Wednesday, June 10, 2015

DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick

If you were to raid your Mom’s vintage makeup stash, what would you find?
I’d find a pressed powder with a velour applicator – or ‘puff’ as my Mom would call it. Since it was a dowry item from my Mom’s wedding... by the time I got enough sense to dabble (read: destroy) makeup, the pressed powder had developed a hardened crust that would not transfer the powder, but the subtle highlighting shimmer only. Fun Fact – I STILL have cracked half of it minus the mirror and the ‘puff’.

Another item would be a lipstick – ranging from Elizabeth Arden to Swiss Miss. The same would double as a blush. That's one thing I am sure we all remember while watching our mothers dress up quickly. Oh... and the lipsticks would at best be FROST finish :-/ Something she could carry off like a breeze, but me... well, not in a million years.

Third would be a foundation stick.

Before she ventured into liquid versions – the story of which I explained in my Foundation Collection – 1 Post – the stick version was essential. I am not sure of the brand, but there were two with strong pink undertones and they left a ghost-white-cast on me. Mom, on the other hand, rocked it with a wet sponge. Yep. Wet SPONGE. All those who think that the hype of Beauty Blender is what revolutionized sponge-usage for foundation(s), nope. They've been there long before the revered BB.

Foundation sticks used to be a makeup nightmare – cakey, heavy, white, and unnatural.

A lot has changed since I've dabbled into makeup, I have found ways to make the stick foundation work for my skin tone. Moreover, I have learnt to truly appreciate how they can be a multi-purpose product. It can double as your primer, color corrector, contour, highlight, concealer, brightener - in the least! The more creatively you mix it up with other products, the more it will surprise you. Now that I am better equipped with the skills - I got a chance to try DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick. 
Fun Fact - I opted for these to use as CONTOUR & HIGHLIGHT creamy sticks. For somebody like me who has not tried contouring and highlighting before, did this work? Find out next:

Going back to my nerdy roots, let me introduce D.M.G.M. is an abbreviation of "Discover the Mark of Glamourous Makeup". I found it out for myself at the DMGM Cosmetics website while I browsed through their products. The Photo Fix Pan Stick retails for PKR 1,695 at Just4Girls.PK and in-store counters across Pakistan.  

The DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick comes in a matte-black cardboard packaging with a standard black plastic stick inside. As compared to other brands of foundation sticks that I have, this one feels lighter in weight. Perhaps the thinner plastic? I have carried it in my makeup bag without any accidents till date. I would still be more than careful of not letting this one take a fall. 

First, coming to the shade selection - I wished there were some reviews online for me to use as reference becuase the personal visit to the makeup counter(s) is difficult to manage with my routine... and a husband who steers me away from the makeup aisles -_- Having said this, I strongly recommend that you all should always visit in person for any foundation selection needs. Search for samples if you are buying online. Still, if you have to make a decision on online swatches, read up on undertones, oxidation, and coverage to see whether a particular shade suits you. Since these were meant for my contouring, I browsed through online shade card and picked the darkest "Golden Sepia" for contouring, while "Beige Natural" was chosen for highlighting.

Just to clarify, by this "highlighter", I mean a foundation/cream product that is a shade or two lighter than my skin tone which you can wear over your regular foundation ever so lightly to give the illusion of natural light hitting your face. Contouring has its pitfalls. It might make you look older, sharper, or even unnatural in reality. It is best for usage in front of camera along with full face of makeup. You can always do a natural version on regular basis, but practice is essential for doing it right and doing it light :-D You cannot feign the shadows when a friend is watching your face from few inches away...and goes... "err... what's with these brown/orange marks, bro? Bad tanner?" :-D

In retrospect, if I were to choose a shade for the highlighter, I would have picked one shade lighter than this. When my foundation has given an even coverage on the face, the Beige Natural does not appear 'lighter' on me. May be a bit, but not quite.

