Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stila: "In The Light" vs. Eyes Are The Window "Soul" {eyeshadow palette comparison}

Do you think there are fairies in the desert?  Whenever I think of faerie folk, I generally envision them as feisty and frolicking in a verdant forest setting, where magic could masquerade all around and one might never know.  Somehow a stark desert expanse, simmering under a relentless sun, seems much too exposed for the shy elfin peoples.  And yet... can't you kind of imagine sand fairies with wispy mirage wings that fluff about in the sandstorms and create those mesmerizing ripples across the dunes??  Maybe?

Stila "Soul" [top] vs. "In The Light" [bottom]

Well anyways, these palettes reminded me of sun-drenched sands and bronzed beaches, and they are also fairly magical.  One of the lovely ladies at my local Ulta warned me that I wasn't going to be able to resist the packaging of Stila's 20th Anniversary collection, and she was right, I was not.   The new compacts are positively transcendent; exquisite and elemental with a mirrored metallic finish of rose, white, and yellow golds.  I can't even.  Just take my money.

According to Stila, the 'Eyes are the Window' palettes were inspired by 'the spiritual notion that true beauty is revealed from within'.  "Body" is full of bewitching petal tints and jewel shades that make me think of a reflecting pool in an enchanted forest.  "Mind" is a contemplative compilation of matte shadows balanced between serene cool tones and warm earthy hues.  "Spirit" is a wistful wash of shimmering mist neutrals and rose shadows.  And today of course I'm going to show you "Soul", a shimmering set of precious metal neutrals fit for a sun goddess.

"Soul" was my immediate favorite, but it felt familiar...  Turns out it actually shares most of its colors with the "In The Light" palette from Stila's Spring 2014 collection.  They're kinda like those fraternal twins you know who look exactly the same except for a few subtle nuances, but who get super indignant when people can't tell them apart.

Stila "Soul" vs. "In the Light"
Stila "Soul" vs. "In The Light"

IDENTICAL TWINS {unabashed duplicates} :
Light//Bare:   peach-tinted porcelain matte.  Bare might have a teensy bit more pink to it.
Kitten//Kitten:   Stila's iconic blushing champagne shimmer.
Heart//Bliss:   mauve-tinted nude matte.
Being//Sandstone:   espresso matte.
Essence//Ebony:   dark-side-of-the-moon black matte.

FRATERNAL TWINS {look-alikes with some distinctions} :
Vitality//Bubbly:   dawn gold shimmer.  Bubbly is very pigmented and has that dreamy buttery glide that makes my makeup-loving heart croon.  Vitality is quite sheer and has a dry chalky texture which makes it onerous to build up to full opacity.
Affection(& Peace)//Sunset:   molten bronze shimmer.  Peace is a tad darker than the other two, which are the same color-wise.  Formula wise not so much; "Light" Sunset had the same advantage over "Soul" Affection as Bubbly did over Vitality.  Sunset is sumptuous and striking; in comparison, Affection and Peace are kind of just disappointing.

INDIVIDUALS {unique between the palettes} :
Individual:   dulce de leche matte.  Such an opportunity for an ironic moment here.
Thought:   taupe shimmer.
Substance:   silvery stone shimmer.
Character:   deepest rosewood with dragon heartstring sparkles.  If that sounds like a wand description then good, because like a wand Character is pretty magical.

Gilded Gold:   toasted pecan with little gold sparkles.
Luster:   cool bark brown with little gold sparkles.
Night Sky:   shimmering blue steel tinged violet with silver sparkles.  Perhaps the most stunning and unique shadow of the two palettes.

Stila "In The Light"
Stila "Soul" - *Eyes Are The Window* Collection

This is a tough call for me.  'Eyes Are The Window' clearly takes the cake on packaging, and that is not an inconsiderable factor to me.  I can appreciate a great design, and in that regard "Soul" is spectacular.  "In The Light" and its cardboard case look flimsy and sad beside it.  That's doing the whole book judging by covers thing, though, because "In The Light" takes it away with eyeshadow pigmentation and formula, while "Soul" just doesn't measure up.  So let's look at the numbers: "Soul" retails for $49 and weighs in at 0.51oz/14.5 for 12 eyeshadows; that's $96.08 per ounce, or $4.08 per shadow.  "In The Light" currently retails for $39 (though it has moved aside for the 'Eyes Are The Window' palettes so perhaps that will change?), and in addition to the ten shadows includes a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in palette-exclusive "Damsel", which is a dark chocolate.  For 0.49oz/14g, that's $79.59 per ounce, or $3.90 per shadow; that does not include the exclusive full-size eyeliner valued at $20, so count that as a freebie.  (In the same vein: for any of you interested in "Mind", you might want to check out "In The Know"... like "Soul"/"In The Light", they're not the same but they're barking up the same tree.)
---'Eyes Are The Window' "Soul": beautiful packaging.  "In The Light": great formula, better value, free eyeliner.---

If you're like me and can't resist the EATW compact, maybe check out "Spirit" or "Body"; they strike me as a little more unique.

So which one would it be for you??  I picked these up at Ulta { }; you can also find Stila at their own site { } or at Sephora { }.



  1. I'm currently trying to make a decision about which one to purchase. I may end up going with the In The Light palette after reading your post, especially since they have decreased the price of it to just $20! Thanks for such an informative post! :)

    1. It's an EXCELLENT deal at $20. Go for it, girl! :) I have the Body and Spirit palettes, and I much prefer their formulas overall to that of Soul, so if you're needing the metallic palette give those a look! xo