Let’s just get it out there: So Jaded, the new Kathleen Lights collab palette with ColourPop is $39. Thirty-nine. Fucking. American. Dollars.
Clearly I bought it, so I got over my shock and revulsion at this elevated price point, but this is a growing trend among some of the most consistently inexpensive brands like NYX and Morphe, to start putting out “premium” products that are larger or in collaboration with influencers or some other reason to charge some brand new price point unheard of for the brand. I remember the In Your Element palettes from NYX, beautifully designed by rather modest 12-pan palettes that dropped at an astounding $30 each. I also remember them ending up in the sale section not long after release – there may even still be a few lurking there! It’s not that the palettes aren’t a decent value: the So Jaded palette has 30 pans of shadow, the largest palette ColourPop has offered to date, and the cost per shade is only $1.30. But that’s not the point. For a lot of makeup shoppers, especially those who routinely look to less expensive brands for their makeup cravings, it’s not about the price per gram or the price per shade but rather about the flat amount that you have to take out of your wallet in one fell swoop to get your hands on the new product. And for a lot of people, it sounds like this palette is just beyond what they’re willing to spend on ColourPop.
I decided to suck it up and pay the higher price, and I have to say that I’m glad I did: it’s a beautiful color story, and with only a couple of exceptions the shades perform really well. There isn’t anything particularly different between this palette and any of their other pre-made palettes (I’ve heard people say that they feel like the formula for the singles is different, and slightly better; I would say I agree, but I haven’t had enough experience to really say for sure). It’s good but not great. Luckily there are only two pressed glitters and one super shock shadow in this palette, two of their newer formulas for palettes that seem to be popping up everywhere, and I’m generally not a fan.
First off, the packaging: UGH. It’s so good. I’m a sucker for stones and crystals and cut gems and all of that, and this is really pretty.
This is everything my secretly closeted little heart wanted as a kid, just tons of rainbow colored jewels and glitter! It’s perfect! A first glance at the shades was a little disappointing, but when we get to the swatches, you’ll see that looks can be deceiving.
A lot of the palette looks really neutral – not a surprise from ColourPop who love a beige nude like nobody else, except maybe tarte – but once I started swatching I found that there were some undertones and shifts that were unexpected and really pretty, and a lot of the shades were more rich and saturated than I originally anticipated.
For swatches I just did brush swatches. There are 30 shades here, which is a lot to double swatch! Plus, there are a lot of mattes, and even though I like to show a finger swatch to show how it can perform, I’m not really likely to try to fingerbang a matte shade onto my eye, so I stuck to brush swatches to save me some time. The only exceptions are Diamond, Opal, and Topaz – I put down some product with a brush and then finessed it with a finger because of the formula (Super Shock and Pressed Glitter). The top photo is my studio lights without a flash and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash. I used a layer of The Crayon Case Glue Stick Eye Primer under each set of swatches.
L to R: Diamond, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Royal Jewels, Flourite, Moonstone
One thing that I love about this palette is that the shades named after actual stones (except maybe Diamond) do a pretty good job of trying to evoke the stone they are named for. Even if it’s not a perfect translation, they try to capture some element of the stone and present it. Diamond is the only Super Shock formula shade in the palette, and it’s a light champagne peach with Silvery shimmer. Since it’s named Diamond, I would have expected more of an icy white sort of shade, or maybe a white with a blue flash, but this shade is still beautiful. Rose Quartz is a mauve pink neutral, almost with a lavender undertone. It caught the primer and darkened a bit, so I think you will get a lighter finish if you go without primer or set the primer first. Ruby is such a pretty bright red, cool toned and cherry-tinged. Royal Jewels is a nude beige, a dime a dozen. Fluorite is a pale lilac shade with a slight golden, possibly even slightly greenish shift. Moonstone is a light bright champagne pearl with silvery shimmer.
