When I first saw these online they looked like regular ol' baked shadows to me, so I wasn't really interested. Oh, their description clearly stated that they weren't... but they LOOKED like they were. And at the very least, with my convoluted thinking, if they looked like baked shadows then they must perform like a lot of baked shadows do (i.e., they must be dry, dusty and hard to work with). But au contraire, mon frére! Stila's Countless Color Pigments are true to their name as they are a pressed pan of potently pigmented possibilities! I picked up the blue/green version called Light Show.
Light Show is a combination of blue, dark teal and green-yellow. I want to say that the pan contains three distinct colors, but it doesn't quite; the pigments kinda bleed and overlap in certain places while staying solid in others, much like a pan of tie-dye. This beautiful configuration allows your imagination to be the guide to either play the field and create various shades via swirling or layering or stay monogamous to one color at a time.
The two blues gave off an excellent amount of color when swatched; I only needed a light tap for it to yield an eyeful! However, I did find the green-yellow to be a bit lacking in comparison. The pressed pigments overall were very smooth to the touch and although they are listed as pearls, to me they looked and felt a lot more like they had a satin finish.
It is recommended to apply the pigments with a finger or sponge tip applicator and while the former worked well in the swatches above regarding the blues, neither worked well for the green-yellow. It was only after I enlisted the help of an eyeshadow (shader) brush that I saw more payoff. The fluff of the brush worked better in gathering more of the pigment and then I simply dabbed it on to distribute the color. It still didn't yield an opaque layer so I probably wouldn't wear this solo, but it will be sufficient for blending and creating shades with the blues.
Another thing worth mentioning, no two products will be exactly alike. As you can see, my Light Show differs slightly even from the colors listed on the box it came in. Mine has but a slither of yellow, unlike its packaging which seems to have an explosion of yellow in the bottom corner. If you are extra particular about what colors you want and how much of it you get in your pan then please save yourself the heartache of ordering online and buy these in person. For me, I wasn't that concerned so I ordered online. And I'm cool with what I ended up with.
So, outside of the ailing green-yellow, I am pretty pleasantly surprised by this eyeshadow. The colors are pretty and the payoff was pretty good. But don't call it a baked shadow! It is more like a gathering of three pigments that were pressed together and went through a baking process... Yes, that's more like it. It's SO not your typical baked eyeshadow. And it was only after I saw, felt and tried it out for myself that I realized this and finally saw the light.
Stila Countless Color Pigments in Light Show can be found at Sephora, Ulta and stila.com, and retails for $22.