Dark Days: ColourPop Part 2, Pressed Shadows, Pigments, and Cheeks

Published on September 26, 2015 by   ·   1 Comment

Some stories are all about happy endings and good fortune, the right thing in the right place at the right time.

This is not one of those stories.

CP Crying

Recently I gave you part one of a three part series on ColourPop Cosmetics, reviewing their Lippie Stix (if you missed it, you can read it HERE).  This is part two of that series, and it’s where I’m going to talk about their eye shadows and pigments.  And this is where the story takes a turn for the worst.  In the journey of the hero, this is where the hero falls.  This made me a very sad panda.

CP 05What makes this part so tragic is how wonderful it should have been: the color selection of shadows and pigments offered by ColourPop is truly breathtaking and perfect for my color-obsessed palette.  They have iridescent, opal-y tones and frantic neons with glitter!  It’s a drag queen’s dream!

I ordered seven different shades to get me started: Hello (lemon yellow, matte), Girly (vanilla with gold/pink duochrome, pearlized), Glowstix (neon yellow with glitter, pressed pigment), Chipper (mint with opal glitter, pearlized), Fizz (neon green, pressed pigment), Slave2Pink (neon fuchsia duochrome, pressed pigment), and Bubbly (pastel pink with silvery touches, pearlized).  I also bought one of the blushes, which seems to have the same or similar formulation: Jellyfish (orangey-red coral, pearlized).

When they arrived, I was in heaven: they looked so beautiful in their simple, classic white containers with the hologram ColourPop logo across the top.  The packaging is high quality and they are screwtops rather than hinged, to help keep the product fresh.  I was ready to buy the whole collection!

And then I tried to use it.

At a recent show in Bismarck I used Hello and Glowstix (a matte and a pressed pigment) for my eyes and Fizz (pressed pigment) for a green/teal lip look.  On a recent photo shoot, I used Slave2Pink and Bubbly (pressed pigment and pearlized) as well as the Jellyfish blush (pearlized) on my eyes.  The final results for the most part were alright.  Getting to those final results was the problem.

CP 08Let’s start with the consistency of the product.  I am at a loss for words to really describe it.  It’s not exactly a cream or a gel, but it’s not exactly a pressed powder either.  It exists somewhere in the middle.  As I was rubbing it with my fingertip (this is the recommended application method from the ColourPop website, though they say a synthetic brush will also work) it reminded me a little bit of that kinetic sand they sell at craft and toy stores: it was sort of crumbly and sort of sticking together.  It seemed to get sort of clumpy in the pot and stick to itself; after one use, I’ve already hit the pan on two of the colors, not because I applied a huge amount but because the product tends to collect towards the side of the pot and the pan is deceptively shallow considering the size of the packaging overall.

Application was inconsistent.  The biggest problem child in the group was the matte shadow, Hello.  That one applied in a rather streaky, uneven way and I found myself scrambling to find another light yellow shadow to help boost the color.  It also didn’t want to play nice with my Urban Decay eyeshadow primer (I primarily use Eden, though occasionally I’ll go with the original); I had to wipe down my eye area, reapply the primer and then powder it to get the shadow to sit properly.  The matte did not want to blend with my other powder shadows at all and was just generally uncooperative.  I had better luck with the 004neon pigment and got some pretty good color payoff from it, but I also found it somewhat hard to blend when mixing it with other, non-ColourPop products.  The two CP shadows blended together alright, and I suppose that is one way to encourage people to only use your brand of products, but I need shadows that are going to play nice with a variety of brands and products.  I tried using a brush while putting together this look and it was a definite challenge; if you’re going to use these shadows, I suggest going with the fingertip application method.

I also wasn’t thrilled with how the Fizz pressed pigment played with my lip products – I understand that they aren’t designed to be lip products, but it’s pretty standard for me to use eyeshadows to create lip looks and this is the first time I’ve run into this sort of product.  I started by painting my lips with one of the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip colors in Dr. M. (deep green teal) and then putting a layer of Kat vonD Studded Kiss lipstick in Plan 9 (glittery light emerald green) and then using the Fizz in the middle of the lower lip.  When applying it over the lipstick, it tended to get a little clumpy and didn’t spread evenly.  I was able to get enough color to work for the stage, but it would have been a disaster for photos or close ups.

CP PhotoShootI had a slightly better time when I was doing the look for the photo shoot.  I ditched a brush altogether and stuck with my finger for the primary application.  I also stayed away from pressed shadows as much as possible and instead used loose pigments/shadows like SugarPill’s Stella and Decora to work with these creamy shadows.  Eye Candy laid down pretty well and had a nice pink color with some fun shine, but again it was hard to get a consistent amount of color payoff across the eye area.  It blended pretty well with the Slave2Pink, but got a little crabby when I started adding some Hotsy Totsy pressed shadow from the SugarPill Sparkle Baby palette, so I switched over to using the Decora loose shadow and it got a little easier.  I also used the Stella loose shadow for my dark color and that blended in pretty well.  I added in some of the Jellyfish blush to add some dimension to the pinks.  This look came together better than my first go ’round, but it just felt like more work than it should have been to get things working together.

For everyday wear, especially when you are creating a softer, less defined look these shadows will probably work out fairly well for you.  For my heavier stage makeup, however, I ran into a lot of problems and I found it difficult to use them for very defined applications.  Also, as I said they have a tendency to clump up and congregate around the edges of the container, so if you weren’t careful you could have some overflow and waste a good amount of product.

Final result: for color selection and vibrancy, these shadows are absolutely stunning, but the formulation is odd and not easy to work with, there is a lot ofpotential waste that could happen, and they don’t always play well with your other beauty products.  I’m not going to toss these in the trash, but I don’t see this brand’s shadows ever becoming “must haves” in my makeup routine.  I’m still feeling a little bit stung by my disappointment with how good they should have been.

CP 06If you’ve tried these shadows and want to offer a rebuttal (or maybe tips for easier use!), please leave a comment below and don’t forget to check back for part three of this series to see if ColourPop can redeem themselves after this cosmetic disaster.

Now Go Forth And Get Painted

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. […] to see how these worked out; I did a review of their Super Shock shadows (you can find it HERE) early on in Makeup Forum history and I was less than kind.  I wasn’t super excited to put […]

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