Rant & Rave: Stick Highlighters/Blushes

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Stick Highlighters/Blushes

I like when they have really natural finishes and some color but aren’t overly pigmented as I find that too much pigmentation in stick or cream-based products can often be more challenging to apply and blend out.

— Christine

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I like stick and cream blushes on my aging skin. I agree they can be hard to blend and these are the products for which I most need my Artis brush dupe for blending. Even when there is not too much pigment, they can go on patchy. I have never used a stick highlighter but imagine I would need a similar brush to blend.

Rave: When done well, they give me a more “natural” glow to my skin. As in Fenty Chili Mango, Ridiiic, or Nyx Water Lily (might be dc’d).

Rant: They can, conversely, blend into nothingness or lift foundation, too. Those are killjoys. One of the prettiest highlighters I ever owned did the former. Looked sooo gorgeous when I first put it on, but seemed to literally disperse and “Vanish” within no time!

Eh, I mostly hate them. They never apply the way I want them too and more often than not cause issues with my foundation. The only ones I have ever found that I liked were those cheap NYC blushable creme sticks that I’m 99% sure have been discontinued.

Guess i’m not a fan, as only have sticks from S multibrand sets. What Nancy said. My skin always ate cream blush, and even now that it’s more normalized, I have to overdo or reapply. Plus, my skin is porous, as in spongelike and sucks in everything, so stick stuff just does not last. Too fussy. Powder color has always been my better friend, despite my age.

Rant: Can be difficult to blend & apply and/or lift foundation. Can also melt in high heat situations and make a horrendous mess (such as sitting on the tarmac in Dubai in my suitcase.)

Rave: Can have the most divine subtle glow.

I enjoy a lot of cream face products. If they are formulated well they can look fresh and natural on my aging skin. My favorites are those that are closer to a cream to almost powder consistency, they tend to blend easier and I don’t ever have a problem with my foundation.
I dislike any stick blush that stays tacky. (Tarte stick blushes were awful in that regard.) I’ve never had a stick highlighter that stayed tacky but that would be a deal breaker too. There is just something so off putting as getting wind blown hair stuck to skin, yuck.

I love my cream formulas, and I treat stick the same way as I would with any creams. Pick up on my fingers instead of directly applying the stick onto my face. I just think that this is the best way to apply those products without lifting the base.

Rave: They are so natural and radiant looking, if done well. I find that I can get away with a more intense cream blush than I can with powders. Cream/liquid highlighters are my absolute favorites: very flattering and glowy.
Rant: Most of the cream blush sticks are too pigmented, unfortunately, especially formula designed to be multiused as lipsticks. This can be a significant challenge sometimes if the product is not creamy enough to blend out easily.

I don’t use stick blushes or highlighters because I do think that they are much harder to apply and get right. And I think that they can dry out or turn bad in a shorter period of time too.

Rave: I prefer this formula over powders by a looooong shot. I don’t wear foundation so there’s no base to lift up, and they are so much easier to get a subtle but glowy look with. I always overdid powder blush when I wore it, but with cream/liquid formulas I almost never do. Same with stick highlights. I prefer a glossy, lit-from-within look, and creams/sticks give that to me. I don’t do matte makeup. I have dry skin and I don’t like the look on me. Creams/sticks sink into my skin, stay dewier looking, and don’t dry me out.

Rant: Can expire faster than powder, and can melt in high heat. There aren’t nearly as many on the market as there are of their powder counterparts, and the shade ranges can get repetitive (cool pink, warm pink with gold shimmer, orangey peach, a brown nude). If I had the time, money, and knowledge, the first product(s) I’d come out with would be a huge range of blush sticks.

Rave: Love the ease of application. I generally just apply some to the back of my hand or on my fingers and apply by tapping onto my skin or I use a stipple brush and pick it up off the back of my hand and again tap on. In general I prefer my stick products to be slightly less pigmented and also prefer more natural looking shades. I think that they are easier to get a natural look than with powdered products.

Rant: As many have said, I really hate when the product displaces my base or when it eats my base and other products around it. If the shades are super pigmented, I really have to be careful to off load before going to my face or I will have a blotchy mess. I also find that very pigmented sticks require more blending which generally means the area keeps growing and growing until I have color all over.

Stick products just don’t work on my face. I don’t know if it’s my skin or my lack of stick blending ability, but I just can’t get them to work.

I think they do look k better more natural on aging skin but I find them a it of a challenge to apply on both sides of face evenly. I place a bit in hand to melt a bit with the warmth then apply.
I do find powder much easuer. Those Fenty ones are nice!

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