The Best Stick Foundations For Flawless Coverage on a Budget

Mia Maguire
The Best Stick Foundations For Flawless Coverage on a Budget
Photo: Courtesy of zinkevych/Adobe.

Liquid and cream formulas tend to be the go-to choice when it comes to foundation (especially for those of us looking for a little bit of extra coverage), but because they’re often bottled with glass (i.e. prone to shattering) and tend to be messier to apply, they’re not exactly the best fit for the low maintenance makeup —not to mention traveling. Cream compacts are a great alternative that are a bit more on-the-go friendly, but they also tend to be heavier in consistency, oftentimes leaving you with a cake-y finish—especially if you’re prone to getting shiny throughout the day.

Fortunately, affordable stick foundations are here to save day, offering the best of both worlds saving you serious time and offering the utmost convenience. There are plenty of different varieties of stick foundations, from matte and oil-controlling to Dewey and luminous, along with a wide range of coverage levels.

Whether you’re just not down for a fussy makeup routine or are a bonafide jetsetter that simply cannot be troubled by the mess and time required (…or if you’re like me and *safely* do your entire makeup routine in the car while stuck in traffic on the way to the office every day) by traditional foundations, there’s a stick foundation for just about anyone.


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1. L'Oreal Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick

L'oreal Infallible Stick Foundation


Not only does this stick foundation conceal and correct, but it also doubles as a shaping stick, allowing you to opt for darker hues to achieve a sleek cream contour that actually stays put. You can work up to full coverage with just a couple of swipes, but the creamy formula feels light and weightless and never comes out cakey.

2. Black Radiance Color Perfect Foundation Stick

Black Radiance Stick Foundation

Black Radiance.

This dual-ended foundation stick also comes with a built-in foundation brush for precise application without transferring or smearing. This pigment-rich foundation stick glides and melts into the skin like dream, offering medium to full coverage that feels like you’re wearing nothing.

3. Wet n' wild Photofocus Stick Foundation

wet n wild photofocus stick foundation

wet n’ wild.

Wet n’ wild’s original Photofocus foundation offers a gorgeous, satin-matte finish that gives you a Facetuned look and doesn’t trigger flashback with flash photography, and the brand’s stick foundation version is no different except for the fact that it’s more convenient.

4. Maybelline New York Fit Me Shine-Free + Balance Stick Foundation

Maybelline Fit me stick foundation


Maybelline’s natural matte Fit Me Stick Foundation is designed to minimize shine and reduce the look of enlarged pores with just a few swipes. The core of the foundation contains an anti-shine powder to help increase the wear time (up to ten hours) and keep excess oil at bay all day long.

5. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Courtesy of Hourglass.

This foundation stick doesn’t contain any synthetic dyes, sulfates or fragrances—and that’s not all, it’s vegan, too. This foundation goes on smoothly, but doesn’t feel as heavy as creamy, liquid foundations do. The foundation, which comes in 12 different shades, is water-proof and can last for up to 12 hours.