Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner presents an interesting way to apply liquid eyeliner, and if you pair it with the right brush, the results can be impressive. Its uniqueness stems from the jar packaging where the liquid formula resides in a cushion-style sponge that you dip your brush into. This setup offers a range of versatility in creating a precisely thin or thick line based on what kind of brush you want to use. It's not a total slam dunk for those with very oily skin (we explain why below), but if you like the idea of customizable control from a liquid formula rather than being limited by a particular applicator's design, Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner is worth checking out!
Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner glides across skin like a breeze, imparting rich color as it goes. As mentioned above, pairing it with the right brush for the type of line you want to create makes all the difference. Of course, Stila sells one to accompany it, featuring a narrow tip for precise strokes, but whether you go with Stila's brush or another, it's imperative to rinse the bristles after each use. Otherwise, the leftover product on the brush will harden as it dries.
Speaking of drying, eventually over the course of using this product you'll find that the sponge doesn't seem as saturated with the product as it once did. When you dip your brush into it, the liquid won't adhere as richly and hence, you get a sheerer stroke of color. To rectify this, you can flip the sponge over and voila—all the liquid that has been soaking at the bottom is now at the top.
As far as the shades go, the range includes metallic hues of purple, blue, and brown, as well as matte shades of garnet and black. Each offers "inky" pigmentation, and while the metallic shades have finely milled glitter, they do not flake, making this an ideal option if you want to add a bit of sparkle to your look.
The only hindrance to Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner's performance is that we found this formula tends to break down in the presence of oily skin (though using a mattifying eye primer can help with that). For all other skin types, it stays put impressively well throughout the day without flaking or fading.
We also have to do our due diligence and point out that the formula contains a small amount of a potentially irritating fragrant ingredient, but in this low of a concentration, we're not too concerned.
In the end, Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner isn't quite a perfect product, but it earns our praise for its smooth, rich color and customizable control!
Black Obsidian Ink: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Oleth-10, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract. May contain: Carbon Black. Amethyst Ink, Smoky Quartz Ink, Copper Ink, Blue Sapphire Ink, Garnet Ink: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Mica, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Bentonite, Phenoxyethanol, Bis-C16-20 Isoalkoxy Tmhdi/Peg-90 Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Disodium Edta, Oleth-10, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Metaphosphate, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Tin Oxide, Silica. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide Red, Carbon Black, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Blue 1 Lake.
Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell has been at the helm of Stila since its inception in 1994, and her creations have an impressive history of blending innovation with eye-catching, fun packaging. Of course, this innovation is not without its price, and you will find some rather ordinary products where the packaging or dispensing method is the only thing that's exciting. Where Lobell struck gold is with her superlative collection of foundations. We’ve examined hundreds of makeup lines for this and previous editions of this book, and Stila has had and continues to maintain one of the best collections of truly neutral foundation colors. For anyone confused about what we mean by "neutral tones," you need look no further, though we are pleased that more mainstream lines (including L'Oreal, Revlon, Clinique, and even Cover Girl) are now creating wonderfully neutral foundation colors. Stila's foundations aren't inexpensive, but it's critical to get a foundation that's right for you, and that may mean splurging. Other stellar categories include concealers, blush, eyeshadows, brushes, and much better mascaras than in years past.
Once an independent brand with a first-to-market approach to clever cardboard packaging that was sleek, urban, and utilitarian at the same time, Stila's presence and product lineup and distribution expanded (with mostly favorable results) when it was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999. It was a bit perplexing when Lauder announced in late 2005 that it would sell Stila to "optimize our portfolio of brands" and put more attention (read: financial resources) into their M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown brands (Source: The Rose Sheet, April 17, 2006, page 4). Ironically, of those three brands, Stila has the most compelling collection of products. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are no slouches, but Stila always had a slight edge, at least in the complexion-enhancing categories.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners (naming itself Stila Corporation) bought the brand from Lauder in spring 2006 and has been at the helm since. Lauder's no longer owning Stila led to the brand's hasty exit from department stores, a move that left many shoppers wondering what the heck happened (and, at least in the stores we visited, the sales associates were vague about the line's future). Luckily, Stila still has a home in Sephora stores worldwide, and is randomly distributed in select department stores. That's great news, because there is much to love about this line, and the most recent crop of products proves that Stila has every intention of remaining a competitive player in the compelling game that is the cosmetics industry.
For more information about Stila, visit www.stilacosmetics.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!