L to R: My Precious, Sunstone, Pearl, Citrine, Garnet, Ametrine
My Precious is a beigey eggshell shade – why is it that the shades not named after actual stones are the most basic bitch shades ever?! Give me more jewels and keep your beiges to yourself, please! Everyone has them a million times. Sunstone is a gorgeous sunny gold with maybe a slight pinky shift, very subtle. Pearl is a bright pearly shimmer, very creamy and bright with a subtle yellow gold undertone to the shimmer. Citrine is a mustard yellow matte, very opaque thought it did grip the primer a bit more than I would like. Garnet is a deep brick red, a little inconsistent, but blendable. Ametrine is a lovely deep mauve with golden sparkle, evoking the yellow and purple of ametrines!
L to R: Peridot, You’re A Gem, Topaz, Tiger Eye, Opal, Aquamarine
Peridot is a yellowy, swampy green metallic, very pretty and saturated. You’re a Gem is a peach matte – why not call it Peach Aventurine or Agate or something?! I really hate that these aren’t all named for stones, but I guess I’ll have to get over it. Topaz is the first of two pressed glitters, and it’s a slightly blackened base with bronze, copper, and orange glitter. It’s pretty enough, but fuck pressed glitters, ya know? Tiger Eye is a pretty bronze brown with a greenish shift that is subtle but very nice. Opal is the other pressed glitter, and it’s a standard silvery iridescent shade. It reminds me of the silvery pressed glitter from the Too Faced Pretty Rich palette, except that this one actually applies without being crusty and chunky and gross. Aquamarine is a blue-tinged silver that is very metallic; I would have liked a slightly more aqua shift to it, or maybe a turquoise duochrome element, but it’s a nice enough shade and performs well.
L to R: Geo Dude, Carnelian, Stoned, Jasper, Turquoise, Onyx
Geo Dude is a very dry matte khaki shade that gripped the primer for dear life, so there was a lot of darkening with the initial layer – blenders beware! Carnelian is a very rich burnt orange, almost red matte. It also stuck a bit to the primer, but not as bad as Geo Dude. Stoned is a little inconsistent, but it’s nicely blendable. Turquoise is a deep turquoise matte, very true to the name! Onyx is a super soft and creamy shimmer black with silver. It’s so metallic, it almost looks like a gunmetal but it’s definitely black with silver. It’s so soft that I thought it might be another Super Shock, but as I compared the two, I think it’s just a very soft and creamy formula. It felt quite a bit more like a soft powder, and it has much more opacity than the typical Super Shock shadows.
L to R: Emerald, Jade, Alexandrite, Smoky Quartz, Amethyst, Sapphire
I’m living for this row, duh. It’s got two amazing greens! Emerald is a deep forest green shimmer that is very metallic and saturated and absolutely yummy. Jade is a beautiful army green, but it had full on hate sex with my primer. If you’re going to use this, I would suggest packing motions or set the primer first! It’s a beautiful shade though, and except for where it stuck and darkened, it blended beautifully. Alexandrite is a violet purple with a greenish shift, evoking the color-changing nature of the stone it’s named for. Smoky Quartz is a bright cool taupe champagne shimmer. I would have liked something a couple of shades deeper, especially given the name and the other lighter champagne shades in the palette, but it’s a very good shade in terms of performance. Amethyst is a bright, almost electric royal purple. Sapphire is a deep navy matte, very rich and extremely easy to work with for such a dark shade.
There were a few shades in the palette that I didn’t fall in love with, but overall, I love how rich and saturated the colors are, and the jeweltones are perfect! I would have liked a couple more colorful shades in place of the beige shades, but when you have a palette this big, I can live with it. Especially since they make the palette a little easier to use as a “one and done,” not something that I look for particularly but I know that some people do.
What are your thoughts on this latest collab? Are you sick of the Kathleen Lights releases from the brand, or do you want her to keep coming up with new collections? This is the biggest palette ColourPop has ever done – are you a fan, or do you prefer the smaller – and cheaper – palettes that are more targeted and curated? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments!
Personally, I’m glad that gemstones are a trend and I hope to see more of these kinds of gorgeous palettes coming out as we head into the holidays. I haven’t really liked much of the Kathleen Lights collabs since the Dream Street palette, but I jumped on this one right away! I may be so jaded to the constant barrage of makeup releases, but this jeweltoned lovely has warmed my cold, dead heart!