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This article is part of our series Battle of the Brands, in which we compare category-leading products to their counterparts to determine which are actually worth your money.

Contouring is one of those magical makeup techniques that can take your look to the next level. It creates depth and dimension, with the power to enhance or camouflage certain facial features. The technique consists of accentuating the shadows of your face — think under the cheekbones, along the jawline, on the sides of the nose and along the hairline — to sculpt and add definition.

Cream and liquid formulas are best for contour since they will blend seamlessly with base makeup like foundation and concealer. Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Contour Wand has been a popular choice since it launched in 2017, thanks to its easy applicator and flexible formula.

Earlier this year, Tarte launched its Sculpt Tape Contour, and makeup fans were quick to call out its resemblance to the Charlotte Tilbury wand. We tested the two in a side-by-side comparison to find out if their performance is as similar as their packaging.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand vs. Tarte Sculpt Tape Contour at a glance


Light to Medium, Medium to Deep

Soft Bronze, Cool Bronze, Warm Bronze, Deep Bronze, Rich Bronze, Mahogany, Espresso








12 mL

12 mL

Available at

Charlotte Tilbury, Sephora, Revolve

Tarte, Ulta

Price $42 $35

Both products make contouring as easy as 1-2-3

As someone who loves a five-minute face, I look for products that make my makeup routine super simple. While contouring can be time-intensive when layered with highlighter, blush and powder, products like Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Contour Wand and Tarte’s Sculpt Tape Contour come in a user-friendly format, making them quick and easy to apply.

In just a few steps, you can sculpt your cheekbones, nose and more. I followed the same method for both products, applying the Hollywood Contour Wand to one side of my face, and the Sculpt tape to the other. Since they basically have the same applicators, the directions are the same: To dispense the product, you twist the top to unlock it, give the tube a squeeze until you can see the cushion-tipped applicator become saturated and then dot or draw on the contour where you want to add some dimension. I opted for the dotting method, applying it in the hollows of my cheeks, along the sides of my forehead and on the sides of my nose. Then, I used my favorite Real Techniques face brush to blend the contour out.

Testing the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand in Light-Medium.

The Hollywood Contour Wand shade Light-Medium was a nearly identical shade match to Sculpt Tape’s Soft Bronze. Both liquid formulas blended out far lighter than they initially applied. I found that the Sculpt Tape appeared more matte and felt slightly creamy on the skin (thanks to the inclusion of skin care ingredients like shea butter, licorice root and porcelain flower), while the Hollywood Contour Wand gave a glowy effect and felt more like a true liquid product. I applied both on top of the Saie Glowy Super Skin Foundation, which helped with a smooth and seamless finish. I recommend applying these contours on top of a base product (such as foundation or primer) rather than on bare skin as this will help the liquid formula blend better.

Furthermore, the Charlotte Tilbury contour wand blended out a bit lighter than Tarte’s contour. In the pictures above and below, the “after” examples were taken following the initial application. For a deeper contour, both products can be layered again until your desired effect. During my additional testing, I found that two layers of the Hollywood Contour Wand gave a more defined contour on my skin tone. With the Sculpt Tape, however, one application was sufficient.

Testing Tarte Sculpt Tape in Soft Bronze.

After you use the contour wands, you’ll want to twist the top of the applicator to lock the product and put the cap back on. One of the few complaints for both the Hollywood Contour Wand and Sculpt Tape is their propensity for leaking. Knowing this before testing, I was careful not to squeeze the tubes too much so there wouldn’t be excess product on the applicators.

Left: Before contour. Right: With Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand on left side of face, and Tarte Sculpt Tape on right side of face.

Tarte offers a more personalized shade range

Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Contour Wand comes in two flexible shades — Light to Medium and Medium to Deep — which can work on a range of skin tones. However, Tarte offers seven shades of its Sculpt Tape Contour, offering a more tailored range for different skin tones. This allows you to choose a shade based on preference too — you can try a shade darker or lighter than you would normally go, depending on how exaggerated you want your contour to be.

Bottom line

While both products make it quick and easy to create a contoured look, the shade range and color payoff of Tarte’s Sculpt Tape make it more accessible. Being able to choose a shade for your specific skin tone allows for quicker and easier application, so you don’t have to fuss with trying to lessen or increase the saturation on a generalized shade. Plus, the formula has nourishing ingredients that feel light on the skin but give enough of a creaminess that it makes blending a breeze.