October 16, 2015

Lancôme LE DUO Stick in “Buff” | Review + Swatches

Guys. This is the item for you if you need something quick, portable and efficient at giving you a structured, slenderized look in a simple routine! It’s especially awesome for those of us with medium to darker olive skin – but don’t worry, if you’re fair, I’m going to give some alternatives at the end. Here’s my Lancome Le Duo Stick review…

Lancôme LE DUO - Contour & Highlighter Stick Review Brighterdarling.com

Lancome’s Le Duo Contour and Highlighter Stick found me quite unexpectedly. I went for a complimentary custom makeover at Sephora for my birthday and asked the makeup artist to show me some new techniques and products she felt were underrated. This contour stick is now my go-to for special events, nights out, days I want/need to slim things down a bit or even easy days that I don’t feel like using a ton of products.

Lancôme LE DUO - Contour & Highlighter Stick Review Brighterdarling.com

There are a few of these type of sticks on the market right now, but the problem with basically all of them (for me) is that the contour shade isn’t dark or cool-toned enough. You may have heard this before, but contouring is not the same as bronzing and when you are contouring, you want a shade that is more neutral/cool – mimicking a real shadow.

This stick (in shade: Buff) checks all the boxes for me:


I apply it after my foundation and concealer are done. My face is a mix between oval and square/rectangle, so I have to be cognizant of that when deciding where to place my contour/highlight. See HERE for what application method works best for your face shape.

Here’s the order of application:

  1. I apply the highlight first to my brow bone down and around to my cheekbone (a C shape), then
  2. down the center of my nose,
  3. above my cupid’s bow (upper lip),
  4. and a dot on my chin.
  5. I’ll apply the contour along the top of my forehead, then
  6. I make the fishy-face and apply a heavier line below my cheekbone (from my ear stopping halfway to the outer corners of my mouth)
  7. and most importantly, along my jaw line starting all the way below my ear.
  8. Blend well with fingers or my favorite is with a Real Techniques Brush.

Now that I’m nicely contoured and slenderized, I can either leave it at that or I’ll apply bronzer the way it was intended – only where the sun would naturally hit my face – lightly on the edges of the forehead, the tip of the nose, tip of the chin and cheeks. Add blush or more highlight, if desired.

If you have seen my selfies from my YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick post, I used this contour stick for those photos. I did not use it for my fall bronze glow look. I think you can tell a difference.


If you’re lighter than me: the next best alternative was by Nudestix Sculpting Pencils (also at Sephora). This line has a variety of options and would work just as well for a bit cheaper!

If you’re darker than me: Lancome make a few different shade combinations darker than ‘Buff.’ I would suggest checking those out.

For reference, I swatched the stick next to my favorite bronzer (Too Faced Chocolate Soleil) and a popular highlighter (theBalm Mary Loumanizer). Now that I look at the swatches, I would say that the Lancome highlighter is a more subtle, creamy version of Becca’s Opal.

Lancome Le Duo Contour Highlighter Buff Swatches #brighterdarling.com Lancome Le Duo Contour Highlighter Buff Swatches 2

I definitely recommend picking up the Lancome Le Duo Stick with the Sephora Beauty Insider/VIB Sale coming up in November!

Happy contouring,

-Steffanie

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