I’ve come to expect great things from L.A. Girl, they’re one of the most popular makeup brands available at the drugstore. They are cruelty-free, they have a wide range of makeup products, plus you get good quality at an affordable price.
I was SO excited when I spotted the L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Sticks at Dis-Chem a couple of weeks ago. It was the day before their Beauty Fair started (I had no idea at the time) and so I bought 4 shades. Had I waited for just ONE day, I could have received one for free. Meh… There were unfortunately no testers available, so I couldn’t swatch any of them. I think some Dis-Chem stores do have testers now, so you might want to go swatch these before you buy them.
Please remind me to NEVER buy a makeup product EVER again, unless I’ve swatched a tester first.
When I saw the price of these, I actually did a double take because I couldn’t believe my eyes. R100,00 a pop is not very affordable for a brand like L.A. Girl, right? Or am I just getting old?
Don’t answer that.
I paid R400,00 for 4 Velvet Contour Sticks and as it turns out, I only like 1 of them. I was going to buy more, but kept myself in check because I remembered my previous experience with the L.A. Girl Matte Pigment Gloss products. There was so much hype around those liquid lipsticks, so I bought 5 or 6, and in the end they were a huge disappointment for me. Wasted money.
First things first, I don’t really understand why these are called ‘Contour Sticks’. On the official L.A. Girl website the bronzers, blushes and highlighters are all classified under the same ‘Contour Sticks’ name. Strictly speaking not even the bronzer shades are contour products, because contour shades are usually more cool-toned (to mimic a natural shadow on the face).
So, I grabbed 2 blushes, 1 highlighter and 1 bronzer. I’m going to start off with my full review of the products (texture, how well they blend, pigmentation, longevity) and will then give you a rundown of each shade.
The whole collection consists of 3 highlighters, 10 blushes and 3 bronzers – some are matte, others are shimmery, and others are frosty. There are some really, really beautiful shades in the collection but I suggest you read my review all the way to the end before you pop in to your nearest Dis-Chem store to stock up on these.
WHAT I LOVE:
♥ I love the idea of the convenient twist-up packaging, there’s no need for a sharpener and you can apply it directly to the skin.
♥ The texture initially feels super velvety and smooth, I imagine it’s thanks to the jojoba seed oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter and grape seed oil within the formulation.
♥ Once you start blending the shades with your finger, the texture changes to almost a powder finish (it doesn’t remain waxy / sticky).
♥ Each chubby stick has a clear cap and the outside of the tube closely matches the actual shade of the product, making it easy to grab the specific shade you want without having to open it up or look for the name.
♥ The dome shape of the stick fits nicely around the contours of the face.
♥ Initially these products are very pigmented, until you start to blend them, and that’s when the problem starts…
WHAT I DON’T LOVE:
♥ The Velvet Contour Sticks feel very waxy, and as a result they tend to disappear as soon as you start to blend them out. It’s the weirdest thing, the 2 blushes and the contour shade all blend out to basically nothing. It’s a catch-22, if you don’t blend them enough they look too intense / harsh, but once you start to blend them out with your fingers / makeup sponge / makeup brush the shades dissolve into the skin. The only shade I don’t have this issue with, is the highlighter shade because it leaves a beautiful sheen behind (it doesn’t matter how much you blend).
♥ These products tend to disrupt your foundation if you apply them directly from the stick, so the only other option is to apply a little bit to the tips of your fingers and then dab onto the cheeks. This technique wouldn’t really work for the bronzer shade, though, as it will be very time-consuming to do this around the forehead, temples, lower cheekbones, jawline, and nose.
♥ The bronzer and blush shades don’t last very long on the skin – I get about 3 hours’ of wear before they start to fade, and then they fade quite fast.
♥ The price tag is a bit hefty for an L.A. Girl product – am I right? Or am I right?
Regarding the swatches below – in the top photo all 4 shades have been heavily swatched (6 layers), and in the middle photo the 4 shades (3 layers) have been blended out with my fingers.
Let’s take a look at the shades I bought:
Luminous – A stunning golden champagne highlighter shade, it’s shimmery but not glittery (thank goodness). This shade is super easy to work with, it doesn’t require a lot of blending and leaves the skin looking healthy and radiant. Because it is such a light champagne shade, it’s difficult to tell if the actual colour fades fast but the shimmers remain intact throughout the day. I like to apply this on my upper cheekbones, tip of the nose, cupid’s bow, brow bone and inner corners of the eyes – it brightens up those areas really nicely.
Dreamy – This is a beautiful matte baby pink shade, very natural and very work-appropriate. Initially it gives the cheeks a gorgeous flush of colour, but it’s very easy to overblend this shade and doing so will leave you with nothing on the cheeks. This particular shade likes to disrupt any foundation / concealer underneath, so it’s also rather difficult to work with.
My Bae – I picked this shade because I really liked the look of it, it’s a bright coral shade with gold and silver shimmers. It almost reminds me of NARS Orgasm blush, but it’s just a bit brighter. It’s a lovely shade, but it fades quite fast and by lunch time all that is left on the cheeks are flakes of shimmer.
Suede – This is a matte bronze shade (there are 2 other bronzer shades as well, but both are shimmery) with quite a warm undertone. I was initially a bit apprehensive to use it at first, because it is so warm in tone – almost to the point of looking orange. Once you’ve blended ‘Suede’ out, it gives a very natural warmth to the skin BUT if you overdo it with the blending it disappears, and if you underblend it looks a tad muddy. For this reason, I find it difficult to work with ‘Suede’.
Because I like to turn lemons into lemonade, I’m going to see these chubby sticks as a type of ‘primer’ for my powder blushes and bronzers. Cream products perform best when they are set with a powder product (especially on combination or oily skin), and powder products perform best when they have something to stick to.
That’s basically all I have to say about these products – the bronzer and blush shades were a huge disappointment for me. I think I’m in the minority here, because I’ve seen some rave reviews on beauty blogs and in YouTube videos. Unfortunately these just didn’t work out for me.
The highlighter shade is a winner, though, and I highly recommend you check out the 2 shimmery highlighter shades – ‘Luminous’ and ‘Radiance’.
The L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Sticks retail for R100,00 each at Dis-Chem stores nationwide. But remember, Dis-Chem is currently running their Beauty Fair promotion – buy 3, get 1 FREE (until the 6th of March 2016).
I apologise if this blog post is a bit of a Debbie Downer, but I would rather save you from the disappointment of spending money on something that might not work for you either. Well, at least 3 out of the 4 shades I own didn’t work out for me… I can’t speak for the other shades in the collection, but I image the formulation would be the same for all the products. If you have some of the other shades in your makeup collection, please let me know in the comments section below what your thoughts are on these products?