Stila Sun SPF 15 Bronzing Powder: Here Comes the Sun

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews


“Here comes the sun, little darling, and I say, it’s all right.”


When I stare lovingly at Stila’s Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15 ($28) compact I always think of Here Comes the Sun, one of my favorite songs by The Beatles. I love the compact’s cheerful design and pretty bronze case. How can something so small put me in such a wonderful mood?

Sun Bronzing Powder isn’t just pretty on the outside, though. This pressed powder delivers a glowy warmth and comes in two shades, codenamed 01 and 02; I’ve used 02, a warm brown matte with just the tiniest bit of sparkle.

I feel like my skin glows after applying Sun Bronzing Powder. It’s a very subtle glow that people may not even notice, but I can. I can really see the difference when I apply the powder shortly after putting on foundation.

Normally, when I apply foundation it evens out my skin color and tone. That’s a good thing, but sometimes foundation creates too much uniformity, aka mannequin skin. Bronzer helps spice up the canvas produced by foundation alone.


Stila Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15

Price: $28
Use: Gives the face and cheeks a sun-kissed glow
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

What I’ve done is swipe Sun Bronzing Powder on the temples of my forehead, down the bridge of my nose and along the tops of my cheeks. To ensure that bronzer doesn’t end up all over my face, I apply it using a blush brush with a small head, like the MAC 116.

Sun Bronzing Powder has a creamy, finely-milled consistency that doesn’t cake or sit on top of my skin. I think it has a bit more flexibility than more sparkly bronzers like Lancome’s Star Bronzer; I can wear it to work without looking too disco queen.

The addition of SPF 15 is a nice touch. Thanks, Stila! I wouldn’t rely on this powder as my sole source of sunscreen, however, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

I’ve been reaching for Sun Bronzer a lot over the past two weeks, and it’s become a staple in my makeup routine to add depth and contour.

Check out Stila Sun Bronzing Powders in person at Sephora stores or online.

El Hub and I head to Hawaii on Friday to visit our family, and I have to start packing today. Terrible things happen when I procrastinate with packing. I have a serious over-packing problem, but this time I’m determined to become SUPER STREAMLINED KAREN!


While in Hawaii I’m going to blog every day and promise to find lots of interesting things to show you. πŸ™‚

I hope you’re having a good day so far. Mondays have a tendency to backfire around 2pm, so be careful out there!

After work I plan to go for a run and then do some core exercises (oh, joy). If you’d care to volunteer to do my sit ups for me, I would gladly take you up on that offer. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 55 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Meaghan says:

    Hi Karen- I love this bronzer- I use it everyday just for that hint of color! It isn’t too dark and doesn’t make you look dirty or orange. Where are you headed to in Hawaii? I just got married on the Big Island 3 months ago. You’ll have to let us know what fun products are coming with you!! I was actually thinking of doing a blog post tag/challenge that asks you to pretend (or in your case not pretend!) you are headed away for a long weekend and to show pictures of the beauty products you are going to bring with you (hair, face, body, etc)- interested in kicking it off? πŸ™‚

    Meaghans last blog post..MAC’s Neo-Sci Fi & Solar Field

  2. TUPRNUT says:

    I am new to bronzers and have been using on by Clinique for the last month or so. I love how they just brighten up my complexion. I may need to check out Stila’s next time I’m at Ulta.

    Anyway, happy packing! I’m a major over-packer, so I feel you, girl! I cannot wait to hear all about Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go.

  3. Megan says:

    Girl… I may have to check this one out. Stila illuminating tinted moisturizer is already one of my everyday products. It’s SPF 15 too.

    BTW I was just reading this today and thinking of you… You’ll have to hit these up and send us pics so we can get jealous. LOL I fly out to Nashville Friday morning for a long weekend…but I am definitely jealous of HI.

    In celebration of the unofficial beginning of summer, we welcome a perennial favorite: the annual selection of America’s best beaches. Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman, Professor and Director of the International Hurricane Center of Florida International University annually ranks America’s ocean beaches based on 50 physical factors. He then lists the most congenial coastlines for our consideration. Who knew there are so many things to deliberate: sand softness, turbidity (don’t ask), beach slope, lifeguards and what about tar balls and jellyfish?

    America’s Best Beaches 2008
    1. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
    2. Hanalei Beach, Kauai,Hawaii
    3. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
    4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
    5. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
    6. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
    7. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
    8. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, North Carolina
    9. Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
    10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

    Girl this house hunt is getting serious. And I am getting nervous… I can be a big girl…I can be a big girl…LOL seriously…it’s scary.

