Etude House Play 101 Stick Color Contour Duo #1, #2, #3 Review & Demo

Hi everyone! Today’s post is a long time coming, and something many people had requested I review! Personally for me, this is one of Etude House’s most slept-on products, so I’m happy to be reviewing them for you today! I’ll be talking about the Play 101 Stick Color Contour Duo in all 3 variations, along with sharing a demo of how they work on my face! Let’s get into it! 😀


The Play 101 Sticks have been around for quite a while, and I have reviewed a few varieties of them (here and here). I previously had a bad experience with the original contour duo that goes with these 3, so didn’t end up using these for quite some time after Etude House gave them to me as a gift for having written a review for them.

Like the boxes indicate, these come in 3 different types, each type having two colours (one on either end). In order to understand how these work, one must first understand colour theory.

Image courtesy Animaker

The general idea of colour correction through colour theory is that you can cancel out certain pigments in your skin by applying the complementary colour on top of them. Like the wheel above shows, green is the complementary colour of red, so if you have issues with redness you can apply a green colour corrector on top to cancel the redness out.

I would ignore the face guide on the box, as colour correcting is different from person to person.

By colour correcting with primers or balms you can cancel out skin issues through colour theory instead of needing very high coverage foundations to block them out. While not a necessary step, as someone with very dry skin my face rejects anything other than lightweight balm/essence-type foundation, and thus colour correcting helps to give me that flawless finish without needing to go in thick.

I’m going to go into each shade and what it’s for in detail as I talk about each of the 3 sticks, so you can figure out the colour for you!

A general overview of the packaging – these come as a dual-ended stick with a cap on each end, each end twisting up individually to reveal the product. I’ve had these for over a year now and haven’t had any issues with the lids falling off or cracking, so they’re really solid!

.。゚☆01 – Salmon & Yellow☆゚。.

This stick is what I would consider to be the perfect dark-circle combo. The salmon colour is a mix of red, orange, and yellow and thus blocks out green, blue, and purple tones. It’s great for brightening dullness in your skin, and give sallowness in olive skin tones a boost. As someone with pale skin I tend to avoid this one as it’s a bit dark for me. Alternatively, the orangey tones probably won’t be strongly orange enough to correct discoloration in deeper skin tones.

The yellow is good for colouring blue/purple tones that are commonly found in dark circles and exposed veins. As you can see above, my dark circles lean on the purple side, so I would use the yellow corrector to conceal them.

The consistency is very balmy, and it spreads onto your face easily with one swipe. I then pat it in with my finger…

And voila, my dark circles are a lot less noticeable! This is my go-to on no-makeup-makeup days, with the only other step being to set it with powder to prevent any creasing.

.。゚☆02 – Green & Blue☆゚。.

As you can tell by the shape of them, green is my most used out of all of these, and blue is my least used 😆. As I mentioned earlier, green is for covering redness. A lot of people have trouble with green primers making them ashy, but they work as a great brightening agent for my skintone, and thus I use this on almost my whole face.

As for the blue, I found it really difficult to find information online about this shade of corrector. As it’s complementary colour is orange, I can only assume it cancels out orange tones in the skin, so perhaps it’s for freckles and other such spots? I know my freckles are pretty orange, but I’ve never tried concealing them with this since I personally like them 😋.

I deal with redness on my cheeks, as well as along my jaw where I have keratosis pilaris.

My dry skin flakes tend to come up pretty easily when applying product, so instead of swiping the stick on my face I like to rub my finger onto it and then pat my finger onto my face to apply. Here I just swiped it on for demonstration’s sake.

As you can see, my jaw area looks a lot more even to my neck after correcting! Because my face is so discoloured compared to my neck, I find that using the green corrector on all of the “dark” spots helps to even out my skintone.

.。゚☆03 – Purple & Pink☆゚。.

Purple is a commonly used colour in primers because it helps to brighten the skintones of those with sallow (yellow), pasty skin (aka ME!).

Pink – as a light red, pink is complementary to green, so I imagine this one would be more geared towards warm-toned, olive skin with greenish undertones in their veining rather than those with cooltoned skin. As someone without any greenish areas, I don’t use this side.

Around my mouth, or what I refer to as my “Homer Simpson area” because of the effect the darkness gives me, is where I have the biggest issue with sallow skin (it’s easier to see in the full-face photo futher down in this post!).

I had to darken this photo so you could see the actual application on my skin, since this one tends to be on the sheer side.

After it’s certainly better than without it, but I find this one to not be strong enough to really give me the effect I want. So instead, when I’m wearing a full face of makeup I like to use Etude House’s other purple colour corrector, the Fix and Fix Primer in “Lavender” (I reviewed that too!), because it’s a little bit thicker and thus offers more coverage.

Before – nothing but skincare and eyebrows!

My primarily focused areas for colour correctors are my dark circles (yellow corrector), the discoloration on my nose/around my mouth (the green brightens this perfectly well for me despite not being the right complementary colour!), and the redness on my cheeks/jaw (I use the green for this too).

After using the correctors

I tried to take this picture with the same white balance, and at the same distance from my lighting in order for you to really see the difference. I don’t use the green on any pimples I may have, although you can, simply because these are such a sheer formula that they don’t cover much (plus concealing pimples isn’t something I really do). I also used the green all over my nose, patting it in with my finger, in order to brighten that area. Add some powder on top, and this is what I would consider my “no-makeup-makeup” foundation/base routine!

.。゚☆Final Thoughts☆゚。.

As someone who’s issues with discoloration and redness aren’t overly strong, and with skin that just needs that extra push, I LOVE these – #2 is serious Holy Grail status and I’ll definitely be repurchasing when I run out. I can easily sheer out any of my concealers to cover my dark circles, so I wouldn’t say #1 is entirely necessary in my routine, but because of how moisturizing the balm formula is I still enjoy having it in my collection.

My only complaint is that I don’t agree with the colour pairings chosen in each stick. I would love if they acted like the Etude House Mini Two Match lipsticks in that you could choose the two colours you want, and snap them into a middle component. I find that if you’re prone to the things the green stick covers, you won’t be prone to the things the blue stick covers, and vice versa. If I were to choose my own two colours I’d snap the green in one end and the yellow in the other (or two greens! INFINITE GREENS😂), which would pretty much cover my spectrum (colour pun👀) of problems.

These sell for 12,000 KRW for 1.7g on each end. This is perfectly reasonable for me, as the creamy formula means they spread incredibly well, and despite using the green several times a week for months now I still have at least half a stick left! If a more pigmented, all-over formula is what you’re into, feel free to check out my review on the Fix and Fix primers in Lavender and Mint.

Have you ever tried colour correcting? I can totally see where many believe it’s a gimmicky, extra step in your routine, but being able to achieve an even skintone without needing thick coverage has been my jam lately so I’m into them! <3 I have another lengthy lipswatch post planned next since I know you guys like those, so until then~ (=゚ω゚)ノ

*These products were gifted to me by Etude House as PR (not for review), and all opinions are my own.

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