Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.
OK first of all, holy shade range, Flesh! I’m so happy to see a line like this at Ulta because MAN did they need some brown and dark brown in their foundation offerings. Ulta has been notorious for being a beige oasis for yeaaaars—even among brands that carry deeper shades. They even opened an Ulta near me and I stopped going after they first opened because I SWORE they would have a better shade range because the area of here is so heavily Black, but nope. Same old, same old save for a few lines. I have gone back recently and it seems as if things are shifting. And this Flesh line (if it does well) is about to be a game changer for the beauty retailer.
Flesh Firm Flesh Thickstick Foundation is a super-portable, multi-purpose foundation stick in shades that deliver a creamy, buildable pay-off. Thickstick is face makeup that lets you cover, conceal, contour and highlight on your own terms. Best of all, it’s formulated to look like your skin.
Medium coverage with a luminous, lightly dewy finish (not chalky)
True color clarity in shades carefully created for every skin tone
Added pigment intensifier to prevent ashy finish in dark shades
Creamy and blendable formula
Formulated without parabens or talc
I reached out to Flesh’s PR and asked to have a number of the deeper shades and some blush shades sent to me. I’m very pleased with the shade range on the deeper end. They understand that you just can’t add a few brown shades at the end and voila diversity! They understand that we have undertones and other nuances in our skin tones. I not only found a decent shade match for me (Pecan), but I also have two choices for a good highlight with a golden undertone (Cafe) and three options for a good contour shade (Hot Cocoa, Coffee, Espresso) depending on the look I’m going for.
Now it’s important for me to point out again, that as more brands come out with deeper shades, it’ll become a bit harder to have equivalents. (Read more in Why MAC isn’t a Foundation Guide for more info) There is no universal foundation shade guide in the beauty industry. One brand’s definition of say a brown with neutral undertones can look completely different from another brand’s brown with neutral undertones. Some may have more red, more yellow, etc. To figure out your shade in a line like this, I’d say first gravitate towards the part of the spectrum that best matches your skin color and then look at which shades are for your undertones. I did this and came up with either Tiramisu or Pecan as being my shades since both were deeper browns with neutral undertones. Once I tried the two, Pecan was the better match for me.
It’s also important to understand that as people of color, we have unique coloring. Many of us are darker around the perimeter and lighter in the center making ONE foundation not adequate enough for us (Read more in Why ONE Foundation May Not Cut it for Women of Color for more info). If you want to get a more natural look, you may need a shade that matches your perimeter, and one that matches the center of your face. Or you could use one foundation shade and then use a darker powder around the perimeter to get a better color match. You want color harmony/balance—you don’t need to match everything to one color. In fact, matching everything to one color could give you a look that doesn’t look very natural.
But back to Flesh Firm Stick.
I LOVE THIS FORMULA! It gives a lightly dewy finish and is VERY skin-like. I just loooove the way it looks on my skin. I liked that it gave medium coverage and if I needed a little more coverage in certain areas, I could layer. I have oily skin and it’s summer and also one of the hottest summers in NYC that I can remember, so for me to wear this in this weather, I’d have to definitely make sure to use the right moisturizer, primer, and be understanding that I’d probably need to touch-up pretty often during the day. I personally don’t mind a little shine because I don’t want to be SUPER MATTE, but I also don’t want to be able to fry eggs on my face. I would definitely love this more in cooler weather where I wouldn’t have to worry about touch-ups so often. Note that Flesh doesn’t call out any particular skin type for this foundation. I’ve seen people call this foundation greasy—I didn’t have that experience but do understand if you’re not using compatible skincare products (for instance if you’re using a too heavy moisturizer), it could feel greasy.
This foundation did hold up pretty well even in the NYC humidity, but I did have to touch-up pretty often. I wore it again on a pretty warm yet not as humid day, and it held up very well. I would say I could wear this year-round with of course some necessary tweaks in skincare or in just knowing I’d need to touch-up more when it’s hotter out.
Video Demo: Firm Flesh Thickstick Foundation + Pinch Blush
(there’s no sound on this so feel free to watch from anywhere)
Some people have also said that you get such a small amount of product for $18. With this stick a little can go a long way, but I’m also not the best person to talk to when it comes to how much product you get for your money. Me, myself, personally, I would pay a premium for a foundation that is a good match, good quality, and looks good on even if you only gave me like a dime-sized amount…lol. If the amount of product is important to you, check out my other foundation stick reviews so you can get a feel of what else is out there:
See more stick foundation reviews here
See more foundation reviews here
Bottom line: Flesh Firm Thickstick Foundation is a medium coverage foundation that gives a lightly dewy skin-like finish. It holds up well (you may need to touch-up more often when it’s warmer out) and just looks amazing on the skin. If you like a stick foundation with a skin-like look, medium coverage, and a lightly dewy finish, check this out.
If you want to watch my full video demo (don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel and turn on notifications), watch below:
I also got two of the brighter blush shades (the darker your skin, the brighter the blush) and will be quick with my review as they don’t differ much at all from other blush shades I’ve tried and liked. Fever is a bright matte hot coral while Pinch is a matte hot fuchsia. Both shades look amazing on deeper skin and also last throughout the day with little fading.