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.
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.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 5.00% Zinc Oxide 18.60% Inactive Ingredients: Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Decarboxy Carnosine HCl, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer , Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance/Parfum, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, Hexylene Glycol, Hydroxypropylcocoate PEG-8 Dimethicone, Isododecane, Isopentyldiol, Limonene, Linalool, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-37, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Physalis Angulata Extract , Phytic Acid, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water, Zinc Oxide. May contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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