November 18, 2010

Stila Holiday Blockbuster Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

Earlier this month Stila sent out an e-mail burst stating they had 50 of their brand new Stila Holiday Blockbuster Sets available and the makeup world proceeded to go ape sh*t.

50? Seriously? Only 50? WTH people! Needless to say it proceeded to sell out within a brief blink of my eye. I wasn’t one of the lucky 50 to snag it.

Flash forward several minutes later and comments and e-mails proceeded to flood me telling me, “Hey, wait a sec, that palette is at Costco for $20 bucks!

Indeed, this palette is at your local Costco and merely $20.

Don’t ask why, or how or who but Stila stated it had the following items:

  • 30 Stila Eyeshadows
  • 3 Stila Convertible Colors
  • 15 Stila Lip Colors and Glosses
  • 2 Stila Sun Bronzers
  • 2 Stila Cheek Colors
  • 2 Stila All Over Shimmer Highlighters
  • 1 Mini Mascara

Is it different from the Costco version? I honestly haven’t a clue but I do know that it was $8 bucks more from Stila and seemed to have a bit more involved as the one at Costco includes:

  • 30 Eyeshadows
  • 15 Lip Colors and Glosses
  • 3 Cheek Colors
  • 2 Stila Sun Bronzers
  • 1 Lip Pencil
  • 1 Eye Liner Pencil

No Convertible Color here, no mascara, no shimmer highlighters……

Are they the same palette? I think maybe they are and perhaps Stila put the wrong details up when selling their 50, super limited edition palettes, considering they posted on their Facebook that the 50 were from left over stock at Costco someone had mentioned but where did they get the details for that palette?

A mystery we may never hear about unless one of those lucky 50 purchasers are bloggers and review the one they purchased from Stila’s website.

Putting all this aside you may question whether this is a good marketing angle for Stila. Stila’s a mid-range brand with a high mark up. As in, it isn’t as cheap as other middle of the range brands and it does fall into the realms of a makeup luxury for some where as for others not so much. Really depends on your budget for makeup.

Hardcore fans might see this as a bad move considering it’s taking Stila down into the realms of being more affordable but you’re also losing the quality commonly associated with the brand. We all like to save money, yes, but I don’t think you want to save money by forsaking quality. Stila’s Holiday Blockbuster Palette is Made in China as well which could cause some outcry among makeup junkies.

Do you need this palette?


A large palette featuring products for eyes, lips, and face.

So here you have it, $20, and a hook up of product that includes 30 Eyeshadows, 15 Lip Colors and Glosses, 3 Cheek Colors, 2 Bronzers 1 Lip Pencil, and 1 Eye Liner Pencil. You can’t get a palette with this much for that little with quality to back it and in this case it does have a certain amount of quality to it.

First of all, no, in my opinion, this is not Stila Makeup or at least not as we know it. I have to question if it’s a bad move to put your name on a palette that doesn’t have your signature makeup formula to it. We all know Stila Eyeshadows have that smooth, creamy velvet-feel and we all know how much the Stila Travel Palettes lack that formula. In the case of the Blockbuster Palette, again, it does not have that formula. You can probably debate the topic by stating that most of the palettes Stila has been dropping on us lately sport a similar texture and formula. So is Stila creating some new formula in their shadows? Is the formula reserved for palettes but not singles!? It’s a big mystery to me.

The good news is I’m actually happy with the palette for the most part. It’s a good travel palette, it’s a good palette for quick, easy, yet nice looking eye looks, and it’s only $20 for alot of product so it makes a good gift for younger girls or those just starting out with makeup or color.

The formula of the shadows are surprisingly good. They have pretty great pigmentation, they wear well and true to color, and they apply and blend easily. I’m not sure what I’d compare them to in terms of texture and formula but I will say they are a step above the Stila Travel Palette formula since they have considerably better color pay off and a smoother formula to work with. I’d say all 30 shades are semi-matte but are very easy to apply and work with.

The blushes and bronzers are of equally good quality. I wore one of the blushes yesterday and it wore all day without touch up! Pretty impressive.

Sorry, the palette is just too big to swatch completely so I only did a few. Forgive me?

There are some downfalls…

I’m not keen on the lip colors and glosses. They have a hard texture and aren’t particularly great. However, I smeared some on for my looks in this review and topped with clear gloss, and honestly, they don’t look TOO bad.

One thing I sincerely don’t love about the palette is it does have a cheaper makeup smell. Kinda old makeup scent…I’m sure you know what I mean.

Sadly colors seem a bit limited. I liked all the neutrals included but they really missed the boat here as they included too many of the same color groups such as blue and brown. No teals, no greens here, and some of the shades of pink and purple are somewhat unflattering.

The shadows are pretty small, about the size of a penny, a bit smaller actually.

The lipliner and eyeliner are awful. Very hard texture and not really a fab formula. They’ll probably sit and rot in the palette as I’m doubtful I’ll make use of either.

  • Anyone looking for an easy way to travel with color (this is nice for traveling as the palette is slim and not too cumbersome).
  • Anyone looking for an inexpensive gift.
  • Anyone who enjoys Stila (I admit, I purchased it because it had Stila’s name on it).
  • Anyone interested in a decent palette to train with (this is good for makeup n00bs).

