Is there a more science-y looking primer than Stila One Step? Seriously, I don’t think so. It’s got that double helix-looking DNA thing swirling around in the bottle, which is kind of cool.
Stila’s moisturizing primer
The clear liquid surrounding the helix is a combination of water and other moisturizing ingredients. The primer contains a mix of vitamins and 15 botanicals, buuuuuut the plant extracts are mostly all down near the bottom of the ingredient list, which is just something to keep in mind.
I’m not completely sold on this primer’s hydrating power… I have combination skin, and I don’t really feel like this primer does much for my dry spots. (Side note: If you want straight-up hydration, check out MAC Natural Radiance.)
Stila One Step Primer: Ingredients
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Phytantriol, Hexylene Glycol, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Dextrin Palmitate, Palmitic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Stearic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Lysine, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Montmorillonite, Illite, Kaolin
In case you don’t know primers from pancakes
Primers are applied after your skin care but before your foundation, and a lot of brands carry a number of different primers designed to help address different skin issues.
Generally, though, they all smooth the skin by filling in your pores and fine lines to make the products that you apply on top of them appear smoother and last longer. Many primers, like this one from Stila, use silicones to fill the dips and valleys on the surface of the skin.
TECHNIQUE TIP: After I apply primer, I give it a couple minutes to completely dry before I layer anything else on top, because when there are wet spots, my foundation or concealer won’t adhere very well to those areas.
I don’t wear primer every day, because I don’t think I need it if I’m just going out to buy a loaf of bread, but when I’m going to be meeting someone for lunch, or taking certain kinds of pics for MBB, then yeah, I’ll make the effort, because primer makes a night-and-day difference in terms of smoothness and wear time, especially on my cheeks.
This primer feels a lot the MAC Natural Radiance Primer to me. It’s lightweight, like a very silky lotion, but isn’t as dry or slippery as hardcore smoothing silicone-based primers, like Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer or Smashbox Photo Finish.
On a scale of 1-10, I’d say it’s about a seven as far as its smoothing prowess, so you do get some pore blurring and a little bit of skin smoothing, but not as much as you get with heavy-duty primers by MUFE and Smashbox.
I’d recommend it for teens, twenty-somethings, and maybe even early 30-something gals or guys who want/need a little skin smoothing and have skin that responds well to silicone-containing products.
One Step is $36 for a 1-ounce bottle. It’s also fragrance-free, colorless and comes with an easy-to-use, precise pump. Stila recommends using a pea-sized amount for a full face.
You can find it at Ulta, Stila and online in the permanent collection.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,