Review & Swatches: Etude House Play 101 Sticks in #4, 11, 13, Contour Duo and Stick Brush [Pink Bird Box]

The second Pink Bird Box Etude House sent me included the new Play 101 Sticks! I'm a huge fan of the Play 101 Pencils and so I couldn't wait to try out the bigger/chubbier versions. These sticks can also be used on the face, eyes, and lips. The foundations are between 1-4 and the lips/blusher/eyes targeted colors are from 11-15. With the gap between the foundations and colored products, I'm kind of hoping that they're going to bring out more foundation shades. There's also a contouring stick that can help create some shading. Each stick contains 7.5 grams / 0.26 ounches and retails for $14.40 on the global Etude House website, which can be found here

Along with the launch of the Play 101 Sticks, Etude House also brought out the Play 101 Stick Brush which is a dense slanted buffing brush. It's the perfect size to take along with the Play 101 Sticks on the go and retails for $7.61.

The Play 101 Stick Foundation in #4 Sand* is currently the darkest foundation shade in this line and it's slightly too light for me. But considering that most Korean base products are at least a full shade lighter than me, I'm very happy at how close it does match my skin color!

L to R:
Etude House Play 101 Stick in #4
Bourjous Healthy Mix Foundation in #54 Beige (review here)
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Barcelona (review here)
L'oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation in #105 Natural Beige (review here)
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in #10

I would say the L'oreal foundation fits my skin color the closest. The Bourjois foundation is my favorite foundation, but the color is slightly light by itself. From the picture, Beige is really close to the Etude House Play 101 Stick in #4 though! I don't have a MAC Foundation right now to compare side by side, but I am around a NC35 for reference.

The Play 101 Stick Multi Color in #11* is a bronzing stick that can help warm up the complexion. Since #4 is a touch light for me, pairing #11 on the perimeter of my face helps add dimension instead of just slightly ghost face. I could've sworn that I read that this was also a contour stick somewhere, but it is too warm to contour with. 

L to R: Bare face / #4 on the center of my face / #11 on the perimeter of my face

I tend to not go too close to my eyes / undereye area. #4 is very creamy and it does crease in that area. Since #4 is slightly lighter than my skin tone, it does brighten up the center of my face. My skintype is dehydrated, but my t-zone is oily and my cheeks are more dry. I did have some new and healing blemishes while taking these pictures and as much as that sucked, they did help me judge how well the foundation worked.

When I waited too long after applying moisturizer to use #4, it did emphasize the flaky parts of my skin (the area around my healing blemishes). If I applied the foundation right after applying moisturizer, that problem went away and just went on smoothly. The dry patch near my nose also looked dewy.

I would say the coverage for #4 is about light to medium depending on how you apply / blend it out. My preferred method for foundation is with a Beauty Blender but it did sheer it out. A second layer will get you that medium coverage though! I also used the Play 101 Stick Brush with #4 and it worked really well to blend out the foundation and give me medium coverage right away. I did see some streak marks but some finger taps made that go away. 

The Play 101 Stick Multi Color in #11* is also creamy, but it's more sheer (which makes sense because you wouldn't want a bronzer to be medium coverage). I'm really sorry Etude House, but I was not impressed with this product as a bronzer but I was impressed when I used it on the perimeter of my face in conjunction with #4. It does blend really easily, but it tends to blend into nothing if you're not careful. You won't be able to use the Play 101 Stick with this because it will buff it out too much. If you use a fluffier brush or sponge, it does spread out the color better though. 

I also wouldn't use this stick on top of #4 because they're both too creamy and it'll slip and slide on your face. I like to apply it directly on my skin and blend it into the foundation to slightly shift the color and add warmth. I've also tried it with other foundations and it's still a bit too creamy. For my dry/dehydrated skin, it does look nice when it works though! It didn't cling onto any dry patches or flakes.

The plus side to both #4 and #11 is that they do look really natural. The above swatches were also done for my wear test and they continued to look naturally dewy and skin line all day. The air is more dry because it's winter right now and so I was surprised at how well it worked. I'm slightly worried about how they'll perform during summer but it looks gorgeous right now.

The Play 101 Stick Multi Color in #13* has a slightly cool toned light pink base with a golden shimmer. Instead of a blush, I would say that this is more like a highlighter for me. Like the foundation and bronzer, #13 is also very creamy but I like to apply it with my fingers to keep the shimmer concentrated on my cheekbones. 

