The Foundation Stick That Made Me Ditch All of My Other Formulas

Of all the common icebreaker games out there, perhaps the most dreadful is the hypothetical desert island game, and for me, this very question: What beauty products would you take if you were stranded on an island? It’s not that I don’t have an answer—I have quite a few, actually. For now, let’s put skin care (even though sunscreen will always be in tow) and survival tools (water is a must!) aside and focus on makeup because even in the face of potentially dire situations, a girl still has to look good!

To be a top contender in my desert island beauty lineup, a product has to feel so weightless on the skin that I have to question if I’m wearing anything at all or has to have a formula that won’t disrupt or agitate my combination, acne-prone skin. Even better, it must maintain consistency and coverage throughout the day. Ticking all these boxes at once is a tall order for a product to fill, but one does it easily—Ami Colē’s new Skin-Enhancing Stick.

Launching today, January 15, the Ami Colē Skin-Enhancing Stick retails for $29. It arrives in 14 shades, complete with a natural, almost matte-like dry down compared to its dewier predecessor, the Skin Enhancing Tint. The clean, light-to-medium yet buildable formula uses a cocktail of baobab seed extract, hibiscus flower extract, and shea butter to form a creamy texture that nourishes and hydrates. With one swivel, the foundation stick seamlessly glides onto the skin like butter on a warm croissant. Swivel, swipe, smile, and repeat.

Ami Colē Skin-Enhancing Stick

Skin-Enhancing Stick

Ami Colē Skin-Enhancing Stick

Credit: Alana Tyler Slutsky

“Over the past three years, we continued to learn, surveying our community and discovering that some of our girls have oilier skin with more coverage needs and might have been curious, but a bit intimidated by the Skin-Enhancing Tint. With that said, we knew we needed to find a solution across the spectrum of all skin types, especially keeping combination and oily skin types in mind (almost 60 percent of our customer base). After much study and love for the beloved stick foundation format, we took a moment to fill in the gaps, elevate the ‘on skin’ experience, and make it accessible in format and price point,” Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, founder & CEO of Ami Colé, tells

From unboxing to application, the Skin-Enhancing Stick experience is an audible medley of “oohs,” “ahhs,” and gasps. Upon the first swivel and swipe, an “ooh” escaped my mouth to express delight in seeing how rich my shade, 230, looked in its sleek black vial and how buttery it applied to my skin. While the formula calls for either hands or makeup brushes for application, I opted to keep it in the family and use the Ami Colē Complexion Brush. The shade match was so spot-on I had to turn on my vanity light, walk into natural sunlight, and head back inside to check my mirror twice to ensure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Dotting the stick all over my skin gave just enough coverage to make me look like an AI-enhanced, filter-like version of myself without completely concealing my dark marks. So, I added a few more dots to erase the scarring completely and sealed the deal with the Ami Colē Skin Melt Loose Powder in Deep/Medium.

As a full-coverage beauty girl with loads of acne scars to hide, carving out time in the morning to do my makeup ahead of work is almost always never enough. I’d love to say my New Year’s resolution is better time management in the morning, but truly, I just need multitasking products that streamline the process for a busy bee. The Skin-Enhancing Stick gave me a full face in less than five minutes, with enough time left over to focus on other areas.

a woman with long hair

Courtesy of Nerisha Penrose

I chose the busiest day of my week to put the formula to the test. Three events against one tiny foundation stick—what could possibly go wrong? Nothing, actually. The first and only application of the Skin-Enhancing Stick was at 8:24 AM, moments before a windy trek to the city for event number one. After hours of talking, sipping, eating, and wiping, the Skin-Enhancing Stick didn’t budge one bit, even though my lip combo was non-existent. Next up was a HIIT workout class, where the foundation stick went up against a round of plank mountain climbers, sumo squats, and tricep curls. Droplets of sweat swam down my face after each set, and I planted my face in my elbows for momentary relief over the 40-minute workout, but the Skin-Enhancing Stick came out on top. Me? Not so much. I’m not a touch-up throughout-the-day kind of girl, so I attended my final event of the day before heading home. I loved how natural my skin looked and felt even after an almost 10-hour work day, a sweat session, and New York City’s brisk wind brushing against my face.

Ami Colē’s Skin-Enhancing Stick arrives at a time when everyone is obsessively latching on to an aesthetic, be it “clean girl,” “old money,” or, more recently, “mob wives.” Labels are fun, and attaching yourself to a niche fosters a sense of belonging and builds community. Yet, within the walls of Ami Colē, community doesn’t hinge upon conforming to one specific look; it thrives by celebrating the versatility of self-expression. Products are not crafted for a predefined category, but with the intention of empowering everyone to embrace their unique individuality. That said, I asked ELLE staffers to incorporate the Skin-Enhancing Stick into their makeup routines.

danielle james in ami cole

Courtesy of Danielle James

Danielle James, beauty director

“I love to test and try new products when I travel, so my makeup bag is often heavy and overstuffed. For 2024, I’m trying to have more lightweight options with my beauty products. Enter the Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Stick. The foundation stick is a sleek black tube small enough to fit in your purse, making it the perfect travel accessory. And if the design and size of the tube don’t grab your attention, the lightweight formula will truly keep it. I love how it melts seamlessly into your skin and plays well with other products. Even though it’s sheerer than the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Tint Stick, I built up the product on my face to cover my flat mole with a stippling brush. To complete my look, I went in with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser—a drugstore concealer that gives excellent results—and Too Faced Born This Way Ethereal Setting Powder, and my base face came together nicely. After wearing the foundation for about 10 hours, by the end of the day, I didn’t have the immediate urge to take my makeup off upon coming home. My face didn’t feel dry at all! Highly recommend.”

a woman wearing glasses

Courtesy of Tasha Smith

Tasha Smith, ELLE beauty assistant

“I didn’t think I could be more of an Ami Colē fan than I already was, but then they launched this foundation stick. I had never used a stick formula before, and to my surprise, the application was so buttery smooth and comfortable enough to last me all day. The shade 210 was a perfect match for me, and I didn’t even have to use a color corrector to get the coverage I usually prefer. Consider me a foundation stick convert.”

a woman with her hand on her chin

Courtesy of Leah Romero

Leah Romero, senior digital designer

“I am in love with this clean beauty gem! The Skin-Enhancing Stick effortlessly glides across my face, leaving a light and almost powdery feel once blended. Initially, I thought it might be a touch too light for my skin tone, as I typically have to blend a few shades together to get my exact tone (sometimes products are too yellow or pink for me). However, using the stick and finishing off with bronzer and blush, I’m ready to go.”

Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.


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