When I did my reviews of the Cruella, Maleficent, and Ursula collections from the recent ColourPop X Disney Villains collab, I mentioned that I had also had the Misunderstood palette from that collection. Since then, I’ve ordered more from ColourPop (a sort of natural extension of them releasing products every 15 minutes!) so I decided to dedicate this week to releases from ColourPop; look for more CP products to be reviewed on Wednesday and Friday of this week. As for now, let’s dive into the Misunderstood palette.
First, I’ll start by saying that I agree with a lot of the reviewers I’ve heard who feel that what was truly misunderstood was what a villain is supposed to be all about. This palette is a weird mix of colors; I get needing to make something that not only makes a statement, but is also usable by your customers, but what exactly is the color story here?
Now, I’m not saying that a villains palette has to be all gloom and doom, but the Villains from these movies are as famous as they are because they have personality. They are some of the most memorable characters, and many of them are more memorable than the princesses in the movies they come from. Does anyone really have a strong impression of the difference between Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty? Sleeping Beauty isn’t even her fucking name – it’s Aurora – but most people don’t even know that. But I can promise you that people know the difference between Lady Tremaine, emerging from the shadows with those malicious eyes, and Maleficent turning into a dragon and breathing fire! They have presence, they have gravitas, they have some of the best jokes in the movies…and none of that should ever, ever, ever add up to beige. Ever.
Let’s get into the swatches. These were done over OMFG Face Primer with a finger swatch on the left followed by a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting without a flash; bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash:
L to R: No Spots, Mongrels, Diablo, Devious, Tragic
No spots is a matte white. Because…why? I guess you can always use white to mix with other colors and to give a stark highlight. I’ll allow it. But the beige shimmer of Mongrels is basic as fuck. You have this shade a million times, and if you have pretty much any other CP palette you probably have a pretty close dupe. They do this shade over and over again. Diablo is a bright yellow gold, and this fits in with the general greed of many of the villains so this makes sense to me. Devious is a boring tan shade and it doesn’t really perform that well; if Scar were one of the villains from the collection, I would probably be more generous as this is the same color as the fur on his body, but he’s not and the performance of this shade is pretty crap, so it should just go. And Tragic. Jesus. What’s tragic is that this beige monstrosity made it into something “inspired” by the Disney villains. Truly tragic.
L to R: Underworld, Pain & Panic, Forest of Thorns, Flotsam, The Fates
Underworld is a nice bronze shade, kind of coppery, but a little boring. Pain & Panic is nice enough, but it’s totally unnecessary to have this and Diablo in the same palette. Yellow gold or gold gold? Gee, how will I ever decide? Ugh, I just can’t. Forest of Thorns is moving in the right direction, a bright rich orchid purple with a subtle bluish flash. This is one of the standout shades in the palette. Flotsam is an example of the sort of light shade you should do if you’re going to do light shades in a villain palette: it’s weird and a little unexpected. It looks like a cool champagne shimmer, very basic, but then it has super cool-toned almost lilac kind of flash. Very beautiful, and not a very common shade. The Fates is another stunner, a deep rich navy that has a strong, satiny finish.
L to R: Revenge, Sing, Jetsam, Facile, 101
This is the most consistent row, and the most villain-y, but it’s still nothing stupendous. Revenge is a black shade with silver glitter suspended in it. It’s alright, and this one does seem to keep the glitter under control a little better than other variations on this theme, but it only works if the whole palette is more spooky and gloomy. Sing is ok, a reddish-toned brown shimmer, kind of ruddy and pretty enough, but nothing special and nothing particularly in theme. Jetsam is another winner, a green/brown/turquoise sort of duochrome that is interesting and not completely predictable. This is the kind of dynamic color I wanted to see throughout this palette! Facile gets a pass because it’s green, and I am weak and stupid, but the formulation is way too chunky and flaky, leading to an inconsistent application. It’s a pretty olive with gold, but will need some attention to use without getting everything everywhere. 101 is just…no. It’s supposed to be a black, I think, but the pigmentation is pretty weak, making it more of a deep charcoal gray that isn’t really interesting enough to justify it being there.
Overall, this was just an ok palette from a brand that cranks out way too much product for its own good, and I think it’s even a worse showing when you consider the source material that was supposed to have inspired it. The shadows are mostly ok, but I don’t see a coherent story to the shades and I don’t really see the villains reflected except in brief moments that are dynamic and interesting.
What do you think – are you loving this palette, or do you feel bad for the poor, unfortunate souls like me who purchased it? Was it fated to be in your collection, or are you sending it off to the makeup underworld? Alright, enough villain puns – just let me know what you think in the comments below!