Review: Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation

After I snapchatted my Hourglass purchase a few weeks ago, y’all went crazy like no other messaging me asking when I’d review it, if it was any good etc etc. I know every YouTuber reviewed this as soon as they got it (and mostly, compared it to the new Anastasia stick foundation), but I wanted to wait a few weeks (and multiple uses) to form some ~proper~ opinions on it. As always, it’s a mixed bag.

The product: what is it and what does it promise?:

The foundation is described as having ‘the coverage of a concealer, the fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder in a long-wearing waterproof formula for undetectable full coverage.’ It’s a stick foundation with buildable but also full coverage (you can use a super light hand and it’ll act as a light layer of concealer, or you can cake it on for full coverage) that dries down to a powdery finish. So: the claims are kind of true. But fluidity of a liquid? Hmm.


The packaging:

It’s beautifully luxe, very weighty and in the standard coppery Hourglass packaging. It’s pretty small (we’ll get to that later), but this *does* make it handy for travel. Also, being a stick, it’s waaaaay less messy than a liquid foundation. The walls of Topshop changing rooms everywhere cheer for the loss of grubby foundation hands.


The colour choices:

The colour choices get an A from me. My *perfect* shade would be a mix of the two lightest shades (Blanc and Alabaster), which is why it’s not exactly A+, because who has £84 to buy two foundations to mix? Instead I went for Blanc, which is a kiss lighter than my skin (which is fucking unheard of) hence why  the colour selection gets a high A. There’s also some nice deep toned foundations too in lots of different undertones (red AND golden!). My only issue with the colour Blanc on my skin is with photography. It does that ‘very pale foundation’ thing where it looks so white (it’s a very neutral undertone) it makes me look lowkey ashy in photos. Plus, the ‘cream to powder’ formula makes me look kinda powdery in pictures. And with flash? Girl. The colours are *nearly* spot on, maybe a few more undertones and in-between shades, but it’s probably the best selection of both pale and deep together I’ve ever seen. So kudos, Hourglass.

Availability wise… not great. I bought mine from Liberty and the only shade they had in stock was mine (luckily), and they only had the one I purchased available. They also didn’t have any at the Space NK I went to afterwards. It seems like they’re more available to purchase at various online retailers, or IRL at places you wouldn’t expect (go check it out if you have a big John Lewis near you).


The price and availability:

The price is quite honestly ASTOUNDING. At £42 for .25oz. A standard foundation bottle gives you a full ounce, for reference. I’ve only used the foundation stick, I would estimate, around 7ish times and I’d say I’ve used a quarter of the product, so you’ll get around 24 uses out of the stick, meaning each use is roughly £2, if you want to get technical. It’s so pricey, and I only bought it because I combined a voucher and a discount at Liberty, making it £27, which was more acceptable imo. At that price, I’d probably repurchase, but at £42, I’m not so sure.


How it applies/wear-time:

This is the big one, innit. I have a lot to say about this part (it might even need subsections) so buckle in, kids.

Applying it:

Applying stick foundations is generally kind of awkward because you put it directly on your face rather than on your hand first, so if you apply too much, you’re fucked. Also, they’re much stiffer than regular foundations (hence why they’re in a stick form), so blending them out is always going to be more difficult.

Having said that, for a stick foundation, the Hourglass one is so creamy is glides on beautifully. But, like a stick foundation, it will cover best where you apply it: so if you only apply a tiny amount on the centre of your face, the outer perimeters of your face are going to get the sheerest coverage, and will look the worst (imo). You get me? You still with me?

This is why I’m convinced all the big YouTubers have been loving this foundation, because they use SO MUCH OF IT. They’re basically covering their whole face with the stick and blending it out, which of course, will make you look flawless, because who cares, they got it via PR. But priced at £42, that will half the amount of use you can get out of it (making it roughly 12ish uses, eek!). Plus, if you like a more natural foundation look, of course it’s possible, but when your foundation is literally a stick of pigment and it’s difficult to blend and move around once you’ve placed it on your skin, if you don’t ramp up the coverage, you might look a bit patchy. Basically: it applies great if you don’t care about using a lot of it up in a short while, and you want the ‘full coverage mask’ look. It doesn’t apply so great if you’re trying to ‘save’ it, or sheer it out.

Much to my disgust, you have to use a dense brush (much like the Re-Marcable foundation, of course Hourglass sells their own brush to ‘match’ the foundation but rly don’t bother) to blend the majority of it out, and then a Beauty Blender if you wish to perfect it. I hate blending foundation out with brushes, but using solely a Beauty Blender will barely move this shit around your face, so it will add another step to your blending routine.

Coverage/creasing/how it wears:

My favourite thing about this foundation is how it wears during the day. I recently went to a lion sanctuary a 2 hour, four train journey and a bus situation away, leaving early in the morning and being in the hot sun all day. In the evening, my foundation still looked pretty damn flawless, and I didn’t look oily at all during the day. It also didn’t ‘feel’ like I had lots of makeup on, regardless of me slathering it full coverage style all over myself. Best of all, it didn’t do that weird breaking up thing foundation usually does around my chin and nose after a day’s wear.

Legit no editing or whatever, it made my skin look so flawless and smooth

Jeffrey Star reckons you can use this and not need concealer, which I would agree with (if you’re going full coverage and using enough of it), but I apply concealer anyway. I would say if you don’t use concealer with this product then you should definitely set your whole face with a setting powder afterwards, tho. I didn’t notice much creasing or transfer, but it’s so high coverage you’ll want to make sure it’s set and LOCKED IN TIGHT.

The finish is very natural, it’s not too dewy but it’s not matte either. If this foundation was paint, it would be ‘satin finish’. In other words: it just kinda looks like skin.

Even looks poppin’ in bad lighting

I am a huge fan of this foundation, mainly due to the colour range and how easy, non-messy and transportable it is. However, for £42, it’s not so amazing that I’m willing to re-buy it without trying other options first. I’m still on the hunt for my perfect perfect formula and colour combo, which I’d be willing to pay pretty much anything for. For the price vs. amount you get in this tube, it’s definitely overpriced, but it does do what it promises. Basically: I feel guilty every time that I use it, but I hate the idea of having a ‘special occasion’ foundation. But that’s what this is. If you want full coverage, long lasting glam to use on special nights out, this is for you. But I don’t think it fits my ‘every day makeup’ needs, and it definitely doesn’t fit my ‘every day makeup’ budget. I’ll be sad when I’ve used it up, but I’ll definitely be trying out other products before I admit defeat and re-buy it.

Don’t cry cos it’s over smile cos it happened xox

Amelia XX

4 thoughts on “Review: Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation

    1. Amelia, it sounds like you need the Cream shade – which is the pale shade in between Blanc and Alabaster. That would be perfect, I’m sure. You can then use the Blanc shade as under eye concealer. Works a treat for me – and it won’t look powdery. Alabaster would be too dark.


  1. Thank you for articulating my deeply conflicted feelings for this foundation. I also HATE having special occasion foundation but, you’re right, this is just what this has to be. I love it but don’t want to because there’s just not enough of it to love :(((


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