I Tried the Viral ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick to See If It’s as Magically Blurring as Everyone Claims

Must or a bust?

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I’ve tried my fair share of foundations and was tired of the super dewy finishes or shades that most definitely didn’t match my skin. When I discovered foundation sticks, I found they offered buildable coverage, a mess-free application and a great shade match for a natural makeup look. I’ve been using the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Stick ($36) religiously for a couple of months now, but was intrigued to see if the latest ILIA foundation stick could take first place in my routine.

Since its release in March, the ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick ($48) has become a viral sensation with a 55,000+ waitlist and celebs like Mandy Moore, Emma Stone and Audra McDonald praising the product. While I’m not one to give in to internet hype too much, I decided to try it out for myself. Here’s my honest review.

What Is the ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick?

This beauty hybrid is all about “looking like makeup and acting like skincare.” It aims to conceal, cover and contour with skincare ingredients like a ceramide-peptide complex to strengthen the skin barrier, winged kelp extract to restore luminosity and butterfly lavender extract to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Other key features include long-wear for up to 12 hours, buildable coverage and a soft matte finish. 

How Do You Use the ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick? 

It’s designed to glide easily across the face—minus any gloopy drops or powder fallout like other foundations. All you have to do is twist the tube and swipe it on your skin. You can use your fingers to tap it in or a brush to conceal and contour for more coverage. To contour, the brand suggests going a shade or two deeper than your skin tone to sculpt and highlight your cheeks, nose or jawline. 

My ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick Review


  • lightweight formula
  • offers buildable coverage
  • blurs skin


  • tube can get messy with product after awhile
  • not great for super oily skin
  • pricey


  • Value: 18/20
  • Blendability: 19/20
  • Coverage: 20/20
  • Wear: 18/20
  • Feel: 20/20
  • Total: 95/100

I want to start by saying that I’m bad at color matching, but the ILIA website has a quiz to help find the right shade for you. The collection features 42 shades (the most of any stick foundation currently on the market, FYI), and is broken down by warm, cool and neutral tones. I found two shades that match my complexion very nicely: 19W Beech and 21W Abura. I usually alternate between the two depending on the season, but I also enjoy mixing them together to complement my skin and undertones. 

I usually use a foundation brush to blend it in, but my fingers work just as well when I’m on the go. The creamy texture blended so nicely that I didn’t have to worry about it streaking or piling up on my skin. And let’s talk about that blurring effect. The foundation stick definitely reduced the look of my pores and softened any areas of redness and dark spots. I’m also a light coverage girlie, but this foundation offered buildable coverage without it looking like too many layers on my skin. I didn’t have to use too much product to cover my entire face, which is great considering the $48 price tag. 

Due to the lightweight formula, I forgot I was even wearing foundation. It truly looked and felt like a second skin—shoutout to the ingredients for that. As someone with dry skin, I was hesitant about the “soft natural” finish but was pleasantly surprised that it never got cakey after a long day of wear. The nourishing blend also meant no creasing, dry patches or lines.

Fast Facts

  • Shades: 42
  • Finish: natural matte
  • Coverage: medium

Final Thoughts


I will always stand by my Fenty foundation stick, however, the ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick comes in a very close second. I appreciate the extensive shade range, and its lightweight formula that blends seamlessly with my other products. I also like that it contains skincare ingredients that make my skin look and feel better. All in all, I completely understand the hype now and I suggest grabbing your shade before there’s another waitlist for it. 

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...

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