In my previous ColourPop review, I discussed my thoughts on ColourPop's aggressively ~edgy~ branding and Urban Dictionary-inspired product names, so I won't repeat myself here. Suffice to say that the more time I spend on ColourPop's website, the more convinced I become that I'm not their target audience. That doesn't preclude my enjoying my makeup, though, so let's see how these eyeshadows perform! Unboxed, same order as above:
Each Super Shock eyeshadow ($5 each) is housed in a screw-top pot with a transparent lid. The containers are taller than my other eyeshadow singles, but I wouldn't recommend depotting the shadows, given the delicacy of the cream formula. There's even a warning on the box:
Here's the ingredients list for Bae, if you have more patience and chemistry training than I do:
The Super Shock formula is a lightweight, easily spreadable and blendable cream. ColourPop seems to make two eyeshadow finishes: matte and over-the-top sparklicious glitterbomb. There aren't a lot of options for people who favor eyeshadows with subdued sheen, as I do. ColourPop does describe some shades as especially sparkly, but I didn't buy any of those, and I can't imagine eyeshadows more sparkly than the ones I got.
Bae is a dark reddish plum with teal glitter. Or, according to the CP website copy: "Ay Bay Bay, this rich eggplant purple with an emerald, and turquoise, glittery duo chrome metallic finish is legit better than anything else." I wouldn't call this shade duochrome or metallic, exactly; it's one color of glitter in another color of shadow. It is seriously pretty, though.
Bae looks like a bluish purple in the pan, but it becomes much redder when swatched. Look at that glitter! I could almost believe that ColourPop designed its eyeshadows to be photographed, not worn.
Bill is the most boring, thus most versatile, of the four: a matte dusty pinkish brown (ColourPop calls it "a muted plum beige"). I expected it to be more pinky-plum than brown, and it does look pinker in person, but the brown definitely predominates here.
Krinkle is the shadow I was most excited to see in person: a grayish tealish light blue with an abundance of silver and gold sparkle.
"When you put it on, it’s a lot like that feeling you get on Christmas morning," says the ColourPop website. Can't argue with that.
Sequin is a metallic copper with tons of matching glitter.
I'd expected a more subtle metallic finish, but here's a good rule to follow in all your dealings with ColourPop: never expect subtle.
Swatched, left to right: Sequin, Bae, Krinkle, Bill. As you can see, the glitter in Bae is finer and more sparse than it is in Sequin or Krinkle. The base colors may not look very intense, but they're surprisingly pigmented: when I wiped off the glitter with a paper towel, the pigment barely budged.
I don't wear glitter eyeshadow very often, so deciding how to place these on my eyes was a challenge--but a welcome challenge, given how boring and monochrome my eye makeup has become recently. I have to make an active effort not to smear NARS Lhasa all over my mobile lids and call it a day. I used Bae and Krinkle for my inaugural look, and was proud of myself for coming up with that combination until I realized that I was ripping off the NARS Habanera duo. It turns out that Bae and Krinkle are sparkly versions of the two sides of Habanera; Bae even has the same combination of red-plum base and teal glitter, though Habanera's plum has more purple. I am really, really bad at buying eyeshadow colors I don't already own. Here are some comparison swatches; forgive the goosebumps. "Room temperature" has long since become a fairy tale this winter.
|L to R: Bae, Habanera plum, Krinkle, Habanera mint.|
For the look below, I used a matte cream shadow, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe, as a base all over my mobile lids. I layered Krinkle on the outer half of each lid, used Bae to shade my lashlines and darken the outer corners and creases, then added a bit more Krinkle on top. I found the most effective application method to be with the fingers: a smudging motion to apply one layer, and a patting motion to replace the glitter that had been smudged off. I did use a brush to blend one color into another and diffuse the edges. I've been wearing this combination for a few hours now, and I've seen no fading and very little glitter fallout (though some is inevitable, and I don't really mind it).
Milani clear brow gel on my eyebrows; CoverGirl LashBlast Length on my lashes. I can't remember when I bought this tube of mascara, which means it's probably time to buy another.
And a full face. I'm wearing Sleek Flushed blush and Revlon Plum Velour lipstick to harmonize with the plum of Bae. Not my usual look, but I like the change. I also had nowhere to be today, hence no fear of looking unprofessional. And hey, check out my haircut!
And the same look with Maybelline Nude Lust lipstick, despite my strong suspicion that I should stay far away from concealer nudes:
And just for fun, a better close-up view of the glitter; it made me feel like a fairy.
Overall, I'm much more impressed with ColourPop's eyeshadows than with their lipsticks and lip pencils. I doubt I'll be ordering more Super Shock shadows anytime soon, since most of them are too glittery for my usual taste, and cream eyeshadows don't have the longevity of powders. I wish ColourPop had decided to make powder eyeshadows instead. Maybe they're harder to get right than cream ones? At any rate, I really like the Super Shock shadows I already have. I don't anticipate using the glitter shades on their own; I'm more likely to use them as top coats for more subdued shades. I do think Bill has workhorse potential, though. I'll try to post a FOTD with Bill and Sequin eventually, so you can see what they look like on a human eyelid. (Update: Bill FOTD here.)
So ends my brief flirtation with ColourPop. Part of me thinks I might actually be too old, or at least too staid, for their glitter-and-Instagram shtick. I love a sense of play in my makeup, but I also want the fun, sparkly colors to be anchored by more versatile shades. I want adventurous colors in subtle textures, or subtle colors in adventurous textures; I don't want all party all the time, which is the aesthetic they seem to be catering to. If that happens to be your aesthetic, though, you could do a lot worse. I'm curious to find out whether ColourPop will make it to the mainstream like NYX, or whether the brand will fade into obscurity after the hype dies down. We'll just have to see.