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.


See more photos & swatches!

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

Please note that all eyeshadow swatches layered 2-3 times.

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Hibiscus (heavily / blended), Southern Belle (NC20 skin)

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Snow Bunny, City Chick, Valley Girl (NC20 skin)

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Hibiscus (heavily/blended), Southern Belle, Snow Bunny, City Chick (NC/NW15 skin)

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Snow Bunny, City Chick, Valley Girl (NC/NW15 skin)

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

Stila Road to Radiance Palette
Stila Road to Radiance Palette

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72 thoughts on “Stila Road to Radiance Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Valerie

    Christine, you are a lifesaver. FIVE minutes ago I noticed this palette on and I was so tempted by the price tag that I almost bought it! Thanks for saving me from flushing $10 down the toilet.

    • Yeah, that’s how I felt. Sure, $10 is a steal – but really, what are you getting? This is totally something I would have bought, tried, been disappointed with, and never used again. $10 is only a steal because you think/feel like you’re going to get Stila products at that price tag, but I really don’t think you get Stila quality overall :(

  2. Love Peace and MAC

    I bought this a couple of weeks ago and regret it. Your right the colors are not buildable and just wrong on me(nc25). I also bought the $10 trio which was super frosty and had minimal pigmentation. Hopefully these don’t speak for all of their new products. I miss the old Stila.

    • I haven’t tried much from Stila lately (not in the past 2-3 months), but prior to then, it was pretty good based on the products I’d tried!

  3. Jami

    Wow. I was getting ready to order it today along with the stila trio that has kitten in it cuz I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time. I’m so glad I looked at your review first! Which isn’t anything new. Your website is the first one I look up in the morning!! Tehe. :) Thanks for letting us know before we waist our money!! :)

  4. daphne

    I have to admit, Christine, based on the descriptions I thought the swatches would be way worse. They don’t look bad to me at all! I’m going to check it out in person. And a full-size convertible color is $25, so even just for that item, $10 is a good deal 😉

    • I layered the crap out of them :)

      • daphne

        Ohh okay! I was like…but Southern Belle and City Chick look really pretty? What’s she on about?

        I really like that convertible color shade though. If only it were easy to remove it from the palette and put it in its own compact or something! 😛

        • Haha, yeah. Hibiscus is really pretty, but I’m not a huge fan of cream products mixed with powder ones since you inevitably get powder in it!

  5. Annoula

    I have to agree with your review! I was really disappointed by the pigmentation of the eyeshadows… in no way do they compare to they compare to the other shadows stila has in its line up…. Only Hibiscus may make the palette worth purchasing

  6. geeez!!! glad you posted this! save me ten bucks!

  7. peachgirl

    They look fine to me…but I’m paler so I’m guessing that’s why the pinks don’t come out so nice for you. Also I think for $10…what can you really expect? The palettes are cute, a great way for beginners to get a taste of many shades without breaking the bank.

    • I expect that if Stila puts out a product, it should live up to Stila’s quality level. No matter the price they choose – if I’m going to take a chance and get below average pigmentation, I might as well buy drugstore or put my $10 towards a brand I know can be affordable and quality (e.g. NYX or Milani).

  8. Zenaida

    Aww I’m sad you didn’t like it. Mostly cause I love it, but I guess that’s preference. I know it’s not up to par with Stila’s other shadows, but I’m just looking at it as you get what you pay for and I still feel there is more than just ten dollars worth.

    And you should totally tell Stila to make Hibiscus permenant!!!

    • I don’t know – I guess to me it reflects poorly on the brand and is more of a disappointment, because I shouldn’t have to lower my standards of quality for a brand – they’re the ones who set the price. It’s not like Stila Jr. or Stila Girls where I know it’s not quite the same!

    • Katie

      I also love this product and will def collect all 5 of them! These colors look great on me (NC25 and I have brown eyes) I thought the eye shadows were just fine and they felt the same to me as my other stila eye shadows. I also agree they should make the convertible color perm!

      • Katie

        P.s. I have used this product many times and haven’t had any problems with the eye shadows mixing in with the blush…but thats just my two cents!

