Clean Beauty Foundation Stick Guide: Reviewing 6 Natural Brands

Clean Beauty Foundation Stick Guide: Reviewing 6 Natural Brands

When it comes to foundations, they can take many shapes and forms! Liquids, creams, powders…and sticks (oh my)! So I thought it would be fun to do a deep dive on STICK foundations specifically in the clean beauty world.

This post contains affiliate links. I purchased most of these products myself (some were gifted by brands) and this post reflects my honest thoughts, as always! I may earn a commission on purchases made through these links which directly help support the blog.

Foundation Sticks 101: Pros & Cons

First things first, why use a foundation stick over the other forms? Well, there are pros and cons and it might depend on your preference!

Stick Pros 👍

  • Less mess
  • Easy to travel with
  • Can double as a concealer
  • Usually are waterless and concentrated
  • Super quick and easy to swipe directly onto skin
  • You can use two different shades for a natural contouring or highlighting effect
  • You don’t necessarily need a brush or beauty blender; you can just blend with your fingers

Stick Cons 👎

  • They can sometimes be chalky or cakey
  • Might need to warm them up on skin before they glide easily
  • Not as hygienic since you are constantly applying the stick directly onto skin
How to Apply Stick Foundations

It’s not complicated! Just draw a few lines around the main areas of your face: cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose (not all over!). Then blend to your heart’s content.

Testing ALL the Clean Foundation Sticks!

I dug around to make sure this list included all of the clean beauty foundation sticks that are out there! If you know of any others, drop them in the comments. But these all use ingredients that are up to my (somewhat strict) standards. Some of them are long-time faves, others are new to me!

P.S. all of the foundations in this post are gluten free, cruelty free, and phenoxyethanol free! You can learn more about ingredients to avoid in cosmetics here.

Note: The Vapour Luminous Foundation stick has been discontinued and the Au Naturale C2P Stick is no longer packaged as a stick, so both have been removed from this post. You might also be wondering why the Merit foundation stick is not on this list (a frequent question I get). I don’t consider Merit to be a totally clean brand and the foundation stick contains some ingredients I try to avoid such as BHT and a lot of silicones. Read my full thoughts about Merit in this blog post!

Clean Beauty Foundation Stick Swatches

Click to jump to a specific review:

Jones Road The Face Pencil [6th Place]

Price: $25 for 2.9 g (0.1 oz)
Shelf Life: 24 months
Shades Available: 25
Coverage: Light wash to cover redness and correct discoloration
Packaging: Pencil (needs to be sharpened) with a plastic cap
Samples: No
Other Notes: Cruelty free (not vegan, contains beeswax), made in Germany, contains coconut (MCT), gluten free, silicone free

Jones Road Face Pencil

Jones Road The Face Pencil

Okay, so I’m not totally sure that this belongs on this list. It’s supposed to be a hybrid concealer-foundation pencil, but after using it, I definitely consider it more of a concealer. You can use it all over as a foundation, but the tip is so small that you literally would need to draw little lines all over your face (Jones Road does suggest blending the pencil with a moisturizer for a wash of foundation coverage too). But I think it’s better suited for smaller, targeted areas that you want to conceal.

I wear shade 5 which is for light skin with cool pink undertones. I initially thought it would be sharp or stiff since it’s a pencil. But it’s creamy, lightweight, and does start to melt/glide around your skin more easily after a few seconds of warming up. And it’s a thicker formula than I expected. One downside is that you need to sharpen it when it gets dull.

Jones Road claims to use a clear base with these so there is no chalky undertone and I would agree! But I also feel like it kind of sits on skin instead of fully melting in, and in turn, looking a little flat. It does hold up somewhat decently throughout the day, but it does fade a bit and become slightly more oily with my skin after a few hours.

Would I repurchase? No; it’s not big enough to use as a full foundation and there are other concealers I prefer. Cool concept though!

Shop Jones Road Face Pencils Here

Ogee Sculpted Complexion Stick [5th Place]

Price: $64 for 9.7 g (0.34 oz)
Shelf Life: 6 months
Shades Available: 20
Coverage: Light to medium coverage, second-skin finish
Packaging: Plastic twist-up case and cap with a magnetic hold
Samples: No
Other Notes: Cruelty free (not vegan, contains beeswax), 70% organic ingredients, non-GMO, gluten free, contains coconut (MCT), silicone free, made in USA

Ogee Sculpted Complexion Stick

Ogee Sculpted Complexion Stick Swatches

I was extremely hopeful for this one because the ingredients are impeccable. However, it’s a miss for me. You have to let it warm up on your skin first before applying it (or on the back of your hand), but even then, it goes on quite dry and I don’t even have dry skin! It pulls and tugs on my face, even if it’s adequately moisturized and primed.

