Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ColourPop Curious

ColourPop is having a moment in the beauty world. After resisting for a while, inevitably, I reached a breaking point (probably around the time KathleenLights came out with her Where the Light Is set). I was uncharacteristically good and stuck with my self-imposed lip product ban, limiting myself to the Super Shock Shadows only. (Unfortunately, the new highlighters hadn't been released at that point, otherwise a couple definitely would've ended up in my cart.) The hardest part was of course, deciding which shades to order. After an eternity of Googling, reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos, I settled for Smash (satin), Amaze (metallic), So Quiche (metallic), Sequin (metallic) and Game Face (ultra metallic). I was contemplating Bill and Desert as well, but decided to omit both. My total order came to $43.91 USD ($58.78), of which a large chunk (we're talking $18.91 USD) was devoted to shipping. That's 75% of the total cost of the five shadows. Bummer.

Top row, then bottom row: Game Face, So Quiche, Amaze, Smash, Sequin

l-r: Smash, Amaze, So Quiche, Sequin, Game Face

Top to bottom: Game Face, Sequin, So Quiche, Amaze, Smash

l-r: Smash, Amaze, So Quiche, Sequin, Game Face

l-r: Smash, Amaze, So Quiche, Sequin, Game Face


Smash is a slightly dirty, slightly warm-toned, light goldy beige. On my lids, because it's not that much darker than my skin tone, it's barely detectable (even less so with glasses). On a paler person, I can picture this being an all-over lid staple, but on me, it's entirely wasted. It reminds me a little of Burberry Pale Barley, but Pale Barley is darker, cooler-toned, more grey/taupe with slight purplish tones in comparison. They do have a similar finish though, both with a subtly shimmering goldish overlay.


Amaze was one of the shadows I was most looking forward to, but ultimately, it failed to excite. It's a light, ultra-reflective, shimmer-packed rose gold. The primary sheen it gives off is whitish/silvery, which I don't find flattering. Sheered out, it's almost intolerably glittery. Don't get it anywhere near your face unless you want the world's most sparkly highlighter. It's almost impossible to build up to full opacity, so I'd recommend it more as glitter top coat or dabbed on the centre of the lid for extra dimension and interest.

So Quiche

So Quiche is a dirty olive green base with purply-pink sparkles. I'm sure there's other colours of glitter in there, but purply-pink is the gist of it. With one swipe, it's not as strong in terms of pigmentation as the others. A sheerer application really brings out the beauty of the glitter (truly eye-catching and gorgeous), but doesn't give much definition or depth in terms of the base colour. Conversely, when built up, the green comes through stronger but a lot of the detail in the multi-coloured glitter is lost.


Sequin is a super pigmented, super glittery, russet (orangey, pinky, coppery, reddish) stunner. I can thank Angela for introducing me to it. This is the only shade out of the 5 I bought that I can and do wear all over the lid, though it's not one to reach for if you're after subtlety.

Game Face

Game Face is a very warm, mid-tone, rich glistening bronze with a goldish, coppery lustre. To the uninitiated, this shade seemed to be a clear standout in the Super Shock Shadow range and the only one I didn't remotely hesitate to order. It's not so much shimmery as it is metallic. Pigmentation is excellent though oddly, I found it swatches better on the hand than when applied to the lids.

I've been playing with the shadows for around 3 weeks now and overall, I like them but I'm not completely won over. For me, the main problem is convenience and wearability. While the round white pots are certainly distinctive, the individual packaging of the shadows somehow makes me less inclined to reach for them. In their own containers, the lid of which you have to physically unscrew just to see and use the shadow, they're not as accessible compared with say, a quad or palette where everything is laid out in front of you, ready to be utilised.

While I painstakingly attempted to minimise disappointment in the shades I picked, some of them simply don't work for me the way I hoped. They're either not dark enough, oddly sheer and somewhat patchy despite strong pigmentation, difficult to layer and achieve full opacity, overly glittery (and this, coming from someone who wears shimmer/metallic finishes on a daily basis) or not the most flattering colour against my skin tone. The biggest success of the lot is probably Sequin. I could've done without Smash (Desert likely wouldn't have fared any better). Amaze is beautiful but a total glitterbomb, too light to be used over the lid and too reflective in the inner corner. So Quiche is pleasingly unique and I love the contrasting glitter and base, but it's the sheerest of the bunch and difficult to pull off. Game Face is an absolutely stunning shade but its beauty doesn't translate on the lids, where it appears borderline muddy, a bit too dark and too warm.

Much has been said about the unusual texture of these shadows. They're thin and emollient, but packed with pigment. They're definitely closer to a cream shadow than a powder, but at the same time, they're drier to the touch and not as wet and creamy as traditional cream shadows like the Maybelline Color Tattoos, Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows or MAC Paint Pots. ColourPop recommends applying them with your fingers, and most reviews seem to agree. I wouldn't bother with brush unless it's a relatively stiff, flat, synthetic brush like the Ecotools Concealer Brush from their 5-Piece Bamboo Brush Set. On my non-oily monolids, I don't seem to experience any noticeable issues with wear time or creasing, though a primer underneath these shadows seems like a good idea to increase the vibrancy of the shadows, make them stay on longer and ensure they don't move around.

ColourPop advises that the lids on these shadows need to be secured tightly after each use. It makes me wonder what alchemy was involved in their formulation, to what degree they would change in pigmentation or texture naturally over time, and how long it'd take until things get really bad. It's not uncommon for certain cream shadows to dry out terribly after a year or so (my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze is basically unusable now), but it seems they've been mindful to design the packaging in a way that reduces the chances of that happening.


