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Put This on Your Face: Multisticks

Welcome back to Put This on Your Face. Today, we’re talking multisticks.

If I rush, I can do a full face in under five minutes. I pop on some tinted serum, a little powder, liner, mascara, blush, highlighter, and just a dab of lipstick. Is it perfect? Definitely not. But it works. Unfortunately, it does also take seven products, minimum, which is kind of a lot  — and that doesn’t include moisturizer, primer, or sunscreen. Sometimes I want something easier, something that requires fewer steps. It’s in those moments that I reach for multisticks!

A multistick is a makeup product that can be used on several parts of your face. The same multistick can be used as lipstick, eyeshadow, a cheek color, and in some cases, even eyeliner! Because of their wide range of applications, multisticks tend to be creamier products — a powder formulation might be fine for your lids and cheeks, but it wouldn’t be the most fun for your lips.

Makeup does not need to be hard, and multisticks embody this perspective IMO! They’re easy to use, requiring just a few imprecise swipes and a little blending to get the job done. They’re an excellent first foray into the world of makeup, because they save you (and your wallet) from having to purchase separate products for each part of your face. Thanks to their wide variety of applications, they also save space in your makeup bag!

They’re also a great way to get a monochromatic look with minimal effort! Rather than spending time thinking about which shades of products go well together, you can just use the same shade of a multistick across your face and get a cohesive look in a fraction of the time. Also, they’re kind of fun! They’re often shaped like crayons or come in a stick-y tube shape, so you can draw on your face before blending out the color.

(If none of this has sold you on multisticks, please consider this TikTok in which someone does a Zoom-ready face of makeup in under a minute (!!!) using just a multistick.)


Literally “just give me a minute” #zoommakeup #makeuptutorial #livetinted #huestick #virtualmeeting #grwm #quickmakeup #balance

♬ original sound – Hira Mustafa

Lucky for us, there are a ton of multisticks on the market. The Live Tinted Huestick ($24) started as a color corrector (the brand’s founder, Deepica Mutyala, went viral on YouTube in 2015 for color correcting her under eyes using lipstick, which, by the way, is a multistick moment!) but now comes in a variety of shades that would look equally at home as a shadow and a lipstick.

Milk Makeup’s Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick ($22) is another way to get blush and lipstick knocked out in one go. A quick disclaimer that I didn’t love the product when I tried it a few years ago, but it does have plenty of fans, including some of my family members, for its ability to give a natural flush so YMMV! The Ilia Multi-Stick Cream Blush + Highlighter + Lip Tint ($34) also has a decent shade range, including some more shimmery options if you want to lean into the highlight side of things.

If you’re a Nars Orgasm devotee, you’ll be pleased to know the same shade exists in multistick form. Tucking a Nars The Multiple Cream Blush, Lip and Eye Stick ($39) into your bag is an easy way to ensure that a post-coital flush is always within grasp! For a cheaper alternative, you could try the e.l.f Monochromatic Multi Stick ($5). Reviewers love its staying power, but note that it is on the more shimmery end. There’s also the Burt’s Bees All Aglow Lip & Cheek Stick ($13).

All this being said, if you have a cream lip or cheek product that you really like, and you’ve been magically blessed with unreactive skin, you can technically get the multistick experience by just using small dabs of the product on other parts of your face. However, I would not recommend this approach if your skin is sensitive or if, like me, you break out easily! Many lipsticks are comedogenic (basically, they clog pores) which isn’t as much of a problem if you’re using them on your lips but can present a problem if you’re using them on your cheeks or lids.

If you’re looking for ways to shorten your makeup routine, or to dip your toe into the world of cosmetics, I think multisticks are the way to go! They’re great for tucking into your bag for touch-ups and emergencies, and they’re a TSA-friendly alternative to liquid lip and cheek stains.

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Ashni is a writer, comedian, and farmer's market enthusiast. When they're not writing, they can be found soaking up the sun, trying to make a container garden happen, or reading queer YA.

ashni has written 48 articles for us.

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