Smashbox contour palette vs contour sticks

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio vs Contour Palette

Contouring is one of the best discoveries ever! At least we think so;) It defines and sculpts the face in a natural way by adding shadows and highlights. Similar to bronzers, but with a much more natural finish.

Here I’m reviewing 2 different contour methods by Smashbox, the Contour Stick Trio and the Contour Palette and I’ll then compare the two products.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase using these links, you don’t pay more, I simply earn a small commission!

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

smashbox contour stick

The Contour Stick Trio comes with 3 contour sticks- a contour, a highlighter and a bronzer. This is a really easy step-by-step contouring kit. The contouring stick creates shadows, the highlighter is a lighter shade to bring out your colour and the bronzer is used to blend the contour stick in properly so that there are no harsh lines.

What’s also really great about these contour sticks is that the set comes with a step-by-step guide that shows you how and where to apply each shade. The guide shows you different face shapes and how you apply contouring for each one.

It’s like contouring for dummies- you can’t really go wrong with it and the sticks are super easy to use too! It also comes with a sharpener- Smashbox really thought of everything when it came to this trio set:)

smashbox  step by step guide

The sticks have a lovely cream-based texture that literally glides on the skin and is a dream to blend. They are also very buildable! If you want a day look you can apply a thin layer and if you want an evening look, simply apply more product.

After applying the sticks, use a brush or beauty blender to blend them in properly. Remember to blend properly because it’s all about that blending!

The shades are all matte and last for about 7 hours without fading. They don’t make the skin look oily or shiny and neither do they dry out the skin. They have a perfect balance!

This set is perfect for a beginner who’s just starting out with contouring. They make contouring so easy and effortless and hard to get wrong!

Each stick is 0.12oz. You can buy them as a set or each one separately.

UPDATE: Smashbox Contour Stick Trio has unfortunately been discontinued. Check out these cream contour sticks for a fabulous contour.

Smashbox Contour Palette

smashbox contour palette

The Smashbox Contour Palette comes in 3 shades in powder form. Powder products are better for oily skin, so if you have skin that’s on the oilier side, stick to powders. They’re less likely to create shine.

The palette comes in 2 different shade options – light or deep. They both come with 3 contour shades- a contour, a bronzer and a highlighter. All the colours are matte which is nice because then the highlight shade can double up as a setting powder or it can be used under the eyes. Basically, it gives you multi-use options!

Like the Contour Stick Trio, the Contour Palette also comes with a step-by-step guide. It also comes with a brush that’s perfect for applying the contour to the hollow of your cheeks.

The palette is a little smaller than most contour palettes and the colours aren’t removable which is slightly annoying. This means that the shades can’t be replaced. However, the shades are all really nice and highly pigmented and they blend smoothly and easily. What more could you want?!

The powder is not packed too tightly making it easy to get out, and there’s also not much fall off from the brush so you’re not wasting too much product.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio vs Smashbox Contour Palette

Colour – The contour palette wins for this since it comes in 2 different shade options whereas, the contour sticks only come with one. One shade is never going to suit all skin types, my skin is pale and honestly, the colours didn’t really go with my skin. The highlighter didn’t stand out and the bronzer was slightly orange.

However, if the shades of the sticks do match your skin be aware that the colour of the contour sticks is much more subtle than the contour palette. It really depends on what look you’re looking for.

Ease of Use – The contour sticks win for this. They are so easy to use and the perfect way to practise contouring. It’s hard to do it wrong with these sticks.

Blending – They are both really easy to blend. I found the sticks blend really nicely because of their cream texture but, you still have to blend them in well with a brush or blender which can be another step and take a bit longer. The sticks look more natural because of their creamy texture, but the contour palette is more noticeable and it stands out more.

Similar Products I Recommend

My Thoughts

In general, both options are great for contouring, it really depends on what you are looking for and what skin type you have. If you are a beginner or you like a more natural look go with the sticks. But if you like a stronger more chiselled look then go for the contour palette.

One of my favourite features is that they both come with a step-by-step guide, it’s practical, useful and perfect for beginners.

I would love to see Smashbox bring out more colours for the Contour Sticks because they are a fabulous product. It’s a shame for all those who don’t suit the current colours to lose out:(

If you want to know a little contour secret of mine- the 2 contour kits actually complement each other perfectly! You can use the sticks first and go over with the palette for a more textured finish and to set the makeup. It does magic:)

Hollie xx


About Hollie

Hi, I’m Hollie, and I’m passionate about everything beauty. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve tested thousands of products to bring you the best of the best! I also love bringing you fun and creative beauty looks. Learn more.

Beauty profile – 35, dry, aging skin, focused on aging well with a healthy glow and natural makeup look ✨

Anastasia Beverly Hills bareMinerals Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown CeraVe Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior Dyson e.l.f. Cosmetics ELEMIS Estée Lauder Eucerin Fenty Beauty Fresh Giorgio Armani Hourglass IT Cosmetics L'Oreal Lancome Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Maybelline Molton Brown Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth PÜR Cosmetics Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL


  1. I basically have flat cheeks. 😀 Contouring has helped me a lot to define my cheeks somehow. Definitely a big help.

    I haven’t tried using sticks yet as I’ve always used palette, thanks for the comprehensive write up, I will definitely try this product. I guess one of the three colours of those sticks would suit me. 🙂

    1. Contouring is amazing!

      The colour of the sticks are universal, however, if you’re too light or too dark it wont be as effective.

       If you’ve never used sticks or crayons you really must give them a try- you won’t regret it:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *