Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Credit: Lorenzo Palizzolo/Getty Images

There's two types of foundation wearers: One side swears by a rich, full-coverage, matte formula, while the other thinks that most foundations feel like a mask on their skin.

I've always been "team no-foundation" until I started struggling with hormonal breakouts in my when I entered my late-20s and began wearing full-coverage formulas on top of concealer to minimize the red, painful cysts that had taken over my lower face. Today, my acne is under control, but not without an aftermath of dark spots. Since my skin's been clearer I've reverted back to my pre-acne struggle stance on foundation, but still need a little bit of coverage to even out my complexion.

Upon first glance, NARS' Velvet Matte Foundation Stick might look like the average stick foundation, but its formula is nothing like the tacky, caky, hard-to-blend, solid formulas I've tried in the past. That's why I've been using it daily since the stick landed on my desk this summer.

It glides on skin effortlessly, and despite its buildable medium-coverage, it doesn't feel like you have base face makeup on. The formula is enriched with nourishing vitamins A, C, and E, and ginger root extract so that the foundation hugs skin and stays smooth over fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration as it wears, with the bonus of antioxidant and environmental protection.

VIDEO: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Eyelashes

But, what's special about this stick foundation is its finish. It gives skin a soft, matte look that's more realistic than your favorite photo filter. The natural, "your skin, but better" look is exactly what was missing from all of the foundations I tried when I first went down a coverage level after my complexion cleared up.

While I prefer using the stick to draw a stripes under each of my eyes, down the center of my nose, and my chin, and then blending it out with my fingertips, special mention goes out to the sponge applicator on its other end. If you're traveling, it lets you leave your Beautyblender at home, or you know, if you're like me, the sponge quickly buffs out any spots where you were too heavy-handed with the stick.