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.
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.