I feel like I’m always a little out of sync with the “cool kids” when it comes to Black-Owned Makeup Brand (BOMB) Coloured Raine: while everyone seemed to be starry-eyed over the Queen of Hearts palette, I just saw yet another interpretation of the Modern Renaissance palette, which was itself a derivative of the Lime Crime Venus I. I was feeling sort of meh about the Safari Raine palette while everyone was losing their goddamn minds about the launch and every subsequent restock. And now with the Juicy Boost palette, the same thing is happening again, but in reverse: so many people are turning up their noses at it or giving it the side eye, and I’m actually super excited!
The timing seems a little odd; this collection has all the hallmarks of a summer collection, but didn’t launch until mid-August. Normally this would be cause for some discussion about what the brand was up to, but this is 2020: shit is weird, it’s gonna stay weird, and you get what you get when you get it. I ain’t mad about it. I picked up the flat lay palette and 5 or the new liquid lipstick shades. The palette also came out in a “book” that had two 9-pan palettes stacked between hinged covers, there was a bright purple liquid lipstick, and a few additional accessory items.
The palette is 18 shades with 15 mattes and 3 metallic shimmers. Obviously I prefer more shimmers in my palettes, but the mattes were bright and playful, and I know that I love Coloured Raine’s formula from the other single shadows I’ve picked up from the brand, so I decided to give it a go.
I did swatches over the ABH primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is the swatches under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Blueberry Burst, Coconut Water, Cucumber Avocado
Blueberry Burst is the first of the shimmers, and quite lovely. I think there is some turquoise in the reflect, and it’s got a fun, poolside quality to it. Coconut Water is a great matte white; it struggled a little bit with a finger application, but the brush application was smooth, consistent, and super pigmented. Cucumber Avocado is a bright lime green matte.
For these first three shades, I was pretty impressed. Some of the reviews that I’ve seen of this palette have said that the shades are super patchy, and I think I see that with some of the finger swatches, but when you apply them with a brush most of them went on like a dream. And how many people truly sit around and fingerbang matte shadows onto their eyes? I don’t get why people go out of their way to do swatches in a way that is completely different than how they would apply them to their eyes, but then insist on making judgments about how the shadows will perform on the eye based on that. It’s dumb.
L to R: Mint Leaves, Energy Boost, Kale Yeah
Mint Leaves is a deeper lime green matte, more of a medium crease shade and a nice pair to Cucumber Avocado. Energy Boost is a bright mid turquoise shade with strong pigmentation. Kale Yeah is a deep evergreen matte, almost looking black from certain angles.
Overall this first row was pretty solid. I think some people might be disappointed with this palette because they think the shades are going to be much brighter, almost neon. While they are bright, and a lot of the shades are in the medium to light range, they are a little more muted than they seem in some of the promo photos (and than the packaging would suggest).
L to R: Sweet Ruby, Pink Grapefruit, Cranberry Vanilla
Sweet Ruby, the pink shimmer, is more of a flaky texture and definitely needs some help. It was really hard to get any product on a dry brush, and the finger swatch was only marginally better. It’s a disappointment because the pink was my favorite of the three shimmers, but with a little bit of effort, you can get a decent foiled texture with a wet brush. A finger will work as well, but just might need a little more finessing. Pink Grapefruit is a very pale dusty pink, a little more muted than I would have liked. Cranberry Vanilla is a berry pink bordering on red, and it’s nice and pigmented with good opacity.
L to R: Berry Beet, Watermelon Detox, Apple Strawberry
Berry Beet is a nice berry pink, though I don’t think it’s different enough from Cranberry Vanilla to warrant both of them being included. I would have preferred if this shade was swapped out for something more purple to help bring that into this palette as well. Watermelon Detox is one of my favorites, a bright popsicle red matte with amazing pigmentation and opacity. Apple Strawberry is a true red matte, a little bit subdued but great performance.
The pink row is a little iffy for me, just because of how fuzzy that shimmer is and the two shades that are too close to identical for my comfort. This went from pink into red, but I would have loved a shift into a bit more of a purple tone. The other two rows have a much clearer shift in shades and tones in their row; this is the only one that stays pretty much just within the pink/red realm.
