Rant & Rave: Stick Foundations

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Stick Foundations

I like their coverage and portability, but it can be hard to get an even amount of product each application so there is some trial and error. Sometimes, if they are too creamy, they sink into lines, but if they aren’t creamy enough, they’re hard to blend out.

— Christine

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Though I’ve been curious about it, I’ve never tried stick foundation because it seems like it would be very hard to work with. If I knew of a stick foundation that would look as good and last as long as EL Double Wear, I’d definitely give it a try. Stick would certainly be a lot easier to travel with.

I just stumbled on a 2017 post where I said I had tried stick foundations and didn’t like them. Maybe I’m getting old, but I seriously don’t remember ever trying a stick! Lol

I’ve heard good things about Bobbi Brown’s stick foundation, so I still might give it a try someday.

My pleasure! I hope you like it! I do have one bit of advice to give you: when looking for your shade, be sure to look at the description under the swatch. It will tell you the undertone of the foundation. You want to be sure to get the correct undertone. It’s probably just me, but there seem to be very clear undertones in this foundation, more than in others I have tried. I hope I made sense!!! Have fun playing with makeup!! 🙂

They’re not meant to be – not for the oily people in the audience, at least. With no ability to dry down and set, they’re bound to slip and slide as soon as they begin to mix with oil. If they do have oil absorbing capability, they look crusty until you do have enough oil on the surface of your skin.

That, and they give you so little product. Why? “Because it’s a stick” doesn’t work when I’m only getting 1/4 to 1/2 the weight, at best.

“If they do have oil absorbing capability, they look crusty until you do have enough oil on the surface of your skin.”

Omg this has totally been my (limited) experience with stick foundations as someone with normal to dry skin. They all look thick and piled on until 2/3 through my day when I finally have enough oil on my face to make them look less crusty.

I think it’s to do with the high wax content of stick foundations. I just stick with liquid.

I like their portability. For me, the best way to get even coverage is to use a smallish, portable kabuki brush. I also think you have to use trial and error to find a brand that works for you. If I can’t try first, I won’t buy it.

As I haven’t used a stick foundation since I was in my teens, and I’m fairly certain that they must have improved during the past 40 years, I just cannot say how I feel either way! I just worry that they would be too greasy or slippery for my skin type. Especially in the t-zone.

Rants: If they’re too creamy, they don’t work with my oily skin. They can melt, so they aren’t good for keeping in a makeup bag or traveling with in hot weather. It seems it’s even harder to find skin- and under- tone matches in sticks than liquids.

Raves: They are very easy to use. They are great for travel most of the time because they are compact and don’t leak.

I would have never believed I would have liked stick foundations… and then I tried the MUFE Ultra HD and Tarte Clay Stick. I still prefer cream foundation (or thicker liquid foundations), but I also enjoy (some) stick foundations.

Love: I really love the portability (especially when traveling) and the fact that I can get precise application (I learn fast how many swipes of the stick I need for a specific coverage I want). I find them creamy and easy to blend, buildable; I can get easier the coverage I need then with liquid foundations. They usually apply well with either fingers, sponges and brushes, so it doesn’t matter the tools you have at hand.
Hate: I finish stick foundations so fast (due to the creamier consistency), they’re not the most cost efficient product. Also, I really need to set them well with powder, the creamier consistencies tend to set in my fine lines. I find that stick foundations are not the most transfer proof.

I have oily skin and live in a very hot/humid place so stick foundations are a no-go for me. But I jumped on the trend anyway with a MUFE stick foundation. I found it a good color match, which is rare for my medium/tan skin but it was impossible to blend with a brush or a beautyblender. It rattled around in my collection for a while until I got a Clarisonic foundation brush, and now it’s my favorite foundation ever!

I picked up the ABH stick foundation right after it launched in a shade that I could use for contour and that is about all I use it for. I prefer my foundations to be a bit more easily blended and all of the stick foundations that I have tried have been too stiff. Grant it, I haven’t tried a lot. I have used the ABH, Ulta brand, Hourglass and I think that is it. I have used the Ulta stick foundation as a concealer at times, also.

