Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation


374 reviews

63% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$$


active ingredient: titanium dioxide 2.30% ingredients: talc, nylon-12, silica, neopentyl glycol diethylhexanoate, dimethicone, glycerin, polyperfluoromethylisopropyl ether, tocopheryl acetate, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) unsaponifiables, lauroyl lysine, petrolatum, zeolite, ptfe, zinc stearate, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, magnesium myristate, lauryl alcohol, pca, laureth-3, tetrasodium edta, bht, sorbic acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, [ /-(may contain) mica, bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163), titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499), ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510), carmine (ci 75470), chromium oxide greens (ci 77288)]

on 9/16/2015 4:55:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I've been using this foundation since 2004! It is the product I was searching which led me to makeupalley :-) I love powder foundations for my oily skin as it is super quick and gives great coverage. This one is my HG, I may stray but always come back to this. My favorite way to apply it is to use a damp beautyblender sponge. I can layer it and it never looks cakey. The illuminating quality keeps the powder from looking too matte or flat. Just beautiful glowing skin. I hope they never discontinue this.

on 9/11/2015 8:17:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Okay, so this powder freaking rocks. It is gorgeous, blurs pores, makes your complexion look smooth as hell despite any bumps you may have, doesn't break my v. sensitive skin out, controls oil quite well, and the colour match is on point (I wear 10 watts and it's actually light enough for me and not yellow or pink, yay!).


What the f*** is up with this whole "spend $40 on a powder cake and then fork out another $20 for the compact", are you kidding me? I would be less pissed off if the compact was high quality. NOPE. It's flimsy plastic, and not even attractive. Paying $20 for an EMPTY COMPACT would be worthwhile if it was actually nice. I've bought drugstore powders for $20 alone that had nicer compacts than this. Douchebags.

I reluctantly bought the compact because the powder is the best I have used, I really love it and it makes my skin look gorgeous. I wear it over Stila stay all day foundation and the finished look is flawless and glowing.

Stila, you're alright. I GUESS.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 7/12/2015 10:36:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Over the course of eight to ten years, I probably bought this product at least 4 or 5 times. It wasn't the only foundation I used and sometimes I used it over a tinted moisturizer so it wasn't the only coverage I had. I would hop around among foundations depending on my needs, the weather, etc., and abandon the ones that didn't work out. I did repurchase this several times and have been thinking of buying it again because I was disappointed by some of my other products recently.

This and MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation were my two faves for about ten years. The main difference between the two is that Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation (IPF) has less coverage than Studio Fix and to me the finish has always felt a little drier. I loved it for a quick blot over a tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation and to add a little extra coverage. It has more pigment than a setting powder and in my opinion it provides more coverage than Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation, but less coverage than Chantecaille's Powder Foundation.


Great for oily skin. I always had fewer breakouts with this and MAC Blot Powder than with other powders.

My color is 10 Watts and it blends imperceptibly. Lovely color match. I love ivory shades that are actually neutral and look like a flesh tone found in nature, thank you! Stila's 10 Watts is one of the few beautiful pale shades available. Most brands get it wrong by going heavily pink, which makes people look sick. (I could almost wear 20 watts but if I'm using it over a liquid foundation, 20 watts lays down too much color.)

Handy to carry in my bag.

Doesn't cake and never looks heavy

Has some SPF benefit


I don't like relying on this as my only foundation. I actually like it best over a light coverage liquid foundation or a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. This is sheer.

Having to buy the refillable compact and powder cake separately can be annoying. You do save money on the refill cake but it's difficult to get the old one out (sticky glue) and put the new one in.

The plastic compact is okay, but not particularly attractive (Kat Von D's powder compact IS attractive and hefty), and if Stila wants to encourage recycling by having the customer buy a refillable compact, Stila should make the refillable compact 1) stronger, to withstand several uses; 2) prettier, so it feels like it's worth hanging onto; and 3) magnetic, so it's not such a pain to replace the old pan with the new pan. If the compact were sturdier and beautiful, and easier to refill, I think there would be fewer complaints about it.

When you buy the compact and powder cake together it's $42 ($28 USD for the powder and $14 for the refillable compact). So it's not the most expensive powder foundation out there, but definitely not cheap either.

I always felt that I needed to wear more sunscreen than this for adequate UV protection.

