There is something childishly easy about applying a stick foundation. It brings back satisfying memories of pre-school magic glue sessions. However, the technology behind stick foundations formulations is far from child’s play. Cream foundation is one of the oldest varieties of complexion products, coming right after the deadly powders of centuries past. Greasepaint was popularised in the 1800s when stage actors mixed mineral powders with literal grease to produce a base so thick it had to be removed with butter (this is why you will never hear me complaining about oil cleansing!)
Stick foundations are better than ever, and as cream formulations are sympathetic on dry winter skin, providing moisture and slip that matte liquid and powder formulas can’t match, we thought we’d offer our top picks.
The Gamechanger: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick
The star of countless Youtube contouring videos The Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation re-energized the category when it launched in 2016. With a satin matte finish and complete, opaque coverage (Hourglass launched it as a foundation that packs double the opacity of standard full-coverage foundations) this foundation is so unique because it blends like a dream over dry and oily skin types while providing a seamless satin finish. It’s ergonomic design – that iconic little triangle – makes it that much easier to fit into nooks and crannies.
The Multi-Shade Wonder: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Full coverage, and a hydrating, seamless finish this foundation is what dry-skinned girls dreams are made of. Bobbi Brown calls it “smart hydration technology” – all I can tell you is that it feels comfortable on the skin all day long while providing long wearing, believably skin-like coverage. It’s hydrating enough to use under the eyes without looking dry and creasy. Even better they have extended their already comprehensive shade range to 43, so your bound to find your colour.
The We-Cant-Believe-They-Did-It-Formulation: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Stick Foundation SPF 25
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser is one of the most popular tinted moisturisers on the market. Providing sheer coverage, an ingenious water-mineral based formulation and SPF30 it’s not surprising. When bareMinerals announced, they were bringing out the formula in a stick. Sticks are traditionally heavy coverage with a creamy formulation. I was unsure how they would manage to bring the qualities everyone loves about bareMinerals’ cooling gel formulation to a stick product. Somehow they’ve done it! The formula is more opaque than its gel counterpart but remains a water-based, lightweight, hydrating, SPF option. Composed of 30% charged mineral water, the foundation provides a medium to full coverage and feels deliciously soothing as you swipe it on. It offers cocooning coverage for cracked winter skin while feeling weightless.