Unless you dislike matte eyeshadows, this gorgeous palette of ten powder eyeshadows with a true matte finish won't disappoint! The matte finish wears well on smooth or wrinkly lids and won't crease—now that's reliable!
These shadows, like most powder formulas, may be applied dry or wet, with wet application being more intense and dry offering soft, sheer results. Dry application can be messy because the texture is finely milled and a bit flyaway, but it's not terrible. Wet application, with an eyeshadow brush, will allow for more control over the powder, and will help keep the pigment from blending out too sheer.
This palette offers plenty to play with whether you prefer a simple one- or two-color look, or a more complex, smokey eye. Shades range from taupe to coral and cinnamon brown to black (these work great as powder eyeliner). For even more inspiration, the eight-page look book that comes with the palette has a variety of application and technique suggestions.
Note: The palette also includes a charcoal gray Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner (reviewed separately)
- True matte finish.
- Good results with wet or dry application.
- Excellent range of wearable, versatile shades.
- Finely milled pressed powder texture can be messy to work with.
Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell has been at the helm of Stila since its inception in 1994, and her creations have an impressive history of blending innovation with eye-catching, fun packaging. Of course, this innovation is not without its price, and you will find some rather ordinary products where the packaging or dispensing method is the only thing that's exciting. Where Lobell struck gold is with her superlative collection of foundations. We’ve examined hundreds of makeup lines for this and previous editions of this book, and Stila has had and continues to maintain one of the best collections of truly neutral foundation colors. For anyone confused about what we mean by "neutral tones," you need look no further, though we are pleased that more mainstream lines (including L'Oreal, Revlon, Clinique, and even Cover Girl) are now creating wonderfully neutral foundation colors. Stila's foundations aren't inexpensive, but it's critical to get a foundation that's right for you, and that may mean splurging. Other stellar categories include concealers, blush, eyeshadows, brushes, and much better mascaras than in years past.
Once an independent brand with a first-to-market approach to clever cardboard packaging that was sleek, urban, and utilitarian at the same time, Stila's presence and product lineup and distribution expanded (with mostly favorable results) when it was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999. It was a bit perplexing when Lauder announced in late 2005 that it would sell Stila to "optimize our portfolio of brands" and put more attention (read: financial resources) into their M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown brands (Source: The Rose Sheet, April 17, 2006, page 4). Ironically, of those three brands, Stila has the most compelling collection of products. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are no slouches, but Stila always had a slight edge, at least in the complexion-enhancing categories.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners (naming itself Stila Corporation) bought the brand from Lauder in spring 2006 and has been at the helm since. Lauder's no longer owning Stila led to the brand's hasty exit from department stores, a move that left many shoppers wondering what the heck happened (and, at least in the stores we visited, the sales associates were vague about the line's future). Luckily, Stila still has a home in Sephora stores worldwide, and is randomly distributed in select department stores. That's great news, because there is much to love about this line, and the most recent crop of products proves that Stila has every intention of remaining a competitive player in the compelling game that is the cosmetics industry.
For more information about Stila, call 866.784.5201 or visit www.stilacosmetics.com.