EM Michelle Phan: Chiaroscuro Contour and Highlighter Stick
Key-ar-oh-scoo-roh, or the art of creating shadow and light, is the concept of one of em cosmetics’ really creative products, the contour and highlighter stick. Now, most of us all fancy that really sculpted look on our face, with the high cheek bones, a taller nose, smaller face, poutier lips, etc. I can go on and on about the things that we want to change on our face, but it’s the kind of “job” that we don’t wanna risk, ya know? Well, with this dual ended contour and highlighting stick, Michelle Phan has made this job easy for us all, hence her famous “3 minute nose job” using the chiaroscuro stick.
There are many different contouring products out there that I’m not saying this stick is the one and only. But as a woman on the go (if you don’t already know that), I don’t have time to use five different shades of concealer to chisel my cheeks every time I get ready. So, the chiaroscuro stick, one end for contouring, one end for highlighting, and that’s all I need for an everyday subtle sculpted look. But if you are going for a more dramatic change in your face structure, then this product won’t do the job.
Em offers four different tones for the chiaroscuro: fair, light, medium, and deep. My color is in light, which if you have light beige Asian skin tone like mine this would be your color choice. The stick is like the size of a mascara tube, so it’s very easy to travel with. The packaging pretty much follows their signature simple white casing with an em logo in the middle of the handle. However, the casing is metal, so it does feel sturdy and a product of value. As I mentioned, the stick is dual ended, and both sides have the twisting mechanism like a lipstick to get more product out.
The formula? It is sooo so smooth and easily blendable. The key point of this product is contouring made easy; so with this smooth and creamy formula, you do not need to pair this product with anything else other than your clean fingers to blend with. You could whip out a sponge or a foundation brush to blend, but that’s just too much work. Most of the time, I use my dandy fingers. Also, with the pen-like design, it’s easy to mark where you want the contouring to be and just blend out the harsh edges.
I will demonstrate where I place the dark color to accentuate my features:
Usually, I contour with the chiaroscuro after applying foundation, but before setting the face with powder. Using the dark end, I mark the hallows of my cheeks just below the cheek bones, the hair line, the jaw bone, below the lips, and of course the sides of the nose. Why do we place dark in those areas? Because it will give the illusion of higher cheek bones, draws attention to the center of the face, the lips appear fuller, the nose appear taller and slimmer, and all that jazz. No need for surgery. 😉
Then, I just use a finger to blend away! After blending the harsh edges out, I set my face with powder, set the dark areas again with a bit of bronzer (you can skip this step), apply blush, then use the highlighting end to highlight the high areas of the face. Those are: cheek bones, mid forehead, nose bridge, and cupid’s bow. Again, the concept of creating shadow and light is why we place dark and light in those areas to highlight our features. Finally, viola! That is contouring 101.
You can use any product to apply these basic understandings of contouring to the face. I just most often use the chiaroscuro stick because it is so easy to use, you can’t go wrong. I really do enjoy this product and think that anyone in need of a little lift could find this very helpful. Even if you’re not a pro, contouring is still possible! Xoxo 😉
The chiaroscuro is $24 USD on the em cosmetics website.