Part of Stila's Spring 2015 collection, this set includes the colours Lillium (described as a "pink nude"), Petunia ("coral peach") and Hibiscus ("coral red"). There's also another set of 3 mini Convertible Colors with Camellia ("peachy brown"), Peony ("brownish rose") and Tulip ("deep berry"), but I didn't see it stocked at Mecca. In any event, I would've preferred the shades in the set I bought. They retail for $20 USD, so $26 in Australia is basically the same price. Well done Stila for not ripping Australians off!
I know that Stila also released recently a Field of Florals Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Palette (retailing for $49 USD), which is exclusive to Sephora and their own website. The palette has the same packaging as their 12-pan Eyes Are the Window eyeshadow palettes, and contains the shades Lillium, Magnolia, Tulip, Camellia, Peony, Rose, Gladiola, Peach Blossom, Hibiscus, Gerbera, Petunia and Fuchsia. Notwithstanding the difficulty of acquiring this palette if you live in Australia, I'm more attracted to the individual packaging of the Blooming Bright Trio. I can see a palette with 12 cream shades housed in smallish pans getting messy quickly, plus it's not as convenient to carry around or pop into your handbag as a single mini blush. It's great if you're into variety and having all your colours in one place, but from a practical and "will I actually use it" perspective, I'm not entirely sold.
I already have one Convertible Color in Gerbera, which is my favourite cream blush. At the outset, I was confident in the formula of these blushes. They're extremely pigmented, dewy but not shiny or greasy, generally long lasting (especially with the darker and brighter colours), blend seamlessly into the skin without patchiness, and leave a natural, radiant, healthy-looking flush. I don't have any cream blush colours similar to Petunia (by beauty blogger standards) or Hibiscus (by normal person standards), so in the scheme of things, I thought the set was a prudent buy.
l-r: Lillium, Petunia, Hibiscus
Top to bottom: Hibiscus, Petunia, Lillium
l-r: Stila Lillium, Illamasqua Zygomatic
What I was really surprised by is how dissimilar Lillium is to Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Zygomatic. For the longest time, I was under the impression they were near dupes of each other. How wrong I was. If anything, Lillium is a near dupe of Stila Gerbera. Zygomatic is a lot more brownish nude, not as warm, with slight rosy-mauve tones in comparison. The texture is also different — it's thinner, easier to spread, less pigmented as well. Lillium must be one of the most popular Convertible Color shades, and for good reason. It's so easy to wear, a beautifying everyday shade, and I can imagine it being flattering on many skin tones.
l-r: Stila Petunia, Australis Flirtatious Pink, NYX Natural, Napoleon Perdis, Stila Lillium
I thought Petunia would be close to the existing pink cream blushes in my collection, but once again, I was off the mark. It's considerably brighter in tone and more heavily pigmented. The rest are far more subdued, pastel and muted in appearance. Australis Crème Colour in Flirtatious Pink is a softer, lighter peach, NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural is more baby pink, unnamed but fabulous Napoleon Perdis cream blush (freebie with Australian InStyle magazine, November 2013 issue) is more peachy pink, like a cross between Australis and NYX. If anything, those three shades are a lot closer to Lillium than Petunia, though Lillium is a brighter/darker peach than Australis, NYX or Napoleon Perdis.
Oddly, my Petunia came with this overlay of a darker, berry-purplish colour which I had to wipe off to reveal the actual colour underneath. Not sure if this is a common thing or a minor manufacturing defect, since the other two shades didn't have that problem.
l-r: Stila Lillium, Stila Gerbera, Stila Petunia, Topshop Head Over Heels
Top to bottom: Topshop Head Over Heels, Stila Petunia, Stila Gerbera, Stila Lillium
Comparing Gerbera and Lillium side by side, I'm surprised that Lillium is the darker of the two. (Once again, all this time I thought Lillium was a neutral, understated nude pink in the vein of Illamasqua Zygomatic, when really, it's more of a medium warm pink.) Gerbera is more pastel peachy-pink. I was interested to compare Petunia with the brightest cream blush I own, Topshop Head Over Heels. The Topshop blush is clearly more straight up orange, while Petunia is more coral pink. Head Over Heels is also a cream to powder formulation, with a very lightweight, almost mousse-like texture. It's not as hydrating or emollient on the skin but is ultra pigmented, just like Petunia.
I don't have anything like Hibiscus, which instantly reminded me of Liz and her penchant for "clown cheek blushers". This one is hella bright. Use with caution. I learnt the hard way, applying what I thought was a small amount while doing my makeup on the bus from Sydney to Canberra. I only had the small mirror in the blush to go by, so when I looked into a proper mirror at the Canberra bus terminal bathroom, I was shocked. Bona fide clown cheeks. It was too much. Too much. I looked like a stained Easter egg. I had to literally get some of my Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Combination to Oily Skin to go over my cheeks and tone down the blush to a more human-looking standard.
That mishap encouraged me to buy a small stippling blush (e.l.f. does an affordable one at $8 from Kmart — I managed to buy the last one so it must have been fate), but even then, I have to be cautious not to overdo it. Basically, take 1/5th of what you think would be enough and it might just work. Hibiscus is probably the most pigmented thing I've come across, and that's saying a lot.
One of the benefits of creams vs. powders is that they're multipurpose, and these Convertible Colors (as their name suggests) can double as lip products, but I usually don't bother. The light colours have a tendency to be drying, and I haven't tried the brighter/darker shades yet, though I imagine they'd fare better, especially since you need a very small amount and can always prime/moisturise the lips with some lip balm underneath.
At $26, this set is an affordable way to try three brightening, warm, "spring-appropriate" Convertible Color shades without having to purchase the full size. Sure, they may contain half the product of a full size blush, but when was the last time you finished a full size blush anyway? The packaging might also be inferior quality to the full size Convertible Color (the lettering/pattern at the front is stamped rather than embossed, and the plastic casing does seem on the flimsy side), but at the price point, it's understandable. I'm not sure if these are limited edition (I suspect they are), so if you do see them, I think they're an excellent buy.