Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) includes three highlighters that seem to be a hybrid between cream and powder. The formula is supposed to have “ultra-fine, light-diffusing particles” that make the skin look “naturally luminous.” The formula is very interesting, because to the touch, it is one of the smoothest powders I’ve ever come across–it feels so smooth that there’s almost a cooling, wet feel to the powder, but it is definitely a powder product. However, I noticed that airy, less dense highlighting brushes tended to have poor pick up with the product, whereas more traditional blush brushes or flatter highlighter brushes (I had no trouble using softer bristles like squirrel with it, but the shape mattered).

Transcendence is a light, pinky lavender with cool undertones and an icy, opal shimmer. This was the sheerer shade of the three, with semi-sheer coverage that was buildable to–at most–semi-opaque coverage when packed on. On me, I found it was more noticeable as I moved, as the undertone was more contrasting against my warmer undertones, but it was subtle when I looked straight on. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading a bit.

Kitten is a medium, coppery bronze with warm, orange undertones and soft pink and light copper shimmer. It had medium, buildable coverage paired with an incredibly smooth texture. It had a very lightweight feel on the skin, and despite it having a higher shine finish, it did not emphasize my pores or my skin’s natural texture. On my skin tone, it did had noticeable warmth and a bit of color, so I imagine it will appear more as a highlighting blush/bronzer on fairer skin tones and work well on deeper complexions as a truer highlighter. It lasted well for eight hours on me.

Bronze is a medium, golden copper with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a sparkling, metallic sheen. It had medium, buildable coverage that had visible color, warmth, and shine on my skin tone. The texture was smooth, almost wet in feel, and it was blendable on the skin, but more feathery brushes did not pick up product well. This one also had a few noticeable bits of actual sparkle, not just fine shimmer, on the skin. The color wore well for eight hours before fading noticeably.

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Transcendence Highlighter
Stila Transcendence Highlighter

Stila Transcendence Highlighter
Stila Transcendence Highlighter

Stila Transcendence Highlighter
Stila Transcendence Highlighter

Stila Kitten Highlighter
Stila Kitten Highlighter

Stila Kitten Highlighter
Stila Kitten Highlighter

Stila Kitten Highlighter
Stila Kitten Highlighter

Stila Bronze Highlighter
Stila Bronze Highlighter

Stila Bronze Highlighter
Stila Bronze Highlighter

Stila Bronze Highlighter
Stila Bronze Highlighter

Makeup Look
On face:
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Tarte Bronze Casting Eyeshadow
  • Tarte Monochrome Eyeshadow
  • Tarte Selfie Portrait Eyeshadow
  • Tarte Van Gogh With It Eyeshadow
  • Tarte I Louvre It Eyeshadow
  • Tarte One Too Manet Eyeshadow
  • Sephora Surfer Babe Contour Eye Pencil
  • Tarte First Impressionism Eyeshadow
On lips:
  • Bite Beauty Fig Amuse Bouche Lipstick

38 Comments

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kjh Avatar

The big plus on this one, is that you get a wardrobe in one palette. They are so highly differentiated. But I think many will have the same prob I had with the Nars summer di palette. The soft brushes won’t work, at least at first. You will need to start with something stiffer or more dense. If you’re not informed about the textural difference, you might believe this is a dud, when actually it could fill a lot of holes-in-stash and become a go to palette.

Ginny Avatar

Hmmm for me the pink is too sheer, and the other two are too dark. I love Kitten e/s so I thought this might be up my alley. This is way darker than the eyeshadow, though.