  9. steph

    I’ve been really enjoying this palette and was surprised it got such a bad review. Like you said the convertible color is beautiful and such a good deal if you don’t want to spend $25 on the full size, especially because it takes only a teeny amount to do both cheeks so most people would never use this up. But I actually like the shadows. I’m ok with shadows not being so crazy pigmented…I find these to be at least as pigmented as the bobbi brown and laura mercier shadows I have, and they give a soft, feminine and pretty look with plenty of color for that sort of look. I’ve been thinking about getting the new Paris palette even though of course I don’t need it…I hope you’ll review that one soon! Curious to hear your thoughts on it, esp the convertible color :)

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying yours, Steph! :)

    • Erin M

      I am with Steph. I am glad that I purchased mine. I think that the colors are beautiful together and show up well on my skin. Use MAC almost everyday, but planning on popping this in my bag for an upcoming vacation along with my MAC palettes.

  10. Jincy

    I was wondering about this… glad I didn’t pick it up!

  11. at first I thought that the swatches turned out nice…but then when I read your review, I realized you stated ‘layering’ maybe times :S
    I’m tempted to get it for the convertible colour, but may be i will wait for the others~

  12. LNU

    I actually thought these were a great deal, its just the colors didn’t appeal to me! Thank goodness I didn’t pick up any for gifting!

  13. This is disappointing. Seems like so many new launches from Stila have been hit-or-miss since the brand ran into trouble a couple of years ago. Snow Bunny looks pretty, but the others – Southern Belle especially – are definitely a miss. And…is it just me, or do you think the slick-looking girl on the packaging would NEVER wear a palette of colors like this? She needs more of a “Sloan from Entourage” look.

    • They’ve put out some great products since then, but this definitely seems more like a, “HEY! Stila for $10 – what a steal!” and then it’s more like “Tricked ya, it’s nothing like Stila!”

  14. Rae

    Aww :( That really sucks, because Hibiscus is quite pretty! To be honest, it kind of pisses me off that Stila would do something like this — just because you’re putting out a cheaper palette doesn’t mean you can cut the quality. I mean, the Naked palette is CRAZY cheap for the amount of product you’re getting, but UD hasn’t changed the formulas for any of those shades!


    • EXACTLY. It’s only a STEAL because we think/feel we’re getting Stila quality. The texture/feel of the shadows is soooo far from Stila’s eyeshadows… I would not have thought they were the same brand at all.

  15. Kai

    I was originally tempted to buy this because the description uses the name ‘Kylie’ for the girl who’s on the road, which is my name! I am really pale, though, and I think the colors may work a little better on me?
    I don’t know, but I really like the hibiscus convertible color, and since I’ve never used a cream product.
    I’m not sure I’ll still try it, but I thank you very much for giving such honest reviews!

  16. It is too bad you don’t get Stila quality in this palette. I think the same can be said of the mini Too Faced palettes also. I wish manufacturers didn’t skimp on their smaller value palettes.

  17. meghan

    I totally agree!
    For 10 bucks I would much rather buy one of the mini BeneFit kits. It is the same product in much smaller jars. Sometimes I wonder if companies put out these inferior palettes because they need to get rid of low demand products.

    • It’s such a shame — because I think people who aren’t more familiar with the Stila brand will go, “Wow… this is what Stila is about?” and may be unlikely to purchase in the future.

  18. Tekoa

    *applies the FAIL stamp*

  19. lauralikesmakeup

    That’s too bad! Their regular line eyeshadows are among the best on the market (putting MAC and NARS to shame 9/10 times). Going to skip this palette. Thanks for the review, Christine!

  20. egon

    Thanks 4 Ur honest review =)

  21. Connie

    I have to agree with you. The shadows were really disappointing. I’ve had worse from drugstore products but was expecting much more from Stila. I’m such a Stila fiend that I’ll probably end up collecting the rest of the palettes though.

  22. ali

    i wouldnt buy this primarily because of the name of it.. “road to radiance”? that just sounds stupid

  23. Bernice

    Hey Christine,
    I was thinking about it buying because I thought it would be a nice steal but in your review, you’re right. The quality doesn’t at all justify the price and even some drugstore make-up priced at $10 delivers a lot more. Thank you for the review 😀 Certainly has helped 😀

  24. marley

    such a pretty pallete!

  25. Can you do a review on the Laura Mercier Bonne Mine creme palette?

  26. Beth

    And I just bought this and the Paris palette. I’ll have to try them out, of course, but if they are not workable, back they will go.

  27. Laia

    I wouldn’t take ANYTHING of this palette. I would feel attracted by Hibiscus but since my skin is combination/oily (a few blemishes too) and cream blushes don’t look good on me… I’ll pass on that one!

