Stila's Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer goes a step beyond most lash primers by including tiny, hair-like fibers in the formula that extend lash length. It's not a flawless formula, but you may find the minor issues worth the tradeoff for more dramatic lashes!
Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer comes in a light, sandy brown shade that Stila says is supposed to mirror your natural lash color "for flawless coverage." Obviously, it's not going to match everyone's lashes (nor does it need to since you apply mascara over it), but given that many lash primers are white, at least if you accidentally miss applying mascara over an area where this primer was applied, it won't be as obvious.
You're instructed to apply two to three coats and then allow the formula to dry before applying your mascara. It a takes a minute or so to set, and if you look closely you can see the tiny fibers that have attached themselves to lashes. Not all will adhere to the tips of lashes, but some will, adding a bit more length for the mascara to grab onto. It is worth mentioning that not once did we experience these fibers flaking off.
Next step: Apply mascara to your heart's content. The result? This creamy primer really does boost your mascara's ability to elongate lashes and adds some volume, too. We did several split-face tests to compare and sure enough, the side with the primer had noticeably more dramatic lashes every time!
The tradeoff is that the primer can end up leaving some lashes stuck together, but we noticed this varied a bit depending on which mascara we paired it with. For example, when we paired the primer with its sister product, Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, we noticed it clumped the lashes together more than just wearing that mascara alone. But when we tried the primer together with a different mascara (Maybelline's Lash Sensational) the clumping wasn't an issue. As such, it's hard to say what Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer will do with your particular mascara, but our best guess is that this issue tends to surface less with mascaras that have a more defining brush/formula as opposed to a volumizing/thickening brush/formula.
As for the claim that this primer extends the wear time of your favorite mascara, we didn't find that to be true. Our mascara lasted the same amount of time with or without using Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer.
We're a bit perplexed by why Stila added fragrance to the formula, though fortunately it's not scented enough to detect. In this tiny concentration, it's unlikely to irritate the eyes, but we wish they would have omitted it altogether since fragrance-free is always best, particularly for eye area products. If that minor drawback doesn't hold you back, then Stila's Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer is worth checking out for a lengthening and volumizing pre-mascara boost!
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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