Foundation Sticks Are Taking Over—12 That Makeup Artists and Editors Swear By
Foundation (much like mascara) can be a very personal thing. Some prefer a liquid or powder formula, while others thrive by using a quick swipe-and-blend method with a trusty stick. I will tell you one thing. Celebrity makeup artists and beauty editors alike happen to use foundation sticks the most. Why? Well for starters, celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay considers them the easiest and most effortless way to apply a base.
Editors and makeup artists also agree that using a beauty sponge is key when applying a product like this. It helps create a gorgeous, seamless finish no matter what level of coverage you're looking for. If you're now itching to try one for yourself or are looking for some new favorites to add to your rotation, keep scrolling! I've rounded up a comprehensive list of editor- and makeup artist–loved foundation sticks below.
This buttery formula from Ulta provides a really natural-looking finish and contains soft-focus powders to blur texture and pores. Additional skincare ingredients in the formula include hyaluronic acid, green tea extract, and vitamins C and E to condition the skin.
As far as drugstore options go, L'Oréal's is one of the best. It provides medium to full coverage, melts right into your skin, and contains a bit of sun protection with SPF 20.
"One of my all-time favorites would be the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD stick for its full-coverage satin finish that looks like a second skin. For a more natural finish, I apply straight from the stick and then buff out with a damp beauty sponge. A few different shades of these can also be used as highlight and contour and be diffused together for a natural-feeling sculpt. My favorite prep for this product would be an emollient moisturizer followed by a cosmetic oil, such as Charlotte Tilbury's collagen oil. Let your skincare absorb and follow with the HD stick in the center of the face. Using a damp beauty sponge, stipple the product until it's so blended that you can't tell where your skin is." — Judi Gabbay, celebrity makeup artist
This is another foundation stick I always keep on hand personally and celebrity makeup artist Allison Kaye can back me up on how magically it applies.
"The Hourglass vanish seamless foundation stick comes in so many shades so there is definitely a perfect shade for everyone. I like Hourglass products because they are all creamy and this foundation stick is as well! Hourglass products are also long-lasting so this foundation won’t budge once applied." —Kaye
"For a versatile product, try Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation Stick. For either spot concealing or more full coverage, this multiuse product is also great for the gal on the go. With an extensive 40-shade range, it's easy to find a close match." — Gabbay
This multiuse stick from Merit is a favorite among the WWW beauty team. The coverage is a bit on the lighter side, but I love the way it blends and how lightweight it is on the skin.
WWW Beauty Director Erin Jahns cites this full-coverage stick from Westman Atelier as a favorite because the "coverage is stunning and it glides onto the skin and blends like butter."
"This foundation stick is easy to swipe on straight from the tube and blend out with a Beautyblender. I find makeup sponges work better than brushes with most foundation sticks. … There's just something about them that helps blend the product out smoother. When I take the time to blend it out, it looks natural and seamless on my skin." — Kaitlyn McLintock, associate beauty editor
I reviewed this viral TikTok foundation stick last year, and it's now one of my all-time favorites. The formula is so smooth, and the coverage is incredibly buildable. I love that this formula can actually be built to full coverage. I can't tell you how many times I've tried a foundation that *claims* to be buildable, but the coverage looks the same, even if I pile on more product. This is one of the few that does what it says and leaves such a beautiful finish.
"Even though this is technically a concealer, I use it like foundation. The trick is to swipe it on in problem areas. (For me, that's my T-zone, which is where my rosacea pops up.) Then I take a damp Beautyblender and blend it out using a blotting motion. I add a little bronzer and blush over the top, and my redness is covered all day long." — McLintock
No creasing or caking here—this foundation stick from Milk Makeup offers medium coverage and boasts skincare ingredients like marshmallow-root extract, blue lotus, and chamomile. Each work together to calm, soothe, and deeply hydrate the skin.
Tom Ford's Traceless Foundation Stick is another that's designed to provide sheer, medium, or full coverage. It creates a second-skin look and even adds a hair of luminosity IMO.
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