Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Stila Daydream & Dream in Full Color Palettes for Holiday 2011

Without further ado, let me break into the two Stila Holiday 2011 palettes reviews:
The rest of my pictures are in the preview post.

The boxes these come in are a decidedly non-holiday orchid shade of purple.  They seem pretty standard for mid-price range cosmetics.  The compacts are sturdy navy blue plastic with clear covers.
The lighting washed out the palette's colors in this picture, but the size is easier to understand next to the MAC lipstick tube.
Daydream has 22 eye shadows in the area of a DVD.  The omnipresent Kitten makes up the center, as it does for the Dream in Full Color Palette.  However, Kitten is the only shade the two palettes have in common. For $18, it's about 82 cents per color, though 7 of the colors that surround the center are in truly tiny pots.  I had to use an itty-bitty packing brush, but you could also use a pencil brush or a liner brush, q-tip, small sponge applicator (not included), or at worst your pinkie finger (I doubt any other digit will fit, and I have small hands!).  To be honest, I don't feel that you're getting all that much with the packaging.  There is no mirror or brushes/applicators.  It does allow for the clear cover to show the dream-catcher/flower design and it is quite pretty.  You have to blow or wipe off a little shadow dust periodically, which is a little annoying.  Even the larger Dream in Full Color Palette is light-weight, but not flimsy.  It doesn't feel like a high-end makeup item, but it doesn't feel cheap, either.
As for the quality of the eye shadows, Kitten for one is not at the level of Stila's single eyeshadow or a larger pan in other palettes (such as the Stila Artist Palette).  The shadows are harder but still fairly velvety.  You don't really get a luxury experience from the texture on your fingertips, but I think they are as smooth as Dior quints I've tried.
I've decided to break down the palette by shadow color so you know what I found to be hit and miss, and weigh for yourself if you think it's a good value for the money.
Top Row, Left to Right: 1-kitten, 2-day (matte), 3-bloom, 4-tranquil (matte), 5-aspire
Bottom Row: 12-fancy, 13-ambition, 14-admire, 15-stellar, 16-paradise, 17-illusion

Top Row: 5-aspire, 6-wish, 7-yearn, 8-lotus (matte), 9-desire, 10-crave, 11-hope (matte)
Bottom Row:17-illusion, 18-celestial, 19-night, 20-spark (matte), 21- whim, 22-trance
17 shades are a soft shimmer that doesn't settle into lines on the eyes.  5 shades (day, tranquil, lotus, hope, and spark) are matte.  The only shades in this palette with which I had trouble with pigmentation and smoothness are hope and spark.  Oh, and kitten! I managed to forget the center of our flower, Kitten, because it's not the Kitten Stila lovers know and... love.  I didn't even have to take notes on this palette because most of the shades were successful and true-to-pan (over primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance), if not a bit dupable.  Chances are if you like Stila you have Kitten done better in another palette, anyway.  So if three of the shadows are not great it's about $1.06 per pigmented, blendable shadow.  To me it's not an amazing deal but the palette is pretty and versatile. I really like the inclusion of the matte shades and I think this palette is truly seasonless.  If you're an eye shadow junkie you'll already have these colors in these finishes (satin and matte are all you get here), but if all you have is a quad or a few singles this is great way to experiment with color. I was going to pick out favorite shades from this palette, but to be honest they're all solid renditions of each color type (turquoise, matte medium brown, silvery lilac, etc). 

The Dream in Full Color palette, $39, doesn't have a turquoise or much green, but it does have a larger variety of finishes so if you were only planning to get one or the other, I'd say the Dream in Full Color palette is the better value.  It comes with a full-size Smudge Stick in Stingray, which is $20 on its own and worth every penny.  It lasts on the waterline better than UD 24/7 pencils.  I had been planning to buy another one of these when I ordered this palette, anyway!  The remaining $19 divides into 53 cents per palette pan, AND seven of the pans are medium-pigmented, smooth blushes.  I had no trouble getting my regular-sized blush brush into the blush pans to swish side-to-side.  These don't pack the pigmentation of NARS or MAC, and I've never owned an individual Stila powder blush, but I found these comparable in pigmentation to the Stila Beach Girl Palettes of Summer 2011.  I do think they are smoother and apply more evenly, however.  They give a natural, sheer flush to cheeks that intense blush lovers or darker-skinned beauties will not be happy with.  I love my pigmented blushes like Illamasqua Lover, but sometimes it is nice to be able to just pop on a blush with no fear of overdoing it (clown cheeks).  If you're fair to medium and like a natural blush look, you'll really like these. Two of the blush shades (11-bud and 16-fairy) are very, very light but don't pack shimmer so can only work on the extremely fair as blush or daytime highlighter for others.

