Creamy, dewy, and sheerly pigmented, Ilia's Multi-Stick was famously ahead of the trend when it debuted six shades of the stick back in 2013. After a brief intermission, it's back — and now in more shades and finishes than ever before. For those who missed it the first time around, let me fill you in on the powerhouse product: Featuring a hydrating base of plant-based oils and butters, the Multi-Stick isn't just pretty; it's skin care-meets-makeup. For those with dry or combo skin, a product like this one is a true game-changer for ensuring that your blush looks natural, not patchy. (Not to mention, your skin will instantly feel plump and soft.)
With 12 luminous shades to choose from (including four that are brand-new), I have to admit, I was overwhelmed — in a kid-in-a-candy-store way — when I perused the lineup at a recent event for the launch. I tend to gravitate towards neutral, bronze-y blush shades that warm up my medium-olive skin. After settling on three Multi-Stick shades to take home, I embarked on rediscovering a revamped version of a tried-and-true favorite.
When it comes to highlighter, I tend to tread very lightly. Luminous balms are my formula of choice since they tend to melt into the skin for a more natural finish, especially when compared to a highly-pigmented, pearly powder. Cosmic Dancer, a soft champagne hue with a hint of shimmer, immediately caught my eye. Here, I swiped it basically all over — across lids to add some brightness, the tops of cheekbones, and right on my cupid's bow to add some major glow. The overall effect is subtle (the result is basically “Sweat, but make it cute”), and that's what I love about it. If you're looking for megawatt dazzle factor, this isn't it. But if you're craving a glow that looks decidedly un-makeup-like, look no further.
After a lifetime of avoiding blush, I've embraced cheek tints in full force — especially now that the weather is warming up. Dreamer is a scintillating terracotta rose shade, and legit may be one of the best blush hues I've ever tried. I can picture this looking amazing on all skin tones, but for tan gals like me, it's really sings. I started by dabbing a bit onto my lips for a MLBB (that's beauty-speak for "my lips but better") effect, and it perfectly evened out my pout without looking like I had lipstick on. From there, I added a small amount as a contour shade just underneath my cheekbones and blended it a little towards the center of my face. (Note: I'm not a makeup artist, and my sole "technique" is simply seeing what works with my face shape and general mood that day.) The result here is again, very subtle — but as any blush-lover will tell you, nothing perks up your skin quite like a little strategically-placed cheek tint.
Pinks have never really been my jam since they tend to read cool on skin with golden undertones. Even though Lady Bird looks nearly identical to Dreamer, I promise it's actually not. (The nuances in the shade are apparent in the hand swatch above.) Lady Bird is a neutral rosy hue with a cream finish (I didn't detect any noticeable sparkle), but still worked on my skin thanks to the neutral undertones in the stick. I layered this stuff on top of my existing Dreamer shade, but concentrated it right on the apples of my cheeks. The effect was definitely pinker than my everyday look, but I wasn't mad at it. Lady Bird may not be my new go-to shade, but I'll definitely reprise it if I'm feeling a little flirty.
At $34 each, the Multi-Stick is definitely part of the bougie clean-makeup crew. (Ilia also has a limited-edition Multi-Stick palette, which allows you to sample six shades, including three of the new ones, for $42.) Multi-Stick is pragmatic for its ability to moonlight as eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush all in one, making it a great option for folks like me who like spending five minutes doing an everyday face beat. (Another plus: Many reviewers noted that the dewy finish and creamy texture are ideal for mature skin, as it looks V natural and doesn't settle into fine lines.)
If you're savvy when it comes to clean beauty brands, you may already know Ilia from its fan-fave mascara and overachieving SPF skin tint; compared to those beloved gems, I'd say Multi-Stick is right up there as a must-try Ilia product. The price point is not cheap — but like other Ilia faves, this stuff feels expensive. From wedding season to rooftop szn, I already know that this is going to be getting a lot of play this summer.
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