  1. Oh my. Seeing your little dents in them made me wonder 'have you been using them to death or what?' Those are some big dents. I think Sequin and Amaze are super pretty!
    I was telling Tasha the other day I have no idea where this Colour Pop craze has come from- I feel like I'm coming out from under my rock and am dumbfounded at everybody going nuts about this unassuming brand. The branding is quite generic imho.

    1. And good job for adhering to your lip product ban! :) xxx

    2. I really haven't used them that much at all. They're kind of soft in texture and slightly spongy/moussey which is probably why it looks like I've used a lot of product when I really haven't. I've applied each of them probably once to the lids and swatched them a few times as well.

      I only heard from ColourPop via YouTube. I guess they know how to succeed these days and that's pandering to the "gurus". Their influence and reach is so undeniable (I mean, we're talking accounts with a million plus followers) that you can sell a tonne of product through publicity/endorsement/word of mouth.

    3. And thank you! Though I recently failed and bought like, 3 lip balms and a lipstick :<

  2. Colourpop is definitely everywhere now! I already have a list of eye shadows and lippie stix that I want to purchase from Colourpop.. There are a lot of local online shops that do Pre Order for Colourpop make up here in Indonesia. So I will put my order asap xD..
    Too bad that you are not completely won over by them.. I can understand though, because sometimes when a certain products have been raved so much, we also put on higher expectation which is very likely end up in disappointment :/.. Smash and So Quiche are both on my list, but now I think I will only go with Smash..

    1. I think avoiding disappointment through an online order when you've never seen or swatched the products in person comes down a lot to luck. It's so hard to judge whether a product will work for you since you just have to wear it to see. I think Smash would look really gorgeous on you since you're paler than me :)

  3. I haven't tried any of the products on my face yet, but I'm pretty excited to! I'm quite interested in seeing how they apply. Sequin does look gorgeous, but it's unfortunate to hear that the others didn't apply so well! Some of the lids of mine were screwed on so tight I had to get my dad to open them hahaa :P It is a bit of a hassle having to screw and unscrew them. In case you were wondering, I got the Bonus blush, Lunch Money highlight, Grind, Cake and Frida lippie stix and Fancy and Lumiere lippie pencils - thought that was too long to write in the insty comment lel.

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  4. That first one that you said you could hardly see on your lids actually sounds perfect for me. I use neutral eye shadows like that every single day, so I'm always looking for more. Plus, I'm super pale, so don;t need anything too dark.

    I'll admit, these look amazing in the pot, so it's a bit disappointing they're not that great.

    Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive review! x

  5. The Color Pop products are very hyped up but they never appealed to me simply because they suggest using your fingers to apply, and I prefer brushes. The reviews I've read by bloggers I trust were similar to yours, it's a hit or miss with the shades.
    You gotta give it to them for amazing marketing!


  6. They seem super pigmented but not a huge fan of the glittery ones just because I'd use them less! Gorgeous shades though.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  7. These look incredible and I love the colours that you have, really want to try them out now!
    Maddy, xo // UNSTITCHEDD

  8. I haven't tried these ( mostly because they don't ship to Europe for some reason o.o ) but I have to say that I don't really like this system either...
    I don't usualy buy single shadows but when I do it now, I try to see if I can depot them into my wild peach cosmetics palette and use them like people use their z-palettes or their MAC palettes.

    The only things I really wanted to try out are their blushes and their highlighters.
    But again, they don't ship it to europe and I'm not thinking about using something like ship it to for these.

    I would probably get the Holika Holika shadows you got from BeautyNetKorea instead and some Innisfreee shadows. They are cheaper and I can order them without problems...And I can depot them too ( the Holika Holika shadows I probably can't but, their packaging looks better than this one)

    Take care*

  9. Wow the swatches looks amazing! I bought a few eyeshadows too when they first shipped to Australia and to be honest, I haven't really played with them yet. I really should though!

    Nhi | Miss Blushaholic

  10. The swatches truly look amazing :)
    I so want to try this brand :)

  11. Oh I'm sooo envious of you! I wished colourpop would be able to ship internationally soon! Otherwise I'll be using a mail forwarding service to get a bunch of single shadows! I NEED sequin in my life! I simply love shimmery SHIMMERY shades and I've got about 6 shades I want from them. I love the thought of the texture of these shadows, I'm just shivering over here looking at your gorgeous shades!

  12. Wow I thought you must've used the eyeshadows pretty hard to make a dent. Loving the swatches but I hate getting single eyeshadows :( Will defs keep an eye out for this brand though :)

  13. These look amazing - so pigmented! Wish we had Colour Pop in the UK :( xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  14. These are all such beautiful shades and they swatch wonderfully! I definitely need to do an order. x

  15. I believe it's better to use your fingers with these or a sponge-tip applicator. I think you're about the only one I know who's luke-warm / disappointed with the colour pop shadows. Haha :)

  16. love your blog :)
    have a great weekend!

  17. Gosh these products have been going bananas on social media. And I'd totally jump on the bandwagon were it not for the postage. I hear the lip products are great.

  18. I love the look of Smash on your arm swatches but can totally see how it would get a little lost in translation on the eyes. I own Amaze and agree that it's a bit of a glitterbomb so I normally end up using it as a top coat sheered out over other colours. The texture is certainly very interesting but I'm not sure these are worth all of the hype they've been receiving!

    Ash /

  19. Yay for Sequin! haha Everytime I wear it, I get comments. Mostly good. :P

    Game Face might need to be a future purchase. x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...