The foundation stick is making a huge comeback this year. Okay, maybe it never really left, but these complexion-perfecting sticks have been around for ages, mainly loved by pros for their portability and versatility. In the past year or so, many brands have been releasing their star foundation formulas in stick form, including the new NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick ($45), which recently caught my eye.
The double-ended stick comes in NARS’ chic, matte black packaging and features the creamy foundation on one end and a removable blending sponge on the other side, which can be purchased separately (not that you would need to though—more on that below). The formula covers a wide range of skintones and undertones with an array of 20 shades in the brand’s familiar naming system.
NARS’ Velvet Matte Skin Tint turned a lot of heads when it launched about a year ago, delivering a matte finish without drying skin out and these new stick foundations are quite similar. The formula is super creamy and blends into skin easily but leaves a natural, matte finish. It contains powders to keep skin matte, elastomer micro beads to give the product flexibility (read: no creasing or settling throughout the day) and antioxidants to help defend skin against environmental damage. Even with my normal-to-dry skin, I really thought the formula looked beautiful on my skin.
Usually, stick foundations offer a higher coverage formula which can be sheered down if desired, but this one definitely just has medium coverage. The good news is that it makes the product much more fool proof and easy to use—just sweep it on and blend it in. The bad news is that it means you’ll be using it up in no time if you’re wearing it as your daily foundation, because there isn’t a whole lot of product in the tube. You’ll still need to reach for your concealer for dark circles and blemishes, but it does a pretty good job of evening out skintone, neutralizing redness and hiding minor imperfections.
So let’s talk about this Touch-Up Blender. It detaches from the stick (genius!) so you can sweep it over the stick and apply it directly to your skin—I thought a “stamping” method worked best to blend it in.
It’s definitely just for touch-ups, since it’s so small, but then again I feel like the entire foundation stick should be reserved for touch-ups only if you don’t want to be buying a new one every couple weeks. It’s washable, which is why I don’t think you’d ever need to purchase a replacement (unless you broke or lost it, perhaps).
NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick retails for $45 and is available online at sephora.com.
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