I love the Play101 Pencils from Etude House so much (SO MUCH, GUYS) that when I heard they were making a Play101 Stick that could be foundation, highlighter/contour, or blush, I was ON IT faster than a speeding bullet. (Superman probably goes through a lot of contour to get that chiseled look… just saying.)
So there are three types of Play101 Stick – the foundation sticks, the highlight and contour sticks, and then the colors that are designed for lips and cheeks. I don’t contour (not practiced enough, not invested in face makeup enough), so I didn’t get those, but I did get two shades of the foundation sticks and one of the actual color sticks. Let’s talk about wear first, since that’s pretty much the same for both types, and then switch to swatches, kay?
The Play101 foundation sticks glide on very smoothly, with no tugging on the skin, and spread easily with just your fingers (although you can certainly use either a foundation brush, a beauty blender, or a cushion foundation puff if that’s what you want to do). They provide what I would consider to be light to medium coverage; enough to cover the redness on my cheeks (damn this horrible Midwestern winter season), but not enough to cover my dark circles.
Here’s a little “before-and-after” picture, which I rarely do with foundations. Lucky for this blog post (but unlucky for my face), I’ve been testing something that has kicked the crap out of my skin, so I have more redness, acne, and texture issues than normal, which means that there’s actually something to compare it to. Hooray, I guess?
As you can see, the redness on my cheeks is pretty much gone. The Play101 Stick can’t cover up the couple of really dark raised spots (most of which are actual wounds – don’t be too harsh on your skin, folks), but it gets almost everything else.
The Play101 Stick dries down soft but not to a powder texture. The finish is not matte; it’s somewhere between what I think of as semi-matte and dewy – and I only say that because I know my face is kind of oily to begin with so that can totally screw up foundation finishes. In any case, if you want a matte foundation, this is not it.
These sticks, like any other thin-ish foundation product, will not cover up any texture issues that you have, so if you have flakes, exfoliate; if you’ve got issues with pores, you should invest in a pore cover primer to go under this. The sticks work best when your skin is neither dry nor oily, so get your skin in tip top shape before you apply by making the most of your morning routine, whatever it is.
Unlike the Play101 Pencils, the Sticks don’t set; they are just as fickle as regular foundation, so be careful touching your face a whole lot, or you’ll come away with product on your hands. They also aren’t water resistant, so bring an umbrella if you’re going out in the rain or snow.
Let’s start with all of the Play101 Stick colors together, shall we?
You can tell that there’s not a whoooole lot of difference between #2 and #3 – the main thing is that #2 is pink-toned and #3 is yellow-toned.
Okay, now here’s the blush compared with a couple other colors I’ve got. Keep in mind that not all of them are the same type (there’s some cream blushes in there, but also one liquid and some powder) so they won’t all have the same finish. This is mostly for color comparison.
It’s a warm, muted peachy color, with no glitter. It can apply pretty opaquely, so you have to be careful or you’ll end up looking overdone, but it blends nicely.
And now, here are the foundation colors, swatched against a bunch of the other foundations that I have for no real reason because I don’t love foundation. Remember, I swatch as a MAC NC20-N18.
The sticks themselves are a little lighter than I expected – I figured that #2 would be around an NW20 and #3 would be closer to maybe an NC25, but they’re actually hovering closer around the 18-20 range, which is pretty perfect for me. If that’s still too dark for you, there’s a lighter shade, #1, available as well. There’s a darker shade too, #4, but I can’t imagine that it’s all that much darker.