Stick foundations are great, they save time in your morning routine, give your skin a great finish and can also double up as a concealer.  But do you need to spend a small fortune on a high end brand, or can the drugstore offer something just as good? Keep reading to hear my thoughts...

Today I am going to be reviewing and comparing the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick and the L'Oreal Paris Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick.  If you are reading this, I dare say you know both of these brands, but if not, Hourglass is a high end luxury beauty brand, available at Space NK, Liberty's and many other department stores and L'Oreal is a more affordable beauty brand which you can find in your local Boots, Superdrug and on ASOS (plus a billion other websites!).


I'm a big fan of branding and I love when you can tell which brand a product is from just by looking at the packaging; NARS's matte black, Charlotte Tilbury's rose gold and purple, and of course Hourglass's dark copper.  The Hourglass packaging is very luxurious, and instantly recognisable.  It is simple, sleek and durable - perfect for travel.  Their stick foundation is in a triangular dark copper tube, with the gold "Hourglass" printed on one side.  I'm not a fan of L'Oreal's packaging at all, it is just too mis-matched for my liking, and my #postitfortheaesthetic side needs some sort of consistency.  The foundation tube is plastic, and I managed to crack mine within about 10 minutes of owning it.  I know the packaging doesn't affect the quality of the product itself, but branding is an important aspect of business these days!
Winner: Hourglass 


For a bargain £8.99, you get 9g of foundation from L'Oreal, whereas you have to pay an eye-watering £42.00 for 7.2g of the Hourglass foundation.  £42.00 is a lot to spend on one make-up product, and I do think for a foundation it is a little too much.  Most high end brands charge in the £25-35 region for foundation, with the exception of the likes of Tom Ford who charge a whopping £65+! Purchasing a base product at this value can be tricky; you pay for excellent quality, but what if the formula doesn't suit your skin, or the shade is too warm or too ashy? That £42.00 is then wasted.  If you are going to splurge on a high end foundation, make sure to get colour matched by a pro first!
Winner: L'Oreal

Shade range 

I currently have the shade Nude in the Hourglass stick; this is currently a little too dark for me but was perfect when I was tanned after my holiday to Anguilla. The L'Oreal stick is a perfect match for me at the moment, and I have the shade 180 Radiant Beige.  Hourglass offer an impressive 32 shades for their Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, whilst L'Oreal offer a disappointing 12 foundation shades, the majority of which are for lighter skintones.  I do find a lot of drugstore brands do not produce enough shades in their complexion products; we know they have the means to do this, as evidenced by other brands, Fenty Beauty, Too Faced, and it is disappointing that new products are being released with such a limited range.
Winner: Hourglass


If I'm short on time and I need a quick and easy make-up look, I find myself reaching for the L'Oreal foundation stick without hesitation.  It is so easy to apply and blends like a dream, perfect for when I'm in a rush.  I feel like I could apply it with my eyes closed.  I tend to only use the Hourglass foundation stick if I have plenty of time to really work the product in to the skin, it is a little heavier and takes a fair amount of effort to ensure it is blended seamlessly and is not taking up residence in my brows (foundation pet peeve!).  I use a damp beauty blender for both products, my current favourite is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, it has the ideal amount of firmness for stick foundation.
Winner: L'Oreal

Coverage & Finish

Despite it needing a little work to blend, the Hourglass foundation has the most beautiful finish and is very high coverage.  It works as a foundation and a concealer, and I always feel like I've been airbrushed when I wear it.  It is heavier on the skin, but if you are after a flawless photoshoot-ready look, this foundation is for you.  I would probably say the L'Oreal foundation is a light to medium coverage, it is a much more natural finish than the Hourglass foundation stick and gives that real skin-that-looks-like-skin look, something that seems to be quite desirable in this industry at the moment. One layer doesn't quite hide redness and blemishes as much as I would like it to, but it is buildable for when I do want a fuller coverage look.
Winner: Hourglass


L'Oreal claims that the Infallible Shaping Stick can last up to 24 hours.  As someone who sits at their desk with their head in their hands, I sadly can't say that it lasts a long time in a stressful situation.  I did wonder if the product would stay in place more if I didn't touch my face so much, so I tried wearing it on a non-working day to see how I got on.  I think my biggest love was that my skin just looked really natural and radiant all day long.  I did need to reapply a little product throughout the day, especially on my chin and around my nose, but it did pretty good for a light to medium coverage drugstore foundation.  My Hourglass foundation had the biggest test of all, when I decided to wear it during the Beast from the East aka England's snow storm.  After walking an hour and a half in the snow to work, my foundation still looked damn flawless, and I think that's a pretty good testament to how good the Hourglass stick is.  If it could handle Storm Emma and friends, it can probably handle anything. This is the sort of foundation you'd want to wear to a wedding or an event that goes on for the majority of the day, and even in to the night too. Just remember to take it off at the end of it all, or your skin will not thank you the next morning!
Winner: Hourglass

Final Verdict

My biggest complaint with the L'Oreal stick is that it did cause my skin to break out.  I think this is quite common with a lot of stick foundations due to the bacteria on your face living on the stick after use, although I must say that I have never had a skin break out with the Hourglass one.  I really love the finish of this, it is just so natural which is a look I have been going for lately. I also love how inexpensive it is, and if I did need to go for a slightly darker shade in the summer, I wouldn't be breaking the bank!

Having said that, I absolutely love the Hourglass foundation stick and I'd probably have to say this is my overall winner out of the two.  It is just stunning, and I do think it is worth the £42.00 price tag if you have the right shade.  Whilst writing this post, I discovered that the Hourglass foundation stick is vegan as well as being cruelty-free, which I don't believe can be said for the L'Oreal one, but do correct me if I am wrong! If you have the spare money and are wanting to try the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick, I would 10/10 recommend you give it a go, it is a very luxurious, high-quality product.  But, if you are like me and trying to save your cash, try out the L'Oreal.  It isn't as long-lasting or as flawless, but it blends like a dream and looks beautifully natural!

Save: The L'Oreal foundation can be purchased here!
Splurge: The Hourglass foundation can be purchased here!

You can read my previous Save or Splurge post here

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Thanks for stopping by,

Naomi xx