Stick foundations are having a real moment and I couldn’t help but investigate them for myself. The second the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick came into Mecca I had to go try it out, and after seeing how nicely it sat on my skin I bought it. The Hourglass stick foundation is bloody expensive and comes with very little product, comparatively, though, so I wanted to see how it compared to a few other stick foundations on the market. Keep in mind that I have a very oily skin type (I thought I was getting it under control for a while, but it’s oily again at the moment), so these recommendations come from that viewpoint.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Shell, $72
This foundation comes in 26 shades. Twenty six. How rad is that! As well as having a full range from virtually white to really very deep, the range covers neutral, cool, warm and golden undertones. You’re not going to struggle to find a match in this foundation, but you will struggle to guess a match without trying it on in-store.
It’s one of those products that I’m hesitant to use daily, though, because of the cost. The product comes with 7.2g of product, and quite a bit gets used each time. If this is your full-coverage everyday foundation, you’ll be repurchasing it regularly.
All that being said, it looks fucking brilliant on my skin. It’s full-coverage and you can really work it into the skin for a smooth and natural finish—as natural as a heavy foundation can look, at least. I get the best finish with a sponge.
Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation* in I20, $76
The Shiseido stick foundation has been around forever, so it’s more than just the brand jumping on the Instagram trend bus (in fact, I can’t think of any Shiseido release that is along those lines). I used to sell a lot of this when I worked on the Clinique counter, which was directly in front of the Shiseido counter.
It comes in a significantly less broad range of shades than the Hourglass one, but while it’s four dollars more expensive, it comes with 10g of product, so there’s significantly better value there. It has a much drier, more matte appearance but still gives good full coverage and a smooth finish.
Maybelline Fit Me Stick Foundation* in 115 and 120, $25.49
Fewer shades available, again, in New Zealand at least. It is literally one third of the price of the Shiseido one, though, so I guess you can’t complain too much? These foundations have an “anti-shine” core that allegedly controls oil and while they wear on my oily skin decently, there’s no groundbreaking technology there.
I get a little less coverage from the Maybelline foundation compared to the others, which may be due to that anti-shine thing that’s diluting the pigment. They are nice and versatile, though, and I use the stick foundation in 310 as a cream contour occasionally.
NYX Mineral Stick Foundation in Light Medium, $20.45
I’m a shade 04 in this foundation, which seems absurd considering I’m the lightest or second-lightest shade in most of the others. Good news, however, for really pale babes or goth girls who want to really lighten their complexion. This has decently concentrated pigmentation and as you can see in the swatch photo, pulls much yellower that the others in this post.
I’m really excited about NYX’s arrival in New Zealand and to so many Farmers stores. The prices are consistently cheaper than all the other Farmers brands, but the quality is on par, if not better. And although we don’t have all the recent releases from NYX (still waiting on the skinny brow pencils to make an appearance), there’s a good selection of new and trendy stuff as well as the old staples.
I wanted to include the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in this post because it’s such an iconic stick foundation, but after trying it on at the Bobbi Brown counter in David Jones, I was not impressed with how it looked on my skin. The pigment bunched up and settled into my pores and almost broke up over the surface of my skin, even in areas where I don’t have any uneven texture. It looked, quite frankly, awful. I know that won’t be the same for everyone, but it was a quiet relief for me (I was ready to drop the $84 on it).
Have you tried a stick foundation? Which one is your favourite?
Upon reflection, having four stick foundations is absolutely excessive and entirely unnecessary. Even more ridiculous is how big my foundation collection is overall. I’ll be blogging about all of them in the next little while, with the hope that it might make me reflect on what I like and what I can get rid of.