  4. Jessica says:

    Hi Karen,

    Have you checked out A lot of it may be more hardcore than you need for visiting family in Hawaii, but I think it might inspire you. I found it last year after I overpacked (10 unworn dresses!) for ten days in Hong Kong and Singapore. After reading it, I managed five days at my parents’ house with just a carryon messenger bag. Good luck on your packing!

    Jessicas last blog post..Houses

  5. Jessica says:

    Sorry to double post, but I have to disagree with Coronado being one of the best beaches. It’s beautiful, but because of the direction it faces, it is always crazy windy! Like, shake-the-sand off-the-TOP-of-your-towel windy. It is pretty, though. No tar balls, and the lifeguards seem pretty awesome. And lots of times you see shirtless guys from BUDS (the school to become a Navy SEAL) running up the beach. That is a pretty big plus!

    Jessicas last blog post..Houses

  6. Glosslizard says:

    I love the idea of SPF in a bronzer, a little extra coverage in the areas the sun hits most! I’m still devotedly in love with my Guerlain pearly bronzer, but it is LE (boo!) so I may try this out if I run out and can’t get it any more!

  7. Ping. says:

    enjoy your holiday in Hawaii! holiday in Hawaii sound fantastic and awesome hehe happy summer day

  8. Jousy says:

    Hi Karen! This bronzer sounds très cool but I think I’m way too pale to rock it. The last time I tried bronzer – my friend did my makeup for some fancy get-together – I ended up looking like a Paris Hilton wannabe. And that’s saying a lot considering I’m Asian!
    Anyhoo, I was wondering if you could give me some really basic pointers on how to approach bronzers. I’m a total makeup beginner and have NO IDEA where to start! πŸ˜›

    have fun in Hawaii girl! alohaaa πŸ™‚

  9. Amanda says:

    Oh, have a great vacation!!! a trip to Hawaii sounds wonderful.

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Meaghan,

    Congrats on your wedding. I’m going to Oahu, which is where half my family is from, and then to Maui. I’m really looking forward to it. πŸ™‚ Where did you guys get hitched? We looked at a few places on the Big Island before deciding on Oahu.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    It’s amazing how much a lil’ bit of bronzer brightens everything up!

    I over-pack *everything*! Clothes, shoes, products, oy! πŸ™‚ Glad to know I’m not the only one with this affliction.

    While I’m there I’ll be posting lots of pictures so it’ll be like ya’ll are with me. You know I can’t stay away from the blog, LOL!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    Sweet! Thanks for this list. I’ve been to #2, Hanalei Beach. I’ll be in Maui for a few days so maybe I’ll be able to visit Hamoa beach. πŸ™‚

    Have fun this weekend n Nashville. I’ve never been there, but hope to go one day.

    WOW! I am really excited for you. Buying a house is a huge step so I’m sure it’s normal to be nervous. You can totally do it! *sending you strength*

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for the site rec. I need some packing rehab so I’ll visit this before I start tonight. I have a few things that help, like packing cubes, but I can’t help but feel like I need my options, ya know?

    That’s so cool you went to Hong Kong and Singapore. Did you go for work or fun? I love traveling and would love to go there.

    I’m soooo going to Coronado for “the view” next time I’m in San Diego. Woot!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    OH NO! Okay, I’m totally lame because I didn’t realize the Guerlain bronze was LE! *starts to sweat* I better get on that!

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    Thanks girl! You’ll hear from me every day! You know I can’t stay away from the site. πŸ™‚

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Jousy,

    Oh! Hmm, I haven’t seen the lighter version (01) in person, but maybe that might work for you since it’s not as intense as the one I have. Nars’ Laguna might be good for you, too. I’d love to help regarding bronzers. That gives me an excuse to write a post about it! πŸ™‚

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks girlfriend! I’ll be posting lots of fun pics and stuff so hopefully it’ll be like you are on vacay in Hawaii, too!

  18. Lena says:

    This is the only bronzer I have (in shade 1)!

    Have fun on your vacation! I spent part of my teens in HI, so looking fwd to watching it through your eyes! πŸ˜€

  19. lindsay says:

    i think i’m going to try this bronzer after i finish up my benefit hoola..although it might take awhile, cause i won’t be needing it during the summer. i try to avoid the sun as much as i can though during winter months because my skin is so prone to freckles.

    have fun in hawaii! are you excited? i’m going to maui this saturday!

