How To Apply Stick Foundation: Unreal Application in 15 Seconds!

Give your complexion an even-looking, super-natural glow with my tips and tricks on how to apply stick foundation.

Darlings, once you’ve learned how to apply stick foundation perfectly, your skin will never look better! Stick foundation is a quick and easy beauty trick that offers fast, buildable coverage for skin that looks perfected in seconds. Discover how to use my NEW! Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick for super-natural, luminous, lifted-looking skin that looks so real, it must be UNREAL! It’s so easy, darlings – you could apply it in the dark!

How To Apply Stick Foundation model shot

Discover How To Apply Stick Foundation

How to apply stick foundation graphic

  1. Mae applying Charlotte's Magic Cream moisturiser to prep their skin for stick foundation

    1. Prep your skin with moisturiser and sunscreen

    When you prep your skin for foundation with hydrating skincare, your foundation application will always look better. Before you apply stick foundation, I suggest prepping your skin with moisturiser to create a hydrated, smoother-looking canvas for makeup to glide onto. I never apply stick foundation before prepping skin with my magic moisturiser, Charlotte’s Magic Cream, first!

    Magic Cream is Magic Skin, darlings! It cushions and lifts the look of skin while delivering a Magic Matrix of skincare ingredients including hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and plump-effect peptides for deep hydration that makes skin glow! After wearing makeup for 12 hours, 93% agree makeup looks better* and 93% agree foundation lasts longer* after applying Charlotte’s Magic Cream! It’s my red-carpet skin secret to a flawless foundation look, every time!

    Tilbury Tip: Do you prefer an ultra-lightweight, fragrance-free gel moisturiser? Discover Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream for 100-hour hydration** and a fresh water glow!

    Discover the story of Charlotte’s Magic Cream

    Tilbury Tip: Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen after applying moisturiser to help shield your complexion from the harmful effects of the sun. I recommend my Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer with SPF50 that primes, protects, and looks undetectable underneath foundation.

  2. Charlotte's Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer with SPF50 is a perfect primer to wear underneath stick foundation

    2. Apply a face primer

    Makeup primers are designed to form a barrier between your skin and your makeup that creates a super-smooth surface for products like stick foundation to swipe onto. Primers can also blur the look of pores and boost radiance, helping skin to look its best before foundation. While moisturising your face will help to prep skin for makeup, the combination of a moisturiser and primer that suit your skin type is the secret to a perfectly primed complexion that’s ready for stick foundation. Apply an illuminating primer like Wonderglow to give skin a candlelit glow, or an SPF primer like Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50 for sun protection defence and a pore-blurring effect.

    Tilbury Tip: Do you love to glow, darlings? To give skin the Hollywood glow of a superstar, apply an illuminator like Hollywood Flawless Filter underneath your stick foundation.

    Learn more about face primer

  3. Fair, medium, tan and deep shades of Charlotte's stick foundation

    3. Choose your foundation shade

    Selecting the right shade of stick foundation is half of the task – choose the right shade and your foundation will look natural and more seamless. To choose the perfect shade of Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating stick foundation, use my Foundation Shade Finder to discover which shade will suit your skin tone. I’ve innovated 20 shades of stick foundation with light, natural-looking coverage that stretches across skin tones. Use my Pro Beauty Tech to find your perfect shade, then swipe on for skin that looks Unreal!

    Tilbury Tip: You can use multiple shades of stick foundation to create a dimensional glow.

    For a brightening soft glow, go one shade lighter than your perfect match.

    For a bronzed soft glow, go one shade deeper than your perfect match.

    Discover how to choose foundation shade online

  4. Jourdan Dunn applying Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint stick foundation

    4. Glide foundation onto the face directly from the stick

    Stick foundation is quick and easy to apply – just swipe it onto your face straight from the stick for effortless application. I suggest focusing on the centre of the face when applying stick foundation and swiping product onto larger areas like the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Some stick foundations require warming up on the back of your hand to make the consistency creamier and more blendable, but my Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick is enriched with smoothing emollients that give it the slip necessary for an easy-glide application without the fuss of other creams. You can apply Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint in 15 seconds, darlings - it’s really that easy!

    Shop Unreal Skin

  5. Hollywood Complexion Brush, a double-ended, synthetic makeup brush for blending out creams and liquids

    5. Blend with your fingers or a brush

    You can blend out your stick foundation formula with your fingers or a brush. With Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick, I like to use my fingers to massage it into the skin as you would with a moisturiser. The formula is so emollient and malleable that it blends like a dream with your hands. If you prefer to use a brush to blend out your foundation, I recommend using the larger end of my Hollywood Complexion Brush for a flawless blend.

    Discover my makeup brush guide

  6. Swatch of Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint stick foundation blended out

    6. Start blending from the centre of your face outwards

    To get a seamless blend from your stick foundation, it’s best to blend from the centre of your face outwards. You shouldn’t be able to detect where your foundation starts and finishes; it’s always important to take your time when blending and pay particular attention to details like your hairline, ears, and neck which are often the biggest giveaways that your foundation isn’t a perfect match for your skin.

