When Fiona Stiles hit Ulta about…I wanna say maybe a year and a half ago? I was intrigued. I liked the look of the packaging, and the colour combinations looked interesting. But…I’d never heard of Fiona Stiles. Like who was this chick and why was I supposed to care that she had a makeup line now? The price point became the second issue for me. I’m not about to drop almost forty dollars on a single product from a brand that I know nothing about, that’s barely been reviewed. Nah.
So now here we are a year later, and Ulta no longer has it in stores and it’s being sold for nothing on their website. That $36 foundation? Is now $7.50, your girl bought damn near the entire line because she could finally take a chance on some of it failing without actually feeling the burn. But before we talk about everything that I ordered, and encourage you to do the same before it all sells out, let’s talk about the brand.
Who Is Fiona Stiles & Why Is The Brand Being Discontinued?
Fiona Stiles is a celebrity makeup artist. She’s a behind the scenes kind of person, not well known like a Pat McGrath or Kevyn Aucoin in his day. So if you’re in the industry, you’re aware of who she is the stellar work that she does and has done. You basically know that this lady knows her ish. If you’re just a regular Jan? Not so much. Which is why the line is being discontinued. Her PR team and Ulta’s PR team failed the brand. They did none of the things usually done to create buzz around a new brand.
- The brand very quietly landed in Ulta.
- No Instagram or Twitter Q&A’s or ads.
- No store launch parties to introduce the brand to customers.
- Very few bloggers were sent PR kits. All of them were white.
- They relied too heavily on her reputation, which if you’re someone like Mario who everyone knows as Kim’s MUA is great. For someone who the masses have no idea who are?
- You set the brand up for failure, which it did and that sucks because it’s really good makeup. Like really really good.
What I Copped & Why I Love It.
Like I said I bought, pretty much the entire line. I’m encouraging you to go straight from reading this post to the Ulta website and grab whatever you can at this point, because everything is between $4 and $7.50, and because you will not regret it in the least. Of everything that I got, I really only had issue with one item and I already sort of knew I would have issues with it.
Colour Impact Matte Lip Crayon – $16 $4.
When I picked these up all five shades were still available, as of now there are only there are only four. Heliotrope my favourite colour is gone. This is the only lip product that I got, I almost got all of the ones available but I hate lip products that transfer and this being matte called to me. The three colours that I picked up are Heliotrope mauvey rose pink, Love Lane a bright cool magenta, and Stoddard a blue based red.
These are some of the best matte, non liquid lipsticks I’ve ever used. After the initial application where it goes on very easily and smoothly like a satin lipstick, they do not budge do not transfer and they fade evenly over many many hours. They’re also very comfortable to wear, didn’t dry out my lips and feel like I’m wearing a comfortable balm.
Soft Cheek Veil Blush – $20 $5 (no longer available from Ulta)
Before I talk about this, I just need to say that I’m absolutely in love with all the packaging for this line. One of the things that was said when the line first went on discount at Ulta was that it was being pulled for repackaging, which made no sense because the packaging was more than fine. It’s elegant and minimalist. No snaps or buttons, everything is magnetic closure. Whoever designed it did an excellent job.
On to the blush. I was really sad that I didn’t get to the blushes before most of the colours sold out, because there were at least four that I’d wanted to try. As it was there were only two shades left when I made my purchase. Because they were only $5, even though I didn’t feel very confident in one of the colours, I got both anyway. I got Pomander Walk, a bright cool pink and Imperial and brown raisin with a slightly orange undertone.
I guess they’re called a soft cheek veil because;
- On initial application they’re quite sheer.
- I did discover that they build very well.
- You can wear these as sheer or as bright as you’d like them to be.
- I was able to build it nicely without it getting cakey or looking unnatural or clinging to the peach fuzz on my face.
- I got a full day’s wear out of it, about six hours, before it started to break down.
