SugarPill used to be the Grand Poohbah of colorful makeup; a few years ago, you couldn’t watch a YouTube video about colorful makeup without hearing this brand referenced throughout. The rest of the world was still in the throes of rosy neutral madness created by the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, so it was nice to see a brand so unabashedly embrace color. But as the rest of the world has come around to color and most brands have some iteration of a rainbow palette, things have been a little quiet from this delightful indie. Their releases have been generally more lip-focused, and while some of their liquid lipsticks have been absolutely gorgeous (I was living for the icy undertones of the Arctic Sparkle Collection), I’ve been missing them in the eyeshadow game.
So when I saw that they were putting out a 9-pan palette of neon, 80s-inspired brights called the Fun Size palette, I was all the way here for it. Yes, yes, I know that this palette is not new and they have already released another palette – the Capsule Collection Pink Edition, that looks amazing! – but I was a “late adopter” and just ordered this now, and the Capsule Collection palette wasn’t available on Ulta when I placed my order, so here we are.
Plus, it’s got an adorable 8-bit cat on the cover. How could I say no?!
For the swatches, I did them over the ABH primer, which is perfect for matte brights like this, with a brush. I didn’t do a finger swatch because I don’t think finger swatches are particularly helpful for mattes (since that’s never now I would apply them on the eye) and finger swatches always seem to come out even worse for bright/neon mattes like these. Plus it allowed me to do all 9 shades on my arm without scrubbing it off, which made my tired swatching arm very happy (this palette was done during a recent marathon swatching session!). The top pic is the shades under my studio lighting with no flash and the bottom pic is the same studio lighting with a flash.
L to R: Cheat Code, 8-Bit, Player One
Cheat Code is a lovely minty, seafoam green, very cool-toned. It applied very smoothly and without any chalkiness. 8-Bit is an ultra-cool periwinkle blue, again with amazing consistency and crazy pigmentation. Player One was a little bit streaky, but not bad, and it’s a lovely pastel orchid purple shade.
L to R: Twitch, Level Up, Rage Quit
I love this row together – there is something about pastel pinks and greens together that just feels springy and 60s and playful! Twitch is a light, pastel spring green, maybe a touch on the powdery side but overall pretty consistent. It shows up amazingly well for how bright it is. Level Up is a slightly warm-toned medium pink, and Rage Quit is her more blue-toned sister. These are both lovely shades, but I would have liked something with a little more variation, maybe a slightly more purple tone to Rage Quit.
L to R: Continue?, High Score, Game Over
This row is a bit of a disappointment after how good the top two rows were. Continue? is an odd choice; why this muted, mustard tone instead of a more canary or lemon yellow to keep with the brights theme? It performs well enough, but next to all of the other shades in the palette it just looks kind of…dirty? High Score is a nice enough bright orange, but maybe a little chalky in application. Game Over is a yellow-toned red, very warm and a little out of place with the overall cooler-toned leanings of the palette. I think you can use it with these shades, and it gives you something to deepen the other shades in this row, but again it just feels a little out of place.
Is this palette a return to the glory days of SugarPill, where no one else could do pigmented, bright mattes with the same level of quality and performance? No, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The top two rows of this palette are perfection, and I love them. The bottom row is a little odd, but I think those shadows do provide a little variety. It’s not a perfect brights rainbow palette, but you get an interesting collection of shadows that can be used together to create a range of bright, neon-infused looks, or can be used as a companion palette to bring a pop of vivid color to another collection of shades.
What it does do is make me much more excited and likely to try the more expensive Capsule Collection palette. I was worried that SugarPill might be losing their touch but they still have a pretty firm grip on color and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us. And smaller, less expensive palettes are definitely more in line with what we’re seeing across the market, so I hope this will help them get back some much-needed traction so they can once again give us more of what they do best: color, color, and more COLOR!