    Blending stick foundation with your fingers: cup your fingers and use light, angel wing motions to blend out your foundation. Never drag on your skin, darlings… use upward strokes to stimulate skin and create a flattering lift effect.

    Blending stick foundation with a brush: use the large, flat end of my Hollywood Complexion Brush to blend out your foundation with circular, stippling motions, making sure to blend until there are no visible brush strokes.

    Discover my Tilbury Tap massage technique

  7. Daniel applying stick foundation to their cheekbone

    7.  Build your foundation in areas you want more coverage

    One of the benefits of a stick foundation is that it can be very flexible, allowing you to customise your foundation look to your liking. I apply stick foundation in light layers, gradually building up to my desired coverage. This approach allows you to be intentional with your foundation application and lets you use less product in areas that don’t necessarily need it. My Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick is formulated to build and blend with ease. The light-coverage formula can be layered and topped up without bunching or balling up, so you can apply more to areas where you want to cover the appearance of blemishes or pigmentation, building coverage that still feels weightless.

  8. Samela wearing stick foundation as contour and highlight

    8. Highlight + soft sculpt with stick foundation

    You can use stick foundation to highlight and sculpt the look of your face, darlings! Choosing a lighter or deeper shade of Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick can unlock the most magical glow; it’s powered by Light Mapping Mesh Tech™ to give skin a soft-focused, ring light effect!

    Reach for a deeper shade for a sculpting effect: apply a deeper shade of stick foundation to your temples and the hollows of your cheekbones to give your face a bronzed soft glow that softly sculpts the look of your facial architecture.

    Reach for a lighter shade for a highlighting effect: apply a lighter shade of stick foundation on the tops of your cheekbones, under the eyes, and on the bridge of the nose to create a brightening soft glow that lifts and illuminates the look of your face.

    Tilbury Tip: To get the full effect of highlighting and contouring, reach for The Hollywood Contour Duo to sculpt and pop with my iconic Hollywood Contour Wands and Beauty Light Wands.

    Discover how to contour

  9. Model applying Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

    9. Set your stick foundation with setting spray

    Once you are happy with your foundation look and have applied the rest of your makeup, use a high-performance setting spray to lock in your look and help increase the wear time of your stick foundation. AIRbrush Flawless Setting Spray is my ultimate AIRbrush fix! Spraying this smoothing, blurring-effect setting spray onto your makeup can help it last for up to 16 hours*** while giving your look the AIRbrush effect! Pair Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint with AIRbrush Flawless Setting Spray to create a stick foundation look that stays all day!

    Tilbury Tip: If you like to set your foundation with powder, discover AIRbrush Flawless Finish pressed powder to set and perfect the look of your complexion makeup.

    Discover the difference between face mist vs setting spray

Stick Foundation FAQs

Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint + swatch

What’s the difference between liquid and stick foundation?

The main difference between liquid and stick foundations is their consistency; liquid foundations are fluid in texture, whereas stick foundations are cream based with a solid texture. Liquid foundations often come in bottles with a pump, while stick foundations are twisted up and applied directly onto the face. Their differences are more notable in their application than in their finish; both liquid and stick foundations can have a variety of finishes from radiant to natural to matte, however, liquid foundations travel effortlessly across the face and dry down, while stick foundations are more emollient, swiping on and settling into place with a more cushiony feel.

What is the benefit of stick foundation?

The key benefits of stick foundation are speed and buildability. Stick foundations are designed to be swiped directly onto the face for instant coverage – they’re so easy to blend, you could apply them with your eyes closed! It’s so quick and easy to apply a stick foundation, and they’re also extremely quick to build up and blend out thanks to their creamy consistency. 

Did you know that stick foundations are also multi-use, darlings? You can use different shades of stick foundation as a super-subtle foundation, cream bronzer/contour, and brightener trio!

What brush should I use to apply stick foundation?

Stick foundation can be applied with your fingers or a brush – if you’d like to use a brush to apply your stick foundation, I recommend a flat, dense brush that is perfect for blending with light, stippling motions. I like to use my Hollywood Complexion Brush to blend out Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick when I want to flawlessly blend my foundation in hard-to-reach areas like around the nose and between the brows.

Shop Hollywood Complexion Brush

Who should use stick foundation?

Everyone, everywhere can use a stick foundation! My Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick can look gorgeous on all skin types and textures, but if the below sounds like it could be you, I think you’ll particularly love it!

Busy beauties like new parents, 9-to-5ers, and anyone who prefers a 5-minute makeup look that’s quick and easy to create!

Dry and mature skin types that are especially fond of the hydrating, cream base of a stick foundation.

Cream makeup lovers who are looking for a foundation that lays beautifully underneath their favourite cream bronzers and blushes.

Discover how to choose the best foundation for your skin type