Stila Stay all Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm - review and swatches


I've had this product for ages but it's still one of my newer bases, which is why it's not on daily rotation and why it's not on my 'time to use up' list yet.

However this summer I've been reaching for it often because it's a great pair for my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, a product that I unfortunately don't love as much as I expected to. The Laura Mercier product (reviewed here) is too sheer for me - even though I prefer lighter coverage - and it doesn't build well, so I need to put something beneath it that evens out my complexion and this product is it. Plus it adds an extra dose of sun protection, which is a must at any time of year but even more so when the sun's out.

I must say, I'm yet to come across a Stila BB/CC cream that doesn't work for me, so looks like I know which counter to head for once I've knocked off a few of the bases I have open!

Stila claims/product details:
  • This multitasking beauty balm is designed to add radiance to your complexion while hydrating and priming the skin
  • Has a radiant, light-diffusing formula
  • Helps correct and even out skin  
  • Lightweight and oil-free, also helps reduce pore size and control oil throughout the day
  • A luxurious formula and silky finish will help you create your best possible canvas for makeup application
  • Enriched with broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Oil-free, paraben-free, dermatologist tested and ideal for all skin types 
  • RRP $56 AUD for 40ml, but do shop around

There's a swatch in direct sunlight, unblended on the left and blended out on the right:

And in natural light:

Blended out, direct sunlight (you can see that it does add a glow):

And in natural light (you can barely see it on me, but it does even things out):

My bare face for reference:

Wearing a thin layer of product, direct sunlight:

Natural light:

Thankfully it doesn't sit in pores around the hairline, as so many products do on me:

One more for good measure (it does add a nice glow to my dry skin : )):


This is a slightly odd product in that I've never used anything like it before, and it somehow evens out my complexion without adding colour. I've no idea how it works but it does.

I've seen it on paler lasses and it does warm up their complexions a bit, but on my medium skin it fades into nothing - in a good way - and it's the kind of product I'd be happy to wear if I don't want to look like I've got anything on.

It has a slightly sweet, inoffensive scent and it's medium-thick in consistency when you squeeze it out, but when applied to the face I find it thicker than the base products I'm used to and it takes a little more work to spread out and rub in (maybe due to the high SPF). That's not a bad thing and it does absorb well, but I thought it was worth mentioning the product's texture so you know what to expect.

It's a peachy beige colour and it does have a brightening effect, and it adds a radiance to the skin that doesn't involve flecks of glitter (thank god). If you're fairer than I am I think the colour will show up, but for medium skintones and darker you may find that the colour fades into nothing, as it does on me, but it should nevertheless even out the skin.

I haven't noticed whether it controls oil throughout the day, but my skin is dry so there's not a lot of visible oil-production going on anyway.

In terms of claims: yes it adds radiance and hydrates the skin; it does work well as a priming product under makeup, yes it diffuses light, reduces redness and corrects/evens the skin; and yes it's lightweight and oil-free. I honestly haven't noticed whether it reduces pore size, but it does make my skin look better overall so I think the radiance it adds does do something in terms of making imperfections less obvious.

Plus it has a decent dose of sun protection, which is something I look for in a base because I don't always want to wear a dedicated sunscreen, and thankfully it doesn't leave a greasy residue so you might be ok with it if your skin is oily.

Another thing I've used it for is to lighten other base products a little, although not everyone will be able to use it for this purpose because it will add colour for paler skintones.

I'm happy to wear this on its own, but normally I apply it under another tinted moisturiser or BB/CC cream, so I don't need to add as much of the top layer to get the coverage I want, since this product does all the hard work for me.

My skin just looks healthy and glowy when I wear this, which is exactly what I'm looking for in my base since I don't like products that give too much coverage - I just want something that looks like skin.

In sum, I can't fault this product and I would buy it again. The only bad thing is that it's quite expensive for what it is, but it delivers where many products don't so I can overlook the price.

Love this one.

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