Review: Stila In the Moment Eyeshadow Palette

Fun fact: purple is the best color (After all, who doesn’t love a good non-spectral hue?). This is objective. You can trust me. Sometimes I talk about science on this blog.

Fun fact #2: neutrals are the staple of all eyeshadows. An eyeshadow collection without neutrals is like a kitchen without salt. It’s possible for forego them, but it becomes much more difficult to create an appealing product. Even if you walk around looking like the Sugarpill Cosmetics facebook page all the time, you’re gonna need a black and a white and gold.

The Stila in the Moment Eyeshadow Palette is a mix of purples and neutrals. In theory, it should be the best thing ever.

Unfortunately, packaging-wise, this product feels really cheap. I’m not sure who thought, “Lavender cardboard! That will entice people to purchase this product! And, for good measure, we’ll put metallic hearts on the front, just to drive home the fact that this is totally for adults.” That person, however, should probably not have a job in product design.
Instead of having a mirror on the inside cover of this palette, Stila decided to include a vague platitude by the company’s global director of education Sarah Lucero that reads, “Cherish the beauty of the moment.” (Without the capitalization, of course. Stila’s computers do not have shift keys.)

When I was in sixth grade, we started each class with a discussion of a famous quote. Towards the end of the year, my teacher caved and began to let class members make up their own quotes to discuss. Because sixth graders are not very deep, every single quote was either directly plagiarized (I remember someone pretending that they made up the quote “All roads lead to Rome”.), an obvious derivative of an otherwise famous quote (E.g. “You only get fifteen minutes of fame, so you better not waste it!”), or so uninspired that they have completely slipped from my memory. I feel like Sarah Lucero would have felt right at home in my sixth grade class.

Personally, I don’t use the mirrors on eyeshadow palettes, so I don’t really care that it’s absent, but I know it’s really, really important to some people, because I guess they always do their makeup on the bus or something. If you care, then, know that there is no mirror.
The top row of shadows are sort of the more purple-y shades. They are as follows:

Instinct is a very intense frosty, cream that leans towards being a pale pink or a pinkish beige.

Impulse is a pale lilac, also with a frosty finish.

Glance is a rich, cool, medium-toned purple. This one has more of a satin finish.

Improvise is a dark plum filled with lighter purple hunks of glitter.

Catalyst is black with purple glitter.

All five of these shades are really beautiful. Glance is maybe a bit less pigmented than I might wish, which is a bummer since it is such a pretty color, but it works fine as long as you pair it with a top-notch primer.

The bottom row is filled with neutral colors:

Desire is a matte, pale peach. It is a shadow that tends to get a layer of grime and oil on top that ruins the pigmentation and has to be scraped off after a few uses. It’s also not very pigmented even when it’s clean!

Wonder is a pink-leaning tan with a satin finish.

Spontaneous is a shimmery copper.

Whim is a shimmery warm brown. I don’t find this shade to be as pigmented as I would like.

Captivate is a cool, frosty brown filled with metallic glitter. Again, this shade is a little bit disappointing. It seems that the opacity decreases way too quickly as you blend the damn thing.
The palette also contains a full-size Smudge Stick eyeliner in Tetra. Smudge Sticks usually retail for $20 for 0.1oz. I personally would not pay $20 for a Stila Smudge Stick, but it’s something to keep in mind if you have been lusting after the Tetra eyeliner.
The Smudge Sticks do twist up, which is nice. Tetra is very smooth and feels nice during the application, but, given the fact that it is literally called a “Smudge Stick”, I actually don’t think it smudges particularly well.
Tetra is an eggplant shade with purple glitter.
Here are some looks I’ve done using this palette:
Overall, I really like this palette, although it’s a bummer that some of the colors are not as saturated and beautiful as I would have preferred. In particular, Desire, Whim, and Captivate were not up to par. There are so many fantastic neutral palettes out there that I hold neutrals to a really high standard. I think it’s particularly egregious when a brown eyeshadow misses the mark since I kind of feel like we should have brown eyeshadow figured out by now. I also personally don’t have a lot of use for the Smudge Stick in Tetra, as I pretty consistently lean towards crisper lines for my eyeliner save for tightlining (and you can’t exactly tightline with purple glitter!). And, of course, the packaging is awful. Still, most of the colors are beautifully pigmented, the crappier shades can be built up as needed, and the shades chosen more generally are excellent. I definitely get a lot of use out of this palette, flaws aside.

Stila’s In the Moment Eyeshadow Palette retails for $39 for 0.49oz, putting it at a totally acceptable $79.59 per ounce. (The bonus Smudge Stick is an additional 0.01oz.)