  • Anyone uninterested in cheaper makeup.
  • Anyone expecting Stila’s normal quality of product.
  • Anyone who wants a variety of shades (I felt the palette was limited).
  • Anyone not keen on Made in China makeup products.

You don’t absolutely need the Stila Holiday Blockbuster Palette and if you’re strapped for cash it’ll probably be better to just save and indulge in their higher quality Color Wheel Palette. However, if you have a little extra cash, I’d buy it. It’s actually not half as bad as I thought it would be. The colors are pigmented, they include alot of natural, nude shades which I’m loving lately and plus it’s a mere $20 bucks to spend, not bad at all. I have alot of these colors already that can easily be duped but I’m a fan of makeup all the way so I’m glad to have added this to my stash.

I wouldn’t call this the brightest marketing move by Stila considering some fans may strongly object but I liked it. I think you’ll be surprised how nice the products included really are as long as you go into your purchase not expecting the normal quality range of Stila products.

I know some of you already own it so feel free to shout out your thoughts!

Any those who don’t, tell me how you feel about Stila’s Holiday Blockbuster Palette?

Would you buy it?

No way?

Share it!

Thanks to my friend Carla at Product Girl for making this review possible. She went to her Costco (mine didn’t have this) and got it for me! Obrigado menina!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Gina

    Hey Muse! I got the palette from Costco and I am a little disappointed. I was not expecting much but it does seem kinda cheap. They shouldn’t have even bothered with the brushes or liners (the lip liner is so hard it hurt my lips). The shadows are pretty good and I agree with you about the lip products. I initially thought the lip colors were eyeshadows, which would have been waay better. Great review!

    • the Muse

      gina I wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I’d be. The shadows aren’t nearly as bad as I was thinking ;-D but everything else is a busy. Although the bronzers, blushes were good. I agree about the brushes, they are awful and useless although I made use out of the sponges ;-D Oh gosh that would lovely if they were. I could totally cope with more eyeshadows ;-D! They didn’t include near enough variety of shades!

      I’m glad I have it but it’s def not the best and I prob wouldn’t recommend unless you have the money to splurge. The color wheel was a nice investment compared to this!

  • Min

    Yea I’m with you on the fact that this is not Stila quality. For some lighter shadows, I had to use MAC medium so the colors will intensify a bit more.

    I was also so confused with their description!! I was hoping to get those 3 convertible colors and when I opened I assumed that Costco version might be different.. But when I went back to Stila website and looked at their picture, it looks exactly like the one I got from Costco! Stila made a mistake on their product description before, so I’m thinking that might be the case..

    but yea, eyeshadow colors aren’t too attractive and as I was experimenting with them, I realized they mostly all looked the same.
    But for the price, I can’t complain much!

    • the Muse

      me either min! I thought the shadows weren’t half bad at all but def nothing like the normal stila range! I don’t get WHERE that description came from lol! but def not what was inside my palette!

  • Dao

    It does look like one of those palettes sold at Claire’s. Why does Stila do something like this? The eyeliner makes me cringe. I can’t help but think the ELF eyeliner in the set looks better than it.

    Anyways, I’m glad to know the colors are pigmented enough and last long enough on you. Since I don’t have a Costco membership, I would not get this palette at all. Also, the Coastal Scents palettes would scream at me if I do.

    • the Muse

      lol dao! do you like your cs palette?! haven’t tried mine yet but it looks SO gorg!

  • Promise

    I’m sooo glad you included that it is made in China!!! Thanks so much, because I always look where makeup is made before I buy!

  • nar

    This looks so similar to those Sephora palettes. I wonder if they’re mass- produced by the same manufacturer? The quality sounds/looks identical

    • the Muse

      nar I don’t think so. I find Sephora’s version are always more shimmery and they don’t have that weird smell or at least not lately.

  • Taryn

    Whoever owns Stila now is really tanking the brand. Some of the stuff they’ve come out with just seems chintzy. I miss the days of Jeanine owning it.

    • the Muse

      I think they are trying to market more on a budget friendly spectrum Taryn which is great but also bad for quality sometimes 🙁

  • beautyjunkie520

    Now that I’ve seen some close-up pics of it on your website, I may just go check it out at Costco. I agree that the eyeshadow shades are rather limited but most of them are wearable shades for ME. $20 is not that much to spend on a palette that offers this much makeup. By the way, I like your blue eyeshadow look in the first pic!

    • the Muse

      Beautyjunkie I honestly think it’s kinda worth a haul, it has some nice shadows in it ;-D Aw thanks, cheers!

  • Jovanna

    I wished they did have other colors, the 4th row from the left should of been greens and pinks instead of MORE neutrals. I did like how these are not shimmery, but that’s me. Some of the dark browns are matte enough for me to use as a brow powder (which is a new thing for my routine). 🙂 I think the lip gloss/colors make the palette smell like cheapy makeup. I am loving that bright plumy purple. the blushes are good, not sure how bronzer helps in a holiday winter palette when we get whiter.

  • Jen

    You write the best and most thorough reviews! I just purchased this palette from a blogsale and have yet to receive it! I can’t wait to see how it works… I am a makeup noob afterall 🙂 But I enjoy collecting these palettes! haha 🙂