Look Who Thinks She’s Fancy: ColourPop Launches At Sephora…With New Price Point

Published on November 27, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

So I love it when Sephora announces that it’s bringing in some new indie brand.  They’ve dedicated more than enough shelf space to (tired?) old standards like Lancome and Estee Lauder (and their pathetic attempt to grab a younger demographic, the Estee Edit – is that concept dead yet?!), so new brands and indie favorites are always a welcome addition.

But what happens when the newest brand to make its way into the concept is known for good quality makeup…and a very low price point?  Can they maintain that brand image while also “fitting in” with the luxury feel and concept of the Sephora store?

When I heard that ColourPop, home of the $6 liquid to matte lipstick, was heading to Sephora.com, I decided to check out what they had to offer.  The initial launch is small, with 8 different products or bundles up for grabs.  They have a small selection of exclusive Super Shock Shadow shades available for $5 each, and to help bridge the gap between what ColourPop customers are used to paying versus Sephora customers, there are a number of bundles and collections: trio of lipsticks or glosses, a collection of shadows, an exclusive Crystals Collection kit with Amber setting spray, liquid highlighter, and lip balm (which I already reviewed in a separate post, HERE).

But in amongst these curated collections there were also two eyeshadow palettes that I’m sure raised more than just my painted on eyebrows: a 15-shade collection of shimmers called Golden State of Mind, and an 8-shade collection with slightly larger pans of shimmer metallics called Semi Precious.  While pretty much all of the ColourPop pressed shadow palettes up to this point have retailed for $16 each (there was a recent release of a new palette, You Had Me At Hello, that includes a mirror and bumped the price to $18), both of these palettes were sitting on the Sephora website at $26 a pop.

It’s hard to know what exactly caused this increase in price without being “in the room where it happens” (apologies for that gratutious Hamilton moment – I’m in a mood tonight!), but it seems out of character with the rest of the launch collection: there is a 6-shade Super Shock Shadow collection that retails for $30 (equaling $5 per shade, the retail price on the website) and 3-shade lip collections for $18 ($6 each, again the retail price on the home site), and the Crystal Collection which retails for $20 (the price of the individual items in the other Crystal Collections separately, though the collections on CP’s site give a $2 discount to $18 retail).  With no mirrors or other enhanced packaging, it’s not clear why the price increased but you know your girl is never intimidated by spending a few extra dollars.  I bought both palettes to see how they differed from the other palettes on the site and try to figure out why they were more expensive.

The first difference between these two palettes and the ones on the CP website isn’t necessarily a good one (though it depends on your makeup buying habits and preferences): both palettes are entirely comprised of metallic and shimmer shades.  As you saw in my previous reviews of the Yes Please!, She, I Think I Love You, and My Little Pony palettes, they are all 12-shade collections that feature a mix of matte and shimmer/metallic shades, making them a little bit more versatile for people who prefer to use only one palette at a time to create their entire looks.  I’m not saying that you can’t do an entire look with just metallics and shimmers – lord knows I have, many times! – but for more wearable looks a lot of people prefer to have matte shades to help transition and darken and these are nowhere to be found in these two palettes.

Colour 01

Golden State of Mind, L to R: Golden Egg, Pay the Piper, GRLFRND, Zero Clue, Watch Out, Drizzle, Uptight, Can’t Stop, Sparkler, Unsupervised, Lust In Time, Mind Tricks, Wing Woman, Heads or Tales, Tinker Time. (No Flash)

As you can probably tell from the swatches, there are a lot of similar shades in this palette.  With the exception of peachy metallic Zero Clue, the top row of 5 shades are all pretty pale and similar with slightly different tones.  Uptight, a coppery red shade from the middle row, is bright and definitely stands out but a lot of the rest of the palette is a bronze-y brown blur.  Mind Tricks, the cool brown metallic in the bottom row, is another welcome shade that stands out from the pack.  These pans are slightly larger than the ones in the typical 12-pan palettes (1 gram compared to .85 grams) but there just isn’t enough variety in this palette to make it that versatile…or even interesting.  If you just want an accent palette to give you a ton of champagne, peach, and bronze nudes then this is a great option; otherwise, it will probably leave you scratching your head.  It’s a shame, because the shadows themselves are the same pigmented, high quality formula of the other palettes.

Now on to the Semi Precious.  This is the one I was most incredulous of – after all, at least with the other palette you get three more shades than you typically do in a ColourPop palette.  Sure, the pans are bigger here (2 full grams each), but you only get 8 shades, and again they are all metallic shimmers.

Colour 07

Semi Precious, L to R: Celestial, Beam Me Up, Easy Go, Up & Atom, West Star, Bashful, Upon a Star, The Game.  (With Flash)

I do have to say that these shimmers seem to be of a better quality than the ones in other palettes, but the others were already so good I’m not sure how much difference that will make to most shoppers.  I also love the colors.  Celestial is a gorgeous rose gold shade and I want that all over my body, like, now.  Beam Me Up looks silver in the pan but definitely shifts light blue when applied, and I ain’t mad about it.  Easy go is a lovely metallic red.  Bashful is an olive-gold mixture that is really special and not something I see very often.  That’s definitely the biggest standout for me in this palette.  Upon a Star is sort of a berry-copper mix that I also find very unique.

The more I look at this palette, the more I feel like this one was the better investment.  The shades are really lovely and special, and a lot of them are pretty unique.  I’m not going to say that I’ve never seen a shade like Bashful, but if you told me to go find one in my collection, I’m not sure if I could.  They are smooth and apply so evenly, and I played around a little with a brush to see if I was just getting good finger action, but these laid down nicely with a brush too.  It still makes me give a little bit of side eye to see that $26 price tag, but I’m not sorry I bought this little gem of a palette.

At the end of the day, this is a tough one for me.  I recognize that I spend way more on makeup than any rational human being ever should, and I’ve bought palettes that are way more expensive than $26.  But when you compare the ones from the home website to the ones that launched on Sephora, it’s hard not to see the disconnect.  In fact, ColourPop recently announced a new holiday palette, All I See Is Magic, that has the same fifteen 1-gram pans as the Golden State palette, includes a mix of shimmers and mattes…and is only $20.  If you’re a one palette and go type, or if you just can’t get over the price shooting up $10, these palettes might not be for you.  Personally, I didn’t think they were perfect, but I love a lot of shimmer and even though there is a little more repetition than I might like, I imagine I’ll get my fair share of use out of these.  And if not, I won’t feel too bad about gifting them along to someone else as they still weren’t that expensive to begin with.

But if ColourPop is planning to make the move into higher price points, they better make sure they’ve got the luxury goods to back it up.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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