Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm
We’re surprised that a BB cream claiming to be “10-in-1” doesn’t even contain sunscreen as part of its benefit. So what does it do? Let’s breakdown the nine (yes nine, not ten) claims Stila lists on their site:
1. “Luxurious beauty balm glides onto skin and leaves a silky, powdery finish.” This is true!
2. “High-definition formula helps reduce pore size and provides oil and blemish control.” It doesn’t reduce pore size or blemishes, but the matte finish helps minimize oily shine.
3. “Contains innovative micro spheres, which have been shown to hide skin imperfections and reduce wrinkle depth by up to 84%”. This is marketing mumbo jumbo, and the finish is too sheer to hide anything more than minor imperfections.
4. “Features an exclusive complex, which helps reduce redness and skin irritation.” Unfortunately this actually contains irritants such as linalool and fragrance!
5. “Enriched with Tripeptide-37, bamboo and pea extracts, which help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” These ingredients are in too low of a concentration to have any benefit.
6. “Infused with natural, skin-protecting emollients which have been shown to increase anti-oxidant activity by up to 89.7%.” Ignore this unsubstantiated claim.
7. “Uses the smallest particle size of coated pigments for seamless, smooth coverage.” The coverage is indeed seamless and smooth.
8. “Ideal for all skin types and skin tones.” Not true. This is best for normal to oily skin, and the sole peachy-cream shade would only work for medium-light skin tones.
9. “Oil-free, paraben-free and dermatologist tested.” Those are meaningless terms. Oil and parabens aren’t anything to be afraid of, and “dermatologist tested” doesn’t have any bearing on how well this product performs or its safety.
In the end, this is an overhyped BB cream that turns out to be mediocre. The fact that it also contains small amounts of fragrance and other irritating ingredients cancels out any other beneficial ingredients. It's an OK option for normal to oily or combination skin, but your skin deserves better than "OK".
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.