Sunday, 14 August 2011

Welcome back Stila?

Years ago, I think in the year 2002, Stila was my first high end, somewhat exclusive brand I got in to. It was stocked at Liberty of London and SpaceNK, the brand was fresh, pretty, exciting and collectible with a very strong image.
The brand went through a few changes through the years and in my opinion lost a lot of elements which had made me initially adore it. However, such is my soft spot for the brand, when it returned to the UK recently I couldn’t resist picking up some things.
One thing I was sad to see is that the refillable palettes are not stocked at Boots, something which I consider an essential element of the brand, I remember the days on Makeup alley where everyone had at least one refillable Stila palette.

Here's a brief run down on what I bought:
Eye shadow trio in Bella (£13) contains a frosty whitened pink, shimmery deep plummy brown and shimmery bright coral pink.
Whilst these colours aren't the best on me, I can’t fault the formula, the pigmentation is great, they are creamy and smooth and apply and wear well.

I picked up two of the travel palettes (£10 each).
Whilst a great concept its ultimately let down by the quality. The shadows are sheer and don’t blend well nor last long and the cheek products apply a bit patchy. This is not really a complaint though as this quality is reflective of the price so I shouldn't have expected more, personally I’d be happy to pay double the price and have the same quality as in their regular line.

Stunning in Sayulita contains shadows in sheer peachy pink with silver micro glitter, dark cool toned brown, Forest Green, Mauve pink with micro glitter, blushers in dusky peach and peachy champagne
Striking in South Beach contains shadows in sheer silver grey, sparkly blue lavender, black with golden micro glitter and purple, blusher in bright cool toned pink and a terracotta bronzer
I bought two liners; Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Rock Candy (£14) is a brown with heavy golden sparkle. The liner lasts incredibly well although I do struggle to get a thin line. I do find this a bit uncomfortable and drying, although that is something I experience with a lot of liquid liners. The Smudge stick waterproof eye liner in Lionfish (£14) is a bronzed chocolate brown. It feels very smooth, applies well and really does not budge.

Smudge Pot Kitten (£13), is a high shimmer, bordering on frosty, peachy pink champagne. It blends nicely, does not feel dry and lasts all day with an eye base. I would say that if I apply too much it makes the area look crepey so it might not be the best option for mature skin.
The all over shimmer powder in kitten (£15) contains a peachy gold with a tiny bit of bronze and a golden pink. Although the shimmer level is high, I do like this used with a light hand on the cheeks and as an eyeshadow wash as it gives a nice warm glow. The texture is very smooth.
Swatched below L-R: Smudge Pot, all over shimmer powder swatched individually and then blended together.

The #9 all over blend brush (£15) is very similar to the MAC 224 although I would say that the MAC feels a touch softer.
I used to have quite a few of the Convertible Colours so I re bought a shade I had previously used up, lillium (£16).
Its a delicate warm pink flush. I don’t really like CC’s on the lips as I find they don’t provide enough moisture. I do however like them on the cheeks, despite the slight tacky feel, as they are very easy to blend in.

The brand is not quite what it once was, I would love if they brought back the cardboard packaged seasonally eyeshadow trios and collectible paint cans (notoriously hard to get in the UK ) and moved away from the more “budget” stance items. Overall the quality is still there for the price bracket so I will pick up things here and there from the brand I just wish we had the old Stila back.

I bought all of these from Boots


  1. CC in Lillium was my favourite product from the line. It is a real shame that the quality is not what it once was. I used to their seasonal palettes so much x

  2. I was so sad when they pulled out of the market in the UK, until I discovered that Sephora in Greece was awash with stock (heavily discounted I might add) and continued to be so for years.
    I bought a ton of stuff, but only managed one palette with lovely shadows that I still use regularly.
    My favourites were the tinted lip balms, although they had the nasty habit of going off quite quickly. I saw the display the other day, but can't say I was especially tempted by anything, although I may have to take another look at the liners.
    Have a great week hon!
    Nina x

  3. Hi there

    Lovely haul too bad it seems the quality is not as good as it used to be. I was a HUGE Stila fan for YEARS! I never missed a product and do still love many of the old shadows. I actually just dug out my kitten smudge pot to try again.

    Stila was the brand that got me into makeup again just about the same time as you....

