I did a little contouring kit comparison over on my Telegraph “hub”; Clinique Chubby Contour sticks vs the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate. Tom Ford’s “S&I” was one of the first contouring products that I remember seeing on a cosmetics counter; now the world is inundated with things to make your face look like some kind of chiselled sculpture. Except that it hardly ever does. Look like a chiselled sculpture, I mean. And all of this business about it being one of the oldest “backstage” tricks, with makeup artists contouring their models left right and centre: nah. As I say in my Telegraph video, I can honestly count the times I’ve been contoured on two hands and I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of shoots.
Any-hoo, people seem determined to draw in cheekbones (or perhaps the beauty industry is determined to make people feel as though they have to draw in cheekbones) and so we are being treated to a bazillion dubiously-coloured creams and gels and powders with which to achieve this razor-sharp look. My choice would probably be, after having tried much of the contour-paraphanelia out there, a sweep of matte bronzing powder just beneath the cheekbone – no glitzy highlighter to “contrast”, just a beautiful glowy foundation that catches the light. (Or something like Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser, which is still one of my favourites over a decade on.) All of these creamy contour things are a potential recipe for disaster, as they do tend to slide about a bit as you blend them and it’s easy to dislodge your foundation and make everything look a bit grubby. Saying that, I think that the Clinique Chubby Contour stick will be a huge hit – it has a kind of “kindergarten” appeal: you just draw the crayon on where you want a shadow and then blend.
Go on over and take a look at the video, see what you think. It actually all turned out to be very subtle, which is, I suppose, what most of us want. Most of us. A tip with the Chubby Contour Stick: it helps to buff it in using a small, flat-topped foundation brush after you’ve blended it a bit with your warm fingers for a few seconds. It just seems to give a neater finish, but do experiment and add your tips and tricks below!