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Hourglass vs Huda Beauty: Which foundation stick is best?

We put the two head to head, comparing their staying power, blendability, coverage and finish 

Hourglass’s formula has long reigned supreme for full coverage, but will Huda Beauty’s latest launch knock it off the top spot?
Hourglass’s formula has long reigned supreme for full coverage, but will Huda Beauty’s latest launch knock it off the top spot?

While stick foundations are nothing new to the make-up sphere, in recent years there’s been an increase in their popularity, with high-end and budget brands alike launching their own versions.

It’s not hard to see why they’re well loved, as they offer you more control over coverage while being super travel friendly.

Stick formulas often fall into the fuller coverage foundation category, and a cult favourite is the Hourglass vanish seamless foundation stick that launched in 2016.

It’s earnt rave reviews for its flawless finish that conceals redness, blemishes, discolouration and diminishes the appearance of pores.

Until recently, it saw little competition until Huda Beauty launched its stick foundation in October. Founded by Dubai-based blogger Huda Kattan, the brand doesn’t do anything by halves, favouring a high-impact, full coverage look across its entire range, which includes cream contours, dazzling highlighter, voluminous false lashes and richly pigmented matte lipsticks.

While on first impressions the pair may look similar, we’ve put the two to the test to see how they measure up and if there’s a new favourite stick foundation on the scene, closely comparing the difference in finish, texture, price, blendability, lasting power and shade range.

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Hourglass vanish seamless foundation stick 7.2g: £45, Feel Unique

The defining feature of this foundation is its triangular shaped tip, which was created by Hourglass to allow for precise application in the trickier areas of your face like the sides of your nostrils and close to the lash line.

We tried two methods of application; long, thick stripes down the cheeks, across the forehead and down the nose, and dotted in small triangles all over and found a little goes a long way, so to avoid over-applying product, we’d recommend opting for the latter.

There’s no denying its ability to create a flawless canvas for the rest of your make-up, and its toes the line well between high coverage that isn’t cakey, with 32 shades to choose from.

The most effective way to ensure an even application is with a densely packed foundation buffing brush, as often stick foundations are typically more waxy in order to keep them solid, making them a bit harder to blend. As a result, when we tried to blend it in with a damp beauty blender sponge, it took double the time, so save yourself the work and pick up a brush instead.

Despite being high coverage, It’s as lightweight as promised, with a rich and creamy texture, so if you prefer to use your fingers or lightly dabbed onto dark circles under the eyes, it works just as well and blends seamlessly with the heat from your hands.

We found it completely covered a particularly bad bout of hormonal acne on our chin, reduced the look of pores on the nose and redness on our cheeks too. So much so, it negates the need for a concealer, which would save you a few pounds in your routine, and helps justify its high price.

If you’re on the oily side, we would recommend using a powder to set it in place once you're finished blending, as throughout the day our tester found her T-zone had become quite shiny, but a quick dusting of powder mattified the areas.

Our only gripe is that the bullet packaging is deceivingly long, yet only half of it actually contains product to allow for the twist up mechanism. However, the benefit of stick foundations is you can use every last scrap by dipping into it with a smaller concealer brush, so much less is wasted than from a sealed liquid bottle.

Buy now

Huda Beauty #FauxFilter skin finish buildable coverage foundation stick 12.5g: £32, Cult Beauty

The original #FauxFilter liquid foundation from Huda Beauty provides the fullest coverage money can buy. However, its newest launch promises a slightly more natural finish that’s water, humidity and sweat resistant. 

Known for its long-wearing products that stand up in almost all weather conditions, Huda Beauty was founded by Huda Kattan. Based in Dubai, she often tests new products in the desert heat before launching, so when she says they’ll stay put, she means it.

There're 39 shades in the line-up, in a square push-up stick containing 12.5 grams of product, nearly double what Hourglass offers, but for £13 less.

The translucent ombre effect on the packaging allows a much clearer picture on how much product is left, whereas Hourglass’ stick is fully opaque.

The texture is noticeably creamier, which meant blending was a speedy process with a damp sponge, a brush or fingers. It’s buildable too, we added two layers without any cakiness on areas that needed more coverage, especially on the nose to diminish redness and spots dotted on our chin.

It’s also much easier to control how much coverage it delivers; applying directly across the face offers a flawless fuller finish, but taking your brush onto the stick and then buffing it into the skin gives more natural coverage.

When testing the fullest coverage it allows, there’s a demi-matte finish with a slight dewiness that won’t be too much on oilier skin types.

It’s impressively easy to touch up too, especially when our face covering left us looking like Rudolph the reindeer after a trip to a shopping centre.

While we’d recommend keeping a compact powder to hand to rid any imprefections your mask may leave behind, when tapping around the area with an index finger, we found it still blended together well to reduce the redness.

Buy now

The verdict: Hourglass vs Huda Beauty

While both are high-end products, the offering from Huda Beauty provides much better cost per wear, with 5.3 grams more for your buck and more versatility when it comes to controlling coverage.

Even though Hourglass has mastered a full coverage, long-lasting foundation, Huda Beauty allows for a sheer tint, medium coverage or a high-impact flawless finish, all the while being faster to blend too.

If you’ve yet to try a stick foundation, we’d recommend reaching for the #FauxFilter stick, which offers a bigger shade range and better results.

For more beauty reviews, read our guide to the best Black-owned beauty and haircare brands to support now and the best exfoliating toners that tackle ageing and scarring for smoother, glowy skin

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