  20. Alexa says:

    i loved hawaii!
    i was there last august and it is gorgeous
    i went to kaui, maui, kona, and the big island
    which island are you staying at?
    youre so lucky!

  21. Glosslizard says:

    I think there’s still plenty of time to get it, it just appeared at recently. Also, they’ve apparently relented and added LE’s to their regular line before, so I have hope! πŸ™‚

  22. Marisol says:

    I don’t envy you trying to pack. I hate it. I always procrastinate.

    Marisols last blog post..Yes, I am obssesed.

  23. Elle says:

    Hey Karen! Long time reader, first time commenter πŸ˜‰ I love Stila Sun also…really does give you a perfect sun-kissed look. I’m also really in love with Tarte’s bronzers (using Park Avenue Princess and the gel push-up in Sunkissed). So pretty!

    Also, I love all of the posts you do with your makeup looks–I have your skintone and sometimes it’s hard for me to figure out what I can get away with apart from the standard everyday colors I use. Keep up the awesome work!! Enjoy your trip!

  24. Heidi says:

    karen, I think you should try Benefit’s Hoola. I’m a pretty fair-skinned Korean girl, but this product works really well with a very light hand. It’s a matt bronzer so it contains no shimmer or glitter. I swear you would like it. go and try it!

  25. Miss QQ says:

    This Stila bronzer looks so pretty and sunny that I would love to buy it, but I’m still using the shu uemura bronzer I bought last year. What am I going to do with it after summer this year? Keep it for the third year? LOL…

  26. Karen B says:

    Stila rocks πŸ™‚ Ooh, now that i think about it: I salvaged my icon shadow (what’s left of it) wohoo!

    Enjoy Hawaii!

    Karen Bs last blog post..Happy Birthday Lisa! ♥

  27. Lehea says:

    I’m so jealous! I won’t be there until August. πŸ™ Have a fun and safe trip! Are you going to try and catch a few waves while you’re there?

  28. Pia says:

    My eyes playing trick on me all the time. At first I thought! OMG, Stila bronzer! For only $15!!! Buy 3! *sighs* I do wish that SPF were actually a dollar sign!

    Pias last blog post..Smokey Eye Tutorial

  29. Aleks says:

    Hey Karen!

    How are you? The graduation is finally over and today I’ll be heading to Stockholm to another graduation party. Will be back on Saturday. The week before the graduation party was insane! Days were filled with cleaning, grocery shopping, we got guests from Sweden and whatnot πŸ˜€ You never guess what happened with the heels: I tried walking in them on Thursday and the heels were acting crazy! I almost fell πŸ˜› Well, on Friday (day before the big day) I bought new shoes with a minimum heel and I could walk in them. LOL. I added some pics on my blog, feel free to check ’em out πŸ™‚

    Will talk to you later! Take care!

    Alekss last blog post..Graduation

  30. Lilan says:

    Hi Karen,

    Awesome tip about applying with a smaller brush! I have yet to get into bronzers. I’ve always been okay with being fair-skinned. But maybe I’d change my mind if I were heading to Hawaii like you are! Hope you have a great time and can’t wait to see what kinds of fun things you find while you’re there πŸ™‚

    Have a safe flight!

    Lilans last blog post..Dior Confessions with Nordstrom Beauty Director Joelle Russo

  31. BeautyTalk says:

    My favorite Bronzer is Cargo’s Big Bronzer in Medium.

    BeautyTalks last blog post..Eyeliner Love: Sephora

  32. Megan says:

    Thanks for the strength… yeah my mom and my sister both keep telling me this is a good decision etc. on and on. But it’s definitely stressful…and makes me second guess myself all the time.

    Nashville is fun. There are musicians everywhere…one of my friends from school lives down there. Last time I went there was a live band playing in the local grocery store. LOL…yes I’m serious. It’s definitely fun though.

    I hope you get to check out the great beaches!

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Lena,

    Oh nice! Where did you live? El Hub spent his formative years on Oahu, too. We’ll be staying with family on the Winward side. πŸ™‚

    I can’t wait to go to snorkeling in Shark’s Cove. I’m going to jump off the rock at Waimea beach (again), but I have to do it when El Hub isn’t looking. πŸ™‚

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    Girl! We’re going to Maui too, but during the later half of the week! What a small world. πŸ™‚

  35. Karen says:

    Hi Alexa,

    Wow, your vacation sounds like it was amazing. You visited so many great places (Kauai is my favorite island, for sure). Did you go on a cruise?

