On to the main show. As I've mentioned, I'm not a big fan of the hologram image on the packaging, but the case feels pretty sturdy and seems to be of good quality. My friends and I agree that the best part of the packaging is the big mirror on the inside of the lid that's great for traveling. Surprisingly, there is no plastic covering for the eyeshadows, which is a first in all the mirrored palettes I've ever seen. There's not much fall out with these eyeshadows though, so the mirror has stayed shadow-free with minimal cleaning. Still, I haven't traveled with the palette yet, so perhaps it will be disaster once I do...
The powder in the Stila eyeshadows I've seen in person are probably the silkiest out of everything that I own or have tried, and this palette is no exception. Some of the high end shadows I've seen like Dior's and Guerlain's can be finely milled, but they're packed down so tight that the shadows are kind of hard to pick up. That is not the case with Stila shadows. These eyeshadows are extremely pigmented and easy to pick up (e.g., I just used my liner brush on a shade this morning, and I dented the shadow when I pressed too hard ^^"'). I would actually consider this palette to have the most pigmented non-liner shades out of everything that I currently own. In addition, the lasting power of the shadows are great with UDPP underneath, so no complaint there either. Still, my favorite part of this palette is the number of colors it contains. Following is a swatch of all the colors with flash.
The palette contains 12 shades laid out like you are buying four trios in one packaging, as you can see above. This layout gives those of us who are bad at pairing colors together an idea for how to wear the different shadows, but still allows the creative or adventurous bunch to mix and match from different trios. For the purposes of swatching, I will be introducing the different shadows by the trio they are grouped in. Before we move on to the individual trios, just a note that all shades in the palette have a metallic or shimmery finish to some extent.
First, the shades in the top left trio of the palette are a sheer beige (A1), a warm medium-dark bronze (A2), and a bright pink (A3). The pink looks quite sheer here, but it can be layered on for a more intense effect. Overall, this is a very spring-like trio.
Next, the top right trio contains a vibrant peacock-y turquoise (B1), a medium-dark gunmetal gray (B2), and an intense purple with blue reflect (B3). This trio is very interesting, and when using all three together, one can create a very colorful and vibrant look that's reminiscent of everything MAC. Once again, the purple shade looks quite sheer here, but it can also be layered on for a more intense effect.
The bottom left trio contains a periwinkle blue (C1), a dark midnight blue (C2), and a medium silvery-gray (C3). This is probably my least favorite trio out of the four because the middle shade is a bit chalky and hard to blend, and also because blues and grays are somewhat of a challenge for my complexion. The periwinkle blue serves as a great middle color between the turquoise and purple from previous trio, though.
Finally, the last trio on the bottom right contains a sheer peach (D1), a cool olivey brown (D2), and a light green (D3) that reminds of ferns or geckos (in a good way). The look of this trio is very nature-themed and also somewhat spring-like.
All in all, there are a variety of looks you can create with just this one palette, from natural and understated to loud and colorful. For me, this palette is definitely something I would use more during the summer.
All pictures in this post were taken under natural light unless otherwise noted.
In short: You are going to love this palette if you like pigmented vibrant colors. The price is amazing for the number of colors, the quality of the shadows is great, and you get a huge mirror, what more can you want? ^.~