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh goodness, when I swatched this in store at the Sephora VIB appreciation event, I thought it was a cream! Sorry if I mislead anybody. I guess the product was so smooth and velvety, it felt like a cream to me. With that said, I think I must’ve got a bad batch because I wasn’t that impressed, thought it was ok, but not great. I liked Bronze, thought it was the prettiest, most complex, and best quality of the 3, but I had trouble picking up pigment from the other two, and I was rubbing the pans over and over again. Another blogger also mentioned problems picking up pigment, so I wonder if there are batch QC issues? But Transcendence had a chalky white base and uneven shimmer, and Kitten was the most shimmery but felt like the base could have more pigment. Glad this one scored decently. IDK, maybe buy from a retailer with easy returns in case you get a dud batch. Christine, I noticed 2 powders scored B+ and 1 scored B, but the overall score is still B. Is that correct?

Christine Avatar

Yes, the rating is correct. If you look at the percentages, the B is a low B, and the B+s are low B+s. Letters are a range, not a specific number, so trying to average by letter grade alone can be inaccurate.

These are the averages of the three products, which make up the palette as a whole scores: 8.5 8.0 9.0 8.5 4.5

Katherine T. Avatar

It got you too huh? 😉 Yeah, I remembering swiping and poking at the pans for the longest time, trying to figure out if it was a cream or powder, but I think you’re right, it’s a hybrid cream-powder, very interesting formula.

Roseanna Avatar

These have the same consistency as the Maybelline bouncy blushes, are you sure they’re powder? When I dug my fingernail into one of the colors in my palette, it was definitely not a regular powder. Maybe some kind of hybrid?

Christine Avatar

They do seem like a cream-powder hybrid – they had more of a powdery dry down than cream. The Maybelline blushes are a lot more cream like to me – they have more slip/spring, but I went back and played around and dug at mine, and I saw some areas that would indent (like a really dense cream – well, maybe more like a spongy cream) but some areas (particularly the top most layer) would come off more like a powder!

Thank you for making me take a second look! I feel terrible that I am so stupid and did not realize they were a true hybrid. I’m definitely reconsidering my career choice now – unbelievable and deeply ashamed.

Cynthia B. Avatar

Oh no Christine, don’t say that! Your reviews are the best around, and when it comes to buying products sight-unseen online, there is no one I trust more than you. And I’ve never been let down or felt mislead by your reviews. Thank you for all you do! 🙂

Christine Avatar

Well, I just did in this review, so I apologize for doing so. I can’t believe that touching, feeling, CONSIDERING IT in the first place (“Wow, this feels like a cream, but no, it’s a powder!”) How I can be so blind and dumb, it’s amazing!

Thank you for your trust in spite of making such an egregious mistake! And I very much appreciate you letting me know. I will berate myself for the rest of the day (and deservedly so), but I will get over it by next week 🙂

Katherine T. Avatar

Christine, don’t feel bad! I was rubbing, swiping, and poking those pans for a solid 5 minutes, trying to figure out if it was powder or cream, and I still got it wrong, and I’m definitely not new to makeup either. It’s probably a combo of both. But don’t feel bad, it’s not the end of the world here 🙂

LipstickPup Avatar

With the current “highlight on fleek” craze this year, I have bought so many palettes and compacts of highlighter. It’s hard to tell myself I “need” this. I may pass this one up. The colors are gorgeous, especially Kitten. Maybe if they were singles, I would have considered it.

Kelli Rae Avatar

They made a special brush to go along with this. It’s a short handled dense type of brush. A brush you would contour with or for bronzer, etc… I am wanting this and the brush. So beautiful. Ugh the Holiday releases are killing me ! LOL. Excellent review ???

Rita M Avatar

I’ve never used highlighter before…would this be a good starting palette? I have fair skin (warm undertones) and my makeup routine generally consists of a little foundation and filling in my brows a bit. I don’t know where to begin with bronzer and highlighter because I have a round face and my cheekbones aren’t very defined. Do you have a tutorial and/or any advice? What tool would be good for a beginner?

Christine Avatar

I think I’d go with something softer – the texture of this one is different than the norm.

Have you tried YouTube? I like YouTubers like Kathleen Lights, Desi Perkins, Lustrelux, Lisa Eldridge, and Pixiwoo. The latter two have some really great basic series and tutorials for things like contouring for sure.

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