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Friday, January 10, 2014

Stila: Artist Essentials Set

Review: Stila, Artist Essentials Set

While my mom was visiting back in November we made a trip to Sephora, I was hunting out some must-have new items to add to my collection & she was looking for some good purple eyeshadows. We made our way over to the area where this Stila kit was & the purple quad made us both feel some excitement because it was exactly what my mom was looking for. Then we found it was part of an entire set & the $59 price was just too much for what it was. 
About 2 weeks after that Sephora trip I received a $20 VIB reward in the mail & since there wasn't anything on my MUST-HAVE list I decided to order this set. I'm only planning on keeping 2 things from this set for myself & the rest are being sent out as gifts, but I will break that all down after the review. ;) 

The Basics:
One of the things that really drew me to this set was the packaging. I really like when brands make their packaging fun & unique. This box was meant to look like an artist's box that paints & such would be kept in. Inside of the box there is a removable black plastic tray that keeps all of the products in place. I was really worried that it wouldn't be removable & I wouldn't be able to reuse the box after all of the products were removed. While I wouldn't recommend using this box to transport these products on a regular basis, especially for traveling, it is a pretty decent box that can be reused. 

The Contents:
Inside there are 4 separate quads of eyeshadows, with 0.14oz for each individual shade. There is a #9 blending brush, a 0.01oz Black Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, 0.07oz Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Cream in Peony, & a 0.05oz Stay All Day-Liquid Lipstick in Patina. 
I do think that this set comes with a good variety of Stila products & it gives you a pretty great glimpse of their brand overall. I have 3 other Stila palettes in my collection & I absolutely LOVE their foundations, tinted moisturizers & Beauty Balms. 

Eyeshadow Quads
Each of the 4 palettes have a certain color range & overall the 4 of them cover a decent amount of shades. I think this set would be great for a teenage-girl who is just starting to venture into the make-up world or for someone who doesn't have a huge collection & wants to add some variety to their shadow range. 
I'm going to show each palette individually as well as swatches of each shade. 

Pop Art Palette
This is the one quad that I will be keeping for myself as I have wanted a little set of green shadow shades for a while now. I will say that the packaging of these little palettes is not the most fantastic & if you are planning to travel with them make sure you pack them somewhere safe because I'm going to bet the plastic will break or crack pretty easily. I will probably put mine in my make-up bag that I carry on with me if I ever plan to take this one with me. 


The shades from right to left are... Parity, Irony, Primary, & Edgy. 
When I initially swatched these I was quite disappointed as I felt there wasn't a huge difference in shades, especially between Primary & Edgy. The shadows are quite a bit more chalky than what I'm used to from Stila, but they aren't absolutely horrible & I've certainly dealt with worse. I decided to give this palette a fair chance & I tested it out earlier this week. I wore all 4 of these shadows with my Make-Up Forever Aqua Cream shadow in 13-Warm Beige, it is my everyday go-to eyeshadow base & since I started using it about a year ago I have stopped using eye-shadow primer unless I'm trying out something new. 
Overall I would say these shadows wore quite well & I was pleased with how the shades appeared on my eyes with the use of my Aqua-Cream shadow as a base. I wore them for an entire day of running errands & everything stayed in place, at the end of the day I noticed that they had faded a bit, but it wasn't to a point where I was annoyed or irritated. Alaskan winter weather is TOUGH on make-up you guys! I do really like this little quad, but I don't think it's worth purchasing the entire set for. 

The Renaissance Palette 
If I didn't have about 10 of each of these shades I would seriously be considering keeping this quad for myself. ;) Of the 4 palettes in the set I think this one is the most versatile & it is perfectly suited for creating a simple, everyday look. 

 Shades, again from right to left. Did I swatch all of them this way? Yes...yes I did. Haha! I promise that the first shade is actually there, I'm just that rare-shade of extra pale. 
Poetry, Perspective, Fresco, Drama. 
These 4 shades have a bit more of a difference in their actual colors compared to the Pop Art Palette above. I didn't wear any of these as I'm planning on gifting the palette away so I have no idea how well they blend or wear. Their consistency is again not as amazing as what I have come to expect from Stila, but they are quite nice. 

Abstract Palette
For whatever reason, i-photo would not allow me to rotate this picture! So frustrating. This is the palette that made my mom & I fall in love with this set & it will be making it's way through the mail to her this weekend. ;) I think these shades are just so pretty & they remind me of a purple lilac tree in full bloom. 

From right to left...Illusion, Vivid, Visual, & Linear. 
Visual isn't as black as it looks here & once I blended it out it wasn't nearly as pigmented. It is a deep-plum shade with quite a bit of depth to it. I think that in order to get the vibrancy of the pigmentation shown here that you will absolutely need a good eyeshadow base & be prepared to have to build these shadows up a bit as they lose some pigmentation once they are blended out. 

Surreal Palette
I really do like that Stila included two quads that were full of color & then two quads that are filled with more neutral/basic shades. This palette just rounds out the collection & makes it complete for me.

Right to Left. Dream. Symbolic.Fantasy. Reality. 
Out of all of these palettes these 4 shades are the least chalky & the most pigmented overall. I still think they would be best worn with a strong eyeshadow base & the quality of this one quad doesn't make the $59 price tag worth it. I'm especially in love with the Symbolic shade & I will keep an eye out for it as a single shadow. 

The Other Bits. 
These 4 products add some fun into this collection. I was especially excited to see the lip & cheek cream as it was a product that I have wanted to try for sometime. I wasn't too thrilled about the shade of the liquid lipstick & I have 4 other #9 brushes in my collection. The liner is always welcome in my collection, but it certainly isn't smudge proof when it comes to my waterline. 

Lip & Cheek Duo in Peony 
This cream blush/lip stain is so gorgeous. I think it is a shade that would be flattering on a range of skin tones & that it would be great for someone who is looking to try out some contouring. It is a little bit more sheer once you blend it out than what I've shown here, but I wanted to give you a good idea of the pretty dusty-peachy shade. 

Liquid Lipstick in Patina
Oh how I wish this was a different shade! On my uber pale skin this shade just doesn't quite work. I think this shade will look totally fantastic on my mom as she has more of an olive-toned complexion. I really love the formula & I'm over the moon about the sweet vanilla scent. 

Smudge Stick Water Proof Liner
This liner is a really great basic liner, I do not think it is quite worth the $20 price point but it does get the job done & was a superb edition to this Artist Essentials Kit. It is totally waterproof when wore on my top lid, I actually wear this liner frequently in the winter time when we go camping or snowmachining. It stays put all day long & is absolutely smudge proof. Like I mentioned above, it is not smudge proof or waterproof once I put it on my lower lash line & my water line. I can't say I was surprised as every "waterproof" liner I have ever tried hasn't lasted in my waterline. 



All in all this is a good set for someone who is just starting out on their own make-up journey. For me, there wasn't anything in particular that WOW-ed me to the point of this being something I would recommend as a must have to others. I think Stila has a lot of other wonderful products that make this one just a bit lack-luster. The Pop-Art Palette is something that I will use whenever I want to bring some khaki-green to my life & the duo cheek/lip cream will come in handy. The rest of the products will be gifted to some lovely ladies in my life who I know are wanting to expand their make-up collections. :) 

This set just isn't quite worth the $59 price. I paid $39 due to my $20 VIB reward. If you can get this set on sale I think it is a worthwhile purchase. I also think that it would be a great set to purchase to break apart & give some pretty artist-themed gifts to some dear friends & family. 

You can purchase this set at Sephora or Sephora.com

as always, love from alaska
sadie