I forgot to mention that I think I use cushion foundations in place of stick foundations. They are super portable, easy to use, I can find shades that match me and I can control the amount of coverage based on the cushion I choose. They frequently contain good skin care ingredients and sunscreen. And what is perfect for me is that they tend to run more cool toned with peach or pink undertones pretty common. I know this won’t work for everyone because the majority of cushion foundations are made in Asia and so they usually only make a few shades and they are all in the more light to light/medium range. Of course there are a few brands bringing cushions into western makeup so there is hope for more shades.

I just finished up a Dr. Brandt “skin perfector” and really enjoyed it. Since it is part of the Pores No More line, it was not greasy and looked fine on my normal to oily summer skin. It provided light to medium coverage and lasted most of the day on me without setting. I am not buying it again because it is not a CF brand but I am curious to try some others and appreciate the suggestions here. My only other experience was with Max Factor Pan Stick back in the 60’s or 70’s, which was way too creamy for my younger skin. Is that the one you are thinking of, Nancy T?

I have never used a stick foundation, simply because I think they are too difficult to apply evenly and would ultimately be too drying on my face. I also think that getting my porcelain with pink undertones shade would be almost impossible.

I owned and used one stick foundation a number of years ago.
While I don’t recall anything specifically bad about it, I didn’t used it very often and discarded the majority. There must have been some problem that I don’t remember.

After skepticism, I finally tried a Lancome stick foundation that I quite like. It’s pretty light-and natural-and I like it to use it to do a quick, easy base for summer. Of course, the portability is great, so I also like it for say, days when you’re taking a plane. Just toss it in your purse and no worries about liquid rules. I tend towards dry skin and this formula any way is not drying for me. Still prefer liquid overall but I’m glad to have this stick on hand and would purchase again.

I’m just a lil tempted to try the Tom Ford stick foundation since I’ve seen so many blogger raves for it but I’m still unconvinced that the price hike is really worth it. Foundation love is so dependent on your personal skin chemistry and shade subtleties.

I love my Bobbi Brown Skin Stick Foundation. The coverage is adjustable and it’s fast and easy to get it to full coverage. It lasts well if you powder it nicely. The only issue I have with it is the color. I’m neutral and the shade I use is very pinky orange. It’s the lightest shade and it’s way too dark for my skin tone. So, basically, the color is way off but the product is superb. If you like dewy foundations you would love this one! If not, then I would recommend setting it with the Bobbi Brown setting powder. It seems to work well with that powder. The packaging is nice quality and attractive to look at, if you care about that sort of thing.

Hmmm, I’m interested in looking at Bobbi Brown, but I might have the same issue with color. I’m light neutral, too. Do you find that the color turns orange during the day or is it pinky-orange when you first put it on? Which shade do you have?

I’m porcelain neutral, so the shade I use is actually too dark and too peachy orange when I put it on. It gets a lot worse when it’s been on for awhile, but your shade shouldn’t be like that if it’s not pink. I use the shade 00 Alabaster. The next two shades up are not pink. One is neutral and the other is yellow. I’m sure there are a lot of other shades that are yellow or neutral, too. I hope this helps you! It’s a really great foundation!

Love the coverage, speed and precision of application. Can easily do spot coverage or full face.
But too expensive – you get much less product for a comparable price. I’d only consider it now if I found one that was opaque enough to sub in for concealer – and therefore be a similar or better deal than standard concealer.

I love them, but my skin is too oily. They break down on me. They are nice for me to touch up with, but not a face of 8-10 hours, it would slide onto my neck.

Rant: They can feel heavy & be difficult to apply. I’ve also had them melt into a puddle in extreme heat (Delhi or Dubai in summer). Not oily skin friendly too.

Rave: Love them for air travel due to liquid restrictions on planes. The Cle de Peau stick foundation is lovely, light & cooling for summertime (or if you are going someplace hot.)

I used the Becca sticks years ago, and found them hard to blend. When they were discontinued, never found another brand until…. Now I use Graftobian foundation pans. Not a stck, but portable, blends easily, and has nearly infinite shades.

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