Why I Returned the Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation & Contour Stick


From the title of this blog post/review…you can probably guess how I felt about these products….but I feel like even products that don’t work for me deserve a thorough review. Maybe it will work for you, or maybe I’ll save one of you the frustration of finding a product that doesn’t work!

There was a lot of hype surrounding the new Anastasia Beverly Hills foundation sticks, especially on Instagram and other social media sites. One of the biggest selling points of this foundation was the announcement that there would be 30 shades, including those in very fair to very dark skin colors and in several undertones. As someone on the fairer end of the spectrum with a neutral-olive undertone, this got me pretty excited. If you read my “Most Wanted” post from several weeks back– I had been planning to purchase a foundation and contour stick from the brand for a while. Now that I’ve gotten a chance to use it multiple times, lets talk about what worked and what didn’t.

The Good:

I had to look in several Ultas to eventually find one that carried the product, and found that there were fewer shades available in store than on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website. However, I was able to find a shade that worked perfectly– Porcelain. It is worth noting that there are two shades lighter than my shade, so if you are fairer than I am you will likely be able to find a good fit in this foundation line. The range also extends through the medium and dark shade ranges well with many undertones for each. ABH claims there is a shade for all skintones…and while that is a pretty bold claim I think that most people would have good luck finding a great match.

Top to bottom: 1) ABH Foundation Stick in Porcelain,  2) Hourglass Foundation stick in Porcelain, 3) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in Y205, 4) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in Y225, 5) Lancome Teint Idole in 100N, 6) Revlon Colorstay for Combo/Oily in 150 Buff, 7) Maybelline Fit Me Dewy+Smooth 115, 8) NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat in Ivory

The product line also includes 4 shades that are intended to be used as highlight and contour. While I didn’t find the highlight shades to be light enough for me, Fawn turned out to be the perfect neutral-undertone contour shade for fair-light skin. It actually looked pretty natural on! It applied scarily-dark, but was able to be blended 0ut quite sheerly.

Top to bottom: 1) ABH Contour Stick in Fawn (blended out and then swatched) 2) Wet N Wild Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche (contour side only, blended and then heavy finger swatch) 3) Sephora Colorful Face Powder in Tranquil (blended and then heavy finger swatch) 4) Benefit Hoola bronzer (blended out and then heavy finger swatch)

Another thing that I liked about this foundation was the price– at $25 per stick it is certainly more expensive than drugstore foundations, but almost half the price of other mid-to-high end brands. At 0.35oz of product per stick, it certainly contains less product than liquid foundation. However, this is pretty standard for foundation sticks as they tend to be more pigmented and thus you use less product per application.

I also found that the wear time was surprisingly good on this product. Perhaps since it is formulated for combination to oily skin, it was better at not sliding off. It stayed matte and was definitely still there at the end of a 12 hour shift.

The Bad:

Anastasia Beverly Hills marketed this foundation as “medium-full coverage, a smooth-matte finish, and highly blendable and easy to layer.” Unfortunately, I found that it didn’t live up to almost any of these claims.

Starting with the coverage, I found that when using what I imagined to be a typical amount for foundation sticks (like the amount I used in my review of the Hourglass Foundation Stick), it yielded a very, very light coverage (and patchy) application. In order to build to medium coverage, I had to use quite a bit of coverage–pretty much drawing all over my entire face. I feel like if you need to use that much product for a regular application, the product may not last long enough to make the $25 price tag that good of a deal.

On the application front, I found that the foundation was very difficult to blend on the skin. I tried both a beauty blender and my Real Techniques Expert Face brush, and definitely had more luck with the brush. The formula was very stiff and required quite rigorous blending to get it to spread.

The finish is definitely matte and while I found that on me it did a decent job of staying matte…it definitely didn’t look smooth on the skin. I found that it sunk in to my pores, laugh lines, and fine lines around my eyes and clung onto any dryer area. It looked okay in natural light when you don’t look to close, but on further inspection it definitely emphasized all texture.

Up close pictures are so awkward. Right after application, you can see the little “dots” of foundation in my pores and the product emphasizing smile lines

The Just Plain Ugly:

As I wore the foundation throughout the day, it really continued to gather in any line on my face and sink into pores. I was always excited to take it off on the days that I was testing it.

Additionally, the foundation and contour stick seemed to be breaking me out. When I was using it, I was getting acne in areas that I usually don’t…and it mysteriously stopped pretty quickly one I didn’t use it anymore. A CosDNA analysis of the ingredients showed two that rated 4 and 5 (Ethylhexyl Palmitate and Isopropyl Myristate) on a 5 point scale for “comedogenic” potential. Everyone’s acne triggers will be different; however this foundation did not agree with my skin.

Overall thoughts:

I was all-in-all disappointed by this product. With the massive shade range and great price, it had a lot of potential…but the actual application process just didn’t live up to the hype. I was really pleased to find a perfect shade match and a neutral-toned cream contour shade, however I am not willing to break out for the sake of a good contour.

When trying to “make it work” for me, I found that it did blend in somewhat easier if I applied enough moisturizer to make my skin feel slick…however, it seemed to reduce the wear time when I did this.

I have combination skin with a dry patch or two, and it really just didn’t work for me. However, if you have truly oily skin (and aren’t too breakout prone) without many lines or texture, it might be worth trying the Anastastia Beverly Hills foundation and contour sticks out. I would recommend purchasing from someplace like Ulta or Sephora that has a great return policy in case it doesn’t work out for you though.

Has anyone else tried out these products? Did they work for you? I’d love to know!



5 thoughts on “Why I Returned the Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation & Contour Stick

  1. I haven’t tried these yet, and I probably won’t now after reading this review. How did you like the Hourglass foundation sticks? I’ve heard great things about those!


    1. I actually did a full review of it here –> https://tripleshotofbeauty.com/2016/07/20/hourglass-vanish-foundation-brush-does-it-live-up-to-the-hype/

      All in all, I thought that the finish was gorgeous, felt lightweight, and it totally was build-able from light to completely full coverage. I was disappointed in the wear time though, it definitely transfers and started ‘breaking down’ on my skin after just a few hours. I kept it and now use it for nights out and other special events that don’t require bulletproof makeup since its so pretty.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s