Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

$10 Palette: Is It a Steal?

Stila Road to Radiance Palette ($10.00) sounds like a good deal, but in all honesty, I (personally!) would rather put $10 towards one stellar full-size product than a medicore palette. Stila misses in this palette by delivering four inferior eyeshadows–not only in pigmentation but the entire formula is nothing like Stila’s individual (nor their Barbie palette) shadows.

They are sheer and don’t build up particularly well. Stila shadows are incredibly soft–so soft, they can kick up some powder–and almost creamy, despite being pressed powder. These are nothing like that. Because Stila is a much higher quality brand than this palette portrays, I think it’s a poor palette overall–even if the price tag is enticing.

The only product I liked in the palette was Hibiscus Convertible Color. It was creamy, blended out nicely, and wore well. In terms of value, the four eyeshadows come to 0.15 oz. while the Convertible Color is 0.09 oz. (full-size is 0.15 oz.). Since I only liked Hibiscus, I’d much rather buy a full-size Convertible Color in its own packaging, particularly since it’ll stay clean of any loose powder unlike in the palette. The only problem? Hibiscus is limited edition and not available in full-size.

  • Hibiscus is a creamy neutral pink blush. It’s very pretty — this is the only item out of the palette that I really like and think lives up to the quality I expect from Stila as a brand. It’s wearable and suitable for both cool and warm skin tones.
  • Southern Belle is a sheer medium pink with silvery-white sheen. This was such a pain to get to swatch appropriately.
  • Snow Bunny is shimmery silver shade with just a tinge of icy pink. This was one of the more pigmented shades, but I still felt it needed some layering.
  • City Chick is a browned burgundy with subtle shimmer. Another shade that applied sheerly and required layering.
  • Valley Girl is a sheer grayish-mauve with silver sparkle. Super, super sheer–I couldn’t really get it to build up.

The packaging is cute, and the palette certainly holds plenty of value from a quantity/price issue, particularly when compared to competing brands (which is how I judge value). It’s a shame the products don’t perform anywhere near Stila’s typical products.

If a brand is going to put out a product, it should represent their brand well. It should not be an inferior product, just so they can price it ridiculously low. Stila has already announced the release of four additional palettes in the series (one each month through November), so I greatly hope the others are better than this one.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I’d suggest trying it out in person, if possible, to see if it’s really worth even $10.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, February 15th, 2010

Stila / Sebastian Professional @ Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson’s Fall 2010 beauty look was inspired by the sexy, superstar actresses in the cowgirl “French” western film, Las Petroleras (1971). Betsey’s own gang of bad girls channel Brigitte Bardot’s lust for adventure, exhibiting unassuming sexiness that’s as captivating as it is liberating.

Makeup How-to

To get this look sexy 60′s look straight from the Betsey Johnson fashion show – apply eye shadow in Chinois all over your lids as a base. Use Espresso on your lids and crease and Ebony to line your upper and lower lash lines. Finish the look with your favorite mascara and Convertible Color in Gerbera on your lips and cheeks.

Hair How-to

For a windblown, cowgirl look that’s playful and sexy, Sebastian Professional lead stylist Thomas Dunkin suggests the following steps:  Generously spray Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray throughout damp hair for workable volume and texture. Blow dry hair and set it with medium and large-sized Velcro rollers for height and body. Once the hair has cooled, remove the rollers and lightly cover hair with Shaper Zero Gravity to create added texture and separation. Create authentic cowgirl flair by separating hair into two loose, tousled pigtails and decorate them with torn fabric or thin leather ties. Finish with Re-Shaper.

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Beautiful, Glittering Eyes with Stila’s Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Stila Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00) is a mysteriously glittering, shimmering palette. When I saw the promotional images for the palette, I was definitely curious — who doesn’t love some glitter? (OK, I know a few of you don’t, but shh!)

I find myself at a loss as to how exactly to describe the texture and feel of these eyeshadows. They feel almost wet, but not really creamy and certainly not powdery. They apply fairly sheerly when used, though they can be layered for a slightly more intense look.

Since it has a bit of a creamy feel (but it’s sooo not a cream shadow!), I patted the Golden Topaz shade all over my lid, just to see what kind of fall out we were looking for. I wasn’t even concerned about staying power, because it wasn’t over a base, so I expected it to crease. Well, it didn’t. It didn’t crease after just having patted it on my lid for over an hour. There was also very, very minimal fall out (like I saw three or four sparkles). Typically, I find myself having to strategically apply foundation over glittery bits and doing all sorts of tricks to make sure my undereye area isn’t more sparkly than my eyelid.

  • Golden Topaz is a soft peachy-brown with champagne shimmer/glitter.
  • Amethyst is a medium dark purple with red undertones and soft golden glitter.
  • Black Diamond is black with silver glitter.
  • Rose Quartz is a light-medium rosy pink with silver glitter.

I was pleasantly surprised at Stila’s newest palette for the spring season. I just wasn’t expecting it to knock my socks off, and I admit I was totally expecting the glitter to fall everywhere. But you know what’s REALLY awesome about this? It looked like my lids were wet. The color really does look like shimmering water. Gorgeous!

Now, I just hope they’ll release another one of these, but with vibrant jewel-tones… say a deep blue, mermaid teal…

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love glitter and have always wanted glitter that looks like reflecting water… you have to check this out!

