Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20 has been reformulated and now supplies sufficient broad spectrum protection. The former, so-called "synthetic" active ingredients have been replaced by gentle mineral actives of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Stila claims this contains "light-diffusing pigments to help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles," and though it does add luminosity, that won't diminish the appearance of wrinkles. In fact, it magnifies them! We wish that wasn't the case, but you can test this for yourself by applying this product to half of your face and apply just a moisturizer to your other half. The wrinkles on the side that has the Stila product on it will look more apparent than the other side of your face.
Another issue is that for a product labeled "moisturizer", the formula's ultra-light matte (in feel) finish is just minimally hydrating. This is completely the wrong product for dry skin, but is OK for normal to combination skin , or even oily skin, though we suspect most with oily skin won't want all the shimmer this product brings.
Only one sheer shade is offered, and it's best for light skin tones. Otherwise, this feels silky and blends readily, offering sheer coverage and a pinkish opalescent shine that can be too much sheen for all over the face. For best results, consider mixing this tinted moisturizer (and again, the term "moisturizer" is a bit misleading) with your regular foundation.
Because this SPF-rated product is regulated in the U.S. as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this may be the standard, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their inactive ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skin care or makeup product.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5% and Zinc Oxide 5%. Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Boron Nitride, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Oleifera (Camilia Oleifera) Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dextrin Palmitate, Dimethicone, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Lysine, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Palmitic Acid, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Phytantriol, Potassium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Dehydroacetate,Sodium Hyaluronate, Stearic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water (Aqua), Zinc Chloride, May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499). (ILN C121004)
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. We’ve 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.
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