Review

The best easy-to-apply foundation sticks for on-the-go coverage

2 October 2020

1 / 10

The best easy-to-apply foundation sticks for on-the-go coverage

Sitting in between liquid and powder foundation are the oft-overlooked stick foundations. They're lightweight and silky and blend in with the ultimate ease and the best part is how easy they are to apply on the go. "Stick foundations are hugely underrated in my opinion," M UA Hannah Martin wrote on Instagram . "They are fantastically handy; portable and buildable being the features that I appreciate the most."

How to apply stick foundation depends on your coverage needs. Use your fingers for a sheer application, a brush for more medium coverage and straight to the skin from the stick for full coverage.

Here's our edit of the best stick foundations for picture-perfect coverage without all the effort

2 / 10

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, £66

This luxury foundation is incredibly versatile - you can use it sparingly for a sheer finish all over skin or a thicker finish for a totally flawless effect. You can use it to cover spots as a concealer or hide problem areas like redness around the nose and bags under the eyes. It’s perfect for quick back-of-the-cab, on-the-train touch-ups and it blends away without a trace. It’s expensive but worth every penny in our opinion.

"This is super soft and moisturising," Hannah Martin says. "It's medium to full coverage but with no powdery finish but more of a silky satin sheen."

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3 / 10

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, £45

This is one of the creamiest stick foundations we've tried. It's so hydrating you don't need a primer or even any moisturiser to create a flawless base and there's zero flaking or dryness whatsoever. It comes in 32 shades, delivers all-day-long wear and

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4 / 10

Burberry Fresh Glow Gel Stick Foundation and Concealer, £36

For a foundation and concealer hybrid look no further than this Burberry offering. It has a dewy, water-based formula enriched with aloe-vera for an enviable on-the-go glow. It uses encapsulated water which bursts on contact with skin for a hydrating finish that doesn't cake even in dry areas. It's buildable too and the gel texture reflects light for that lit-from-within glow you hear so much about.

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5 / 10

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating SPF25 Foundation Stick, £29

She of flawless skin Hailey Bieber is the face of this stick which immediately attracted our attention and it's a favourite of Hannah's too, thanks to the glide-on texture. It's oil-free and water-based so supremely hydrating. "It feels wet on application with a more tinted-moisturiser like finish," Hannah says. "Be sure to be light-handed with it, you don’t need much pressure at all, it glides into the skin effortlessly."

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6 / 10

Lottie London All About That Base, £7.95

This little stick houses a full coverage matte foundation is weightless and blendable – you can hardly feel you're wearing it. Formulated with vitamins E and C, it blends out for a seamless and undetectable full coverage finish. If you're new to stick foundations and want to try one before investing big bucks, this is the perfect choice.

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7 / 10

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £32

At a first glance, the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick seems super heavy, but when applied using a makeup brush it gives a lighter finish. It's buildable, so it can double up as a concealer to hide away any unwanted redness or blemishes flawlessly (with a little bit of buffing). It is slightly drying though, so if you've got dry skin make sure you use a hydrating primer  – but if your skin is a little more oily, you'd be good to go. It leaves a semi-matte finish and stays put incredibly well, so this is a great go to if you know you've got a long day ahead.

This is another favourite of Hannah's, especially when she's doing bridal makeup. "This gives less slip than the Tom Ford one but the same buildable quality. It's more yellow toned which is great for toning down redness." Mary Greenwell is also a fan of this for how beautifully it applies, so you just know it's good.

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8 / 10

Iman Second To None Stick Foundation, £20.50

If you’re looking for a product that’s built for touch-ups on-the-go, then this beauty buy comes very highly recommended when it comes to more targeted coverage (think sides of the nose and blemishes). While its texture wasn’t as creamy as other foundation sticks, it definitely scores points for its natural matte finish and non-drying formula to make the range a good fit for those with oily and combination tanned to dark skin tones in particular, as well as those who don’t like to wear too much foundation normally.

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9 / 10

Maybelline Superstay Foundation Stick, £8.99

This has a wonderfully soft, velvety texture with an almost cream-to-powder finish on the skin. It’s not at all heavy yet provides great coverage and blends effortlessly, yet once on the skin it feels very silky and, importantly, looks matte without being drying in the slightest. Ideal for oily skins, but our tester's dry skin suited it too. The perfect handbag foundation.

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10 / 10

Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick, £26

This was very easy to blend and gives reasonable coverage but if you prefer a full face of base this might be a little too light for you. It works well when you want less coverage and use it almost as a concealer around the nose, forehead and chin - and it is great for little touch-ups when you’re on the go. Best of all it has an impressively dewy finish, so if you want glowing skin with enough coverage to even out your skin tone, this is for you.

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