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Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40 Review and Swatches

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Hello everyone! First off, I know I disappeared for a while and I really apologize for that. :blush: As I’ve mentioned time and time again in my last few posts and videos, I was hit by a wave of illnesses which left me very sick for a while. Rather than getting better, it’s just been continually morphing and I’m still feeling really poorly. I have been to the doctor already for tests, so it’s an uphill battle. But overall, I’m doing better. I’m still rather weak and tired, but I’ll try my best to ease back into this. If I hadn’t been so sick, I would have done a “boyfriend does my makeup” video weeks ago! So, hopefully I can get back on track soon…

Anyway, on to today’s post! In my recent Sephora haul, I picked up the Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation. It’s been a long time since I’ve used a stick foundation — in fact, now that I think about it, the only ones I’ve ever used were the Max Factor Pan Stik (when Max Factor was still available in the US) and the shu uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick Foundation. I don’t know why I strayed for so long, since stick foundations are really a great option for my skin type … and for my laziness. :blush:

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40


The Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation is a traditional stick foundation that provides medium coverage with a cream-to-powder formula. The foundation provides SPF 17, which is laughably low but hey, it’s something. (They do also have another stick foundation in their sun protection line which has a much higher SPF.) Shiseido also claims this contains its “Multi-Nutrient Factor” which is meant to moisturize and provide skincare benefits. This foundation is recommended this for all skin types.

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40

It comes in a dark grey-purple metallic tube that looks a lot like Shiseido’s other offerings. Like other stick foundations, the tube format makes it extremely convenient for traveling. You get 10g or 0.35 oz of product in the tube. It retails for $38.50, which is rather pricey especially for the amount of product you receive. However, because of its form factor, you’ll actually end up using less than a traditional liquid or cream foundation so it works out about the same in the end.

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40

In the above picture, it is swatched heavily on the left and blended out gently on the right. The shade I bought is I40. I use this shade in the Perfect Refining Foundation, and I originally thought it wouldn’t work out for me as it’s in their “neutral” category, and I tend to look rather ashy when I use a foundation with a neutral or pink tone. However, something about this shade just works really well with my skin tone, and I confirmed this by going to my local Shiseido counter and swatching the various shades.

Something strange I did notice, however, is that I40 between the Perfect Refining Foundation and the Stick Foundation is wildly different. I’ve swatched the two below for comparison purposes. You can see I40 in the PRF looks much more golden, whereas I40 in the SF is much pinker, almost overwhelmingly so. In practice, I notice that the PRF does match my skintone better by a smidgen. However, the Stick Foundation brightens up my overall appearance. I can get away with using either, but I would definitely suggest taking a trip in store and comparing the shades between foundation lines for yourself.

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation and Perfect Refining Foundation in I40

How to Use

For sanitary reasons, you may prefer to pick up the product with a brush or sponge and then apply to your face. However, because I’m the only one using it, I just swipe it directly on my face.

I apply two lines in a T-shape in, where else, my T-zone and down my nose. I swipe three lines under my eyes, each a little bit shorter as they go down. I also do a small line on my chin, underneath my mouth. To buff out, I’ve used both the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush and the beautyblender, both of which work great. Shiseido also sell a separate sponge for use with this foundation specifically.

I get really excellent coverage from this foundation, even though it’s “only” medium coverage. It evens out my skin tone and minimizes unevenness and dark spots in a truly natural fashion. In the pictures below, you’ll see I had a few angry spots of PIH leftover from that-time-of-the-month. The foundation was unable to cover the one on my nose or on my chin, so I went over them with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (review coming soon!). Overall, it gives a really lovely natural finish that diminishes and blurs imperfections.

Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40

Best yet, because the cream-to-powder formula dries down to a lightly matte finish, you can skip finishing powder! I almost never omit this step, as my skin is so oily, but I didn’t even feel a need to with this foundation.

If your skin is drier, or you have dry patches, I would suggest applying a moisturizing primer first. Although they recommend it for all skin types, I feel that it may not be the most flattering on drier skin.

Without a primer, the staying power of this foundation is only OK. I got around 4-6 hours of wear, before it started to look a bit faded. Luckily, it’s easy to tote around for touch-ups.

Final Thoughts

I really love this foundation! It’s dead easy to use, and doesn’t require any sort of babying or special tricks. The form factor makes it great for traveling, especially as the cream-to-powder finish means you can forego packing a separate finishing powder. I’ve been using this one a lot lately, as I really love the finish it gives. It just looks really natural and gives a soft glowy final look.

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, cover-it-all-and-take-no-prisoners foundation, this is not your guy. It provides medium coverage at best. However, for daily use, I can see this one being a workhorse.

Overall, this is



I’ve already mentioned this before, but I will be comparing this foundation to the new Spring 2014 NYX Mineral Stick Foundations shortly, so be on the lookout for that!

Have you tried the Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation before? Do you like stick foundations?

5 thoughts on “Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation in I40 Review and Swatches

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