HOW THEY WORK
Cream compacts have more emollients and conditioning agents, which translates to buildable coverage that can take you from sheer to full coverage, depending on how heavy-handed your application is. “The emollients and skin conditioners are more comfortable to wear and provide acute improvements in your skin’s appearance,” says Beth Twohy, a research fellow in cosmetics research and development for Procter & Gamble. “Sticks tend to have a higher concentration of pigments and can be used on all skin types, but they’re generally most useful for those who want more concentrated coverage for any imperfections, such as sun or acne spots.” All of these harder-textured foundations contain various types of waxes to help solidify the formulas, so they won’t melt away by midday, which can sometimes happen with sheer, liquid formulas. “Many cream compacts also contain elastomers, which make them very easy to blend and can help pigment stay suspended over fine lines and wrinkles,” says Twohy.