November 8th 2018
They say the best things come in small packages, but does this extend to the world of foundations too? We decided to find out and so have been putting a roster of compact foundation sticks through their paces to see which ones could give our go-to bottles a run for their money in the coverage stakes.
Tackling precision and on-the-go practicality in one fell swoop, which are worth adding to your cover up collections? Click through our gallery to find out which we rated the best of the bunch...
Feedback: “This is an absolute favourite product of mine. It’s just 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 always in my makeup bag for quick back-of-the-cab, on-the-train touch-ups, and it blends away without a trace. It’s expensive but I think worth every penny - I’ve had mine for well over a year and, granted, I don’t wear loads of foundation, but I am only about half way through it.”
Feedback: “I have to admit, I'm not usually a foundation kind of gal. I have quite dry skin, so foundation generally clings to any dry patches and leaves my sometimes sensitive skin with an extra unnecessary layer, so concealer is usually my day-to-day go to base.
“At a first glance, the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick seems super heavy, but when applied using my favourite Real Techniques Expert Face Brush it gives the lighter finish that I'm used to. It's super 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 like me, make sure you use a hydrating primer like the Illamasqua Hydra Veil 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, so this is a great go to if you know you've got a long day ahead. The best part about this foundation though? The shade range! Forget the neverending struggle of finding the perfect shade to match your skin tone. With 24 different shades in the range, Bobbi Brown are working their magic to make sure that this isn’t even an issue.”
Feedback: “Formulated to give the same sort of coverage as you’d expect from a concealer, this foundation certainly does what it says on the...stick. The first time I used it, I applied it all over and I must say the end result was more Geisha girl then girl next door. It gives you that totally flawless canvas which is great if you’re looking to really build up and go ‘all out’ with your makeup, but for every day was a bit Shu much for me.
“Since then I’ve been using it under my eyes and to cover the odd blemish and it’s doing the job brilliantly; it glides on really easily and while it’s mattifying it doesn’t dry out your skin so no falling into under-eye creases. It’s fairly long lasting, though I imagine those with oily complexions may need to set it with a loose powder.”
Feedback: “First up, I have to big up the packaging of this particular pick - sleek, chic and shiny, it makes a great addition to anyone’s on-the-go beauty booty. So full points on style, but how about substance? Surprisingly creamy, with a texture that blended beautifully (a little really did go a long way), it provided smooth and even coverage that acted as a veil that softly blurred blemishes.
“Although a little drying on my cheeks and chin, it acted as a great mattifier for my shinier T-zone and as a result, I’d be more inclined to use it on those areas only rather than all over. Was it hard-working enough to replace my normal bottle of foundation though? Perhaps not, but it did make for a more portable option for times when I would much rather prefer not to carry a clunky bottle around town when my bag is heavy enough as it is(!)”
Feedback: “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 I’ve tried in the past, 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.”
Feedback: “Forget any worries you have over a stick-formula foundation with this brilliant edition by Maybelline. A gel stick foundation with an ‘anti-shine core’, it has the most surprising finish I’ve ever tested; it has a wonderfully soft, velvety texture (though I’d describe it as creamy rather than gel-like) 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 my dry skin suited it too. The perfect handbag foundation."
Score: 9/10 (only because if you’re drier like me, you might want a more dewy finish)
Available to purchase online from the 1st April and in store from the 15th
Feedback: “As someone with dry skin I’d usually prefer a liquid foundation and so I was a little dubious about using a stick formula, but Clinique’s Chubby series has never disappointed and I do love a crayon (usually on my eyes) so why not use a crayon foundation? This was very easy to blend - something that took me by surprise - and gives reasonable coverage but if you prefer a full face of base this might be a little too light for you. I found it a little more time consuming to use this rather than my usual liquid - essentially colouring in my face and then blending, which isn’t ideal in my morning rush. However, I found it worked well when I wanted less coverage and used 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, which I didn’t expect from a crayon-like formula - so if you want glowing skin with enough coverage to even out your skin tone, this is for you.”
Feedback: “The idea of having foundation in a compact stick form is highly appealing. They are super easy to use and give you great control over how much you're applying. Claiming to be a 'concealer-foundation-powder' in one, the Benefit Play Sticks fit both of these expectations and their creamy texture made them easy to blend into the skin. It definitely gave incredible coverage however, my issue is that I found the overall finish a bit too 'cakey'. I've never really liked the feel of foundation on my skin and for me, this was just a bit too heavy.”
Feedback: “I’ve been carrying this sleek little black stick around with me on my travels, and it’s become a staple. Dense enough to act as a concealer but also blendable so as to give you a surprisingly luminous foundation base, it’s genius for post-gym, weekends away and any makeup melting occasions; it’s pretty much whatever you want it to be. The shade range is nuanced and broad, which is particularly impressive given the low price point, and the finish is convincingly ‘skinny’ rather than chalky, which has been my bugbear with foundation sticks in the past. My only qualm is that the formula might be a bit too slick or waxy for those with oily skin, but otherwise top marks.”
November 8th 2018
May 23rd 2019