17 Top-Rated Stick Foundations for Mess-Free Application That Takes Seconds

And while each of them carries plenty of pros depending on your skill level and personal preference, there are a few cons as well. For instance, liquid foundation can be straight-up messy and hard to evenly apply, especially if you don’t have a sponge or brush on hand. Powder, though it’s the ideal option for a matte finish, can easily look cakey when too much is applied. And when you’re dealing with oily skin, the results are even more horrifying.

However, there is good news. As with most beauty staples, you have yet another option that checks all the boxes in half the time with results that are just as good. Today more than ever, stick foundations are becoming the coverage du jour, not only because they tend to create less mess but because they require less application time too.

Simply swipe, blend and be on your way, whether you’re on the go or just not in the mood for a routine that requires more than five minutes of your time. Stick foundations also aren’t limited to specific skin concerns or times of year; there’s a wide range of options that run the gamut from sheer, tinted moisturizerlike formulas to full coverage with contouring shades to boot. Ahead are the most talked-about versions.


Originally posted on StyleCaster.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Get the seamless coverage of a concealer, smoothness of a liquid foundation and lightness of a powder in this waterproof, full-coverage formula.

Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick$46 at Hourglass

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation

The stick version of MUFE’s best-selling foundation formula includes the same exact benefits of the liquid version: a formula made with dry skin types in mind for a second-skinlike finish.

Ultra HD Stick Foundation, $43 at Make Up For Ever

Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation

Water-resistant with medium to full coverage in mind, this award-winning foundation features a patented technology that aims to deliver just the right amount of moisture without leaving the face too greasy.

Stick foundation, $46 at Bobbi Brown

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra-Long-Wear Foundation Stick

Use this buildable formula as a spot concealer, all-over foundation or to contour for a natural-looking matte finish.

Teint Idole ultra-long-wear foundation stick, $42 at Lancôme

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Stick Foundation

A multitasking, full-coverage stick available in 26 different shades, including contouring and highlighting shades too.

Cream stick foundation, $25 at Anastasia Beverly Hills

Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick

For medium to full coverage (also oil- and fragrance-free), this creamy stick’s two main functions are to provide a hydrated-looking finish and more even skin tone. 

Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, $45 at Nars

Tarte Clay Stick Foundation

Amazonian clay is key to evening out tone and disguising redness and pigmentation, making this vegan formula both a form of coverage and blemish treatment.

Clay Stick Foundation, $39 at Tarte

Wander Beauty Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick

A coconut oil-infused formula that hydrates the skin while also giving you coverage with a lustrous, glowy finish.

Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick, $40 at Wander Beauty

Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick

Oil- and fragrance-free, this skin-healthy stick is your go-to for sheer coverage that mimics a tinted moisturizer or spot concealer.

Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick, $27 at Clinique

Flesh Thickstick Foundation

Cover, conceal or contour with this affordable multitasking stick that comes in 40 different shades.

Thickstick Foundation, $18 at Flesh Beauty

Black Opal True Color Stick Foundation

Made specifically with darker skin tones in mind, this hypoallergenic formula is one of the few stick foundations to also include sun protection.

True Color stick foundation, $9.95 at Black Opal

Dermablend Professional Quick-Fix Body Foundation Stick

Water- and transfer-resistant, this makeup stick is renowned for its ability to cover up scars, bruises and even tattoos.

Quick-Fix Body foundation stick, $29 at Dermablend Professional

Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick

The circle center is made with lightweight powders to ward off excess shine as you draw on buildable coverage.

Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free foundation stick, $7.99 at Ulta

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick Foundation

Medium to full coverage that seamlessly glides onto the skin for coverage with lasting power — 24 hours to be exact. 

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick Foundation, $12.99 at Ulta

Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick

A double-ended stick that provides coverage on one side and a slightly darker shade for contouring on the other side.

Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick, $42 at Smashbox

Pür 4-in-1 Foundation Stick

This foundation does it all, from delivering medium to full coverage to highlighting/contouring to color-correcting and protecting the skin from environmental stressors.

Pür 4-in-1 Foundation Stick, $34 at Ulta

Flower Pore Perfect Instant Blur Stick Multitasking Foundation

At the other end of this foundation stick is a blur stick that you can use for blending in the formula.

Pore Perfect Instant Blur Stick multitasking foundation, $14 at Flower

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