*All views in this review are the opinion of the author. This post was not sponsored. I purchased the products featured. FYI this post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete TheStyleShaker.com disclosure here.
My Benefit Play Stick was discontinued, ughhhh. But before I spun out into a full blown panic I thought, "hey, there may be a silver lining here." And there was.
I've been looking into new products anyways, trying to find less toxic alternatives to the beauty and skin care picks I've been using daily, and this foundation stick crisis (ok fine, not a crisis but it was frustrating to say the least) was the perfect opportunity to upgrade.
SO NOW WHAT?
I researched the top foundation sticks out there, "natural" and mainstream, and found 8 products that were getting all the buzz, like top-rated, best-selling, crazy-cult-favorite level buzz.
Were they really that good? And if they were, how toxic were these suckers going to be? Could I find a natural, organic alternative that would actually work as well as a chemical-filled one? So many questions and so many options.
I couldn't just wait to order, try, and possibly return one at a time so I bought them all at once and tested them against one another.
Here is what I found out:
- Were any really that good? No. I was so surprised to test out some products with thousands of four star reviews that I thought were so sub-par!
**BW Note: Makeup is super subjective, I get that. Everyone has different skin types, coverage needs, etc. I wanted something natural looking and relatively non-toxic. Coverage wasn't as much of a priority because I am not prone to acne. I also didn't want to do much. Read: I don't have the time to put on primer, then powder, then whatever else. Nah, I want a one-and-done.
- How toxic were they? Pretty, darn, toxic. I was doing a Beauty Battle video series for this that got so long and drawn out, even I got sick of it. Hence, putting it all into one post and video. I researched EVERY, SINGLE ingredient on EWG.org/skindeep. It takes awhile, but I wanted to know, and let me tell ya, it wasn't pretty.
**BW Note: Here's the EWG.org database by the way. You won't find a ton of products so I go ingredient by ingredient. I'm still waiting for someone to come up with something that has every beauty product in it. I've tried apps, etc. It's a big ask, but it's one hell of a business opportunity.
- Is it possible to get what I want in a natural product? The jury is still out but I was able to get pretty close.
In the end, I got down to my top 2 favorites, one of which was the least expensive of the bunch! The other is amazing, and far less toxic than what I was using, but it isn't perfect. Overall, I was able to find a great upgrade and yes, I'm still testing.
If you have any favorites I need to try out, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
IN A NUTSHELL:
My top 2 were the UV Protective Stick from Shiseido and NYX's Mineral Foundation stick.
- Shiseido ($28): Super natural, spf included, this was the one I kept reaching for every time. It's not as "clean" as I'd like, but it is better than what I was using.
I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING:
- NYX ($9.99): This was the least expensive of the bunch and I LOVED it. Also, it only has a few ingredients and was less toxic than most of the others. MAJOR surprise!
HERE IS WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE REST:
- Hourglass ($46): I loved the texture and how this went on. It was definitely the runner up to Shiseido, and slipped behind mainly because it was the less natural looking of the two. Great for those who want more coverage and smooth texture (didn't pull; it literally glided on).
- Anastasia Beverly Hills ($25): The reviews were iffy on this one. I actually really like it...until it broke me out and irritated my skin. Pass.
- Vapour ($44): If this had a bit more coverage, it would have won. I still kept it as a highlighter (that's how sheer it is). I'm SO impressed by the brand, it's 100% organic, smells divine, and the quality is amazing. Worth the price tag.
- Bobbi Brown ($46): Ok, this is a cult favorite. I liked it. I didn't LOVE it. It was solid though, so I can see why people go for it. The major fail here is Talc. I don't know what percentage of it is in there, but I've decided to avoid this whenever I can so, it was a pass.
- Lancome ($47): This one I do not get. No, really. The only redeeming quality for me was how cool the texture was. But once I put it on my face, it went from moisturized to powdery (looked costume-y under lights) so odd. Not to mention, it's pretty toxic. Hard pass, especially at almost $50. No thanks.
- Make Up For Ever ($43): This guy was impressive in the coverage department. It does what it says it will do and that is, cover up and even out for those in front of an HD camera. If I needed it for that, it would be a back-up for those big events or editorial shoots. I also found that 25% of the ingredients were toxic. It's on par with the Shiseido toxicity so that wasn't the deal breaker, but good to know.
TIP: Ever wonder about the shelf-life of these products? There's an insanely easy-to-digest (info graphic!) article on that over at Elle.com.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Have a product you love that I need to know about? Email me here: email@example.com!
Beauty is subjective and what works for me may not work for you. I'm giving you my honest opinion as someone who has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade. All of my ingredient research is done on EWG.org here. It's an AMAH-zing resource. #alwaysauthentic