Jill Stuart cosmetics has been nothing short of a stunning success since its debut in Japan in 2005. From its very first day, its gorgeous princessy packaging and cute GWPs have been highly sought after by Japanese ladies and its limited edition collections often sell out on the day of release. In particular, its Christmas 2006 coffret set saw long queues forming on the morning of release, even before the stores opened and all were snapped up by the end of the day. Many of its limited edition sets or GWPs such as the glass boxes or pouches are often resold on Yahoo Japan auctions for fairly high prices. The products are all made in Japan by Kose, which has done a surprisingly excellent job of marketing the Jill Stuart line unlike for its own other flagship brands which rarely stir up the consumer frenzy that Jill Stuart does. Jill Stuart has been opening counters quitely rapidly throughout Japan. Currently, there are 10 counters in Tokyo alone.
In general, the quality of Jill Stuart makeup is above average. Personally, I like their loose face powders (4725yen), Lip Lustre lipglosses (2940yen), Eye Jellies (2310yen) and Brilliance Eyes palettes (5250yen) the best. I have the Loose Powder #1 Natural (see pic below). It comes in a very generously sized pot (net weight: 20g) with a wonderfully plush cotton puff (love the pink ribbon detail!). The powder itself is very silky and finely milled and gives an excellent natural finish. Just looking at the elegant pot sitting on my dressing table is half the fun of owning this!
Another of my very first purchases from Jill Stuart was the Blush Powder in #8 Aurora Rose which is a slightly shimmery medium rosy pink with great colour payoff. But if not for the elegant pot, I don't think the blushes themselves are that extraodinary. You can buy the blush powder as refills for 3150yen but even at that price, it's still expensive. The short fat brush included is decent, not the softest that I've come across but it does the job. Currently, there are only 9 shades available.
But if you have to get only one item from Jill Stuart, my vote would go to their Brilliance Eyes palettes. These are not cheap but they're worth every single cent. All of them are just so gorgeous that it's hard to even pick a favourite one out of the four currently available. Several friends that I've recommended these to have ended up collecting all four and no one has regretted their purchases thus far! You know how very often when you buy a palette, there's always one or two colours that are totally useless either because it's strange when combined with the rest (MAC palettes come to mind...) or it's just not the kind of colour that you would normally wear. But all 4 Brilliance Eyes palettes have excellent colour combinations that not only complement one another very well but are also very flattering and easy to wear. These are all shimmery with great colour payoff when applied either with a brush or the included sponge-tip applicator. Of course if you don't like shimmery eyeshadows then these are not for you. But for those of us who love all things sparkly, these are a dream come true! These have been selling so well since they were introduced in January 2007 that they were often out of stock and customers had to place reservations just to buy these even though they are not limited edition. I was just at the JS counter earlier this evening and 3 of the 4 palettes were sold out (again!) which is just unbelievable. Net weight of product in each palette is 4.5g.
And finally, on the Eye Jellies. These have a true water-based jelly texture and most are shimmery. They are easy to apply, can be layered for greater intensity and dry down quite nicely. You can use them alone, or as an eyeshadow base or on top of powder eyeshadow for an added glimmer. My favourites from the regular range are #1 Green Butterfly and #2 Gemstone Green which are complex green shades that are quite difficult to descirbe. #1 Green Butterfly is like the jelly version of MAC Club.
Currently Jill Stuart is sold only in Japan but given how well it has been doing, I would not be surprised if Kose decides to expand it overseas in the future.