My ideal foundation finish can be summed up in 2 words: dewey + glowing. So obviously when I saw the Stila One Step Illuminate, I had to have it – I mean, how cool are those swirls?
This innovative triple-swirled serum instantly primes, brightens and illuminates the skin. One Step Illuminate improves skin tone, evens out your complexion and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles for complexion perfection!
When I received the actual product in the mail, I was a little disappointed. First of all my swirls were all messed up, and second, the it came in this boring plastic bottle. I had expected more from Stila, especially since most of their packaging are so cute!
But once I got over the disheartening first impression and actually started using the it, it’s actually not bad. The trick is how you use it – because too much of it, by itself, will make you look like a disco ball. Here are the 2 ways I use it:
- Mix 1/3 Stila One Step Illuminate + 2/3 foundation to gives my skin a nice lit-from-within glow
- Use 1/2 pump and dab it on my nose bridge, cheek bones, and forehead as a highlighter
I usually prefer method #1 as I find it makes for a smoother foundation application, and prevents the foundation from settling into any fine lines. Not too sure about its priming abilities though – other than the added dewiness it didn’t really do much else for my skin or foundation.
The Stila One Step Illuminate does have fine shimmer, which is ok with me, but I know some people find that tacky. The clear part of the product supposed to be a serum, but honestly I wouldn’t get your hopes up about it. It does apply smoothly and isn’t drying, so that’s nice. The pump applicator is also a plus, and makes it easy to control how much product you want to dispense. A little goes a long way with this one!
Overall this is a nice illuminator to mix with your foundation if that's your thing. If you're looking for something that doubles as a primer though, keep looking. I don't regret buying the Stila One Step Illuminate, and have been using it regularly as part of my makeup routine. I like it, I just don't love it. So given the price and the value it delivered, I think I'll try out other brightening/illuminating primers before circling back to this one.
$36.00 at Sephora, Macy’s, Beauty.com
- Ingredients analysis at CosDNA
- My Everyday Makeup Look