Holiday 2015 seems to have broken the record for gift sets and massive palettes. Many brands have come up with several options, some more impressive than others. I didn't succumb to too many (I know a husband who would beg to differ), but my first purchase of the season was the Sephora exclusive from Stila, A Whole Lot Of Love. I've been sitting on this one for six weeks now, so I feel I can give it a good review, despite my relatively lack of familiarity with Stila's most recent formulas.
As I've mentioned in the past, after a long slump Stila seems to be back. The brand has been making a real effort, changed manufactures, and added some very cool colors and formulas. A Whole Lot Of Love is the first palette I've ever bought from them, and I'm quite impressed. The variety, textures, elegant and highly desirable colors are making it an excellent option for "something to wear" way beyond the holiday season. The set includes twenty eye shadows in finishes ranging from matte to satin to high shimmer, and four blushes. There's also a travel size mascara, which is the one thing I haven't cracked open yet. I'm up to my eyeballs in mascara, and have never been a fan of Stila mascaras in the past (watch me eat my words at some point in the future when I actually give it a try).
I'm going by Stila's numbering. The names/descriptions on the outer box tell most of the story. I'm adding my impression of the finish and texture.
1. An off-white high shimmer, very smooth.
2. Warm beigey matte, buttry.
3. Cool toned light greige shimmer.
4. High shimmer warm rose.
5. Shimmery rose gold that leans salmon.
6. High shimmer lavendery silver, really really interesting.
7. Green-tinged silver, very soft and smooth.
8. A metallic taupe. Gorgeous.
9. Matte buttery camel.
10. Beautiful matte brown, blends beautifully in the crease.
11. A classic satin taupe.
12. Matte chocolate, much stiffer than the other matte, meant for lining.
13. Pink. The only one I can't use without mixing and layering.
14. A sparkly deep plum, somewhat gritty.
15. A dreamy metallic riviera blue. The stuff of my dreams.
16. A surprisingly dark indigo blue. Do not over-blend.
17. Frosted Lavender. Not my best color, will look fantastic against green eyes and bronzed skin.
18. Dark cool matte purple. Same texture as Chocolate, designed for lining and not for blending.
19. High shimmer and slightly gritty pearly gray. could have been an Urban Decay shade.
20. Matte black. Again-- more liner than shadow.
The blushes are beautiful. Only the light pink in the top left is too light for me on its own (looks chalky), but adds a bit of life to a more brownish base. Dusty Rose (No.2) is my natural easy to wear color. Goes with everything and has a demi-matte finish. No. 3 and 4 remind me of many NARS blushes.The peachy one is glowing and delightful, while the shimmery plum is dramatic and beautiful.
Bottom Line: one of the best choices of the season.
Stila A Whole Lot Of Love Set Holiday 2015 ( $59, blushes and eye shadows made in the USA, mascara made in Italy) is a Sephora exclusive, available online and in store.