I’ve already declared 2019 to be the year of glitter, so was there ever any doubt that I was going to try out and review the ColourPop Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels? Of course not!
Did you think I would talk about them and not bring up the obvious drama that surrounded their release? Not a chance.
Let’s start with the sparkle, and then dive into the shade.
In a holiday season that was filled with a ridiculous number of releases from the value brand, one of their releases was a collab with influencer Bretman Rock. The Wet & Lit collection included 8-pan eyeshadow palettes, lip trios, 2 check products, and a glitter gel that was new to the brand, called Glitterally Obsessed. The two shades released with that collab were quickly followed by 9 additional shades of glittery, glam goodness. I was already ordering the Bretman collection, so I decided to order a few more shades of the Glitterally Obsessed in order to do this review. The order was already placed when I started to hear about the drama…but more on that later.
Here are the 6 shades I ended up with:
Here are the swatches:
Even before we get to the drama, it’s really hard to talk about these without drawing comparisons to the Lemonhead LA Space Paste and Space Jam. As you might expect for something that retails for less than a third of the price of its luxury counterpart, these aren’t nearly as good as the Lemonhead gels. They feel chunky, and while they dry down to a nice smooth finish, they tend to break up and flake off a lot faster. I had a lot more loose, random glitter all over my hands and work table when I was doing the swatches with these. They also don’t remove as smoothly as the Space Pastes, and they leave behind more of the glitter. The colors are nice, but you don’t get the same sort of seamless application.
Wish Me Luck is a lovely opalescent glitter, and is mostly small particles with a few larger pieces mixed in for dimension. Keep It Plutonic is a reddish gold iridescent glitter in a white/clear base. It’s got a nice sheen that reads mostly yellow gold in the photos but is actually a bit more dynamic in person. These first two shades are closest to the Space Paste formula, with the smaller particles, and they tend to get a little clumpy around the edges. The other four are much more in line with the look of the Space Jam formula, though there is much less variation in the size and shape of the glitter particles. Avenue of the Stars is a rose pink with gold and silver holo sparkle. This is probably my favorite of the CP shades. Outside the Lines is a gold glitter with some holographic silver sparkle added in. It’s nice, but nothing to write home about. OMG I’m Wet is blue with silver holographic sparkle…I’m sending a pattern here. She Lit is a red and gold combo with some holographic sparkle. These larger glitters are a little less clumpy overall than the smaller particle ones, but the application is still a bit messy. They are alright, but I much prefer the smoothness (and lack of mess!) with the Lemonhead glitters.
Now let’s talk about the drama.
First, we have to admit that Lemonhead LA is certainly not the first company to ever put out a glitter gel. I was just a baby queen in the 90s when glitter gels were every-damn-where…as was the glitter that it contained! The minute the gels dried down, the glitter started flaking off everywhere and, like herpes, was never totally gone. Glitter gels sort of fell out of fashion and instead a lot of brands focused on creating the perfect adhesive for loose glitter (my vote goes to Lit Cosmetics – not only does their glitter glue work, they have an amazing selection of glitters in different colors and sizes).
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when indie brand Lemonhead LA started getting a lot of attention for their Space Pastes and Space Jams, glitter gels that adhere without fallout, stay put, and wash away easily with water. Their performance was unparalleled, but that quality came with a price tag to match: a single jar would run you between $22 and $28 depending on the collection. Glitter has been making a comeback in the trends recently, and a lot of brands began offering some sparkle options, but there weren’t really any glitter gels until the Bretman Rock collab with ColourPop. Comparisons between the two products were inevitable. In a beauty world that’s starting to suffer more and more from a “been there done that” feel, there were going to be some who claimed that the value brand was “copying” their higher end competitor, but I think most would probably have dismissed it as one brand starting a trend that eventually filters down to others in the market if not for some pretty interesting “receipts” that were shared by Lemonhead’s CEO:
Not only was Bretman Rock formerly on the Lemonhead PR list, but he had placed an order for a large number of their products. In addition to that, another large order was placed with “bill to” and “ship to” names for lead product developers at ColourPop and a shipping address associated with ColourPop Cosmetics. Although I’ve tried to break my addiction to drama channels (and it has helped improve my overall quality of life quite a bit!), I will include a video below that follows these developments with screen captures, SbapChat stories, etc.
So rather than simply developing a similar product, it really does appear that ColourPop ordered a large number of Lemonhead LA products; one would have to assume they did this to analyze the ingredients and attempt to reverse engineer the products for faster development in their own labs. That would help explain the shortened development time between when Bretman Rock placed his order and when the ColourPop collab was announced and released.
There is always going to be some imitation in the beauty community, and trends come and go that see many major and indie brands putting out similar kinds of products. People also feel all different kinds of ways about “dupe” brands and companies that try to copy other brands and sell similar products for reduced prices. Everyone is going to have to make up their mind about how they feel about all of this, but I think the one thing everyone can agree on is that the ColourPop gels aren’t nearly as high quality and user friendly as the Lemonhead LA products. Beyond that, you’ll have to decide for yourself if this was a case of a brand going too far in order to edge out their competition at a lower price. As for me, I’m sure I’ll get some use out of the ColourPop gels that I ordered, but I won’t be rushing to get more. I’d much rather use the Lemonhead products and nor get the same level of fallout.
What do you think – did ColourPop go to far in creating their Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels? Is this just a reality of the cosmetics industry that we have gotten used to, and in this case they were just unlucky enough to get caught? Is anything really “new” in makeup anymore anyway? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Wherever you get your sparkle this year, don’t forget to let the Year of Glitter really shine!