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one step illuminate illuminator
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Price: US$36
Amount: 30ml
Made in U.S.A

Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review

Our Rating
Good: Look cool, illuminates subtly, lightweight and contains skin conditioners
Bad: Changes skin tone color
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

  • A tri-tone serum which illuminates and primes skin. Enriched with various skin nourishing ingredients to even out skin tone and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and flaws.
  • Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Phytantriol, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Lysine, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera leaf Extract, Montmorillonite, Illite, Kaolin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben,May Contain (+/_) Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
  • Pump a small amount to the back of your hand and apply with brush #33 or with fingers to the entire face.
  • Sephora, Stila website or Amazon.

Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review

As long as you’re a visual creature, you’ll have to agree that Stila is rather avant garde when it comes to product packaging. Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator, as well as their other products in their ‘One Step’ series, was one of the few products that caught my eye once I entered Sephora.

This tri-tone swirly whirly product, suspended in clear gel looks like human DNA strands. It  looks impressive in a clear plastic pump bottle. Perhaps Stila One Step Illuminate’s DNA design possesses unassuming hidden powers. Next thing I know, I was forking out $36 at the cashier it despite having no need for another illuminator.

Other than rendering me utterly defenseless, One Step’s hypnotic spirals of Light Gold, Pale Pink and their bestselling eye color, Kitten, stunned me with its subtle illuminating effect. While I appreciate that its iridescence doesn’t chart off the roof, I do find it rather pointless. I don’t feel that it does much other than making my skin look pinker and darker.

Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review 2

Each color supposedly does a different function: Light Gold highlights skin, Pale Pink warms the complexion and Kitten brightens and illuminates. One pump dispenses all three colors at once. Applying the serum into the skin feels pleasant. its formula is as light as soufflé which makes application enjoyable. There is no fragrance so it does smell a little weird, but not repulsive. I actually like skincare products without perfume.

The formula contains their patented Arclay for sebum control. I have oily skin and I wore the One Step Illuminate as a primer as instructed. Oil broke through my foundation about 4 hours after application which is pretty decent but not spectacular.Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review 3

One Step Illuminate has quite a few skin conditioners like vitamin E, A, Hyaluronic acid, minerals- zinc, magnesium, potassium, lysine, ginseng, gingko, chamomile and Japanese green tea extracts.

Another brownie point for this product is that it makes matte foundation less matte. If you’re looking to make your current matte foundation look less flat, perhaps this could be the primer for you. The minuscule sparkles reflect light and brings a little more dimensionality to the face. I do think it helps with warming up the skin tone and making you look more glowy but I have skin tone compatibility issues with this product.

Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review 4

(Left) Without One Step Illuminate                                (Right) With One Step Illuminate

Each pump deposits too much Pale Pink which makes my yellow skin look one or two shades darker with the product on. That means I’ll have to adjust my foundation shade or limit it to areas where I apply my bronzer. I wish I read a review before buying this, as it sure cost me!

If you like looking tan and have a pink skin tone, this product could be a nice all round primer/bronzer. As much as I love the product design, texture and subtle illuminating effect, I don’t think I’ll be buying this illuminating serum again.



Stila One Step Illuminate Illuminator Review , 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. Emily Jane
    February 20, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Ah, it’s a shame this was such a disappointment really! I was intrigued by how it looks in the bottle! Glad I read this before I caved though. I’m definitely too pale for this.

    Emily Jane xo

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