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No Mess, No Fuss: Stick Beauty Is the Future

January 1 | 2 minute read

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Words by Genevieve Phelan

Originally published on | May 8

While ‘clean aesthetic’ makeup is still steadily trending on our feeds, there is a new ‘messy girl’ aesthetic that has cameoed on the faces of Julia Fox and Doja Cat.

The latter requires cream tints that make us think ‘clean’, but invite us to embrace smudges and imperfect lines (like a kid with a crayon). Both looks can be finessed with the exponential rise of ‘beauty stick’ products – ergonomic, hybrid-style essentials that lend to colouring (or treating) different facets of the face.

Celebrity status

Sanctioned by the stars, it appears new-era makeup batons have great mileage in the routines of Very Important People. Jennifer Garner’s "Quick as Possible" Beauty Routine for Vogue’s Beauty Secrets documents the Suddenly 30 icon completing a fast-paced glowy look in under six minutes. Impressive.

“I have a couple of them, that is how serious I am,” Garner says of her “favourite” Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick. Reach for the matching Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick for a mainstay flush in any cream-based face routine.

A real multi-tasker

The ‘one and done’ nature of a blendable stick product is perhaps the most enticing benefit of them all. A blush that can ignite healthy-looking cheekbones and add colour to your lips is a big win in the easy makeup books (we love MECCA MAX Off Duty Blush Sticks for this very purpose).

Meanwhile, ILIA’s just-launched-at-MECCA Skin Rewind Complexion Sticks can be similarly multipurpose. Depending on your shade choice, this high achiever can do it all: conceal, contour or cover. Consider it the ‘choose your own adventure’ of beauty, made for desert-island packing lists.

Efficiency is key

In the age of instant gratification, our patience may wear thin – but our makeup shouldn’t. Sometimes, the rationale behind reaching for a versatile beauty stick is all about time-saving. Unlike most cream pots, powders, or liquids, a stick can be applied directly, cutting out precious minutes of work.

Eye makeup can intimidate the more makeup-averse among us, especially under time pressure. That’s when it’s wise to reach for nature’s tools (your fingertips) and swipe your lids with a Byredo Colour Stick or a Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick. Creamy and pigmented, these gilded shadows are bullet-proof with bullet-train speed.

The great dewy appeal

If you’ve read Zoë Foster Blake’s seminal beauty tomes Amazing Face and Amazinger Face, you’ll know she was an early adopter of cream-based products (and the layering thereof). It’s all about the pursuit of nourished skin – and as per TikTok’s ‘glazed donut’ trend, it’s clear that we are substituting a matte finish for things that give good glow. Enter, beauty sticks.

Meghan Markle’s makeup artist and Tatcha’s Global Director of Artistry, Daniel Martin, swears by the Tatcha Serum Stick for her base. This weightless skincare balm works to give a moisture surge to areas that need it most (like under-eyes), without a trace.

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