05.31.2012
0
Stila
Hydrating Primer Oil-Free SPF 20
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $34
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:05.31.2012
Jar Packaging:False
pH:
Tested on animals:Yes
Overview

This primer has a lotion-like texture that can leave skin feeling slightly tacky once it absorbs. The finish doesn’t help foundation go on easier; in fact, it makes it harder.

This also contains a potentially drying amount of sodium chloride (salt), which can offset the ability of this formula to hydrate your skin. Top that off with the fact that the included sunscreen ingredients do not offer adequate UVA protection, and you can see why we recommend leaving this one on the shelf. Please see More Info below for details on why UVA protection is important.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • The sunscreen actives don’t provide sufficient protection from UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits.
  • Unpleasant tacky finish hinders foundation application and does little to enhance wear.
  • Falls short in terms of minimizing enlarged pores, unlike many well-formulated primers.
  • Doesn’t make applying makeup any easier.
  • The amount of salt (sodium chloride) has the potential to cause dryness.

More Info:

This primer has a yellowish green hue that seems a little odd at first, but it quickly sheers out as you blend it into your skin. Although the sunscreen actives do provide sun protection, it is mostly from the sun’s UVB rays, not rays in the entire UVA spectrum. To get real anti-aging protection from any SPF-rated product, it must protect your skin from the sun’s entire UVA spectrum, which means it must contain one or more of the following as active ingredients—titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb—to cover the whole UVA spectrum.

Claims
Ingredients
Active: Octinoxate (7%), Oxybenzone (3%), Other: Water , Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Phytantriol, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia Oleifera) Leaf Extract, Lysine, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-4-Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Brand Overview

Stila At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive for a department-store/boutique line; the foundations are remarkable in most respects, especially shade selection and texture; bronzing powder with sunscreen; very good options for blush and eyeshadow; the Brow Polish and Lip Shine are standouts; several attractive, versatile shimmer products; great makeup brushes.

Weaknesses: Convertible Eye Color and Kajal Eye Liner have too many weaknesses; some problematic lip glosses; the lip pencils are average at best. Skin care that means well but contains fragrant irritants.

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, call 866.784.5201 or visit www.stilacosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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