Although Pomander Walk looks as if it might be too light for me in this picture, turns out it’s not. Below I’m wearing Pomander Walk blush and Heliotrope lip in the first picture, in the second I’m wearing Imperial blush which for me is just a very neutral no blush blush.
Artist Eyeshadow Quad – $28 $7.
I got three of the four quads that were left. The only one I didn’t pick up was the one with all the neutral shades. I got Oceanus a collection of blue green variations. Electra a group of purple berries with a taupey beige and Canyon and set of browns and bronzes.
The finish of the quads works for well for their particular shade groupings. So for instance while Canyon has only one matte shade, Electra has three and Oceanus has none. These are without a doubt high end shadows. They’re soft and apply well, give excellent pigmentation and they build up very very well. Oh, zero fallout. Zero. The only thing missing from each of these shadows is an outer V darkening shade, you’ll have to use something else. Swathes and me wearing Electra Below.
Luminous Concentrate Foundation – $30 $7.50, Finishing Powder – $26 $6.50, Concealer – $24 $6.
I’d already tried one of the foundation finishes last year. I’d gotten the Matte Concentrate from QVC in 09 Almond. And it kinda sucked. The colour is way off in pictures, even in winter it was a little bit too light for me. I could work with that, but the thing that irritated me the most was the packaging. The bottle cap is cute, but needs to be put back on in a very specific way or it doesn’t go on at all. If anything needs repackaging it’s the foundation bottles.
I went ahead and got it in the Luminous finish because a matte finish will always be lighter so I figured maybe this would be better. While it was better, it was still off. It’s not that the colour itself is wrong I eventually realised, it’s that the undertones aren’t quite golden enough as they claim it to be. A drop of the Clinique BIY drops fixed it, but it’s still summer so it looked a bit cool on me. I have hope though that in winter I’ll be able to wear it successfully.
- It performs reasonably well, it applies well and you don’t have to rush to blend it.
- It’s comfortable on the skin and lasts a good four hours before I start to get oily break through.
- I would recommend this foundation to people with dry skin.
- If you have oily skin you can wear it just be prepared to powder.
- It gives a luminous satin finish that I didn’t find greasy looking.
- It retains that luminosity even when powdered.
- Covers extremely well.
I got the pot concealer in 09 Almond as well and although it looks to be the exact shade of the foundation, it has the undertone depth that the foundation lacks. It’s a high coverage, that you’ll really only need when not using the foundation from this line. For me, the colour match on the concealer was dead on. It couldn’t have been more perfect if it had actually been created with me in mind. It doesn’t even break down when the foundation starts to, which can look weird but I’ll take it Swatches of both below.
The last thing that I got, I got because of a recommendation because lord knows that I don’t need another finishing powder. But good lord am I happy that I got it.
- It’s a very finely milled powder.
- Like the concealer, it has more depth in the undertone than the foundation.
- For me it still leans a little bit neutral, especially now in summer when I’m hyper warm toned.
- It will set your foundation and keep it set for hours.
- It doesn’t interfere with the finish of your foundation.
- Even when used with a matte finish foundation, it doesn’t look dry or cakey.
I didn’t get a chance to swatch it because it’s so fine that it kept disappearing on my hand when I tried. But just trust me that it’s…whew!
This line is definitely worth the money. It’s a shame that because of bad promotion it’s leaving Ulta, but there is a good news bad news situation here. You’re not going to be able to find most of the items at Ulta because just about everything is sold out. However, if you’re willing to pay full price for them, it’s still available on QVC which is also phasing it out but still charging full prices. I’d say get what you can from the Ulta site, and if you love it splurge on QVC.
One of the things that bothers me and I really hope that the brand will be re-launched so they can address it, is the fact that it’s not very black girl friendly. You can find a shade if you’re a light enough shade of dark and fit into the undertone. The foundation lines have ten shades each and only the very last shade is really black girl friendly but has red undertones. So yeah, it’s a wonderful line if you’re fair enough, and I hope they fix that.