    My favorite products back then were: Pivotal skin foundation, kitten, grace and oasis shadows and I used to like the glosses with the brush (I think passionfruit???) xx

  4. hi there,
    i was about to buy the "striking in south beach" as the colors are very lively.

    it's an interesting post :) thanks for sharing

  5. I love Stila single shadows, haven't yet tried the new trios, but I really don't like the travel palettes AT ALL.. they're sheer, and not as good texture. Also love the smudge pots. :) Nice to see you agree about the palettes!

  6. I was also a big Stila fan in the late 90s/early 00s and am just as disappointed in what Stila has become. The eyeshadows used to be exquisitely buttery soft, even the mattes, but now they feel stiff and dry--even though the colors are still nice.

  7. Glad to see Stila back in the UK. I bought the kajal in Onyz in New York last year and I use it sparingly for fear of running out! No need to worry anymore. Whats your star product from the range? Im thinking of investing

  8. Hi Lipstick Luvvie,
    I do really hope that the brand goes back to its roots but I wonder that they are aiming towards a different market now.

    Hi Nina,
    Thats great that the Sephora had it, I think I would have grabbed an armload too! ;)
    I'll be interested to see how well it does, its tucked away in a little corner in my Boots, I don't think a lot of people have noticed it there tbh x

    Hi Jeanie,
    I use to be a collector of the line as well, I am still tempted to pick up some of their single shadows, I used to have a load of them, no idea what happened to them though! xx

    Hi Memoiselle,
    They do look so nice, just a shame the quality isn't on par. Glad you liked the post :)

    Hi Vintage Makeup,
    I remembered you saying about the palettes, but I just couldn't resist, so I wasn't surprised that they were a disappointment. I think I might pick up some of the single shadows I use to have, am hoping the formula hasn't changed :)

    Hello Zuzu's Petals,
    I was just commenting above that I might pick up the singles, but that doesn't sound good, I don't know why companies mess with a good formula,ugh! x

  9. Hello Imo,
    From what I bought I'd say the Smudge stick waterproof eye liner and eyeshadow trio (although probably not the shade of trio I got, but the formula is really nice). I keep hoping that Boots will put Stila on a 3 for 2 offer, I'm being hopeful I know ;)

  10. Funnily enough, I went for a browse just before my holidays. I went with the intention of picking up one of the travel palettes. I hesitated though as the shades I swatched were so shimmery and also they only had testers for one of the palettes. I will go back for another look when I'm not in such a rush as I still have Stila lusts from the early days. Lionfish looks as nice as I'd hoped and the Kitten highlighter duo appealed when I looked at the range earlier this year.

    I do feel like you that the brand seems to have lost some of it's previous high-end feel. I don't know whether it's because it's in Boots or that maybe it feels like it hasn't moved on much since those SpaceNK days? Whatever it is, I can't quite put my finger on it. It doesn't stop it being nice stuff but it definitely feels less aspirational somehow.

    I think the diy palettes might actually be gone for good from what they said at the launch. I don't know if it's related to getting rid of the pan/cardboard packaging system.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts as ever x

  11. Hi Jane,
    I do think its worth picking up some bits. I guess like you say Boots has that certain image but then I guess you have Dior and such at Boots, I think it would have been nicer if they had given it a larger display, I saw it on the first day they were putting it in the store and they didn't have the testers out for over two weeks, which I think hasn't helped sales.
    I just think its not collectable as it once way and is not as "special", and really I don't think any brand has come along since that has encapsulated what Stila managed to do in its early days.
    What a shame that the diy palettes are going, it really does seem to be moving away from its roots x

  12. Modesty Brown has just sent me here, as I was saying on Twitter that I loved the original Stila, from the same era as you! It isn't as good as it once was, my true loves were the cardboard trips of fabulous cities. And the lipglazes. I think Stila may have been the first twist up clickables. Ah, fond memories of grapefruit!

  13. Hi Sam,
    Jane's great isn't she. You know I think you are right that they were the first to do the twist/click pens and then everyone else copied!
    The thing is I am sure if they brought back some of the "retro" range as it were as a limited collection it would sell really well as the brand did have a huge following and also people who didn't know the brand in the old days would probably find it quite novel.
    I'm just going to be hopeful that one day it will get back to what it once was.
    Thanks for stopping by :)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin