I blame memories of forced sunscreen applications with child-safe sunscreen sticks for turning me off from any beauty product that resembled them in the slightest. Plus, every time I decided to set my aversion aside and try a cream contour or highlighter stick, I found it took too long to blend, then caused my foundation and concealer underneath to slip and slide. What was the point?
Recently, though, brands have started releasing skin-care sticks, ranging from matcha toner sticks to exfoliating sticks and pore-cleansing sticks. The idea of limiting the mess and hassle of getting my makeup off and cleansing my skin after a long day of drudging around New York piqued my interest.
One of the latest, and most affordable, releases in this realm is ELF's Prep & Hydrate stick, a water-based primer and moisturizer that feels cool to the touch and instantly rejuvenates the skin. Basically, it's the equivalent of sticking your head in the fridge on a hot, humid day. Ahhh.
The balm, packed with aloe, vitamin E, and shea butter, makes on-the-go moisturizing and precise targeting of dry patches, like those around the nose or under the eyes, a breeze. On top of that, it's super-travel-friendly, with no risk of exploding in your bag.
But a quick word to the wise: Wait a few minutes for the balm to dry before applying powder products on top. The ultra-hydrating ingredients take time to sink in and can cause bronzer or highlighter to look patchy if you're not patient.
With the hottest days of summer upon us, this stick — and my liquid SPF — is about to get a whole lot of use. And at $8, I can keep on restocking all season long.