I’ll start with a spoiler: I did not get on with this foundation stick. I wanted to – I read every rave review under the sun and the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick sounded like just the face base I needed. “Flawless” coverage, a texture that “melted into the skin”, a massive range of shades for the “perfect tone match”…
I suppose that in many ways, it was never going to be the right foundation for me, because I don’t wear (or really like) many full coverage foundations, and this is very much a full coverage foundation. But I test a lot of face bases, whether they’re the type of thing I would wear or not – powders, sticks, creams and compacts, things with stupid foamy pads to apply them – and still I find the Vanish Stick really quite tricky to get right.
Maybe I’m a total tool, I don’t know: the first time I applied way too much and I looked like I was wearing a mask, the second time I used more sparingly and just looked a bit uneven. Subsequent tries have been better – and yes, the coverage is good when you get the application spot-on – but I do struggle with the amount of foundation I need to apply from the stick and I don’t seem to be able to quite get the blending right.
There’s a stubby sort of short-handled kabuki brush that pushes the foundation into the skin and – even on well-prepped, nicely-moisturised skin – I don’t get an easy blending experience. On my “dry” bits (forehead, chin, sides of face) the product seems too thick to melt into the skin and on my greasy bits it has a bit too much slip. I also find that if I apply just too much product, it sits in fine lines that I didn’t even know existed. Case in point:
My forehead looks as though I’ve started to morph into a Klingon.
Now look: I love Hourglass. They do skin amazingly well – their complexion-enhancing powders are just second to none, they manage to induce radiance on even the dullest, most lacklustre faces. But the Vanish stick just ain’t for me. If you do love a foundation stick and want to give this a go, then here’s my little before-and-after sequence:
I’d pretty much got the knack of applying the right amount of product, by this point, so no creasing or fine-line action! Above, my before picture. Then, with product applied:
Just a few dods of product on each part of my face – I found that any less than this and I didn’t get an even spread of foundation, any more and it looked too thick and heavy. And here’s the foundation blended in:
Definitely beginning to move towards that sort of radiant finish that I like, but I get more of a glow from my Bourjois Healthy Mix or even my Chanel Velvet and with far less effort. You’ll notice that I still have slightly dark circles under my eyes here – I did go back in with the Vanish Stick to conceal them, but it (weirdly) doesn’t seem to do the full monty, if you catch my drift!
What do you think? Have you tried the Vanish Stick? I’m sure that there are people who are finding it a total dream – in fact I know there are, I’ve read the reviews. My verdict? Try before you buy. There are so many shades (BRAVO! Massive tick!) that I think you’d want to go instore anyway and find the perfect match. At £42, you’ll want to get this right. Find it online at Space NK.