With so many foundations on the market, how is a person supposed to choose just one? After all, there's a time and a place for each, from mousse to cream to cushion — heck, even aerosol. As you know, your choice of face makeup really depends on the coverage and finish you want, plus the tools you like to use. But what happens when your main priority is finding something fast and mess-free? (So basically, every weekday morning...)
Luckily for the
lazy rushed set, there's one formula that's gaining popularity, with more and more brands bringing new versions to a makeup counter near you: foundation sticks. While not exactly new, they're one of the most genius bases you can toss in your bag, apply on the go, and still get great coverage sans tools and mirrors.
In short, stick foundations are the superhero of shortcut routines — and even if you prefer to be incredibly meticulous with your whole face and take more time and care, these babies are still just as useful. They can be used with your fingers or with tools and they can be layered for maximum coverage
or diffused for lighter coverage.
Warning: If you’ve never tried these before, you might never turn back. Ahead, you'll find our favorites...
This blendable stick offers so much coverage we've been tempted to use a few layers as concealer. (Spoiler: it works.)
Inglot Stick Foundation, $36, available at Camera Ready Cosmetics.
This dual-ended cream foundation stick from CoverFX allows you to pick two shades from the brand's lineup and put them both into one convenient package — so you can conceal, highlight, and contour all at the same time.
CoverFX Cover Click Concealer + Foundation, $18, available at Sephora.
A stick foundation that gives you the benefits of a hydrating lotion and won't break you out? Check and check. Because of the coconut oil and vitamin C and E, pigment glides across skin with ease and leaves you with a light to medium coverage that can easily be built up to a fuller look.
Wander Beauty Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick, $40, available at Sephora.
This foundation's shea butter-laced formula is great for dry skin and makes skin look supple and plump in minutes. You can use your fingers or a flat brush to smooth this one on — it’s that soft and silky. Oily skin? Simply set with a sheer powder for longer wear.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, $46, available at Sephora.
Oily skin? This foundation is injected with a shine-busting core that helps to keep it in place while skin stays matte — and it won't break the bank.
Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Bring back your childhood coloring skills with this option: The thin formula glides right over imperfections and the crayon-like shape lets you reach exactly where you need coverage. It's great as a minimal base and the rounded edges make it easy to contour if you opt for a darker shade.
Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation, $24, available at Sephora.
When it comest to luxe foundation sticks, this is the one you have to beat. Tom Ford turned its famous Traceless liquid foundation into a handy stick that makes transforming your face into a smooth, silky canvas that much easier.
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, $82, available at Nordstrom.
This option doubles as a convenient touch-up tool — you'll get great coverage with just a dab or two of product. The texture is thick, so we don't suggest applying
too generously on your face. However, if you're looking for a long-wear, full-face look, you've found it. Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation, $25, available Sephora.
Lightweight, creamy, and beyond easy to blend, this long-wearing formula offers coverage that looks and feels like second skin.
Tarte Clay Stick Foundation, $39, available at Tarte.
Despite the rich, creamy texture, this foundation melts into skin instantly for a weightless satiny finish that never feels greasy — and with a formula that revolves around pure, natural, organic ingredients, there’s nothing
not to like. W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist Foundation Stick, $28.99, available at W3LL PEOPLE.
When you don't want to
feel your makeup on your skin, but would appreciate a little bit of coverage, this creamy base will do you right. The best part is your skin still looks like skin, not a caked-on mess. Flower Skincognito Stick Foundation, $8.98, available at Walmart.
Calling all selfie addicts: This formula will keep you looking natural in any lighting. This one takes under a minute to apply and smooth out, but doesn't sacrifice your hi-def glow.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation, $43, available at Sephora.
Great for stick-foundation novices, this triangle-shaped foundation is really easy to get right. With just a couple swipes on each cheek, your entire face will be covered, just blend with warm (clean) fingers. The finish is dewy and it's available in a wide range of shades.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, $46, available at Sephora.
This isn’t just one of the best foundation sticks you can get for under $10 — it’s one of the best, period. With a long-lasting, blendable formula that you can use all over your face, or just to spot conceal as needed, it’s incredibly versatile, too.
NYX Mineral Stick Foundation, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
While Estée Lauder's Double Wear foundation is technically not a solid stick, it still has the convenience of one. The tip is actual a cushion top that dispenses liquid for the dewiest skin ever — wherever you are.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50, available at Sephora.
Much like the luxury brand’s iconic concealer, this sheer, dewy foundation stick is all kinds of pricey — but so, so worth it. With a lightweight, almost gel-like texture that glides on like silk and blends to a luminous natural finish, this formula is the best money (a lot of money) can buy.
Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Stick Foundation SPF 17, $95, available at Neiman Marcus.
Talk about bang for your buck: you get a smooth, medium-coverage foundation on one side, and a full-sized contour stick on the other.
Smashbox Studio Skin Face Shaping Foundation Stick, $42, at Sephora.
Talk about double duty: this stick's matte foundation give off a soft, filter-worthy finish while vitamins A, C, and E create a barrier against harsh elements.
NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, $45, available at Sephora.
As if the convenience of portable foundation in stick form wasn’t enough on its own, this one also packs an under-eye concealer under the cap.
Stila Stay All Day Cover Powder Finish Foundation & Concealer, $36, available at Ulta Beauty.
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