Availability: Sephora, Stila

See product photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Stila for Spring 2010

Stila’s bringing out several new products for the spring season…

Jewel Eye Shadow Palette ($32.00)

  • Rose Quartz Light pink with silver shimmer
  • Amethyst Dark eggplant with champagne shimmer
  • Black Diamond Black with silver shimmer
  • Golden Topaz Champagne shimmer with silver and gold sparkle

Eye Shadow Trio ($20.00)

A new collection of Eye Shadow Trios in Stila’s award-winning eye shadow formula! Stila’s six new Eye Shadow Trios will contain 3 shades pressed in one that can be filled in any Stila refillable compact.

  • Afterhours
  • Bella
  • Goddess
  • Going Green
  • Rocker
  • Venus

Jewel Lip Glaze Trio ($32.00)

  • Pink Diamond Pink with pink sparkle
  • Amethyst Warm plum with gold sparkle
  • Golden Topaz Amber bronze with pink sparkle

Black Diamond Mascara ($24.00)

This innovative new mascara formula lengthens and adheres perfectly to lashes because of a jelly system and filmogen complex. This formula is unusually soft and plush on the lashes, where the results are long and defined with a comfortable feel. Not only is this mascara paraben free, but it contains genuine Black Diamond Powder as well! With its Diamond powder, Stila’s new mascara creates brilliance, hardness and clarity.

  • Black Shimmer Black infused with silver shimmer
  • Blue Shimmer Black infused with blue shimmer

Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($20.00)

This easy-glide, quick-dry precision liner stays in place until you say when—no smudges, feathering, or running. The thin, marker-like tip is easy to use, even for the beauty beginner, and delivers any look (from a thin line to a bold, dramatic stroke!). It goes on smoothly without skipping, smudging, or pulling, and lasts all day!

  • Black

Lip & Cheek Stain ($24.00)

Things that make you say yum! Stila’s newest crush creates a personalized pink shade your lips and cheeks will crave! This light midtone pink crush with sheer pink pearl contains a new superfruit, Yumberry. Yumberry fruits boast the highest amount of the most potent antioxidants (OPCs, Oligomeric proanthocyanidins). Yumberry is 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C! Yumberry can help slow the degeneration of collagen, thus supporting the natural structure of the skin and slowing premature aging. A must-have Lip & Cheek Stain for a beautiful, natural flush.

  • Yumberry Crush

One Step Makeup Foundation ($44.00)

Once exclusively available with the Makeup Player, One Step Makeup will now be available for purchase individually.

  • Fair, Light, Tone, Medium, Dar, Tan, Warm, and Deep

Availability: January/February 2010. Sephora is showing them on their website now, but everything is “temporarily out of stock” (which is more like it’s code for “coming soon”).

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Cream/Gel Eyeliner Breakdown

Cream/gel eyeliners are usually thick creams (the consistency of a cream, but the thickness of more like a paste… or a lipstick, for a better beauty reference!). They usually require a brush to apply it, and most use these on the upper lash line (they can be irritating on the lower lash line, particularly for those with more sensitive eyes). They’re a very, very popular item with numerous brands having their own take on the cream/gel eyeliner product type.

At the end of the day, they’re all quality cream/gel eyeliners and none are not worth paying for. As with many cosmetic products, some will work better on others–we’re not all going to fall in love with the same formula–but I do think these are all good picks. Personally, I tend to choose by the color/shade rather than the brand! If I had to give you a top three (in alphabetical order), they would be: Bobbi Brown, MAC, and shu uemura.

Here’s a comparison across eight different brands and their cream/gel eyeliners… Continue reading →

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Stila 24kt Lip Gloss: Golden Charm, Precious Coral, Radiant Sunset, Vintage Merlot

Stila Cosmetics 24kt Luxe Lip Gloss Set ($30.00) is an excellent value set with four of the five 24kt Lip Glosses. Funny enough, Stila has since dramatically dropped the prices on their 24kt Lip Glosses to a measly $8 a pop, so you can actually go ahead and get all five of them for $40 instead of four for $30.

The shades included in this holiday set are: Golden Charm (a sheer warm-toned yellow gold with copper and gold shimmer), Precious Coral (a sheer, soft orange-coral with pale orange-gold shimmer), Radiant Sunset (a semi-sheer, fiery orange-red with golden and copper shimmer throughout), and Vintage Merlot (a semi-sheer berry-wine with gold and plum shimmer). The other 24kt Lip Gloss shade available is Brilliant Pink, which is a semi-sheer bright pink.

The 24kt Lip Glosses are non-sticky to slightly tacky, they’re not too thick, and they tend to be sheerer rather than opaque shades. They’re ultra shimmery and have a nice high gloss sheen to them as well. They can be a little gritty after they’ve faded away as some of the glitter hangs on, but it’s something I’ve experienced the majority of glittery glosses.  These also come with a brush-type applicator that requires you to twist the bottom to dispense the product–kind of an ew factor for me, personally.

Bottom Line: They’re fun glosses, and while at $22 a pop (the original price), I hesitated, at $8 each, there’s not much to think about!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: For super shimmery lips that are as affordable as they are bling-bling, Stila’s 24kt Lip Glosses are a steal!

Availability: Stila Cosmetics

See swatchesContinue reading →