Coming on to how well they do, first - The cardboard packaging has a list of claims about the product performance:
  • The ultimate skin rescuer provides the coverage of a concealer, foundation and powder all in one.
  • Evens out skin tone and creates the illusion of flawless skin by deflecting light form imperfections.
  • The soft, creamy texture allows a totally controllable level of coverage and encourages you to apply just as much or as little as you need.
  • Delivers maximum coverage for perfect and even skin tone
  • Won't clog pores and blend smoothly to give you the flawless face you've always wanted.
  • High coverage soft and creamy texture
I received the product in winters, so the texture was initially not quite creamy. It was not too dry either, but something that would require a little warm-up between your fingers or a dash of moisturizer to get things going. In Summers, however, this issue was not experienced. They were stored in a cool/dry place in the drawer (within an AConditioned room). Their texture turned creamier, easier to use. The slight flakiness that I encountered in winters was no longer an issue. 

Another thing I noticed during arm-swatching was - the formula was a tad unforgiving towards 'hair'. The peach fuzz on the face was okay, but if somebody has noticeable/thicker facial hair & dry skin, you might experience some trouble in achieving an even application. When I applied the contour shade under the jawline for curbing my double-chin (*sigh*), I had to spend couple of minutes extra with a damp sponge to get the even around some thicker facial hair. The next time, I countered this problem by moisturizing my face well and priming the jawline/neck too. Usually, I skip that :-/ The problem was 95% solved with this little change - and the contouring lasted longer :-3

The coverage is medium-to-full. In winter, due to drier consistency of the product, I had to directly apply it on my skin as the brushes that I had would not evenly pick up the desired level of product. In my recent experience, the texture is creamy enough to be applied by fingers/tools very well. I put it on in thinnest possible layers and I absolutely love how wonderfully it blends. It is the right kind of blending. Many people complain that the contouring does not show up enough or it blends too much to give a muddy mess on the face. Or, the flip side, some leave harsh un-blendable lines on your face that is not a pleasant sight in itself. 

Fortunately, DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick Golden Sepia gave me enough control to blend the edges into a diffused shadow while it stayed on my face through heat & sweat.
To do this right - One, you need the right tools and techniques best suited for your face. Two, you should use a cream product not too dark for your skin tone. "Sealing" it is very important because on me, the products slip :-/ So, I usually top the cream off with my Sleek Contour Kit matte brown powder. 

When I swatched the product, I was glas that Golden Sepia was not 'orangey' like many powders/creams that are used for contouring. It was not the absolute muddy-shadowy shade, but that is understandable because this is meant as a foundation/concealer - not the hardcore contouring. 

As you can perhaps see, I am more excited about the Golden Sepia. Partially because I have practised the 'contour' skills better than the matte-highlighting technique. Hence, I usually use just this in conjunction with my regular moisturizer or foundation. Beige Natural and I have friendly relationship, but that s strictly platonic. Shade-wise, it cannot be used as an undereye concealer on me because it tends to make the dark circles grey-ish. I use it on cheeks under the contour-line to make it neat and prominent, around the lips, apples of my cheeks, and very slightly in the middle of the forehead & nose. It gives me good blendability as well. 

The overall coverage of both products can be layered up, as I mentioned before. However, with Beige Natural, anything beyond two layers looks cakey or unnatural. More of it has to do with the fact that I am not using it as a foundation. An important claim mentioned on the website and the packaging itself was that the product is WATER RESISTANT. By that claim, it should be fine with the sweating. I agree with the claims... to an extent. When I sweat/blot the face, the product does not transfer more than 5-10% (which is okay and understandable). However, beyond 3 times of sweating/blotting, the texture of the foundation looks a little unnatural. It was more pronounced with Beige Natural since it was not a shade match. Golden Sepia stayed fine, nonetheless. 

