l-r: NYX Taupe, Stila Shade 01, Benefit Hoola
Before purchasing, I had a look at reviews on MakeupAlley. I didn't know whether to get Shade 01 or Shade 02. In the end, I settled for the lighter shade, as it seemed to be the safer and more obvious option for my skin tone. From reading some comments online, it seems like Stila at some point reformulated the bronzing powder, so the original (and now discontinued) Shade 01 is a different colour to the new Shade 1. Browsing the Stila website, I also noticed the ingredients are different to that listed on the box I received, in part due to the lack of SPF in the new one. It's all a bit confusing.
Some initial comments about the packaging — when I first opened it up, the pan was completely loose as it had separated from the base of the compact. The glue had dried up. My suspicions about it being a really old product were more or less confirmed at that point. I ended up using some sticky tape to adhere the pan to the compact. Not the most effective method, but it did the trick.
The powder itself is distinctly orange. It's nicely but not overly pigmented, soft in texture and easy to blend. I like that it's not chalky or powdery. I can see very faint shimmer particles in the pan, but applied to the skin, it's more or less matte. However, it doesn't quite work as a contouring bronzer because it's too orange. Shade 01 could almost pass for a soft apricot/tangerine blush. I find it works best with a light hand, otherwise at some point, it will appear overly orange and unnatural. Applied to the parts of the face where the sun naturally hits, Stila Sun Bronzing Powder does give a golden, lightly bronzed touch to the skin. I'm looking forward to getting decent wear out of it this coming summer.