Once you do get it applied, it’s difficult to blend. It does look okay once you have it on and it’s settled into skin, but can also look crepey and accentuate dryness.

Thankfully Ogee has expanded its shade range since first launching because the shade Linden 1.25 was too yellow for me.

Would I repurchase? No. The whole point of a foundation stick is to have something quick and this is just too difficult to use and blend in for me!

Shop Ogee Complexion Sticks Here

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick [4th Place]

Price: $68 for 9 g (0.31 oz)
Shelf Life: 18 months
Shades Available: 21
Coverage: Medium coverage with a radiant, natural finish
Packaging: Plastic twist-up case and cap with a magnetic hold
Samples: No
Other Notes: Vegan, cruelty free, silicone free, gluten free, contains coconut (MCT), made in Italy

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick Swatches

I was so curious to try this for the longest time! The packaging is beautiful (even though it’s plastic) and Westman Atelier seems like a super-luxe brand, albeit not the cleanest on the market (lots of [safer] synthetics and polymers; would love to see more natural and organic ingredients for this price). The first thing I noticed with this one is how beautifully it swipes onto my skin. It’s front-loaded with lots of emollients and moisturizing ingredients so that makes sense. It’s DEFINITELY creamy and silky. Maybe even kind of velvety. If your skin leans to the dry side, this might work best for you.

I wear shade Atelier 0 (neutral with rose undertone) but could for sure go darker in summer. It’s supposed to look like your skin, but enhanced, and I do feel like that’s true! It does have gorgeous, even coverage and doesn’t appear patchy or sparse on me at all.

If I use a setting powder on top of this one, it holds up really well throughout the day and still looks fresh even hours later. I only notice slight creasing on deeper lines like on my neck (where setting powder was not used). If I don’t use a setting powder, I notice that it can kind of fade away on areas like my nose and chin (not much though).

Would I repurchase? No, it’s too expensive for what I’m willing to spend. The foundation is pretty nice and I’d consider purchasing it again and moving it higher up this list if it were cheaper. But I feel like you’re just paying for the brand name and not actually the quality of ingredients, and it doesn’t perform that much better than others in this guide.

Shop Westman Atelier Sticks Here

Zao Organic Foundation Stick [3rd Place]

Price: $44 for 10 g (0.35 oz)
Shelf Life: 12 months
Shades Available: 14
Coverage: Medium to full coverage with a natural powdery finish
Packaging: Bamboo outer case, twist-up inner plastic cartridge (refillable)
Samples: Yes, $1 from Zao in select shades
Other Notes: Vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, silicone free, contains coconut (MCT), made in Italy, Cosmos Organic Certified by ECOCERT

Zao Organic Foundation Stick

Zao Organic Foundation Stick Swatches

This one is super interesting! It’s creamy but not very dense and feels more like a powder after it’s on your skin. So I almost don’t need a separate setting powder on top. One of the first things I noticed was the smell! It kind of reminds me of a sunscreen with hints of vanilla. I like it, but if you’re sensitive to scents, it could be bothersome for you.

Zao goes on smoothly and is fairly easy to blend (heads up, the stick is quite chubby!). It honestly looks sooo pretty on my skin and I like that I can get a fuller coverage with it. It evens out my complexion and has a soft finish, but it doesn’t feel dry at all. I wear shade 773 Sand Beige which suits me well.

Zao Organic Foundation Stick

However, my tip with this one would be to make sure you are not OVER blending because it can start to look crepey if you do. At least that’s been my experience! Having well-prepped skin makes a huge difference with this one too. Some days if my skin isn’t thoroughly exfoliated, this looks cakey on me at the end of the day if I use too much. I’m not sure it would work well on drier skin types either.

Since this one is made in Europe, it’s hard to find US stockists that carry it! Even the US Zao website doesn’t have many shades available (I bought it from Organic Bunny’s site but she doesn’t offer refill cartridges, FYI).

Would I repurchase? Yes! This one is great for when I want fuller coverage. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you figure it out, it’s good stuff!

