Everything is better in stick, right? A corn dog, a frozen treat … (While researching this story, I learned that there is a national day “Something on a stick”, which I duly intend to observe from now on.) I would say that is also true of the foundation.
The thing is, stick foundation gets a bad rap. “Looks like it would be thick,” a colleague said when I recently praised it. That’s what I thought too – for years, in fact. But not so. I mean, I’m sure some are, but there is so much newer and more sophisticated formulas on the market that are anything but.
Instead, they glide weightlessly across the skin, blending in seconds with the touch of a finger or a few strokes of the brush. Personally, I have never achieved such a well-groomed complexion in such a short time. In less than a minute, I switch from the zombie filter to the Zoom filter.
They can also work as a concealer if you want a more targeted approach. I find the texture and finish more natural than many real concealers, which is especially useful for covering things like dark spots or rashes or broken capillaries. You can’t tell where the foundation ends and your skin begins.
Finally, there is resistance. These babies don’t move until you tell them to, even if you’re oil-prone or in a heatwave. I really like applying sunscreen, especially in the summer, which can drag my makeup off and slip over it. Not the case with a good stick foundation. It has enough grip to stay put and won’t be halfway down your face at 3 o’clock.
I now stop bragging about foundation sticks, but if you’re interested in discovering their wonders for yourself, here are the 10 that I consider to be the best of the best.
Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Teint Foundation and Concealer Stick, $ 49, sephora.ca
Katherine Power, the founder of Merit, describes it as “not a foundation, not a concealer, but it will replace both in your makeup bag.” This is exactly what he does. Some days I only apply it to my dark spots and the redness around my nose, and then on others I go to ham and use it all over the place. (I highly recommend trying Merit brush. It makes mixing a dream.) The finish is dewy but not shiny and the product never settles into pores or lines. I am obsessed.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick, $ 61, sephora.ca
The full coverage one
I took it on vacation with me once when I didn’t want to save a bag and had to limit fluids in my wash bag. I have been using it since. I like not to feel him on my face, but I can be sure he’s there, doing his job, even if I’m sweaty or dancing the night away somewhere in Sayulita (he’s in waterproof!). It’s quite covering, so I tend to use it more at night if I want to make my skin super silky and flawless, but it also works great at camouflaging spots.
Make Up For Ever UltraHD Invisible Coverage Stick Foundation, $ 56, sephora.ca
The approved makeup artist
The thinness to coverage ratio of this product is mind blowing. It’s even lighter than a lot of tinted moisturizers I’ve tried, but in fact makes your skin even and beautiful. (Let’s face it, tinted moisturizers tend to be reserved for people who already have perfect skin. If that’s you, congratulations. If not, I have you.) I’ve heard many makeup artists rave about this stick. and I fully understand why.
Maybelline Shine-Free + Balance Stick Foundation, $ 11, shoppersdrugmart.ca
That of the pharmacy
So many reviews for this product start with “Please never stop this foundation!” I fully understand the fervor. It’s $ 11 and does a remarkable job of evening skin and removing excess oil. The texture is actually closer to a gel than a cream, which is wonderful on the skin. In addition, there is a special “powder core” (which is why the medium is clear) which keeps the shine under control for a full 10 hours.
Westman Atelier VitalSkin Foundation Stick, $ 88, sephora.ca
Gucci Westman is a legend, the best friend of longtime clients like Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow. I love each of his Westman Atelier products (his highlight stick makes you feel like your whole life is going to Pilates and drinking green juice) and her basic stick is no different. True to the aesthetic of the professional make-up, it is super pink and creamy. I would say the coverage is somewhere around the mid mark. it will not camouflage all, but it will even out you and make you really fresh and radiant.
Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Foundation Stick, $ 48, yslbeauty.ca
The extra long-lasting
If stamina is what you are looking for, you are going to love this. It has a 24-hour hold. (I’m not sure in what context you would do your makeup for 24 hours straight, but I wish all of us such an exciting life.) You can build coverage from medium to full, and it never gets mushy or like a mask. . The finish is rather matte and velvety, so it is particularly well suited to anyone who wants to control shine. It will keep you fresh all day (like, literally all day).
Flex Foundation Stick for Milk Makeup, $ 48, sephora.ca
The super light
It is called Flex Foundation because it is designed to accompany your face without wrinkling or cracking. You’ll really forget you’re wearing it – it’s its featherweight. The coverage is on the lighter side of the medium, which makes it ideal if you’re not looking to hide much but just want to give your complexion that little extra something. It makes everything smoother and brighter.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, $ 62, bobbibbrowncosmetics.ca
The cult classic
You can’t go wrong with Bobbi Brown. An old-fashioned but a goodie, this beautifully creamy formula is a godsend for anyone who is drier. It contains emollients like shea butter and olive extract to leave the skin soft and hydrated. In trials, 96 percent of participants found it to mimic the appearance of a healthy complexion. No wonder it’s a bestseller.
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, $ 110, sephora.ca
You know how in Say yes to the dress, Consultants never let brides try on a dress that is outside of their price range because they know they are going to fall in love and be heartbroken? This is what this foundation stick looks like. It’s $ 110, it’s Tom Ford and it’s amazing, living up to his “Traceless” nickname. You almost wish it wasn’t so good.
Nudestix Nudies Tinted Blur Stick, $ 37, sephora.ca
Nudestix, as the brand name suggests, is the magic of a stick. (My apologies, if you now have that 50 Cent look stuck in your head. I didn’t mean it, of course, that way.) So it’s no surprise that they’ve mastered stick foundation. This guy has soft focus technology to blur the look of pores, lines, texture, and blemishes. You can use it as a foundation or concealer or even play with different shades to contour and highlight. A true multitasking.
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Katherine Lalancette is the Beauty Director of The Kit, based in Toronto. She writes about beauty and trends. Contact her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @kik_tweets