Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Colourpop Collection - Review & Swatches



Buckle up, sweet-peas, we're in for one heck of a ride!
I had been meaning to do this for a long time. You would have seen me briefly discuss Colourpop products in my 2015 reviews. I also shared a few swatches over my social media - Facebook & Instagram - and that intensified the review requests from my lovely readers. This is the first 'overall' review of its type at The Beauty Finds, so I hope I am able to do justice with it.

Despite being the new kid on the block, Colourpop has created quite a lot of waves in the world of beauty. So much so, that the ripple effect reached right across the ocean (and land) to Pakistan. 

The first time Colourpop got my attention was through an Instagram hashtag. At that time, they had launched quite a few lip products in collaboration with famous beauty gurus. I noticed that the Colourpop had US-only presence through its exclusive webstore. Across their offerings, there was a $5-everything price-point. At that time, their product range was limited to eyeshadows, pressed pigments, lippie stix and lippie liners. It seemed like a niche brand with a variety of very bold and unconventional colours. It has garnered quite a lot of attention since then. I am difficult to sway when it comes to eyeshadow singles. I never bought eyeshadow singles before, but I made an exception for Super Shock eyeshadows. What do you know, soon after, 3 eyeshadows & 2 lippie stix made me a 'Colourpopper' :-D

<This place shall serve as a tombstone of a sad joke I inserted and then removed>

Moving ahead, I want everybody to know that I do love Colourpop. There is no suspense in that. The brand, as I said before, gets featured in my posts and favorites. Throughout this mega-review, I will try to list down the goods, the bads and the ugly as impartially as I can possibly be. Shall we take a look at the picture-heavy swatch-fest that is going to follow:

Colourpop Cosmetics - What You Need To Know


To those who are new to this brand, Colourpop is a makeup brand based in California, United States. It is exclusively available Colourpop.com. The product portfolio of Colourpop now includes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip liners, liquid lipsticks, blushes, highlighters, bronzers, contour powders, and eyeliners. There are limited edition collaborations and sets of different products coming in frequently. The regular 'single' items are priced between $5 to $8. The value or limited edition sets, however, have a higher price-point for multiple products. Colourpop offers free shipping beyond $30 and in my experience, there have been no additional taxes in the final checkout (for delivery to US) from the brand, so yay! The products are claimed to be cruelty-free. As for the 'vegan' claims, there are certain exceptions to this that the brand highlights in its FAQ page. You can also email their customer service to inquire about the Carmine or other ingredients if it is something you are particular about.

Initially, brand's availability was limited to US and its territories. They have now expanded their shipping to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. They have a quirky marketing style, which - thankfully - is not over-the-top. I believe the social media contributed the most to its immediate rise to fame. Those Instagram-perfection looks made many curious to try their products. One great thing that I'd like to mention, Colourpop does update swatches on different skin tones that might give you fair idea about how it would look on you. They are still arm-swatches and edited to a degree, so it might not be a replacement for the self swatches in-store... but, a good alternative, nonetheless. Since they don't have any store location as of now, webstore swatches and those from your own research are what you can rely on. In Pakistan, Colourpop is available through pre-orders and in-stocks of cosmetics pages on the Facebook. Oh, and now you know what 'specialty' you can ask for when a relative/friend of yours offer to bring anything from the US!

In this review, I shall share my experience with the brand for the following items:

- Super Shock Eyeshadow
- Lippie Stix
- Lippe Liner
- Ultra Matte Lip
- Super Shock Cheek - Blush & Highlighter
- Creme Gel  Eye Liner
- Creme Eye Liner Pencil

Yep, that is a whole lot of Colourpop for one post. I did consider breaking it down into parts or for each category, but then, a complete one-post review might help some of you to pick Colourpop products from a overwhelming array of gorgeous colors. Let's have a look at each of these in detail. Oh, and I must mention that I have kept the swatches with minimal retouching of any sort, so what you see is 98% raw image with perhaps just 2% of cropping/tilting/shifting and no color filters. I did, however, take the pictures in ample indoor lighting with flash (in most cases).

Super Shock Eyeshadows




Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadows retail at $5 for 1 oz. Presently, all Colourpop eyeshadows are present in individual packaging. There is no palette form, yet. The collection versions of the eyeshadows are also packed as 3-6 individual eyeshadows bundled together. Colourpop markets its formula as something that needs to remain securely air-tight for its 'magic' to remain intact. It is not possible in a palette, I believe. It could be one of the reasons they're refraining from palettes. I am venturing an educated guess here, though.


Packaging wise, Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadows come in a thick white plastic twist-up pots. The plastic is not flimsy, but adequately sturdy. Colourpop advises to firmly close the twisting lid of the eyeshadows to keep the texture of the eyeshadow at its best. The deep pots may be deceptive. The product does not run all the way down to the bottom. Instead, there are shallow pans - just like of any other eyeshadows - that sit atop in the plastic pots.

