The Best Foundation Sticks to Use When You're Too Tired to Function

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Between work, travel, and Netflix binges, the last thing we want to do (or have time for) is applying a full face of makeup when we’re feeling fatigued. Luckily, the resurgence of the stick foundation has given us an easy solution to looking more alive in just minutes (and may have just bought us an extra 10 minutes in bed).

The solid formula has been given a luxurious makeover by some of our favorite brands with creamy new textures and a light-as-air cake-free finish. Not to mention they’re spill-free and travel-friendly. So on those mornings when you’ve hit snooze, you can simply apply it on the go by swiping it on your T-zone, underneath your eyes, and on your chin and blending outward with your fingers.

Click through to see the best stick foundations that leave a flawless finish and will save you time when you’re too tired to function.

Best Overall: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

A smooth and creamy formula that glides on like a second skin and covers all imperfections while still looking natural? Consider your holy grail found. The brand took all the beloved benefits of their liquid foundation and basically solidified it for this travel-friendly and foolproof stick.

Made for all skin types, the full coverage formula covers everything from redness, blemishes, scarring, dark circles, and more. But the best part is that although it does some heavy duty masking, the finish doesn’t look or feel cakey or dense at all. The product can be applied all over the face for complete coverage, or you can spot treat certain problem areas.

Best Budget: Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick

For less than lunch, you can get a major color payoff, long-lasting wear, and super portable packaging. At this price, you can afford to mix and match shades for a full-on at-home highlighting and contouring master class. Users love this formula for it’s satiny, easy-to-blend texture that transforms to a matte powder finish as you massage with your fingers. Plus, it doesn’t budge, even in humid summer months. 

Best for Dry Skin: Wander Beauty Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick

Wander Beauty Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick
Courtesy of Sephora

Dry skin types, rejoice. There’s a foundation stick for you. This versatile formula is not only moisturizing but also buildable (go from sheer to full coverage with just a few swipes) and practically weightless. A combination of coconut oil and vitamins C and E work to deeply hydrate the skin and keep it hydrated throughout the day while hyaluronic acid reduces the appearance of those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. The result: A gorgeous, dewy finish that lasts all day long.

Best for Oily Skin: Tarte Clay Stick Foundation

Tarte Clay Stick Foundation
Courtesy of Ulta

Infused with their famed Amazonian clay, this vegan foundation stick both moisturizes and mattifies the skin depending on its current needs. Basically, if your skin is thirsty, it provides moisturizing benefits, and if it’s oily, it helps to eliminate greasiness. The formula is rich in antioxidants and minerals which encourage healthy skin by fighting free radicals and delivering softening benefits. It’s also free of many irritating ingredients, like parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and gluten.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Stick Foundation

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Stick Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

One of the most important things to look for when it comes to choosing a foundation for acneic skin is making sure the formula won’t cause breakouts or irritation. Enter: A multitasking stick that stays put and lasts all day, even for oily, acne-prone skin types. With 26 foundation shades, three contour shades, and a highlighter, this incredible stick really does do it all. The silky texture has the ability to glide onto the skin but still remains lightweight and breathable.

Best Full Coverage: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21
Courtesy of Sephora

For mornings when you want complete coverage but only have a few minutes to spare, there’s this highly pigmented stick. Unlike other formulas, this one has a matte finish so it’s perfect for those who like a shine-free look. With 24-hour wear (yes, really!), this foundation can take you from day to night without having to touch-up.

The powder-cream formula smooths on without much effort, covering up all imperfections, including enlarged pores and redness. Apply to areas with the most discoloration or concerns and then blend outwards with your fingers. Bonus: It’s got sun protection in the form of SPF 21.

Best for Contouring: Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick

Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick
Courtesy of Smashbox

If there’s a way to make your morning routine even easier, it’s this double-ended stick. A creamy, blendable foundation lives on one side, while a soft contour stick sits on the other. The two-in-one capability makes sculpting on-the-go easier done than said. The foundation end delivers medium coverage but is buildable, so you can go as sheer or as heavy as you’d like. The contouring side boasts a “soft” shade, meaning it gives less of a harsh look and more of a natural contour. Another plus about this product is that the contour pigment is complementary to the foundation shade, so it takes the guesswork out of picking colors that go well with each other.

Best Splurge: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

Courtesy of Sephora 

This foundation stick is seriously luxurious. It costs a pretty penny, sure, but it's incredibly versatile and gets the job done well. You can achieve sheer, medium or full coverage (depending on how much you apply) over imperfections and problem spots, plus a soft-matte finish. Oh, and the creamy texture feels incredibly hydrating.

Best for Travel: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Hourglass Vanish™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Courtesy of Sephora

Double-duty products are a must when traveling when you're short on space, so make sure this 2-in-1 foundation and concealer lands in your carry-on bag. The creamy texture glides onto the face with ease and leaves a beautiful satin finish. A savior when you’re on the go.

Best Medium Coverage: Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick

CLINIQUE Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick

Courtesy of Sephora

Not only does this chubby stick look cool, but also, its texture is ultra creamy and moisturizing. It blends easily and provides natural coverage over spots, blemishes, and more.

Best Shade Range: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

BOBBI BROWN Skin Foundation Stick

Courtesy of Sephora

This moisturizing formula comes in a diverse range of shades to match 30 skin tones. It delivers medium-to-full coverage and is housed in a convenient swivel stick for on-the-go application. Bonus—it’s also sweat- and humidity-resistant.

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