Stila has jumped on the "high definition makeup" bandwagon with this silky liquid foundation. Not only is this supposed to make skin look gorgeous even up close, but it's also said to be foundation, primer, concealer, and powder in one. That claim may make you think this is a time-saving makeup, but the ingredient it contains differ little from most modern foundations. Also, most foundation primers use a blend of silicones, just as One Step Makeup Foundation does, so essentially, Stila is undermining their own product (they sell foundation primer). As for the claim that this foundation also functions as concealer, it doesn't...at least not any better than many other foundations.
Multi-use claims aside, this silicone-rich foundation has a soft, mousse-like texture that feels incredibly silky. It blends smoothly but sets quickly to a soft powder finish, so be sure to blend quickly. The powdery finish will exaggerate even the slightest bit of dry skin, and makes wrinkles around the eye pop, which isn't the best. Those with oily or acne-prone skin will appreciate this foundation the most, but again, if wrinkles are apparent, this isn't the foundation to apply anywhere near the eyes or over expression lines. Coverage is in the light to medium range, which is a big reason why the claim of doubling as a concealer is taking things too far.
Stila's shades are traditionally fantastic, with many neutral options. That's somewhat the case here, as the lighter shades are beautiful but things gradually head south as you get to the darker shades. Medium is slightly peach and should be considered carefully; Avoid Tan and Dark because both are obnoxiously orange-ish.
One more comment: Stila's use of the ionically-charged and "bio-available" minerals" is a joke. The tiny amount of minerals (excluding the silicones, which begin as the mineral silica) cannot "read" skin and self-adjust to accommodate various needs. Antioxidant protection isn't provided, but the silicones in this dry finish formula can help control surface oil and the texture of this foundation can temporarily make pores look smaller, as can lots of foundations based around powdery silicone technology. This foundation earns its stripes because of its value for oily skin, not because of its long list of hokey claims.
Dimethicone, Water, Isododecane, Hydrogenated Didecene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Tribehenin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone, Methicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Kaolin, Malachite Extract, Illite, Montmorillonite, Smithsonite May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
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.