Review (with video): Stila Dream in Full Color Palette

Stila Cosmetics has revealed their 2011 holiday collection lineup.  While there are several items in this collection, the pièce de résistance  is their Dream in Full Color Palette.  It retails for $39 and features:

  • 29 Eyeshadows
  • 7 Blushes
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliner ($20 value)
  • Lookbook with instructions on creating 12 looks

This palette, with its swirling floral shaped pans, is designed to give you larger quantities of lighter “highlight” colors and smaller amounts of the darker “defining and crease” colors.  The packaging is super cute, and makes for a really nice gift this holiday season.

Who this is great for

This palette would be a fantastic gift for teenagers or for anyone who is just starting to experiment with using different shades of makeup.  For a serious makeup junkie, the quality of the color may be disappointing since its not what they are used to.  But for someone who is just starting out or who normally uses drug store brands, this palette would be a lovely addition.


Stila claims this to be a $366 value but I think that is a bit of a stretch because I don’t believe these shades use the same ingredients as their normal line and don’t really seem to be quite the quality you get from Stila.  It is still a great value, I just don’t think I’d consider it to be a $366 value.  Just to compare, here are a few other palettes out on the market this holiday season and purely from a number of shades perspective, this palette by Stila is by far the best value (listed in order from best value to lowest value in my opinion).


The included lookbook instructs you to apply the larger highlight colors to your whole eyelid which explains why they give you more of them.  Personally, I don’t agree with their application instructions because these are not all the most highly pigmented colors I’ve seen and I think it will be difficult to get a very defined look after applying a light color as a base.  Instead, I would recommend you use apply an eyeshadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance to your whole eyelid and then skip the eyeshadow base step.  The outer colors do work nice for general purpose brow highlighters and for tear duct colors, as you normally want a light shimmery color in those areas.  Also, I think the lookbook is kind of lame because the pictures they include only show a view of the eyelid closed.  This is not how most people are going to be looking at you, so I would really like to see a photo of the eyelid closed and opened to get a better idea of the whole look.

More on the quality of the colors

The quality of these colors isn’t bad, better than drug store quality for sure but not the best ever.  The darker shades in the inner circle are the most pigmented.  The middle two rings vary in quality.  The two lighter matte shades are pretty terrible with almost no color payoff but some of the more shimmery metallic shades are quite nice.  The outer ring of highlight colors are ok quality and make for a nice variety of highlight shades, but like I said, I would’t use them as base colors for the whole eye if you are looking for definition and color intensity.

Cheek colors

The cheek colors have been getting a lot of negative reviews but I don’t mind them and heres why.  Just about every blush I have is shimmery.  5 out of these 7 cheek colors are matte, so for me, I’m happy to have some cheek colors without shimmer for those times when I don’t want my cheeks to be shimmery.  The two shades with shimmer aren’t too glittery, but I am definitely glad they put some shimmer-free shades in this kit.  The pigmentation of the blushes isn’t high but I think that is ok too because you can always build up to get more color and a blush that is too highly pigmented will be difficult to blend.  I also found that they had long wear on me, but that may just depend on what other products you use.  I tend to just wear a moisturizer and mineral powder, so maybe the blush sticks on me better than someone with a different foundation routine.

The packaging

The packaging for this product is really cute and looks like a dreamcatcher or a flower.  The tins are a bit shallow though and the color has some noticeable fallout.  After just one use I noticed my palette was kind of dirty and felt the urge to clean it.  After extended use it may get kinda gross if not cleaned regularly.

Stila SmudgeStick Waterproof Eyeliner

I have no idea why I’ve never used Stila’s Waterproof Smudge Stick eyeliner before because it is fabulous.  It has just the right amount of softness and creaminess.  It is a little thicker than Tarte’s Aqua Gel eyeliner (which I found to be too soft and too slow drying).  I had no problems with this eyeliner taking too long to try and smearing on my eyeshadow like I did with Tarte’s.  The color is dark and lasts a long time.  It works well on the waterline as well, but I always find that I get longer wear on my waterline if I go over the eyeliner with some matte black eyeshadow to set it.  I do wish there was a way to sharpen this eyeliner though because its hard to get a precise line with a dull tip and since this is one of those plastic pencils that rolls up, I don’t think there is a way to fix that.



  • Very low price per shade
  • Includes a fantastic eyeliner that is normally $20
  • Great gift for teenagers or people just starting to experiment with using different shades of makeup
  • Cute packaging


  • Lower quality eyeshadow than normal Stila or other company’s palettes
  • Lookbook is not that great and only shows you photos of eyelids closed
  • Packaging will get messy over time with brushes dragging color out of the shallow tins


Quality – 3/5
Not as good as Stila’s individual shadows

Value – 5/5
Tons of colors to choose from, includes a $20 eyeliner

Packaging – 4/5
Very cute design, larger amounts of lighter shades, will be difficult to keep clean over time

Overall – 4/5

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