August 18, 2011

Stila Love and Empower Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

As much as I wanna say, “OMG! Go get yourself a Stila Love and Empower Set”…I’ll refrain.

I ranted a tad bit about the price tag in a post recently and after purchasing and trying out the palette, well, the price point plus the performance of the palette have combined and given me a headache and a heartache.

Check it!

A shadow and face palette plus a lipglaze set to celebrate the book and movie release, The Help.

Stila did a bundle set with this to include a Lipglaze as well as a face and eye palette. Of course, the palette is done in the new style slim design of the recently released Beach Girl Palettes. These palettes are a little wider than the days of old vintage cardboard Stila Palettes and feature a Stila girl on the cover…in this case I believe they went with a girl that resembled Skeeter, the main character of the book and movie. I personally love Stila packaging and I once read that they veered away from including the Stila girls for a while so it opened a newer market for them since the girl’s were considered a little immature. Not sure if this is true but I guess it makes sense to some point. Older fans, no matter your age, will still embrace and love the Stila girls no matter what and I happen to be all about them so I love this packaging.

I also enjoy the fact they fit four shades of shadow a blush and a highlighter in one easy to store and travel with package. These are a step above the US Travel Girl Palettes from last year since they include powders all around (they used to contain cream Convertible Blushes), a small how to get the look guide, and a mirror.

I’ve mentioned in my review of the Beach Girl Palettes that they are just middle of the range for Stila in terms of texture and formula. They aren’t the normal range nor are they as bad as the US Palettes but the do fall right in the middle with a good, solid pigmentation and overall nice formula that blends well and wears well. Sadly, this does not extend to Stila Love and Empower but I’ll get that in a second.

This comes with the palette as well as a Stila Lipglaze in Apricot. The Lipglaze is a sheer, nude shade of apricot peach with very little color pay off.

The palette includes shades in:

  • Love
  • Empower
  • Dignity
  • Cherish
  • Blush in Hope
  • Highlighter in Joy
  • Love: A soft matte creamy beige.
  • Empower: Dirty shimmering gold.
  • Dignity: Plummy semi-matte with gold shimmer, comes across almost brown.
  • Cherish: Softer, plum mauve.

  • Blush in Hope: Dusky, warm peach.
  • Highlighter in Joy: Cooler, pale peach.

I find the highlighter pigmented enough to act as a cooler shade of blush so really it’s two blushes you are getting here not one.

Stila suggests starting the look by using Love all over your eye as a color wash, with Empower in the crease…now I like this just as it is without anything in the palette. It creates a very soft pretty look. However, I believe they ruin it by suggesting to use Dignity for what they call “a hint of shimmer” on your lid….I’ve no idea what that even means since the color is so deep it would completely ruin the look. I do think they got confused and maybe they meant Cherish as this is the shade the suggested for use to line your upper and lower lash line with…if you choose to do this you wouldn’t be able to see it on your upper lash line as Dignity would drown it out.

On that note….

The formula of the shadows is a big drop down from the Beach Palettes. The colors are very soft and sheer aside from Dignity which in its own right isn’t anything to write home about either since it is pigmented but applies patchy. I actually like both Love and Empower and think they create a very soft, pretty eye look but the velvety, creamy formula we have come to expect from the Beach Girl Palettes simply doesn’t come into play with this palette. I also felt the shades were slightly mismatched and didn’t work well together but that could be my lack of knowledge when it comes to contrasting good shades of shadow.

And of course…that wicked price tag. Stila has this available for a whooping $29 dollars. The price is unfair to say the least as Beach Girl Palettes are $14 dollars which means I’m paying $15 for a Lipglaze that isn’t even full size (.05 oz). You can get three Lipglazes for $12 in a set they have for Fall at the moment. I’ve ranted more about the price in my prior post you can see here so I won’t go into details again but the price is a little crazy and inconsistent with their current offerings. You simply can’t offer inexpensive products and proceed to jack products up again and expect fans to willingly pay the increase without a grumble or two plus add to the fact the quality simply isn’t there and you have unhappy fans!

  • Anyone who enjoys Stila, likes collecting it, and simply has that “need them all” disease.
  • Anyone looking for softer, more delicate shades of shadow to work with for a nude, natural look.
  • Those who don’t kind higher price tags when they’ve previously paid lower from a brand!

  • Those who aren’t keen on random price increases and paying more for something that was originally offers that a lower price tag.
  • Those wanting pigmented shadows or those uses to Stila’s normal velvety, creamy formula.

You won’t get a recommendation for the Stila Love and Empower Set from me sadly. I liked some of the shades in this palette and even embraced the fact they weren’t nearly as frosty as Stila shadows tend to be but I felt like the palette took a step down from the step up that Stila recently took when they introduced the Beach Girl Palettes. I could embrace the price tag possibly but it’s mostly the inconsistency with Stila lately that does have me confused in terms of not only pricing but formula. Sometimes it good, sometimes bad, sometimes it’s cheap, sometimes it’s expensive….You have to meet me in the middle somewhere and stop confusing the hell out of me guys. I love you but this set needs alot of work to get my seal of approval. Understandably I hauled it for my own personal “need them all” disease plus I wanted to review it here on Musings so you can see if you too needed. Fans of the brand probably will want it where as others will be a bit more nitpicky and choosy about actually dishing out the buck here. Formula isn’t the fab and the price tag jumped the shark in a major way.

Cute but no cigar.

Did you purchase it?

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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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  • Sarah S.

    Oh, bummer. I got this but haven’t swatched it yet… but I guess I’m glad I got it anyway as now I’m a “Stila Icon” and they’re going to give me $100 worth of product free (lookin’ on the bright side!). Don’t you think they have one of the better incentives out there on their website?

    • the Muse

      ha same here sarah ;-D! yeah, for sure, not many brands offer good bonuses, etc…!

  • eight

    Although I like the couple Stila products I’ve tried, I’m ok with being annoyed at them now because they shortchanged me on a palette I ordered from their sale on Hautelook! (Apparently they had less stock than they promised Hautelook so I couldn’t get the one thing I wanted the most 🙁 )

    ..Sorry, had to rant.

    Anyway, yeah, passing this one up. I could buy two Beach Girl palettes for that price, if I decide to be nice to Stila again.

    • the Muse

      aw sorry about hautelook eight! that stinks! :-/ that’s true why settle for one when you can have two!?

  • Jackers

    It’s sad, Stila really seems to be going down in quality lately. I used to enjoy the brand for the eyeshadows and convertible colors but nothing I’ve seen that has come out in the last few years had made me even remotely curious or feel like I should spend money on them.

  • JulieN

    I have the disease, but I’m waiting for it to go on sale (cross fingers).

  • Chris

    You know, I bought this for my mom for her birthday, and she didn’t like it (thankfully I got her other things as well!), so I re-claimed it over Thanksgiving. It has become my go-to palette. The nude look from love-empower-cherish, or from love-dignity-cherish, is gorgeous, and I really like the way hope and joy work together on my (warm, very light) skin. This is my favorite of the Stila palettes, with A Few of My Favorite Things coming up second.

    Admittedly, I’ve never tried Stila’s eyeshadows out of the palettes, and their blushes (a convertible color and a custom color) perform so differently from each other that it’s impossible to compare the palette’s blushes to a “normal” stila blush.

    I’ve never really liked Stila’s lip glazes- I tolerate very few things on my lips- so I considered that a sunk $14, but the palette itself is worth at least $20.