I purchased this $10 Stila palette from Sephora because I like Stila, love a good deal and I've been into palettes these last few years. I realize that with the cost of singles, you really do get a better deal with palettes. Plus, I like the variety. I would even say I probably value variety over (product) quantity when I think of palettes. So here is a shot of the Stila Collectible Travel Palette No. 1 - Road to Radiance: Across the USA:
The back of the palette shows that there are 4 eyeshadows and 1 convertible color, meant to be used on lips and cheeks. It also shows the quantities of each item:
The inside of the palette, showing the small mirror, convertible color and eyeshadows:
The packaging is made of carton and although probably not the most durable or luxe-looking, makes the entire palette light and easy to tote around. It has a magnetic closure so I would be wary of actually leaving this in my purse. If I did though, I think I would put it back in the plastic bag so it does not accidentally get opened.
Here are the swatches of the eyeshadows. From left, Southern Belle (pink), City Chick (brown with plum tones), Valley Girl (lavender with plum tones), Snow Bunny (metallic lavender):
Then, a heavy swatch of Hibiscus convertible color:
I am not a big fan of Stila's convertible color or most cream-formula blushes. Multi-use products like Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge or NARS The Multiple don't hold any temptation for me either. As for Stila's convertible color, the texture is too dry on lips for me. On cheeks, I find it a little challenging to spread it evenly. Given that, I have used this on my cheeks and the color is very pretty. It's a sweet bright pink with a touch of rose. I applied using a small stippling brush. I find that the color distributes more evenly that way. The lasting power is not bad but I toned it down a little with translucent powder because I didn't want such a bright cheek. If you like the formula of Stila's convertible color, this will be definitely be a hit.
I would say the eyeshadows are pretty sheer and City Chick is probably the most pigmented. They blend together easily but in the end, they kind of just become a rather dull lavender with brownish tones. I own over a dozen Stila single eyeshadows and these don't feel like they're cut from the same cloth. The quality is definitely different, more powdery, less pigmented. Snow Bunny is the least pigmented of the bunch and it is kind of frosty.
I did a really simple look using all the colors and even with primer it came out so light you can barely see the colors in the picture.
I used City Chick on the lid up to the crease and darkened the outer corner and crease with it, topped Southern Belle on the inner half and Valley Girl on the outer half and over the browbone, then Snow Bunny to highlight under the brow. Then I used a Plum liner on the top and bottom of lashes and a really dark mascara.
Overall, for $10, it's worth keeping. I don't know how much I'll reach for this palette throughout the year because the quality is a little lacking. I'm a little wary now when products are made in China. I had a suspicion that was going to be the case with this, given the price. But I think the colors go well with each other, cheek color included. I'm big on smoky violet or lavender eyes so they definitely hit the mark on the colors. If you're going for the sheer look, this will work rather well. If you want deep purple and tons of smokiness, you'll need the help of a good base to hold the color, maybe a cream shadow to intensify the dark shades, and a lovely plum eyeliner (like Chanel's Cassis Stylo Yeux Waterproof or Tarte's Waterproof clay shadow/liner in Plum) to complement.