Shop Zao Foundation Sticks Here

Well People Bio Stick Foundation [2nd Place Runner Up]

Price: $27 for 10 g (0.35 oz)
Shelf Life: 3 months
Shades Available: 14
Coverage: Medium coverage with natural, satin finish
Packaging: Plastic twist-up case and cap
Samples: Not from Well People, but you can sample it via The Detox Market
Other Notes: Vegan, cruelty free, silicone free, gluten free, contains coconut (MCT), made in China, EWG verified

Well People Bio Stick Foundation

Well People Bio Stick Foundation Swatches

This was the first clean beauty foundation stick I tried years ago! Since then, Well People has been bought by Elf so I think the formula may have changed slightly. But it still performs as well as I remember it! They also released darker shades which was long overdue. I use shade 2W which is light with golden undertones; I could go lighter in winter since it’s a tad yellow for my skin.

There are a couple of things I like about this foundation like the price point, coverage, and how accessible it is. I will say, the caveat with this one is that it takes a smidge more effort to blend; it can be a little stubborn. It just doesn’t melt into skin as easily as other foundations in this guide. But it DOES eventually work in seamlessly and provides decent coverage with a satin finish.

Like most of the foundations in this guide, I do need a setting powder with this one too. Otherwise, it can become oily after wearing it for a while. But I almost feel like it looks better on my skin after some time? Like it looks good when first applied, but even better after an hour or two.

Ultimately it’s not perfect, but the fact that it’s more budget-friendly and available in retail stores moves it up the list for me!

Would I repurchase? Yes! I particularly enjoy that I can quickly pick this foundation up at a store like Target if needed, instead of having to order online.

Shop Well People Bio Sticks Here

Also available at Credo, Detox Market, Target, Thrive Market, and Amazon.

Ilia Skin Rewind Complexion Stick 🌟 [1st Place Winner: Becca’s Fave!]

Price: $48 for 10 g (0.35 oz)
Shelf Life: 6 months
Shades Available: 42
Coverage: Medium coverage with a natural matte finish
Packaging: Plastic twist-up tube and cap (curbside recyclable)
Samples: No
Other Notes: Vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, made in Canada, silicone free, contains coconut (MCT)

Ilia Skin Rewind Complexion Stick

Ilia Complexion Stick Swatches

There was tons of hype around this when Ilia launched it, so you know I had to see what it was all about! Overall, it’s good stuff, but it did take some trial and error to figure out the best application method. I wear shade 5C Pine which matches me well; I appreciate that Ilia made cool-toned options for this stick.

The coverage is buildable and looks quite natural once applied. It has a unique matte finish that still looks natural and skin-like. I don’t even need to use a setting powder over the foundation and it feels really comfortable. Plus, it’s long-lasting and still looks fresh towards the end of the day!

However, I wouldn’t recommend this one if you have dry skin or patches because it can cling to them. And make sure to apply it to prepped and well-moisturized skin for the smoothest application, otherwise, it can look crepey! I also suggest blending as minimally as possible and using shorter brush strokes.

Would I repurchase? Yep! I don’t love that the second ingredient is polyethylene (it’s safe, just not a natural ingredient). But this one is the most ideal for my skin type and looks the best on me compared to the other sticks. It reminds me of the Au Naturale foundation stick which was a fave of mine (that one now comes in a jar, not a stick). Would definitely buy this again!

Shop Ilia Complexion Sticks Here

Also available here on Amazon, Credo, and The Detox Market.

Non-Toxic Foundation Stick Brands

Other Clean Beauty Foundations (Not Sticks!)

If you’re interested in other clean foundations that are NOT a stick, you’ll surely wanna check out this guide:

The 10 Absolute BEST Clean Beauty Foundations (According to My Readers!)

Have you tried any of these sticks? Which one are you most interested in? Thanks a bunch for checking out this post and I hope it was helpful! 💚

Becca Signature



Clean Beauty Foundation Stick Guide: Reviewing 6 Natural Brands

Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

6 comments on “Clean Beauty Foundation Stick Guide: Reviewing 6 Natural Brands”

  1. I am using Well People right now and I like it a lot! Any thoughts on Merit? I just purchased but haven’t tried yet.

  2. Feeling quite desperate as my ever favorite 120L Vapour beauty is discountinued and it was my dream foundation. It’s so hard to find the same again ! I thought I would never have to chase to go one again and here we go. Feeling lost because it was the exact match for my skin and it was sooo creamy and perfect for my VERY dry skin. Westman Atelier seams to be interesting but I guess I won’t have the exact match color… Pfff. Do you have any idea for me ?

    1. Yeah I think Westman’s would be best for drier skin because it’s very silky! I’m also curious to try Ogee’s new stick, I’m not quite sure how suitable that would be for you though!

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