Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stila In The Know matte eyeshadow palette review & swatches

I love reviewing my well loved collection staples because I have spent a lot of time forming my opinion. I have owned the Stila In The Know eyeshadow palette for almost a year and still use it regularly. In The Know is all matte (and *real* mattes - no hint of shimmer in the pan) and contains 10 mostly neutral shades. The palette usually retails for $40, but I have seen it on sale for $20 at promotional events (like Ulta's 21 days of beauty) and in clearance sections. I bought mine at Sephora.

Stila In The Know matte eyeshadow palette

Note: This palette also comes with a Stila smudge stick eyeliner in halfmoon (dark grey). I used it a handful of times and disliked it. The eyeliner does smudge, but didn't set well on my eyes, resulting in transfer to my lower lashline. If you like the smudgy lived in eyeliner look, you might like this product, but I passed it along to a friend.


 Stila In The Know palette - front

Stila In The Know palette - back

Stila In The Know is packaged in the same way the other "in the " series palettes are - solid colored cardboard exterior that flips open and an interior mirror. This packaging is purely functional, but doesn't feel especially nice or luxurious. The palette has held up pretty well over about a year of solid use and is sturdy. I don't like the flip open cover and would prefer a snap or hefty magnet. If you buy makeup for collectible packaging and love the thrill of feeling fancy when you use products, pass. If you like functional packaging that travels well and does its job stoically, you won't find any problems with In The Know.

I (clearly) haven't depotted mine, but I don't think it would be too challenging. The area around the eyeshadow pans is a foam core with a thin cardboard cover, so I think it would be pretty quick to pry out the pans if you wanted.


All of the shades are pure mattes, with absolutely no shimmer particles (looking at you, cheater Lorac Pro mattes)

 Labeled swatches of Stila's In The Know palette

Top Row:
  • Air - neutral ivory
  • Wind - yellow toned beige 
  • Desert - warm toned camel 
  • Clay - warm toned medium pink
  • Earth - neutral medium-deep brown
 Bottom Row: 
  • Driftwood - cool toned medium-deep brown
  • Fire - burnt orange red
  • Rain - cool toned medium brown
  • Smoke - charcoal grey
  • Ebony - black 

Stila In The Know matte eyeshadow palette swatches

All swatches were done on bare, unprimed skin.

Standout Shades:
  • Wind is unusually opaque for a skin toned base shade
  • Clay is a unique shade in my collection - it looks beautiful worn sheerly, built up, or as a transition shade
  • Fire is a welcome addition to an otherwise neutral palette
Disappointing  Shades: 
  • Earth takes a little work to blend
  • Driftwood is very very very similar to Earth, but with a slightly better formula (Rain is smoother and easier to blend than both Earth and Driftwood)
  • Smoke is the only real dud of the palette for me - it doesn't apply as smoothly or blend as easily as the others
Overall, I recommend this palette highly, especially on a sale price. I think these mattes are wonderful to work with and are smooth, blendable, and pigmented. Mattes get a bad rap, but this palette feels like redemption, especially in the lighter shades. Even if you don't wear all matte looks often, In The Know is a nice companion palette for shimmery palettes that don't include the basics.

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