  28. Leticia

    Thank you for saving me $10! I find stila’s palette set never live up to the stila name, but the individual products (esp eye shadow) are great quality.

  29. Dia

    Oh snap! This is not good news, since I just got this palette. The pictures I had seen didn’t show City Chick as a brown e/s, so that was a disappointment right off the bat. So it stinks that the e/ses are super underwhelming in quality. Still, I did really want to check out the Hibiscus CC, since I love the Lilium/Gerbera CC I have. I just hope Hibiscus won’t be more prone to drying out since this palette seems less airtight than the usual CC containers.

    I agree with you regarding quality, Christine. Everyone loves a bargain, but why bother with inferior products? Why alienate some of the people who purchase these products? And wasn’t Stila supposed to start a drugstore line with cheaper products? So many questions, not enough answers!

    • I haven’t heard anything about Stila doing a drugstore line, but this could have been perfect for it. Not that I’d be thrilled with it, then, either, but LOL.

  30. Pearl

    I already got mine and I totally agree with you about the eye shadow pigmentation. It was such a disappointment. I owned other Stila shadows and this palette is so much inferior in quality. Not to mention the tiny amount of shadow in this palette. I mainly wanted this palette for the shadows as I can’t use the convertible color (no cream blush allowed on my acne prone skin). Definitely not worth $10. I initially planned to collect 5 palettes in this collection but now I’ve changed my mind.

  31. inaya

    I wouldpay $10 for the blush alone

  32. I’m sure I’m not alone but I’m so surprised at the D grade! I was going to buy this but decided pinky/purpley/lavender shades were NOT my thing right now and thank goodness I thought that because based on your review, this isn’t so great. =( The convertible color looks great but eyeshadows don’t stand out. Stila’s releasing a bunch more (one every month) and they just released a new one so I wonder if those will be better quality.

  33. Jenn

    Hibiscus looks like Ladyblush or Posey, don’t you think?

  34. Mary

    That’s disappointing! At least the Hibiscus CC looks nice.

  35. Purrcey

    Thank you for the honest review. I sounded like such a good idea and I ordered a couple of days ago. :(

  36. ak

    It looks like cheap Wal Mart make up from somewhere, it doesn’t even look like Revlon, L’Oreal, or Cover Girl or anything like that.

  37. Marcela

    The only thing I liked about this palette was the phrase they used. I really liked it…LOL Maybe the next palettes will be of better quality.

  38. Emma


    Have you seen Urban Decay’s Face Case? It’s $14.. but the quality I heard is WAYYYY better.

  39. Shannon

    LOL! I actually love this palette! Personally i’m not as in love with Stila’s single shadows due to that “so soft it kicks up powder” part. I’ve had fall out issues and application can be a pain for some of the darker shades. Too pigmented, and way harder to control.

    For this palette i was actually really happy that it didn’t kick up so much powder, in particular w/ the CC with it. I didn’t get any powder in the CC even though I wasn’t really being that careful. Colors took a bit more layering, but it also gives me a more subtle look, and allows me to build up on it instead of going from naked eye to looking like a clown. I had that issue with some of the Stila black shade e/s singles, and also from my Eurydice e/s duo from NARS (and a shade from SB).

    i guess diff people prefer diff things, and this one’s def more my thing. XD

  40. Interesting reading the comments on this palette.
    Seems like Stila may have compromised on their usual quality to bring out a more mass market product/price point.

    Jayne x

  41. Becca

    This was my first ever Stila product and I was sadly disappointed; however after reading your review of the e/s being nothing like regular Stila quality I’ll have to try something else.

    In regards to Hibiscus, I absolutely LOVE this color…any recommendations on dupes for it? It’s so beautiful & I can’t seem to find it in a full size (le?) thanks!!!


  42. Corliss

    I love it. I think it’s great for younger people just starting out and trying to build a makeup collection to fit their budget. 4 eyeshadows and a blush to start with for only $10.00 you can’t beat that. It’s also handy dandy to through in your purse if you didn’t put any makeup on before leaving the house and suddenly you need to look good at a moment’s notice like sudden after work date. I like them and I buy them every time they come out.

  43. I actually LOVE this palette. I use the Hibiscus everyday in some way. I have had no problem with the eyeshadows either…They’re perfect for daytime, and if I want to amp it up for nighttime I just add some Fix+ to my shadow brushes. I wish I could find a dupe for Hibiscus because it’s the perfect everyday lip shade for me.