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 • Makeup  • Makeup Reviews  • Why This Rare Beauty Bronzing Stick Has Broken My No-Contouring Rule

Why This Rare Beauty Bronzing Stick Has Broken My No-Contouring Rule

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Main image – Courtesy of writer

When Selena Gomez launched her makeup line, Rare Beauty, we all did a little jump for joy. Because – Selena Gomez! Need we say more? 

She epitomises embracing your true self, looks and all, and not feeling like your appearance has to fit in with everyone else’s idea of  ‘perfection’.

So, it was a happy coincidence then, and no surprise, that the Rare Beauty products are really, really good. Thank goodness. Because it would have broken our hopeful hearts if they weren’t. 

And the Warm Wishes Bronzing Stick (£25 from Space NK UK /$26 from Sephora US) is one of them. Here’s why it’s made me a contouring convert.


Grumpy beauty editor

You could say I’ve always been a bit of a negative Nancy about contouring.

It’s probably because I have never found a contourer or bronzing stick that doesn’t drag my skin when I apply it and then go patchy and muddy-looking within seconds. I’ve never liked the thought of drawing lines on my face either and because I have quite a round face, my natural contours are, er, rather hard to find. 


Image – @rarebeauty/Instagram


And whilst I’m on the contouring warpath, I’m not overly keen on the idea of using a stick for bronzing overall either, whether using it to draw contouring lines or not. I mean, what’s wrong with delicately dusting a bronzer over your face using a big brush? How is a stick going to give me the natural results a powder or a big pot of bronzing cream can? 

I know what you’re thinking – cheer up! Well, reader, thanks to Selena Gomez, I now have!


Applying the bronzer

Meet the softest, most blendable bronzing stick you have *probably* ever tried. Seriously. This is not an ad. This is honest, straight-from-the-heart feedback. If I wasn’t fan-girling over Selena Gomez before, I sure am now.

I applied the bronzing stick (in shade Happy Sol, one of an impressive eight shades) straight onto my skin, after my base, and began just under my cheekbones to create a shadow. Some people like to use a brush or their fingers but doing it straight from the stick seemed like the logical choice. As soon as it went on, I could instantly tell it would blend beautifully. Because it was so incredibly soft, and oh-so satisfying to apply. No dragging whatsoever.

The line was dark and scary – sure – but I rallied and moved onto my forehead, temples and then my nose. I followed the basic rules – diagonal lines in the hollows of my cheeks and up towards my ears, a semi-circle under my hairline and temples and two lines down my nose, with a line of concealer in the middle of the two.

I looked ridiculous. But the non-draggy, velvety formula had given me faith.

So, using a medium sized fluffy contouring brush, I began swishing the lines on my cheeks around in a circle, whilst moving in an upwards, diagonal direction. It blended as easily as soft butter spreads onto bread. Yum. (You can get an idea of just how easily it blends in the TikTok below).


The Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Bronzer Stick is viral for a reason ??? #RareBeauty #RareBeautyBronzer #warmwishesbronzer


I was instantly hooked. So I swished the lines around my hairline and temples with the brush too so that they faded nicely towards the middle of my forehead, and I used my finger to blend the lines on my nose. Well hello bone structure! I didn’t know you existed. 


The result

Once I had blended, blended, blended, applied a bit of highlighter to accentuate my newfound supermodel bone structure further and added a bit of blush to the apples of my cheeks I stood back and admired the view. 


Image – @rarebeauty/Instagram


There was no muddiness. No dryness. No uneven, patchiness. And even if there was a hint of bronzer in the wrong place, one little dab of my finger would melt it seamlessly in with the rest of my handy work. 

I looked sun-kissed, which is the whole aim of a bronzer right? My skin had been beautifully warmed up and you could see the effects of my contouring efforts without really being able to see them, if that makes sense. 



Now, I am going to say something and I don’t want anyone to over-react. But this is the first time anything has even come close to my all-time favourite bronzer, Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream which I have been using for 18 years. 

It’s the first time a bronzer, other than the Chanel, has made me feel confident enough to wear every day and that I actually feel myself in. Which, quite frankly, is brilliant because my usual shade in the Chanel has been globally out of stock for months. 

Usually in this situation I’d ask you to ‘send help’ or for your thoughts and prayers. But it seems Selena Gomez already has. 

And it is much cheaper too – £25. So not cheap. But cheaper. And psst! It blends easier than the Chanel one too. Did I just say that out loud?


What other users are saying

Other users seem to have only glowing (if you’ll pardon the pun) things to say about this bronzer too. Paula M on the Rare Beauty website said, “it’s literally perfect, it looks good with my skin type and it’s easy to blur. I love it.” And Elise H said, “love this, it is smooth and creamy when you apply it and easy to blend.”


Overall value for money

Like I said before, £25 isn’t cheap for a bronzing stick. But you use so little of this, and a little goes quite a long way, so it should last you for a while. It’s cheaper than some bronzers (ok, anything is cheaper than Chanel….) and because the formula is so lovely – and it lasts – you’re getting value for money.


The takeaway

If you’re looking for a quick bronzing fix, you want to enter your contouring era without it being scary or you just want to try something different, the Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Bronzing Stick is a sure-fire way to provide all of the above.

Invest in a good brush that will help ‘swish’ it into place seamlessly and you’ll not only be on your way to some really impressive bone structure but also a beautifully golden skin tone  – where the words ‘mud’, ‘patchy’ and ‘unnatural’ simply don’t exist.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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