Okay, I have a confession to make. Normally, if I receive news of an item that's recently gone viral on TikTok, I'm naturally a bit skeptical. After all, there are some great things about the platform, but I think the word "viral" is starting to lose a bit of meaning in today's oversaturated market. Once in a while, though, there's a popular product on TikTok that catches my attention anyway and makes me excited to give it a spin. This time around, it happened to be Basma Beauty's Foundation Stick ($40). And I'm not the only one paying attention—the brand and its star beauty staple have caught the eyes of celebs such as Kourtney Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Vanessa Hudgens, Regina King, and the D'Amelio sisters. Not only is it a great foundation, but the brand and its founder, Basma Hameed, have a greater story and mission that I really resonate with.
I love that above all else, this is a brand that celebrates real people and real skin. Too often we see ads for makeup and skincare featuring models whose skin has been heavily photoshopped. It creates such an unrealistic beauty standard, and I'm glad to see this old paradigm shifting with brands like Basma Beauty. "I want this brand to celebrate individuality," shares Hameed. "This brand is not about perfection (unless we’re talking about perfect foundation shade matches!). It’s about celebrating real life, real triumphs, real skin, and real beauty. All of this is so ingrained in who we are as a brand. For instance, for our first brand campaign shoot, instead of hiring 40 models, we simply asked our friends and family. We wanted to see people from all ethnicities, styles, and skin textures represent each shade. For me, it's important that everyone can look at our brand and see themselves in it."
For a bit more about Hameed's incredible story, how this brand was born, and my review of the foundation stick, keep reading below.
About Basma Beauty & Its Viral Foundation Stick
If you thought this brand and product were born of a random idea or light-bulb moment, think again. "For the true inspiration behind The Foundation Stick, you’d have to go back to when I was 2 years old," Hameed shares. "I was involved in a kitchen accident that left me with third-degree burns on nearly half of my face. Despite hundreds of surgeries and treatments, doctors were unable to conceal the bright red scar on my face. That’s why at a very early age, I turned to makeup—and it changed my life. I fell in love with makeup—the chemistry of it (formulas, pigments, ingredients, etc.) but also the way it made me feel. It gave me a boost of confidence and allowed me to feel like a normal girl."
This really shaped Hameed's life and beliefs while also giving her a unique perspective on the beauty industry. She decided to pursue a career as a paramedical scar camouflage artist, where she developed a technique that utilized pigments that matched skin tones and corrected skin discoloration and scars. "[Before], I was always pushed to buy 'scar-friendly' products whenever I was shopping for new makeup. These products were always super high-coverage, cakey feeling, and lacked shades. (I'd end up having to buy two or three shades to mix in order to match my skin.) Secondly, no one looked like me in the brand imagery—and I'm not just talking about having a scar. Everyone always looked so perfect. I made a promise to myself that one day I would start a beauty brand—the one I wish existed when I was growing up. I also always knew I'd start with a foundation because not only is that the base of every makeup routine, but skin (as it relates to pigments, undertones, and textures) is my area of expertise."
But the unique formulation of the foundation stick truly began with the scar camouflage technique Hameed established. "When I was 17, I developed the scar camouflage procedure—a treatment that entails implanting pigment into scar tissue. I performed it on myself first, and after seeing the remarkable results, I knew I wanted to use it to help others who (like me) struggled with their skin. I went on to open The Basma Hameed Clinic in Toronto, Canada, and one in Beverly Hills. I have worked on thousands of patients with different skin types, tones, undertones, and textures. When developing the shades for The Foundation Stick, I was able to draw upon my experience working at the clinic and created shades that I felt would be truly inclusive."
My Review of the Basma Beauty Foundation Stick
Hameed mentioned to me that this foundation stick is incredibly buildable. You can use it to build up to anywhere from light to full coverage. This way, you have full control over your look and can customize it to fit your preferences. Hameed says that no matter how much you apply, your skin will still look and feel like your own and will never feel or appear cakey.
I applied shade 017 for tan skin with warm undertones—it matched me perfectly. The first thing I noticed when applying this is that it's incredibly lightweight. I barely felt like I was wearing any foundation at all. I also have to take a sec to mention the super-hydrating and luxe skincare ingredients it contains, including aloe vera extract, vitamin A, and apricot butter. You can tell these are key elements of the formula by the way it glides onto the skin. It felt so buttery soft when I swiped it on and buffed it out with my brush. First, I applied one layer to see how I liked the coverage. It did provide decent light-to-medium coverage and will be nice for days you're just going out for a quick lunch or don't want to wear a ton of makeup.
I decided to build it up a bit more to experience what Hameed mentioned above. She was right. Even though I applied a pretty generous amount of product, it didn't even feel like there was anything on my skin. Not to mention how easily the formula slides all over your face. I won't lie; I'm a foundation freak who obsesses about how a formula buffs and blends—it's a deciding factor to me when it comes to how much I like a formula. This one does so like a dream. I dabbed on a little face oil beforehand to give it a bit more slip, but honestly, I don't even think I needed it. The formula has so many hydrating ingredients that it has enough smoothness on its own. Overall, I loved how this foundation applied. The only con is that you will have to use quite a bit of product if you want to build up to full coverage, but that's it really. It's a beautiful formula, and I can see why it has caught the attention of TikTok and celebs alike.
More Foundation Sticks We Love
Westman Atelier's powerhouse formula contains active ingredients and antioxidants that help combat redness, irritation, and inflammation. It also features phytosphingosine, a potent compound that helps your skin conserve moisture and reduces the appearance of fine lines.