    I’m going to Oahu for the first part of the week and then to Maui. I’ll take lots of pics so that you’ll feel like you’re there, too.

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Whew! *wipes brow* I’ve been busy doing stuff to prepare for the trip so I have yet to make my comprehensive birthday makeup list. The Guerlain bronzer’s on it, fo’ sho!

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Me too, blech. It’s really hard when it comes to body and hair products. The new carry on rules make it even though. I used to carry all of my makeup, skin and hair products with me because I couldn’t bear to check that stuff in (what if my bag got lost and I never saw my pan of MAC Parrot ever again? I’d die). Now I’ll have to rethink my strategy. Blah!

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Elle,

    Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried any of Tarte’s bronzers! That gel one sounds very promising. Do you apply with your fingers or do you use a brush?

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve seen Hoola before but am freaked out about the packaging. It’s cute but I’m worried about it spilling (I’m very, very clumsy). Do you ever have problems traveling with it?

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Miss QQ,

    Hmm… maybe you can put that thing into overdrive this year! If it’s a loose bronzer w/ sparkle, you can add it to your lotion and then apply it on your legs and arms (pretty!).

    I’ve never tried the Shu bronzer. Do you like it/love it?

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    That’s fab! How did you end up saving it? Did you put it in a little powder container?

    One of my pans of Concrete (yes, I have two) fell today and broke into a zillion pieces in the sink. I wanted to cry, because there was no way to rescue it!

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    You know it! It’s summer so it’s gonna be flat, but I don’t really care. I’ll be happy just to be in warm water.

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Pia,

    LOL! I wish! That would be an awesome sale though. I’d buy like, five of ’em!

  44. Jessica says:

    Hi Karen,

    I was traveling for pleasure. It was quite an experience! I was really overwhelmed by HK (my first stop). It was in the summer, so it was crazy hot and humid. I liked Singapore a lot more, but I think I could enjoy HK better if I went back again. I hope you get to go someday!

    Jessicas last blog post..Houses

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Aleks,

    CONGRATS! Sounds like was hectic, but fun, few days. Girl, I’m so glad you practiced in your heels before the party. Seriously! That was one life lesson I had to learn the hard way (another one — never wear pants that you can’t breathe in when you go to an interview).

    Have fun in Stockholm. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

  46. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    I reckon you can still wear bronzer even if you’re fair skinned. It’s probably just a matter of finding the right shade that doesn’t make you look too orange, ya know?

    Thanks for the well wishes… it should be a fun trip. πŸ™‚

    Take care!

  47. Karen says:

    Hi BeautyTalk,

    Haven’t tried that one yet. Thanks for the rec!

  48. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    Aww, girl! You can do this! I can imagine, though, how hard it must be to make a decision. I would be second guessing myself, too. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t, especially because it’s such a big life step. When it comes to big decisions in the past I’ve always noticed that I never quite feel prepared to make them, ya know? I had an interesting talk with an older friend a few years ago, and where we talked about big changes that I was going through at the time. She said one thing that always sticks with me, “Throughout life you’re never going to feel 100% ready to deal with the sh*t that’s thrown at you.” I always think of then whenever I get freaked out about making big choices, which seems to happen much more often now that I’m “technically” a grown up.

    Now I totally want to travel to Nashville. Live bands in grocery stores? I’m there!

  49. Karen says:

    Hi Jessica,

    That sounds like an amazing trip. I can imagine HK being complete and total overload! I would love to go someday, just so I could go all crazy with the weird beauty brands I can’t get here!

    A really good friend of mine studied abroad in Singapore and she really liked it, too.

    So where’s your next trip going to be?

  50. Elle says:

    Hi Karen!

    Nice to ‘meet’ you too! With the Tarte gel blushes, I usually just go with my fingers…I swipe the top of the gel stick with my index fingers a few times and then apply the gel to my cheeks in a circular motion. I haven’t tried them with brushes yet, but I’m thinking a foundation brush would make it look a bit more intense…hmmm… πŸ™‚ They are great though and they last all day! Not to mention the fact they they are going to last me for a loooong time.

  51. Karen B says:

    Aww poor you. If it’s in the sink then there’s not much chance of salvaging.

    I put it into a small container for moisturizer taht I had lying around at home. It’s from a little travel set and it’s too big, but yeah.

    Karen Bs last blog post..Happy Birthday Lisa! ♥

  52. lindsay says:

    haha it is! i’m leaving this friday!

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