We all know about liquid foundation that you pump out of a bottle. Then there’s cream foundation – a bit thicker, usually in a pot, that you apply with a foundation brush or sponge. But how about the foundation stick? Not a contour stick — those have had their heyday. The foundation stick is like the hybrid of a the liquid and cream formula; super wearable, quick, and so simple to paint on. If you’re not using a foundation stick, you’re missing out.
Why are we feeling the foundation stick? Well, for one, the consistency is creamy-yet-malleable, so it makes blending a cinch. And layering it for additional coverage is effortless and doesn’t leave that foundation-like residue (you know, the caked-on look we’re referring to, right?). Mainly because you can spot treat areas that need additional coverage while leaving other areas with just a single layer. Sure, you can do this with a cream foundation and a brush, but it’s noticeable because of the thickness. Not with the stick foundation: this stuff has a natural effect.
Secondly, application is basically mess — and hassle — free (and fast!). It’t the perfect on-the-go, throw-in-your-bag and fix yourself up while driving, post-workout, on the subway product. You can apply in quick strokes directly to your face. Then blend with a brush: try the Bare Minerals Perfecting Face Brush ($28). It’s angled so that you can blend those hard-to-reach places like under the eyes and around the jawline. You can also blend with your fingers, similar to a liquid foundation. Or use a Beauty Blender. In fact, regardless of how you’re applying your foundation, end with a Beauty Blender ($20) (it’s what all the pros do): tap/ dab it onto the skin to remove excess foundation and set the rest, giving your entire look a more natural, air-brushed effect.
And then, of course, like most great stick products, layering and blending multiple colors makes you feel like a pro (or a master contourer). For example, use your exact shade for an all-over coverage, then use a hue 2 to 3 shades darker than your skin tone as a contour color. Just apply the darker shade to top of forehead, jawline, and under the cheekbones and blend. Mess up? Add a stroke of the lighter color to correct it. It’s literally the easiest way to teach yourself the art of highlighting and contouring (to highlight, purchase a hue 2-3 shades lighter than your skin color). We suggest buying a few shades to play around with sculpting and contouring your face in the most goof-proof way possible.
Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick ($24) – Comes in 10 shades, perfect for on-the-go touchups. Creamy, blendable, buildable coverage that leaves a natural, dewy finish.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation ($46) – With an astounding 30 shades, there is certainly a color for every skin tone. Again, buildable, blendable coverage, although a bit thicker than the Clinique stick. Oil-controlling minerals reduce shine and offer a slightly matte finish.
Nyx Cosmetics Mineral Stick Foundation ($10) – Buildable, blendable sheer-to-moderate coverage that touts itself as allowing for “flawless highlighting and contouring.” See, we told you! Comes in 15 shades.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($43) – This stuff is the heavy-duty stick situation. This long lasting, multitasking, medium-to-full coverage creamy stick will cover just about anything. Again, great for spot treatment, on-the-go touchups, and contour blending. Available in 15 shades.
Stila Stay All Day Cover Powder Finish Foundation & Concealer ($36) – A foundation stick with a pot of concealer on top. We’re loving the creamy formula that spreads easily, covers entirely, and dries naturally – a bit on the matte side. Real deal coverage without the cakiness. Obsessed.
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