L to R:
Play 101 Stick in #13
Play 101 Pencil in #71
MAC Paintpoint in Rubenesque

Once blended out, the Play 101 Stick in #13 and Play 101 Pencil in #71 are similar but the pencil is more pigmented and dries faster. #71 would look pretty on the cheeks, but I'm too scared of it setting before I can really blend it out. I would say if you want this color for the face, go with #13 but go with #71 if you want it for the eyes. 

The creamy texture makes #13 not great on the eyes by itself since it creased within 5 minutes. If you "set" it with a powder eyeshadow, it does last pretty well through out the day. On my cheeks, there's a slight pinky sheen with golden shimmers and some glitters. If you're in natural lighting, it does look subtle. If you're in more direct light, it does look more glittery. 

I don't like shimmery lip products and so this on my lips is a total pass. If I'm being less biased, it does create a slightly milky pink color on my lips and there's also a noticeable golden shift. If you're paler than I am, it would look closer to what you see in the stick. It doesn't feel gritty either and so it was pretty comfortable to wear. It does feel slightly drying though. My preferred way to use this on the lips is just on my cupid's bow. It just highlights that area in a really pretty way without being too stark. 

The Play 101 Stick Contour Duo* is double ended with a satin beige color on one side and a matte slightly warm mid tone brown color on the other. The shading color is more brown than #11, but I would skip this if you're more cool toned. I'm pretty warm and so it does work on me to add dimension.

I'm actually pleasantly surprised about this contouring stick. I initially thought the highlighting side was matte and would look too chalky on my skin tone. I also thought the shading side would be too warm. I want to emphasize the word shading though because it doesn't create a sculpted/contoured look like in a lot of western beauty ads. I rewatched some Pony videos (Check out her channel here! They're all so great!) and she described using contouring products to shade your face to make it look slimmer. 

The Play 101 Contouring Stick is subtle but it's great for using every day. The highlighter side has a slight sheen and you can't see the "shimmer" unless you look closely. There's just a slight glow that lifts the cheek bones. The shading side does also blend out to be more sheer, but I feel like it's consistent with Korean beauty. 

L to R: Play 101 Stick in 4, 11, 13, Highlighter Side, Shading Side

L to R:
- Play 101 Stick in #4 and #11 as a base and the next two pictures show a variation on using #13
- Play 101 Stick in #13 on the cheekbones, lips, and eyes and Play 101 Contouring Stick on the contour areas
- Play 101 Stick in #13 on the cheekbones, eyes, and on the cupid's bow and Play 101 Contouring Stick on the contour areas. Etude House Colour in Liquid Lips in RD302

Finally the last product! We're almost at the end of this post!

The Play 101 Stick Brush* is a small slanted brush. The bristles are very dense and feel very soft on the face. I think this brush works the best with the foundation sticks and it helps spread out the foundation while keeping the medium coverage. Instead of buffing in the foundation, I do mostly downward strokes all over the face. Since the brush is small, it helps contour around my face very well. You don't exactly need this brush with the Play 101 Sticks, but it definitely a good brush for the size and works pretty well.

Final Thoughts: I wasn't as impressed with this box as I was with the previous Pink Bird Box, but there are some quality products! My favorites are probably the Play 101 Stick in #4 and the Play 101 Contouring Stick. The more I use #4, the more I really love the finish and ease of use. Powder contouring products have also been looking too much on my skin without a fixing spray and so the subtle and very natural shading and highlighting from the contouring stick is so great for me right now. Sadly, my least favorite and the one I would skip out on is the Play 101 Stick in #13. It is sheer and the glitter becomes more apparent the more you blend it out. I'm still going to use it though but mostly on my cupid's bow since it stays on better than powder. I'm impartial to the Play 101 Stick in #11 by itself, but I love it paired up with #4. Using #4 all over my face makes me look a touch too pale and flat and so using #11 along the perimeter gives me the perfect amount of warmth and dimension. If you're around my skin tone, I would highly recommend getting #4 and #11.

Have you tried the Play 101 Sticks? How do you feel about cream products?

If you want to see great videos demonstrating how to use the Play 101 Sticks, I recommend Bohemian Look (link here) and Slim & Small Look (link here) from Pony on the Etude House YouTube Channel. Unfortunately, there aren't English subtitles but they're short and easy to follow along. I know this little blurb might seem weird because I'm getting set stuff rom Etude House, but I do really enjoy Pony's videos. I think she's a great makeup artist / YouTuber and I low key seriously want her to do some videos on how she does CL's (from 2NE1) makeup.

If you're interested in any of these products mentioned, you can purchase them from the Global Etude House Website here

*These products were sent to me for free as PR samples as part of their Pink Bird Program. As part of their program, I get sent a box of products each month to review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.


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