Review: Stila Road To Radiance Palette

By Voxy  

You know, for someone who says she doesn’t like palettes, I’m sure ending up with a lot of them these days.

Stila has put out a couple of exceptional bargains this summer: first the It Girl palette of three eyeshadows (including the ubiquitous shade Kitten) for $10 (review and swatches in a future post), and now the Road to Radiance mini-palette, containing four eyeshadows and a convertible color pan, also for $10.

Although I’m as much a fan of pink and purple eyeshadow as anyone (and, OK, probably more than some people), I admit that I bought this palette solely for the convertible color. I love the Stila CCs, and this shade (Hibiscus) is not produced in a full-size pan but it looked like the cool-but-not-neon-frosty pink that I’d always wanted Stila to make.

The palette is the tiniest bit gimmicky — pulling this out of your handbag would not be at all like displaying a sleek, intricate metal palette by Guerlain or Givenchy. This palette won’t get you any street cred among the Ladies Who Lunch crowd. It’s no-frills, made of cardboard, and clearly targeted towards the younger set. (It does, however, have a mirror, which is a plus.) The eyeshadows, while not bad, are not quite up to the usual Stila standard in terms of texture and pigmentation. I’ve heard that this is because they outsourced it to China. Even if they did, this is true of a lot of companies — their palettes are not produced at the same facilities or even in the same countries as their regular products, which is often why the quality of palettes is worse.

There are four eyeshadows: Snow Bunny (very light, frosty lavender), Valley Girl (darker lavender that goes on with a pink tinge), Southern Belle (pink), and City Chick (looks dark purple in the pan, but goes on more of a purply-brown color). Interestingly, Stila has made the (IMHO wise) decision to not even try to include a brush, or, worse, one of those horrendous sponge applicators, which are a blight on the earth and which should be permanently consigned to the Failed Cosmetic Applicator Ideas graveyard. Not only does it remove the temptation for you to use a lamentably poor applicator or a tiny brush that would (by necessity) be of lesser quality, it helps keep the palette light and sleek and the cost low. I wish more companies would do this!

So the shadows are a bit below Stila’s usual quality, but since I basically think of this palette as a $10 convertible color that happens to come with some bonus eyeshadows, this is all OK with me. The quality of the convertible color is quite nice; I haven’t noticed a significant difference in quality between this and any of my other CCs. The color is not quite as cool as I had imagined it would be, but it’s very nice and exceptionally wearable, and it fills a hole in Stila’s current shade offerings. Stila CCs are easy to apply and blend and they last all day without fading.

This is apparently the first of five palettes Stila plans to put out in this series, so we’ll see what the future installments look like!

I’m working on my photography skillz, so I’m trying some closeups as well as swatches on skin.

Shadows, left to right: Snow Bunny, Valley Girl, Southern Belle, City Chick; Convertible Color in Hibiscus on the right; I’ve tried to blend it out so you could imagine it as a cheek color.


Stila Road to Radiance Palette: $10

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent! Let’s just hope the convertible color retains its creaminess and doesn’t dry out.

Purchase again? Depends on the cheek color, but very possibly yes. We’ll see what’s out next month!

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Kitten is so frosty I gave it away. it did not look good on me. I like Laura Mercier Sparkling Dew much more- very subtle sparkle. And LM’s Morning Dew, same color without sparkle or shimmer.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted July 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, Kitten is pretty much a sparkle-fest. They made an all-over face color in Kitten and as you can imagine it’s full of stars — I mean, sparkle. It’s basically like pouring a container of glitter on your face.

      Stila’s good products are, I think, really really good, but their bad ones are — whew! Bad.


  2. avatar marigolds
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That Convertible Color shade looks fab on you. (It’s not frosty, but I think that Peony might look good on you too – I have it and actually really love it. You just have to put it on with a *very* light hand, I find.)


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