I wish the Stila and MAC brands were not owned by Estee Lauder, which has a history of gobbling up cool indie companies and then ruining them with corporate policies that aren't green or cruelty free.


Definitely one of the best powder foundations I've bought, or I wouldn't have bought it so many times. I would and most likely will buy it again as it works nicely as a setting powder and sheer coverage foundation, and the colors are realistic flesh tones. Stila has kept this around since the '90s because it has continued to be a favorite and a top seller.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/4/2015 12:58:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

After using this for about six months I realized that this powder was causing me to break out around my chin and cheeks. It may be the talc in the product. I really am not sure. I think it has adds great coverage when used in tandem with a foundation or your choice or the Stila Stay All Day Foundation as a setting powder, otherwise it is too sheer for those looking for more coverage. It could work well for individuals with oily or combination skin as it is moisturizing and doesn't magnify dry areas. If you have sensitive, fair, or acne-prone skin try something else just to be safe or try this product out in one small area before adding to your entire face. I should have done that instead of diving right in and using it. I dislike giving bad reviews because it wasn't a bad product it just didn't work for me.

on 11/10/2013 12:08:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I bought a refill of this powder on sale and am so glad I did! Very silky texture and light to medium coverage. Covers small blemishes and uneven skin tone nicely and I sometimes use it over liquid foundation for fuller coverage

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 8/12/2013 9:11:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm currently using Bobbi Brown long wear even finish compact foundation, the new version of the oil free that was discontinued but damn it was bloody expensive and the new version was sooo natural that i didnt see any difference when i put it on.Then a fren recommended this, and why not give it a try.
The powder matched my skintone watts #60, C4. it was beautiful when i put it on, very natural...second to bobbi brown but it oxisidized after 1hour!! It turn slightly orange...
I think i stick to BB... skintone match, doesnt oxidise & make me look so natural...not made up. This powder is best for dry or normal skin. otherwise its good.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/4/2013 2:41:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I really wanted to like this powder because it gives beautiful finish and that glowy look that i want.....i agree with most of you of this being just a pressed powder with light/ medium coverage which i was looking for......but then after an hour or two my face became very dehydrated with it..........i think maybe it's the corn starch that sucks up every bit of oil on my face.........not sure but it doesn't work out for me.......

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/4/2012 2:59:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I bought this on sale for under $4.00, so it's not such a loss. I'm not buying this as a powder foundation. Setting powder, yes. Blotting powder, maybe. Foundation powder? No. I used it wet, dry, damp. Kabuki brush, wedge sponge, foundation brush. The coverage is just not there. This is a hard powder. It cannot stand up to MAC's Studio Fix.

I don't own very many Stila products, but imo these are products that are made for a specific age group, maybe 15-24. This market keeps getting younger and younger and their products truly reflect this. I'm middle aged which means I need a foundation that at the very least delivers the illumination it claims to contain. There is nothing illuminating about this product.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 11/4/2012 1:46:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

This powder was too sheer for my liking. I was looking for something that could be work by itself or over foundation. It was just wayyy to sheer to wear by itself. It is "luminous" though instead of being super matte which I did like a lot. Also, I really hate how I had to buy it in the plastic packaging. Not cute. Overall it's not that bad, just not what I was looking for. The finish is really pretty and has a slight sheen to it (nothing obvious..just kind of glowy). I have found my HG powder's Fresh Face Luster. Sort of like the amped up version of Stila's illuminating powder. I would recommend the Fresh powder of the Stila's

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/4/2012 12:22:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I use this powder to set my liquid foundation and to touch up throughout the day. For this purpose, it's amazing. I love the finish, it's definitely the best powder I've used!

In terms of using it as a foundation, it's far too sheer and doesn't stay on bare skin at all. Only occasionally have I managed to apply enough to even me out and keep me looking natural but "better", but it doesn't last long and wears off very quickly. Even using the sponge doesn't really help.

I haven't bothered to purchase the compact, as the plastic case does the job and it doesn't seem worth the money!

I'll continue to use it, as it works well on top of my NARS Sheer Glow and MAC Pro Longwear Foundation (I use 70 Watt and it works perfectly for NARS Sheer Glow Syracuse and MAC Pro Longwear NC42), but I'm still on the hunt for a good powder foundation to wear on its own.

4 lippies for the beautiful, soft finish I get. I just wish it lasted longer on my face!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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