1. I do my makeup on the bus sometimes…. Mirrors are important for a perpetually late person!

2. May your liquid liner always be straight, even when on a bouncy bus.

3. I like Stila eyeshadows, but they make my eyes water like crazy. Do you know if there’s any ingredient in them that is unusual or could cause sensitivity?

4. Hm. I wonder if maybe it is triethylhexanoin? That’s not super common in eyeshadows and can, occasionally and if you are unlucky, cause eye irritation. You might want to just make a spreadsheet and cross the ingredients for products you know to cause irritation and ones you know do not and see if that narrows it down since you know a lot more specifics about what eyeshadow you have used than I do.

5. This is a fabulous and hilarious response. Is there any way to incorporate a chi test or at least some kind of bar graph into this sucker?

6. I know this is an old comment but I just wanted to mention I can’t wear Urban Decay shadows.. they drive my eyes nuts. Feels like I have salt in them. It’s the only brand I’ve ever had a problem with, and I have a LOT of shadows. I even tried the new formula that came out a year or two ago, the same thing. I never have figured out what it is in them that is the culprit. I just stopped wearing/buying them. Their liners and mascaras don’t bother me at all, just the shadows.

7. I don’t understand how criticizing metallic hearts and corny quote (and the author) have anything to do with how critical minds think. Michelle Phan says a lot of corny things but look where she is at. I stop reading as soon as I get to your 6th grade life story. This “critical mind” reading damaged my brain cells. P.S. It doesn’t take much to light a box.

8. “This ‘critical mind’ reading damaged my brain cells.”

I can see that.

9. I enjoyed the story about your sixth-grade class. I’m also not a fan of deep thoughts on makeup. So please don’t change on me now. 😀

10. I think maybe someone…is not the brightest bulb in the box!


12. Omg, a box is so small, how many light bulb does it take to light a box? Claiming you are the “Brightest Bulb In the Box” obviously says VERY little about yourself. Telling me that I’m not the brightest bulb in the box is not an insult so no, I’m not “burnt”.

13. Boxes come in all sizes. And “ya burnt” referred to’s.

14. Thanks for the review – ordinarily I would be drawn to a palette like this, but I’ve been off Stila products for quite a while now. The one small palette that I started with “Not So Nude” was frustratingly sheer (or just not pigmented at all), so much so that, in a fit of pique, I finally slammed it into the trash. The next try was the Stila lip gloss. No. Just NO. Twist, twist, twist, nothing….and then a lap full of lip gloss. Finally, Stila tinted moisturizer – it was neither tinted nor moisturizing,
Oh, one more thing. It’s hard to tell the stuff apart since every single item is named Kitten.

15. It’s like UD with their “Naked”s. They realized that they had a recognizable name that sold well and now they just can’t let go!

16. What lip color are you wearing in the last pic? It’s gorgeous!

Also, just lol @ the comment about critical minds. No words.

17. It’s Kat Von D’s F.T.W.

18. I love the second picture, very spring-themed 😉

what lipstick did you use any?

19. NYX Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp.

20. Here to reiterate the other two questions – what lipsticks are you using (especially in pic 1)?

21. #1 is Stila Liquid Lipstick in Beso.


22. Haha, I was going to ask the same thing. AND NOW I KNOW.

23. It is indeed true that purple is the best color! It’s a shame that Stila couldn’t nudge a little more pigmentation into the nicest shade in the palette (Glance)…

24. You can make it work, but it would be awesome if it was nice on its own…

25. I am on a quest for the perfect purple eyeshadow. Nothing shimmery or frosty, just a nice, deep matte purple.

26. Any photo inspiration?

27. Perspective on the mirror thing — I have glasses and no convenient way to use a magnified mirror while I do my makeup, as I lack good lighting + space to sit. So I’m usually using a mirror in a compact product, such as the Mary Lou-Manizer when I do my eye makeup or detail concealing work. The mirrors in eyeshadow palettes minimize the number of times I have to pick something up, then put it down again. It’s part of why I use palettes almost exclusively.

28. Oh, no worries! I meant that as a joke. I’m sure people have all sorts of reasons to like mirrors in palettes (which is why I mentioned it in the first place!).

29. I’ve been eyeing the “in the garden” palette for a while but I am not a big makeup spender haha.
I am not sure what to think now with this review.

30. Can you please do tutorials or briefly explain how you did those 3 looks? I’m a makeup beginner and I just bought the palette and can’t find any tutorials I like- but I LOVE your looks!

31. The looks you created are beautiful! I love purple shades and find they’re often less pigmented than I want them to be. This seems like a great palette and I want to try it out!

Abby from Abby Talks