While I was in Phoenix over the holidays, there were a lot of makeup deliveries happening up here on the tundra and my bestie/unofficial and unpaid assistant Angela was gathering them all together. Most of the reviews that have been popping up on the site this month and last are from that shopping spree, and this one is no different.
I placed a rather large order with ColourPop and I was tempted to break it up into a bunch of smaller reviews of specific collections…but I realized that even publishing two reviews a week, it would take me way too long to get these out! So instead I decided to just go whole hog and review all of the goodies from that order, which included items from two collab collections and a new eyeshadow palette.
First let’s talk about those collabs.
I got suckered in by the call of the PR box, a new marketing tactic that some brands have been doing that appeals to your desire to be on some “exclusive” PR list (even though you’re getting the kit, you’re still paying for it, dummy!) and convinces you to buy an entire collection, even if you’re only interested in a couple of pieces. I had successfully resisted that call for a while (the Ace Beaute palettes that I reviewed earlier this week with part two coming next week were available in a PR box…for $10 more with nothing else included except the cardboard box!), but when they went on a Cyber Weekend sale I decided to get fancy and ordered the Brown Sugar collection (another collab with Karrueche) and the Bretman Rock PR kit which includes both the Wet and Lit Collections.
The Brown Sugar collection was the biggest head-scratcher for me, even as I ordered it. The 9-pan palette looked kind of cute (and as we’ll see below, was actually better than anticipated) but the rest of the collection is a bunch of nude, neutral lip products as well as some gel color pots – which are a type of formula that I generally avoid. I decided to try a sampling of the products and keep the others unused so I could include them in an upcoming giveaway. You’re welcome.
Here’s the palette:
For this one, I swatched all of the shades with a finger over Too Faced shadow insurance. I didn’t do brush swatches for two reasons: first, because 9 doesn’t easily divide up into much except three groups of three shades (which is awkward and way too extra) and I didn’t want to try to squeeze 18 swatches into one shot; and second, because this is pretty standard ColourPop pressed powder formula. I have a ton of their palettes, and I find that for their pressed shadows they are pretty consistent without a ton of formulation difference from palette to palette. I did brush swatches for the other palettes, just not this one. Fight me.
Chai is a pretty basic yellowy beige, nicely pigmented and goes on opaque, but nothing super special. Jomocha is a mat tan, boring, but performs nicely. Amber is a lovely peachy orange; I thought I would hate this shade but when I swatched it and saw how much of a peach tone there was I just had to decide to love it. Ginger is a bright champagne gold leaning yellow. It’s warm and nice, but definitely something you probably can dupe if you have a lot of ColourPop palettes. Auburn is a bright warm bronze, nice and metallic. This is another one that’s easily dupeable, but I also really like it. Saute is a stunner, a brown base with a greenish shimmer shift to it, kind of like MAC’s Green Brown pigment from back in the day. This one has a little more green shift that the typical trend version of this shade we’re seeing lately (which tend to be a bit more teal than green), and I love it. Sorrel is a deep, cool brown. It tended to stick to the primer a little more than I like, but I like the opacity and the coolness. Henna is a stunning deep cool brown that almost looks like it has a green undertone. Really pretty! And Choc is a chocolatey brown with hints of red.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with this color story – it had more cool tones than I was expecting, and even the “basic” shades performed really well and had some pretty impressive pigmentation. If you’re looking for a neutral palette that is small enough for travel but still offers some interesting variety, this is a good option.
Let’s change gears for a hot second and talk about the palettes from the Bretman Rock collab, Wet and Lit.
This collection was much more my speed, with lots of color and shimmer, with only a few of the boring neutrals that ColourPop tends to overdose on. I already talked about the Glitterally Obsessed shades from the collection in an earlier post where I compared them to Lemonheads LA, so we’ll focus on the other pieces of the collection (the ones that I tried, that is – once again, I pulled a few of the things out that I knew weren’t for me and stuck them in my giveaway pile!).
The Wet Collection is the cooler-toned collection and I love the shimmery blues that this is serving up – and that bright, blue-based red blush is actually gorgeous enough that I decided to keep it in my collection (generally, I’m not a huge fan of the Super Shock formula for cheeks, blush or highlight). I also held onto the liner (can you ever have too many brown pencils? Not if you shave off and redraw your eyebrows you can’t!) and the blue glitter gloss.
Here’s the first row of the palette; for the rest of the eye swatches in this post, the left swatch is a finger swatch with a brush swatch on the right and the top photo is in my studio lighting without flash while the bottom photo is the same lighting but with a flash. All are applied over a base of Too Faced Shadow Insurance:
Finished? is a light, light blue that is opaque, but as you can kind of see in the swatches, it tends to lose some of the blue tone when applied with a brush vs. when it’s applied with a finger. It’s pretty pale either way, but know that with a brush it will take more building if you actually want the blue to read. I’m Chillen is a bright dark blue, almost leaning towards purple. It’s like one step away from being a cornflower blue (I’ve never seen an actual cornflower – whatever the hell that is! – but I remember that crayon from the Crayola box, it was one of my favorites!). LOL I’m Crying is a gorgeous shimmery metallic turquoise blue that has some glitter to it. It tends to sheer out a little when applied with the finger, but I did it dry. This shadow would be straight fire if applied wet! Skinny Legend is as basic as it gets, a pale beige, but it’s super opaque and blends well.
