So my last encounter with Ruby May Cosmetics was a little rocky: broken shadows, finicky formulas, and mattes with suspended glitter – so much drama! But in my search for Halloween makeup, I remembered that the brand had put out a 9-pan aplette in August or September called Pop Zombie that would be perfect for this series! I decided to give it a shot and hope that there had been improvements in the formula since I reviewed the Hashtag palettes (and if you missed that review, you can find it HERE).
Ruby May has pretty decent prices to start with, not quite as inexpensive as Juvia’s Place, but better than most Sephora brands, but they do lots of sales and promotions, some of which are exclusive to their app. When I went to pick up the Pop Zombie palette, they actually had a really sale going on where if you spent $30 or more on the site, you got the Pop Zombie palette (regular price, $28.99) for free! So for $4 more, I bought the Neon Lights eyeshadow and glitter palette and got both of them! What’s even better is that I placed the order on Friday and they showed up on Monday. However I might feel about the shades, you can’t knock either the value or the shipping time! Look for a review of the Neon Lights palette next month – for now, let’s get back to Pop Zombie!
This palette doesn’t exactly hit the typical notes that I think of when I’m thinking of Pop Art (I guess I’m just in love with Lichtenstein and his super saturated primary colors and comic panels!) but it’s an exquisite color story for a fun brights palettes. That green shimmer in the middle row – I am #Deceased! I am excited to try some combinations with this palette and see what it can do. But first, let’s talk through some swatches.
In my last review, I noted that the mattes tended to grip the primer and get funky; that started to happen again with this palette, so the first time I saw it I just signed and gave in: I swatched all the shades over the Crayon Case Glue Stick eye primer, but then I set it with Too Faced Peach Perfect setting powder. I just didn’t want another experience like before. The swatch on the left is a finger swatch and the one on the right is a brush swatch. I’ve been thinking of doing away with the finger swatches: I never apply mattes with a finger and I rarely use a finger for shimmers unless I can’t get it on with a brush and setting spray. If you think they add value, let me know, but I’m tired of them. But they are still here for this review. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Virus, Brains, Corpse
Virus is a bright blood orange matte. It’s a little on the sheer side, but it builds up smoothly enough and the color is really pretty. Brains is a light lavender pink shimmer, very sheer but with some nice subtle sparkle. Corpse is a gorgeous swampy green metallic, but it was extremely soft and started to crumble in the pan the first time I touched it. Handle with care!
L to R: Plague, Pop, Pus
Plague is Ev-er-eeeeeee-thing! I love green shadows, and this is honestly one of the most beautiful green shadows I have ever owned. I take back everything I’ve ever said about the brand. Ok, not really, but this shadow is everything I want in a green shimmer: it’s light, bright, has tons of shimmery metallic reflect, and it’s a stunning color. There is a yellow/gold undertone to it that is so wonderful, and it would pair so beautifully with Pus! Pop is a bright Barbie pink matte, a little too sheer for my liking, but it did build up fairly well. Pus is a matte yellow, a little chalky, but once again one that builds up fairly well. There was a little bit of a layering issue with this one, as you can see in the swatches (especially the bottom ones) but it’s not impossible and it’s a fun bright yellow that’s a great primary – not too lemony pastel and not too mustardy brown.
L to R: Undead, Necro, Ghoul
This is the row that really put me through it! Undead is a cyan matte, needed a little building but it was pretty consistent and a nice even application. Necro is a deep navy that I think is supposed to be matte, but it almost gets a sort of satin finish when applied with a finger. It was the driest in the palette, and this one struggled the most with the primer, even after I started setting it with the Too Faced powder. Ghoul is a pretty minty green shade, and there is blue glitter in the pan. At first I didn’t see the glitter, so when I started applying it I thought I had forgotten to clean my brush! I don’t feel like it’s different enough from Undead to warrant them both being here – I wish one of them had been a shimmer to really set them apart. I mean, they put glitter in this one; why not go all the way and just make it a shimmer?! Ghould also was very soft and started to crumble when I first swatched it, kind of like the blue shade from the #Brights palette. They were nice enough once the primer was set, but this is where I started my swatches and with the unset, tacky primer these looked absolutely abyssmal. Definitely plan for a dry base to really get these to cooperate.
What do you think about this Halloween-inspired palette: is it a treat, or a trick? Does this wild and interesting color story give you unlife, or are you so bored you could die? How about the mixing of spooky stuff with the vivid world of pop art? Tell us everything in the comments below!
I have to say that these shadows are a bit of an improvement over the Hashtag palettes, and I appreciate it. The two green shimmers, even though the one was a little soft, were both really pretty and the metallic finish was really impressive. The pink and the orange, and even the yellow to some extent, were somewhat sheer but they all built up to this really lovely pop of intense color, and I loved that they were bright and primary and fun! This is Halloween with an electric edge, different and unexpected. I think that Ruby May still has a little ways to go with reworking their formula (or maybe they just need better pressing!) but this Pop Zombie was a post-apocalyptic treasure!