L to R: Lemon Wheat Grass, Citrus Ginger, Ginger Bae
Lemon Wheat Grass is the easiest of the three shimmers to use – this one practically applied itself! it’s a gorgeous bright gold, very yellow in tone and not at all brassy. Citrus Ginger is a pale yellow, a little dusty for my liking and applied a bit sheer, but it’s a pretty enough color. Ginger Bae is a bright yellow leaning toward mustard (sort of like the yellow bottle of French’s mustard, not the more brown tone of mustard itself!).
This is the wekest row of the three, but it’s not terrible. These two lighter shades definitely went on super sheer, and lacked a certain opacity, even after being built up. The bright spot in this trio was definitely the shimmer, which was a pleasure to use!
L to R: Turmeric Shot, Orange Carrot, Sweet Potato Mango
Turmeric Shot looks a lot lighter when swatched than it does in the pan, though to be fair the swatched color does look pretty much exactly like turmeric! Orange Carrot is a bright, balanced orange matte. Sweet Potato Mango is a mustard yellowy brown, a little patchy but not impossible to work with.
These were a bit more opaque and even than the other two mattes in their row, but still a little weak compared to the rest of the palette. They are pretty shades, but like most of the shades in this palette I would have liked them to be their brightest, most vibrant selves!
I swatched the 5 liquid lipsticks over bare skin with no primer; the lighting is the same as above.
L to R: Muah, Summer, Blackberry, Lucky Charm, Honey Mustard
Muah is a bright pink shimmer lipstick that is somewhat sheer and doesn’t give the full, opaque coverage that I really look for in a liquid lipstick. I would definitely recommend using that with a liner to make sure you get a solid lip line with no breaks or inconsistencies. Summer is a bright pink, very nice coverage. Blackberry definitely struggled: it tended to collect along the edges of the swatch and there was some consistency problems as it was painted on. I think you can work with it, but it’s going to give you some problems. I struggled on a flat surface, and your lips are going to give additional challenges by daring to be 3-dimensional! Lucky Charm is a bright, swampy lime green. Honey Mustard is a brown-leaning yellow.
I picked up these lipsticks for a couple of reasons. First, I like them with the colors of the palette, and I thought I could do some looks with the palette and lipsticks together either here or on my YouTube channel. Second, I also wanted to see if some of them would be replacements for Jefferson Starship lipsticks that I have in my collection. Specifically, I ordered Blackberry to compare with Abused, Lucky Charm to compare with Venus Flytrap, and Honey Mustard to compare with Queen Bee. Sadly, I think only Lucky Charm is a true replacement. Blackberry is a similar shade to Abused, a deep navy, but Abused has more of a creamy quality to it, and almost leans a little bit perfect. I think you could use Blackberry are get a similar sort of effect, but I wouldn’t call it a true dupe. Honey Mustard is lovely, but it’s a much grungier shade than Queen Bee. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice shade, but it doesn’t have the same brightness to it. I really like the matte formula from Coloured Raine (the metallic lipstick formula still needs a little work, though it’s far from the worst on the market!) but I don’t think my search for dupes has been completely satisfied.
Are there things about this palette that are not exactly how I expected? Definitely. I thought the shades would be lighter and brighter and more neon, like a lot of people seemed to expect. But I’m not really disappointed. I think the shades are lovely and I think the performance is overall pretty good. If you just look at swatches where someone shoves a finger in and does one swipe, you’re going to think this palette is trash: that’s not a technique that is going to get the most out of these particular shades. But if you give them a nice base, work with them, and build them up slowly instead of just trying to slap them on in one go, I think you’ll be pleased with what you can achieve.
The world is on fire. Sometimes summer doesn’t show up until mid-August, and trust me: I can relate! I don’t know about you, but I feel like spring lasted for about 18 years, and then summer took all of about 18 minutes! We’re all mixed up, and companies are having to try to find some footing in this “new normal” (whatever the hell that means). Whether it was a little behind schedule, or this was the juicy harvest they intended to take us into fall, I’m just glad that I got this juicy, colorful infusion to carry me through this wild, weird world.