Mood is a beautiful deep blue metallic, really gorgeous and pigmented. Fishy is an odd color, but I think I’ve decided that I love it. It’s like a navy blue base with a bright aqua or turquoise shift. Thickems (gawd, I hate that name) is a shimmery blued silver. The powder on this one is softer and more creamy than others; it spreads nicely and it has good opacity, but know that it’s a little more “fragile” than the other shades in the palette. It’s not typical of the CP shimmer formula, so it definitely caught my attention. Ewa Beach is a warm brown that really wanted to grip to the primer in weird ways, and it’s oddly warm-toned for this collection, but it’s not terrible. Just meh.
If fiery tones are more your thing, then you may want to look at the Lit collection instead:
For this collection, I kept the liquid lipstick (I’ve convinced myself that I can’t ever have enough red lipsticks, and who can resist a shade named Wig?!) but the rest made it to the giveaway pile. It’s just too basic, and the blush just wasn’t as interesting as the cooler shade.
Here’s the first row from the palette (same info on swatches applies):
Or Whatevah…gawd, CP, how damn many times are you going to put this exact (or very nearly the same) shade in a palette before you just STAHP?! This is nice enough quality, opaque and blendable, but come on! This is a fire palette and this shade is a total snooze. Mercy is a bright red metallic, leaning toward maroon. Macchiato is a nice warm brown, medium in tone, nice enough but once again it’s something that CP has done a dozen times or more. Cleo Amore is a pretty yellow, actually fairly unique as it’s a bright yellow that is a little mustardy, but more of French’s hot dog mustard rather than the dirtier, much darker shade that usually appears when it’s described as a “mustard.” It seems to have a bit of a satiny finish, or else that’s just how it gripped the primer, but it’s a nice matte option.
She Got Money is a typical bright gold metallic, performs nicely but it’s nothing unique. You have this shade a million times, I’d be willing to bet. Periodt is a peachy coral matte that is really pretty blends nicely. It tends to grip the primer more than I like, but I didn’t have any major problems. Like is a cheery red, weirdly cool toned for this collection (it’s like that oddball brown in the other palette, but the other way around) but a really pretty color. Bading is a pinky peach with gold shift, pale, but pretty and would look really nice over a white base or over another shade. Some people would call this a “topper” but I won’t because “topper” is just a worthless term that really means shitty eyeshadow. If you want glitter on your eye look, put fucking glitter on it. Eye toppers aren’t real, Deborah!
So before we get to the lip and cheek products, as well as the standalone palette, let’s take a second to revisit the whole PR box thing. Is it worth it? In a word, no. I mean, if you are actually in love with a collection and are already planning to buy all of the pieces, or if the collection is offered at a price that allows you to get it for less than you would pay for the individual pieces you would have ordered anyway, then I think it can be good. If this hadn’t been on a pretty big markdown for Cyber Weekend, I never would have purchased it. I like several of the pieces, and it was interesting to see what all the fuss is about, but at the end of the day, you’re paying more and getting more products than you wanted just to get a fancy cardboard box. It doesn’t make you an influencer, it doesn’t make you a VIP, and all it does it help pay for the free shit that they send out to all of those other people. Not worth it. I can’t say I’ll never purchase one again, but like these it would have to be a sale, and it would also have to be the only option (i.e., a bundle without the box for less).
If you ever want to see the boxes and convince yourself that you don’t need to pay extra for cheap cardboard, I’ll probably have them in my office and you’re welcome to take a look. I paid for that shit, a bitch is keeping it FOREVER!
Alright, here are the swatches of the lip, cheek, and random products that I kept from the collections:
L to R: Ultra Satin Lip in Wig (Lit), Ultra Glossy Lip in Kumquat (Wet), Lippie Pencil in BFF (Wet), Super Shock Cheek in Ooh She’s Blushing (Wet), Ultra Glossy Lip in Blowzy (Sugar), Lux Crème Lipstick in Chocolatier and Brick (Sugar), Ultra Glossy Lip in Dumpling (Sugar), Gel Crème Color in Rum and Nut (Sugar)
Wig is a fun blue-toned deep cherry red, and I love the Ultra Satin finish, even if it is a little tricky with my show makeup. Kumquat was the real disappointment. I knew that it wouldn’t read as the lovely pale blue in the tube, but you can’t see hardly any of the glitter either. It just looks like a shiny gloss, with no personality or color or sparkle or anything. The liner is a nice light brown, cool-toned and different from most of my brown pencils. These lippie pencils are super creamy, so no worries that they’ll be too stiff! Ooh she’s blushing reads a lot more pink – like a LOT – than it does in the container, so I’m hoping that I can build it up to get more of that cool toned red color that it appears in person. Blowzy is a pretty gloss with some glitter and a light tint that will look nice layered over pink, plum, or even gold lip colors. Nice and versatile. I don’t have a lot of deep brown lipsticks, and Chocolatier is a good option. I was hoping that Brick would be more, well, like a brick red, but it actually reads as almost a plummy mauve. Dumpling is a nicely pigmented semi-opaque peachy gloss. I didn’t need this, but it’s called Dumpling! I love the movie Dumplin’ so it won me over. I’m a loser, let it go. The gel crème colors are fun and will work as bases for shadows, though I probably won’t use them all of the way up. I’m not a huge gel color fan, but these are nicely pigmented and they spread out evenly.