At certain instances, I have used Beige Natural as an undereye concealer. Apart from the shade mismatch, the formula settled in my fine lines. The same was tried on my Mom and Mom in Law - they have fairer complexion, so it was a shade match for them, but the performance as a concealer was not exemplary. It creased, despite the powder & primer. Using the powder made the formula flakier than it was. Contouring with Golden Sepia was on point :-)

As for the skin sensitivity, I always use these products with a protective layer of primer and never have I ever left these overnight - so, no breakouts or allergies till date. *knock on wood*

Overall, I did enjoy using them as contouring & highlighting products. For a quick natural contouring, Golden Sepia has been quite suitable for my NC20-25 complexion. I wish the Beige Natural was a tad lighter to suit my needs, but that is entirely upon my own miscalculation in the shade selection. For winters, my skin requires some prep to use these smoothly. Dry-skinned beauties need to take a note of that. For us oilies, this gives good pigmentation, control and blendability. 

Golden Sepia is the darkest shade in DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick, so it might be only suited for the pale-to-fair skinned ladies as a NATURAL contour stick. It is not the cheapest option, but a decent one among local counterparts. I would reiterate that you try the shades for foundation, concealer, or contouring usage on the DMGM makeup counters before selecting any.

Based on my experience, the verdict for DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick is:

DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick is available in Pakistan at makeup counters in the market. For online purchase, you can visit Just4Girls.PK or DMGM Cosmetics Facebook page. For more information on DMGM products, visit their official website.

Have you used the DMGM Photo Fix Pan Stick? What products from DMGM would you like me to try next? Let me hear it in the comments, y'all!



Disclaimer: This post may contain PR Samples shared for review. The opinions expressed are, however, unbiased and honest as per my personal experience.


  1. Never tried DMGM pan stick but it sounds great. Amazing review as usual :)

    1. If you ever happen to swatch/try it, do let me know of your thoughts! Thanks <3

  2. I will pass.I am irrevocably in love with tv paint sticks for contouring.price 12oopkr available everywhere and the brand has a contour kit worth 6pounds as well.
    Great review

    1. Great! What shades of TV Paint Sticks do you use for contouring?

  3. It's about time i switch to cream contour products. Lovely post.

    1. Do let us know of your experience when you switch :)

  4. Thank you for satisfying our curiosity about this product so thoroughly :D Awesome review as always and my favourite part is your Blast from the Past :* Little Bia playing around with base sticks too light for her and ending up with the "Aataa look" awwwww!

    1. *aata face*
      LOL, if you're imagining me - imagine with a fawaara ponytail right in the middle of my head... or two on sides :P
      Cheers, babes!

  5. Just came accross your blog, from a fellow blog. I am not much into using Stick foundations, they feel like heavy to me on skin. But I love using stick foundations more for contouring, Golden sepia looks amazing in this regard.

    1. hey! what stick foundation and shades do you use for contouring?
      Welcome to my blog <3

  6. Yeah, you are right, I remember my mom used to have stick foundations too :)
    Golden Sepia is surely an ideal choice for contouring.

    1. That was a trend back in the 80s and 90s
      Liquid foundations are pretty new in vogue comparitively :)

  7. Great in-depth review as always. Contouring is quite over hyped in my opinion. Even if one chooses to do it, a soft light hand works much better than two stripes down the face.

    1. It is overhyped, for sure! I don't like extreme makeover to begin with. Slight sculpting, perhaps - that too if done nicely :)

  8. Great review :) but I dont know why the stick foundations never suites me :( my combo skin is behind this :p :)

    1. You can always find alternative uses for them, no? :)
      I have the same skin type!
      Thanks, Huda <3

  9. I have been wanting to try stick foundations for a while now. Thanks for the review will add this to the list of foundation sticks i am considering

    1. The texture varies across stick foundations, so you can try local ones with testers available at their kiosks before picking any one :) It's different experiece than liquid foundations :)

  10. Among kryolan n dmgm which one is better for a day longer lasting makeup?

  11. I have also have same question.. plz let me know if someone tried both of them. I use w4 tv paint stick but once my face sweat it turns oily and darker not blended well..


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