Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Stila's attempt at beauty balm (also known as BB cream) with sunscreen improves on the non-SPF version by offering the number one anti-aging benefit, that being sunscreen, but all isn't perfect nor are there multiple benefits to be had.
On the plus side, this tinted moisturizer with sunscreen (essentially what this is, although it's not all that moisturizing), provides broad spectrum sun protection with an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen. Considering that the formula contains a whopping 18.6% zinc oxide, we were surprised at how well this blended without feeling thick or looking flat and opaque—all traits a high amount of zinc oxide can have unless carefully formulated.
This also provides light to barely medium coverage with a pigmentation that does a good job of masking or diffusing flaws without totally hiding skin. The long-lasting powdery finish is great for oily skin; any amount of dry areas or wrinkles will be magnified (if not initially, then within hours of application) by this finish, though. Tradeoffs!
The drawbacks include those you can feel and smell. The fragrance this contains is present in an amount that's greater than what we typically see in makeup complexion products, and it can pose a risk of irritation—which might intensify if this is applied around the eyes.
The other drawback is that the powdery, matte finish (which still looks a bit glow-y, rather than flat, because of the shiny mineral pigment mica) begins feeling quite dry and tight shortly after application. That can be OK if you have really oily skin, but if skin is mildly oily or if you have normal to dry areas, this can begin to feel uncomfortable.
All told, with its fairly even mix of pros and cons, this beauty balm, which isn't as "HD" (high-def) as its name implies, is a tough sell. Lastly, the formula doesn't contain anything miraculous or unique for wrinkles, large pores, or breakouts. Do not believe for a moment that this is a time-saving product; you will absolutely still need several key skincare products to reduce signs of aging and breakouts.
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Good coverage with a smooth powdery finish.
- Blends better than expected given the amount of zinc oxide it contains.
- Amount of fragrance poses a risk of irritation, especially if applied around the eyes.
- Claims of "turning back the hands of time" are over the top.
- Only one shade, and it's going to be too peachy for many.
- The strong matte finish (which looks a bit glow-y from mica) can feel drying.
Age is nothing but a number with Stila's Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, a luxurious, priming beauty balm that seemingly turns back the hands of time by visibly improving the look and feel of skin and creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.
Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell has been at the helm of Stila since its inception in 1994, and her creations have an impressive history of blending innovation with eye-catching, fun packaging. Of course, this innovation is not without its price, and you will find some rather ordinary products where the packaging or dispensing method is the only thing that's exciting. Where Lobell struck gold is with her superlative collection of foundations. Weve examined hundreds of makeup lines for this and previous editions of this book, and Stila has had and continues to maintain one of the best collections of truly neutral foundation colors. For anyone confused about what we mean by "neutral tones," you need look no further, though we are pleased that more mainstream lines (including L'Oreal, Revlon, Clinique, and even Cover Girl) are now creating wonderfully neutral foundation colors. Stila's foundations aren't inexpensive, but it's critical to get a foundation that's right for you, and that may mean splurging. Other stellar categories include concealers, blush, eyeshadows, brushes, and much better mascaras than in years past.
Once an independent brand with a first-to-market approach to clever cardboard packaging that was sleek, urban, and utilitarian at the same time, Stila's presence and product lineup and distribution expanded (with mostly favorable results) when it was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999. It was a bit perplexing when Lauder announced in late 2005 that it would sell Stila to "optimize our portfolio of brands" and put more attention (read: financial resources) into their M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown brands (Source: The Rose Sheet, April 17, 2006, page 4). Ironically, of those three brands, Stila has the most compelling collection of products. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are no slouches, but Stila always had a slight edge, at least in the complexion-enhancing categories.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners (naming itself Stila Corporation) bought the brand from Lauder in spring 2006 and has been at the helm since. Lauder's no longer owning Stila led to the brand's hasty exit from department stores, a move that left many shoppers wondering what the heck happened (and, at least in the stores we visited, the sales associates were vague about the line's future). Luckily, Stila still has a home in Sephora stores worldwide, and is randomly distributed in select department stores. That's great news, because there is much to love about this line, and the most recent crop of products proves that Stila has every intention of remaining a competitive player in the compelling game that is the cosmetics industry.
For more information about Stila, visit www.stilacosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.