Stila is a brand I wasn't familiar with before because I don't think it's sold in the Netherlands, but it's a respected and loved brand over here in the UK and I've heard people from the US speak highly of it as well. Stila's prices are between drugstore and mid-end. They're not as expensive as for example Too Faced or Benefit, but more expensive than brands like Maybelline or L'oreal.
This palette was spoken quite highly of in particular, and when I spotted it a while ago on Beautybay.com I made the leap and went for it. Stila In The Lights is a neutral toned palette with both shimmer and matte finishes and costs £25, but I bought it when there was a sale for about £18.
I can't help but tell you in advance that I really love this palette! My last tutorial was even made exclusively with eyeshadows from it. It's absolutely amazing, keep on reading if you want to know why. Don't forget to click on the images to see a bigger version as well.
I was a bit sceptical when I saw the ingredients, a lot of talc can mean that the eyeshadow will be crumbly and powdery, causing a lot of fallout and making the eyes feel itchy and irritated after a while. I have this problem with Sleek's palettes a bit, but because they're so cheap and pigmented I forgive them instantly. This palette was about three times the price though, so I expect a bit more from it.
The packaging is alright, I like the soft golden rose tones and the fact that it's not bulky. I don't really like that it's made out of cardboard though, it looks like it'll fall apart quite easily.
The eyeshadow pans also look as if they're fitted a bit loosely in their surroundings, but when I shook the palette there wasn't any problem. Stila In The Light stays closed with a magnet that isn't very powerful, but strong enough to keep it shut and the insides protected.
When you open the palette you get a pretty big mirror, which I think is a pretty nice size! You also get a free smudge stick in the colour 'Damsel', a dark brown, which is one of Stila's eyeliners. It works well, especially if you want to make soft smokey looks but it does smudge a bit and it's a bit annoying that you can't make a fine point with it since it's one of those twist liner kinds that you twist up to get more of the pencil out.
I immediately liked the colour range. Most of them are shimmery but there are some nice mattes in there too. A lot of them are very warm toned, which I love and suit me very well. When I swatched the eyeshadows they didn't feel powdery or chalky at all, instead they felt smooth. Some of them were a bit soft and crumbly, so you do have to use a gentle hand when you apply them but you have to be gentle with eyeshadows anyway, haha.
Now the packaging said that you could use these eyeshadows dry and wet, so I made two seperate swatches for you to see if there's any benefits to using them wet. I think it's great that you can be versatile with it, many eyeshadows can be applied wet but then will be ruined when you try to use them dry again, so it's good to know that it's safe to do with these ones.
Kitten, Sunset and Bubbly were my immediate favourites. They're very pigmented and deliciously shimmery. I was initially a bit disappointed with Bliss, Sandstone and Ebony at first but then I remembered that pigmentation isn't everything. These colours are very buildable and blendable, making it hard to screw up with them and use too much right away. The only colours I don't care much for are Gilded Gold and Luster. Gilded Gold looks lovely and shimmery in the pan but there's nothing left of it once it touches your skin, and Luster just looks a bit boring to me. Bare looks invisible on my skin because it's the exact same shade, but it works very well as a blending colour used to make the other eyeshadows feather out nicely in a gradient. Night Sky is an interesting colour as well, but I felt a bit 'meh' about it when I applied it dry. It's not very pigmented and also not natively a colour I would go for.
When you apply them wet, some colours just transform! Sunset becomes even deeper and more opaque, Ebony is suddenly a very deep charcoal and Night Sky looks a lot more interesting this way.
|Kitten all over the lid, Bliss in the crease, Bare on the browbone, Sunset in the outer corners, Smudge Stick in Damsel as an eyeliner on the upper and lower lashline and Sandstone in the outer corners.|
When I gave them a try on the eyes I was amazed by how easy the colours are to work with. It's pretty hard to mess up. Most of the lighter and shimmery shades are more opaque and the matte and dark shades are more sheer, making it very easy to slowly build the colour up until it's just the way you like it. I personally had no problems with fallout at all, so that's another bonus.
Kitten is probably my favourite champagne/golden eyeshadow ever. It's so shimmery, opaque and just utterly gorgeous. I can see how it's Stila's most loved eyeshadow and why it's so famous. I thought I'd never find anything that could rival Too Faced's 'Silk Teddy', but Kitten has done it.
Stila In The Light also comes with a little instruction booklet that shows how to do three looks! I always find these sorts of things very attentive and a nice gesture, even when I personally wouldn't go for the looks themselves.
Since I got this palette, I reach for it every time when I want to do a neutral look. I absolutely love it! The colours are for the most part warm toned and look very good when you combine them together. The eyeshadows are smooth and soft, some of them are so soft that they can crumble so do be careful! The darker colours are pretty sheer, which I think is good because it allows for error and you can build them up better this way. For more opacity you can always apply them wet since that works really nicely with these eyeshadows. To be honest, I like this more than my Naked palette..and it's a lot cheaper too.
The only thing I'm not fond of is the packaging since it kind of looks like it will show quite a bit of wear and tear in a bit of time. I prefer something that's a bit sturdier, but there we go.
I also think that people who like cooler tones or matte colours can probably steer clear from this palette as well, since most of it's eyeshadows are quite warm and shimmery.
Stila In The Light can be bought through the UK in Boots, but several webstores sell this palette as well. I personally got it from Beautybay.com.