We rounded up the best stick foundation picks to save you the hassle of trying them all.
Trends, like everything else, are cyclical. But unlike the heavy, caky, cream foundations of the past the latest trend of stick foundations gives you creamy foundation in lighter formulas. The best stick foundation picks can cover everything from matte to dewy, sheer to (mostly) high coverage. Stick foundations range the gamut from the best foundation for combination skin to foundations for dry skin.
We’re loving stick foundation so much right now because it’s easy to use on the go for long days and when you’re traveling.
Before we get into the best stick foundation picks, let’s have a little Stick Foundation 101.
I always like to start with primer (skin primer, not mascara primer products) because it makes it easier to blend foundation, and keep it around all day. Some foundation sticks have more slip than others, so choose your primer wisely. If you’re having trouble blending your foundation, opt for a hydrating or silicone primer. If your foundation is a little too hydrating for your skin, use a mattifiying primer instead.
It’s also worth knowing that you don’t have to prime your whole face. If you only have problem areas (ie your T zone) just apply the primer where you need it.
As with many foundations, different brands have different shade ranges. Because many foundation sticks are high coverage, it’s worth spending the time to find one that matches your skin really well.
Once you’ve got your primer and foundation picked you can apply straight to the skin.
Buffing out with a brush can help to sheer out coverage. Just apply the foundation stick where you need it most, and blend through the rest for an even finish.
For a higher coverage finish you can blend out with a makeup sponge.
Depending on your skin type and the look you’re going for, you may or may not need to set with powder.
Best stick foundation picks with matte finish qualities
- Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick – This cream foundation has a buildable coverage which makes it perfect for long days. Need a quick concealer touch up? This Tom Ford pick has your back.
- Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick – With 30 shades finding your perfect color is easy with this Lancome foundation. It has a long wearing, ultra matte formula made for oily, acne prone skin.
- Sephora Collection Make No Mistake Foundation & Concealer Stick – Sephora’s own foundation stick is nothing to sneeze at. It’s best suited to combination and oily skin due to it’s ultra matte texture which can be harder to blend on dry skin.
- NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick – This is the foundation stick if you want to be matte but not too matte. The velvet matte formula can lean into a satin finish with oily skin types but can be the perfect middle ground for normal and dry skin.
- Cover FX Cover Click Concealer + Foundation – Cover FX is known for their OTT high coverage formulas. Use their Cover Click stick as concealer on good skin days or as foundation on days where you want all the coverage.
Best stick foundation picks with satin/dewy finishes
- Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick – This Clinique pick is loved by both oily and dry skin types. The semi-sheer stick blends into the skin (instead of sitting on top) for longer wear.
- Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick – Bobbi Brown is a foundation master and the Skin Foundation Stick is no disappointment. There are 30 shades to choose from with many undertones and a formula that blends easily to look like skin, not foundation.
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation – In front of the camera? You need this MUFE foundation. It was created with 4K resolution in mind to make sure your skin looks perfect on screen.
- Hourglass Vanish™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick – Hourglass’ foundation stick has a cult following for it’s easy to blend, high coverage, skin like formula. If you want a high coverage foundation but hate the look of foundation, this is the one to try.
- Smashbox Studio Skin Face Shaping Foundation Stick – Your multi-tasking BFF. This Smashbox foundation stick is double ended so you can foundation and contour at the same time.
- Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup – The dewiest foundation of the lot is from Estée Lauder. This is more of a liquid formula set into a sponge for easy touch ups. This makes it much easier to get a sheer coverage, just apply where needed and blend.
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