NYX Contour Stick Review

I’m relatively new to the world of face contouring, often reserving it for special occasions. However, the NYX Contour Stick (also known as the Wonder Stick) caught my eye with its dual-ended design, offering both a dark contour shade and a light, pearlescent highlighter. As someone who appreciates NYX Cosmetics for their quality and affordability, I was eager to give this product a try.

Why I Don’t Like It (But You Might)

My experience with the NYX Contour Stick left me somewhat disappointed, primarily due to a couple of reasons:

  • Orange Undertone: Given my fair skin with cool undertones, I found the contour shade of this stick to appear slightly orange on me. While it didn’t venture into an overly dramatic “orange” territory, the overall effect gave my complexion a “pale, glowing orange” vibe. Interestingly, I felt that the light shade was more problematic in this regard, even though the dark shade also seemed to warm up as I blended it.
  • Short Wear Time: The product’s longevity left much to be desired. It seemed to vanish after a few hours, though I attribute part of this to my attempt to blend it thoroughly and a possible initial under-application. Nevertheless, I’d estimate that it provides a solid five to six hours of wear, which may vary depending on your habits. I tend to touch my face frequently, so you might experience longer-lasting results.

However, individuals with fair-medium to darker skin tones might not encounter these issues. In such cases, the NYX Contour Stick can be an excellent choice. It boasts a creamy texture, affordability, accessibility, and user-friendliness. With some adjustments in shade undertones, it could have been a perfect contouring tool.

What the NYX Contour Stick Is All About

The NYX Contour Stick presents itself as an ideal contouring product in theory. If NYX were to expand its shade range to include cooler undertones, especially among the lighter shades (as that’s what I’ve tried), it would garner even more praise. This $14.00 product (often available at a lower price with Ulta’s coupons) offers a convenient dual-ended design, combining a creamy, matte-like contour shade with a lighter, pearlescent highlighter.

This two-in-one concept sets it apart from single-purpose contouring and highlighting products, saving you money, space, and potential issues with mismatched undertones. It’s beginner-friendly, making it an excellent choice if you’re new to contouring. The NYX Contour Stick is cruelty-free, vegan, and comes in eight shade combinations.

Pros of the NYX Contour Stick

NYX Contour Stick in Fair

The NYX Contour Stick offers several advantages that make it worth considering:

  • Dual-Ended Convenience: It combines both contour and highlight shades in a single stick, simplifying your makeup routine.
  • Affordability: It’s a budget-friendly option for those seeking quality contouring and highlighting.
  • Diverse Shade Range: With eight shades available, it can accommodate a variety of skin tones.
  • Lightest Shade for Fair Skin: The lightest shade is genuinely light, potentially suitable for fair skin tones with the right undertones.
  • Buildable Effect: It allows you to achieve a subtle, natural look while providing the option to build up for more dramatic results.
  • Creamy Application: The texture is creamy, making it comfortable to apply.
  • Blendability: It blends smoothly into the skin.
  • Accessibility: You don’t need to visit a department store or Sephora; it’s readily available both online and in various physical stores.

What’s Not So Great About It

My reservations about this product primarily stem from my fair skin tone and current skin condition, which tends to be drier. While the NYX Contour Stick may be universally flattering, especially with its dual-ended design, it still has some limitations:

  • Potential for Orange Appearance: If you have fair skin, the product may appear somewhat orange, depending on your undertones.
  • Highlighter Texture: The highlighting shade can accentuate skin texture, particularly if your skin is dry.
  • Limited Shade Range: While the shade range is diverse, it could benefit from cooler undertones among the lighter shades.
  • Warm Undertones: The contour shade, despite appearing cool-toned in the tube, can develop a warm tone, potentially leading to a less than ideal contour.

My Experience and How I Applied It

I approached the NYX Contour Stick with a sense of curiosity. Here’s how I used it:

Application of the Dark Shade (Contour)

I applied the darker contour shade to various areas, including my temples, hairline, just below the cheekbones, along the sides of my nose bridge, along my jawline, and under my chin. Initially, it appeared as a neutral-warm brown rather than overtly orange, though blending would later reveal its warmth. While it wasn’t my first choice for my fair skin, I aimed to make it work.

Application of the Light Shade (Highlighter)

Next, I applied the lighter, yellow-champagne pearlescent shade. It went along the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, the center of my forehead, just above my upper lip, and the center of my chin.


I initially attempted to blend the product with my fingers, but this approach yielded somewhat streaky results. It appeared as though the product sat on my skin rather than melding seamlessly. To rectify this, I used a damp sponge to tap and blend it into my foundation, improving the overall look.

The Results

Ultimately, the final outcome featured a glow that veered towards an orange-bronze hue, which wasn’t my desired effect. When contouring, the shade should ideally be cooler-toned to mimic natural shadows, and warm tones like orange aren’t ideal. While the light shade wasn’t terrible, I would have preferred a pink-champagne hue to complement my skin better.

Additionally, I noticed that my skin appeared drier and displayed more texture under certain lighting conditions. This may have been exacerbated by the product, especially since my skin tends to be drier in cooler weather or when exposed to unfamiliar water sources.

Who the NYX Contour Stick Is Good For

While my fair skin with cool undertones experienced challenges with the NYX Contour Stick, it’s important to highlight who would genuinely benefit from this product:

  • Those with Light to Deep Skin Tones: If you don’t have fair skin with cool or cool-neutral undertones, the NYX Contour Stick may be the contouring solution you’ve been searching for.
  • Beginners: If you’re new to the world of contouring, this stick’s user-friendly design makes it an excellent starting point.
  • Versatile Skin Types: Suitable for most skin types, except for those with extremely dry or very oily skin. Very dry skin may find the light shade emphasizes dry patches and texture, while the creamy formula may not be the best match for very oily skin.
  • Travel-Friendly: Ideal for those who prefer compact makeup options that take up minimal space in your bag or pouch.
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers: If you love discovering makeup gems without breaking the bank, the NYX Contour Stick offers affordability without compromising quality.
  • Efficiency Seekers: For makeup enthusiasts with extensive collections, the convenience of having both contour and highlight shades in a single stick can save time and streamline your routine. No more searching for complementary shades!

Where to Buy It

You can find the NYX Contour Stick at various retail locations:

  • Ulta: Purchase it in-store or online.
  • If your local stores don’t stock it, you can buy it directly from the NYX website.
  • Beauty Supply Stores: Some beauty supply shops carry NYX Cosmetics.
  • Drugstores: Check your local drugstores for NYX products.
  • Target and Walmart: These major retailers often carry NYX Cosmetics as well.

Other Contouring Options to Try

While the NYX Contour Stick offers a dual-ended solution for contouring, there are alternative products worth exploring:

#01 NYX Highlight and Contour Palette

NYX Highlight and Contour Palette

This palette from NYX provides eight shades to choose from, allowing you to mix and match to find your perfect contour shade. While it’s priced at $25.00, it offers versatility for various skin tones and preferences.

#02 Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick and Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick #02

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

Fenty Beauty offers an impressive range of contour and highlight shades. These sticks provide extensive options, allowing you to customize your contouring experience. However, they come at a higher price point, with each stick costing almost $30.00. If you’re experimenting with contouring or seeking a budget-friendly option, this might not be the ideal choice.

#03 Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick

Wet n Wild, known for its affordability and quality, offers a budget-friendly alternative similar to the NYX Wonder Stick. Available for less than $10.00, it features two colors in one convenient stick. However, it comes in only two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Tan, limiting options for those with very light or very dark skin tones. You can find it at various drugstores, Target, and Walmart.

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