Many women and men credit the Kardashians with showing them how to highlight and contour. However, makeup maestros Kevyn Aucoin, Sam Fine, and, of course, Ru Paul put me on to this face-sculpting technique long before the famous family of reality TV stars. But I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of highlighting and contouring.
The shimmering powders in most palettes wash out my dark complexion, and the neutral shadows I’d use to accentuate my cheekbones, nose, and jawline are just too much for my “natural” everyday look. Not to mention, I don’t have two hours each morning to spend on getting glamorous like Kim K.
Well, I’m officially on the highlight and contour bandwagon thanks to Charlotte Tilbury. The British celebrity makeup artist is expanding her Hollywood collection this month with a new Beauty Light Wand and Contour Wand.
Like most professionals, technology fueled Tilbury’s imagination when working with a lab on the formulations. Her childhood obsession with classic cinematography and HMI lighting inspired her to bottle up that “red-carpet glow” many silver-screen starlets possessed. “There was no Facetune, and yet they had this flawless, flawless, magical beauty light skin,” Tilbury told a group of editors at a New York City launch event in July.
While scrolling through Instagram and watching vlogs of people trying to do their makeup, Tilbury also noticed that many of them were using “old-fashioned tricks.” So she opted for rose gold pigments with fine light-reflecting flecks of silver, because it’s the most universally complexion-flattering hue.
“A lot of highlighters move when you sweat, go blotchy, or sit in your pores,” Tilbury explained. But she purposefully added the ingredient Oleogel to the Beauty Light Wand to “remaster” the skin. “It gives you that Hollywood soft focus … making you look younger, smoother, softer, and more glowy.”
The finish is super sheer, and I find that it works as an amazing base to layer on finely milled highlighting powders for an even brighter glow, as you can see from the photo below:
Tilbury’s contouring skills go way back to the ’90s, when she gained success painting the faces of supermodels like her BFF Kate Moss. But her mission with the Hollywood Contour Wand was to give all women a tool that would take the guesswork out. Available in two shades — Light and Dark — the creamy makeup actually dries down to a demi-matte finish. This removes the need for a setting powder. The warm, neutral undertones also prevent it from appearing too harsh on the skin, which is a plus for someone like myself who isn’t into the overly sculpted look.
Besides the decadent gold packaging, I also appreciate the soft cushion applicator on these highlight and contour wands. You twist the neck of the tube to “On” or “Off” (which helps prevent a mess in your makeup bag) and gently squeeze out the product. But be warned: A little goes a long way! There’s also no need for a brush or Beautyblender, because you can dab it right onto your face and blend away with the applicator or use your fingertips.
Are you sold on these new highlighting and makeup products? Tell us your thoughts about this ever-evolving trend in the comments section.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand ($38) and Contour Wand ($38) will be available Aug. 23 on charlottetilbury.com.
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