Left to Right: 6-tickle, 11-bud, 16-fairy, 21-sizzle, 26-coral, 31-cozy
Most likely to get used by me: tickle and coral, with sizzle to contour
Far Right: 36-raspberry
I think all these blushes are neutral and will look nice on cool- or warm-toned skin
I managed to get nice-looking swatches of most of the eyeshadows, but some of the shades were a disappointment.  Others were totally GORGEOUS and my pictures didn't do them justice!

1-kitten, sheer and not soft like the full-size, lacking full-size kitten's dimension (same issues as Daydream palette)
3-stargaze, chalky and applies patchily even when built up
4-sky blue, sheer
5-twilight, chalky
14-lottery, sheer and chalky, applies patchily even when built up
32-cassis, patchy
35-dreamcatcher, applies unevenly/patchily

Top Row: 1-kitten, 2-inspire, 3-stargaze, 4-sky blue, 5-twilight, 7-ebony, 8-espresso
Bottom Row: 17-mystical, 18-peace, 19-dream, 20-oasis, 22-surreal, 23-twig, 24-copper

Top Row: 5-twilight, 7-ebony, 8-espresso, 9-infinite, 10-fable, 12-delight, 13-muse, 14-lottery, 15-imagine
Bottom Row: 22-surreal, 23-twig, 24-copper, 25-mirage, 27-vision, 28-whimsy, 29-reverie, 30-rosie

In full sunlight - Top: 32-cassis and 33-supernatural
Bottom: 34-wisteria and 35-dreamcatcher

The same swatches in shade
Still here? Your prize is the STUNNING shades:
8-espresso (matte), 9-infinite (gorgeous taupe with gold shimmers), 10-fable (lighter version of infinite), 12-delight (amazing pigment-dense black with multi-color sparkles my camera couldn't pick up), 13-muse (pigmented antique gold-brown), 15-imagine (would make a great highlighter on browbone, inner eye corner, or cheekbones. It has sheen, not shimmer), 17-mystical (pigmented with beautiful tiny peach sparkles, 18-peace (lighter version of mystical), 19-dream (potentially a UD Naked Dupe, matte and velvety), 20-oasis (smooth peach/gold DUOCHROME), 23-twig (pigmented burgundy brown with so much depth and nuance), 24-copper (a perfect copper, aptly named), 25-mirage (a pink and gold duochrome, potential dupe of MAC expensive pink?), 27-vision (black with pink sparkles), 28-whimsy (light matte plum, so smooth), 29-reverie (pigmented peachy-pink), 30-rosie (weird name as it isn't rosy, it's a pigmented silvery taupe), 33-supernatural (warm purple with silver sparkles), 34-wisteria (light grape with silver sparkle)

Whew! I hope you're still with me :)  See how many of the colors are just gorgeous? (19 of them). My pictures are not doing them justice, I guarentee it.  The best photos I had to demonstrate this are of the purple quad; I think it's easy to see how cassis and dreamcatcher are patchy, but supernatural and wisteria are so rich and vibrant.  Even the shades I found lacking are not that hard to work with (if you MUST use everything in the palette equally).
There is also a pretty lookbook included.  I may try these looks, so stay tuned for EOTDs featuring these.  I'm not a novice with eye makeup, but sometimes it's nice to have a guide when faced with this many beautiful choices.

I think Stila was strategic in offering the smaller palette at a lower price but lesser value.  The Dream in Full Color palette is a total steal in my opinion, just considering how great the Smudge Stick is (I believe it's Xsparkage/Leesha's HG? Correct me if I'm wrong).  Then so many of these shadows just knocked my socks off with their nuances I failed to photograph.  Such a pleasant surprise after the just okayness of the Daydream Palette.
I'm still going to get some more of the Holiday Palette releases out there (Too Faced Sweet Dreams, you will be mine ASAP!) but I think I'll still get a lot of use out of this Stila Dream in Full Color Palette.
Do you have loads of MAC shadows, or is your eye shadow collection lacking?  Trust me, get the Dream in Full Color Palette before you consider something sub-par like a Sephora blockbuster!


  1. Thanks! The photos make it look as though there are a lot of repeats between the two palettes, since no website is considerate enough to list what all the shades are, but glad I'm no longer wishing I'd gotten the small palette, too. Not that I'll get my big one until Christmas, anyway.

    And also, I've been complaining at Stila to the extent that they're probably thinking about taking a hit out on me LOL. They figured the Dream in Full Color palette as a $366 value, but you'd be interested to know that the makeup only comes out to $222.31 (based on full sized individual weights of products and their corresponding prices)... so they valued the look book at something like $120 which is just stupid (I subtracted like $23 for the cost of producing the palette casing). The little palette came out pretty accurately at $95 or $96 or something and I'll grant them that the palette would probably run about $15.

  2. Hi J.N.M. I agree those "valued at $xxx" are kinda b.s. so that's why I break down what the amount they're charging is vs. number of different colors (not so much by product size/weight, because I rarely ever finish an eyeshadow). Nobody but a collector probably needs more than one blockbuster palette like these :)


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