Written by Jenny Li

Hourglass has described itself as a cruelty-free luxury brand. A while ago I decided to purchase Hourglass’s Vanish Foundation Stick, after seeing so many people rave about it, especially Youtubers like NikkieTutorials. Moreover, I really enjoyed using their Veil Setting Powder and wanted to try more products from Hourglass. 

I bought the foundation for £42, in the shade ‘warm ivory’, which surprisingly was more yellow in undertone than expected and had the tendency to oxidise on my skin. But, I disregarded the shade issue as that could be fixed by going up a shade, and focused on testing the formulation. This foundation is described on the website as having the, “coverage of a concealer, the fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder in a longwearing waterproof formula for undetectable full coverage”.  It is also a vegan product.

The foundation is truly ‘full coverage’, you don’t really need a concealer when using it, however, the claim that it is fluid like a liquid is not quite accurate. It applies to the face smoothly and is instantly mattifying but does not blend or move like a liquid foundation. I had difficulty blending it with a sponge and found myself tugging at my skin, less so with a brush, which seems like the best way to apply it but still requires some tugging to get it blended. 

Yet, Hourglass has made a dedicated brush for this foundation, their website stating ‘designed specifically to be used with the Vanish Seamless Foundation Brush for the most seamless finish’. The brush is priced at £45, though, which is just as expensive as the foundation itself. Although, it may blend the Vanish foundation more seamlessly, as the name suggests, it is not so affordable and in my testing of the product, a compact kabuki brush by most brands will work the same. 

It also claims to be weightless like a powder. On the contrary, I found it felt quite heavy and sat on top of the skin rather than meld with with it. Furthermore, the foundation broke down on my skin after about five hours of wear, not 12 hours as their website claims. Though, it did seem waterproof due to the slightly stiff texture of the product that is reminiscent of the Shiseido Spotscover Foundation. But bear in mind, I have a normal to oily skin which likely affected part of the overall wear, so it might work better for those with combination to dry skin. 

To conclude, it’s main claim of full coverage is faultless, however, there are difficulties with the blending and staying power of the foundation. The stick foundation aspect is supposed to be a mess-free and quicker way of applying the foundation but I can’t help but worry about how easy it is to contaminate the product. There are many other brands, luxury and affordable, that outmatch the Hourglass Foundation Stick. For example, for luxury foundation, Giorgio Armani’s Power Fabric foundation is around the same price as the Hourglass and is just as full coverage. For more affordable versions, The Ordinary’s Coverage Foundation or the L’Oréal Infallible foundation create the same effect.