey.  The texture of this stick is creamy and when I say it blends in effortlessly, I’m not exagerating. This can be blended away into almost nothing, so go gently and be purposeful with your brush strokes. For fair complexions, this shade isn’t so grey that in a pinch, it can be used as a bronzer too.  In that case, I’d say make sure you have a nice punchy blush on hand to add a bit more life back into your face.

It goes without saying that the Westman Atelier packaging is sublime and this black and gold case is no exception. I still haven’t quite worked out why these are weighted the way they are, the small lid is incredibly heavy meaning I always go to use this from the wrong side – try it out in store and you’ll get my drift, but this is a far reach in terms of criticism – it’s all love from me for Westman Atelier. If you’re looking to invest in just one product from Gucci’s line, this along with the foundation would be my top pick.

Once my subtle contour is in place, I like to up the sun tan just a bit with a bronzer.  While the always popular Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel is often on my makeup table, there’s no denying it is big and bulky to reach for – especially when travelling.  Furthermore, the universal shade is anything but and I find it a touch too orange for me outside of the summer months. Instead, Milk Makeup Matt Bronzer is my current go-to. I use the shade Baked and like to dab a dense buffing brush onto the bullet, rather than applying straight to the face, and then stipple it onto the higher cheekbones, forehead, tip of the nose and just about everywhere.  Sometimes I use a slightly fluffier brush, and feather it onto the skin instead for a lighter, more natural look. If you’re caught without a brush, you can easily blend this with fingers given a little time.

The chunky white stick doesn’t have the elegance of Westman Atelier packaging but it’s functional, lightweight and seems to last an age. The obvious downside: Milk Makeup’s limited availability worldwide. This is a chore to get hold of for a lot of countries, so if you have a friend travelling I’d be passing them your Sephora list and US dollars.