Are we exhausted?! Just one more product, I promise!
The Chasing Rainbows palette is one of CP’s many, many holiday releases, and it got a lot of comparisons to their My Little Pony palette. While the comparisons aren’t entirely unfounded, this color story is actually a lot more coherent, as you’ll see in the swatches below. Each row is a complete color story that coordinates well, or you can get wild and jump from row to row to create more vivid looks.
This is your basic beeeee starter set, but the yellowy golds make it somewhat interesting. Wiggles is the standard cream brow highlight that CP includes with every-damn-thing, sometimes twice. Blurred Lines is a lovely white base with yellowy gold shift. So Meta is a bright yellow metallic, buttery rather than mustardy. Feeling it is a rich, warm medium brown matte that’s kind of a standard, but this one performs well enough to justify including with this row’s color story. Realness is a deeper brown matte, and while it clings to the primer a bit and is a bit boring, it’s not terrible. This row will help people relax as they work up the courage to venture into the more colorful rows below.
Woke is a bright petal pink matte that was a little patchy with a finger, but blended out nicely with a brush. Wish List is a lovely coral pink matte that had the same issue as Woke, but recovered just as well with a brush. Manifest it is a cool, blue-based pink that isn’t quite fuchsia – more of an 80s Barbie box kind of pink. Keep Cool is a bright red-toned purple matte. It’s not my typical kind of purple that I gravitate to, but there is something about this that is cool-toned and appealing. Not Playing is a little weak, but it’s a nice pastel purple shade that can layer nicely with other things. See above, re: toppers. I said it and I meant it.
As an aside, does anyone else find it ironic that they have a shade called Woke in this palette when another shade, Blurred Lines, references the most obviously rape-y songs ever? Just me?
Lucid is another version of that blue-brown trend shade but the base is lighter than I typically see, and the shift is almost like a baby blue. It appears darker without a flash, but I think this is a fun shade to play with. Bring It is a strong matte turquoise. On One is a deep teal with a strange shift that almost appears red in some lights. It’s very blue, but at the right angle you almost get that strange shift to a whole different color. Maybe it’s just my tired old eyes that are tired of looking at all of these damn CP shadows! Eclipse is a cool champagne shimmer, silvery in tone. Prism is a deep, deep cool brown that is basic and beautiful at the same time. I am just a sucker for a deep brown!
The one thing that’s annoying with the mattes across the board from this brand is that they are that weird sort of both dry and creamy consistency that means that you get flaky fallout. So not a lot of loose powder, but it collects up into little flakes that get everywhere and then immediate smear. This is more common when you use your finger than with a brush, and luckily it really only affects the mattes (which more people are more likely to be using a brush than their finger anyway), but it’s still kind of annoying.
So what are your thoughts on ColourPop? Are you a fan of the brand? For a long time, they’ve been on everyone’s lips as literally the low cost brand that produces high quality products and they’ve been the darling of beauty YouTubers, but they also get a fair amount of flack for pushing out a head-spinning number of releases (seriously, I think they did 5 or 6, just for the holidays this last year!). There was also a little bit on controversy when people started talking about the fact that Spatz Labs, the owner of ColourPop, was also the lab making and developing Kylie Jenner’s much more expensive lip kits (with identical ingredient lists). Are you still checking for this brand? Are you still stanning their releases, or are you standing on the sidelines to see if the multitude of releases finally gets the better of them? Let us know in the comments below!
I have to admit that I still love the formulas of ColourPop’s shadows, but I’m really not checking for the lip and cheek products anymore. The Lux Lipsticks are great, but I rarely use tube lipstick anymore, and the liquid lipsticks, while affordable, just don’t stand up against other formulas available. I haven’t tried their face products yet, but I did order a bunch of options – primer, foundation, concealer, powder, and setting spray – to do the “full face, one brand challenge,” so we’ll see how they measure up. You can’t beat the prices, but unfortunately they are cranking out product so quickly that there is a lot of repeats and overlap.
I love chasing rainbows, but I’m not going to be chasing the same damn shades of beige twenty different times. Sorry bout it.