Editor’s note: Since we first published this story, we’ve updated it with a video showing the Beach Stick in action.
My makeup bag is (to say the least) overcrowded. And offensively heavy. This year, I forged a plan to combat this makeup-bag bloat: Make a conscientious effort to find more “universal” products. By which I mean, products that can act as a lip tint, blush, and eyelid pigment.
There’s no shortage of universal skin tints on the market. I can with confidence say that I’ve tried somewhere around 20 of them just this year. And what I’ve found is that often I will love the product for only one of its qualities. For example: I adore the Tata Harper lip and cheek tint as a lip stain, but I look sickly when I put it on my eyelids. Same goes with Make Beauty’s Universal Stick — it’s incredible as a blush, but is virtually impossible to blend out in the same flawless way on eyelids and lips.
This is how I felt about Charlotte Tilbury’s Beach Stick when I first used it. I got it in Ibiza and Moon Beach, and while I loved both shades dearly on my eyelids, when it came to my cheeks, I found that they were a little too sparkly. The sparkle was pretty in the summer for that kind of shimmery, just-been-at-the-beach glow, but as soon as autumn came around, I found that the glitter made the makeup look a little too obvious for my everyday, natural look.
The Beach Stick was so close to what I’d been looking for: It was the perfect blend of pigmented, soft, rich, and spreadable. But that sparkle. I was bummed.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to the company and asked if they could please let me know if they ever made a sparkleless Beach Stick. And to my disbelief, they did. “Hi Rio,” they wrote. I was shaking. “We did make such a shade. Formentera. It doesn’t have glitter or sparkle, and gives a luminescent glow.” Within the next couple of hours, I’d procured the Beach Stick and lathered it all over my face.
For me, this is a perfect makeup product. It has this lovely, sun-kissed raspberry shade that gives the most natural, flushed appearance. And the way it looks on lips, cheeks, and eyelids altogether is so stunning — it makes your skin look glowy and well-rested. I learned that the reason the product blends so well is because the company uses Ceramidin, an ingredient that has intense moisturizing effects. So, if you’re a dry-skinned person who typically tries to stay away from any makeup beyond a little concealer at the risk of looking flaky and patchy, this product is perfect for you.
More Strat-approved tints
“Okay, guys, my life has changed since I first started using this lip and cheek color from Tata Harper [editor’s note: Joanna Goddard is also a fan]. What I love most about it is that it provides this nice, healthy glow while also being totally universal, meaning you can put it practically anywhere on your face. It gives my face a lovely and cohesive (but still subtle) warmth. I love, love, love this product and have it in various shades — the one I actually just ran out of is Very Naughty.”
“Treasure” and “amazing stuff” are just two of the ways that Jenna Lyons has described a Japanese drugstore blush called Canmake Cream Cheek. I would add “best cream cheek blush ever” and “so glad I convinced my friend’s husband, Lee, to smuggle this back for me from Japan.”
Strat writer Lori Keong and Cut beauty editor Kathleen Hou are both fans of Fresh’s Sugar Candy SPF lip balm, which is consistently well-reviewed, and beauty insiders are just generally obsessed with it. Apparently, it’s one of Fresh’s top-selling products, too, which suggests that anyone who buys this once keeps coming back for more. Sugar Candy comes in 12 tints, so everyone can find a color that works for them.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.
For more Rio-approved beauty products, check out The Strategist’s store on Amazon.