I am jumping quite a few hoops here, but I so want to comment on the texture of the eyeshadows. Even when there is a variety of eyeshadow in different types of finish, the texture in the pan remains fairly consistent. Super Shock Eyeshadows are soft enough to be classified as "cream" eyeshadows. A little press on the pan will make you get the bouncy/cushiony feel. It is quite soft, so that does make it prone to breakage, the pot were to take a fall. The soft texture makes the color payoff amazing. A downside for the softer eyeshadows is that I am super careful about carrying them in my bag - I rarely do that, by the way. Heck, I even open the lid as gingerly as possible. Because of this, I have only used Super Shock Eyeshadows when I have ample time and seating arrangement to get ready, so that I don't encounter a fumble & tumble situation. If you usually do the makeup on-the-go, I can't comment on how well it will hold up. Some reviews mentioned that the formula of the eyeshadows changed and dried up a little. I have not encountered any such problem so far, the oldest of mine is from a year ago. Still applies the same.


Colourpop claims that depositing the color onto your eyelids is best done with fingers. I agree. For shimmers, metallics and ultra-metallics, that seems to be the best option. The softer texture does make the colour payoff intense, overall. On the flip side, it does disturb the embossed pattern on the top of the product in the first few uses. If you continue using fingers, the top layer flattens in a way that I find it harder for the brush to pick up the product. In such case, the brush is to be swiped and pressed multiple times on the top layer of the eyeshadow, causing a mess. Moreover, the deposit through finger-method wastes more product in my experience. The pigmentation transfers intensely on the finger-tip and once you rub it on the eyes, only 60% of the product will transfer. For a second swipe, you will need to the run the finger on the shadow again. Hence, the wastage keeps happening and you'd need to wipe the finger, eventually. I have read of complaints where users are unable to get the right amount on the brushes and then transfer them on the lids. I have not faced such issues because Sigma eyeshader brush does deposit good amount on the lid. I use MAC Fix+ to dampen the brush for greater payoff of shimmers. For blending, bothe Real Techniques and Morphe eye brushes work just as well.


I have hooded eyes, so I only apply the shimmery shades on the moving part of the lid that doesn't run right up to the hood. I never needed to apply primer underneath this for the color to show-up, but I do try fixing methods for greater longevity. Due to the texture of my skin and the shape of my eyes, I do experience certain cracking of the layered eyeshadows. Shimmers, in general. do transfer on the hood of my eyes. Since the Super Shock eyeshadows are creamy, I do tend to apply minimal amount of them, so that they don't settle in crease or transfer much on the hood. I will elaborate on this in the individual reviews down below. One word though, I have taken the points off all of these with the super care that they need in handling and the ultra soft texture prone to breakage. They are a stellar product, but the 'layer creasing', 'wastage', 'application' fix explained above apply to almost all of them:


I own a total of 9 eyeshadows from the Super Shock range. I have carefully selected each of these depending upon a million online swatches and what I need in my stash. I find the metallic and ultra-metallics an absolute JOY in terms of their finish and pigmentation. There is certainly something about a shimmer or metallic eyeshadow in full-bloom that takes my heart. I do love one of the matte eyeshadows from their range. They are some of the better matte eyeshadows that I have tried till date. I do hope that that they make the packaging more convenient without foregoing the "goods" of their current formulation. I could use them to be a little firmer though. Still, I have tried to incorporate a variety for better reviews. First up, let's have a closer look at the swatches and grades of these three - Hammered, Moonshine, and Roulette.

Hammered

Hammered looks like an olive-gold shade on the website. As a thumb-rule, I always see the color on the website and imagine whatever it is shown there, it will turn out to be a shade or two "darker" in real. Similarly, Hammered turned out to be this molten black-gold color with definite olive undertones. I have only used this on the lid and it does photograph well to show the olive color better. It catches light beautifully and I love that it is packed with shimmer particles that do not travel all over my face. In texture, it is smooth and buttery. The swatch below is shown with one finger swipe only. I do need to use the fixing spray and a tacky primer on the moving part of the lid for longevity beyond 4-5 hours. Without them, it does last for 2-3 hours beyond which you may experience a little creasing/fading. Despite its flaws, I am a sucker for the shade and will continue to wear this in glam smokey looks.
Grade: A-

Moonshine

Moonshine is a wood-brown eyeshadow with gold shimmers. The shimmer particles in Moonshine are less dense. It does give you an option to use it on the lid or perhaps as a transition shade on the crease. The sparse shimmer does spread a little over your face. Nothing significant, though. The brown color brings a nice warmth to the natural brown eyes and it does the eyeshadow more wearable if you like the safe neutrals with a little kick for the semi-formal or formal occasions. Its texture is a tad firmer than the other counterparts and I did not experience any significant creasing once layered evenly over the lid for about 4-5 hours. The vibrancy of the eyeshadow did go down a bit due to humidity and oilier lids. It might not be a favorite of mine, but I do see myself reaching out for it.
Grade: B+

Roulette

Roulette is an intense jet-black matte eyeshadow. I was on the hunt for an intense black since MAC carbon swatches looked disappointing. I shortlisted this and a Makeup Geek eyeshadow pan. Since I was placing a combined order for Colourpop, I thought this will just be convenient at $5 a pop. It does have the smooth texture as the shimmer ones, but I feel it is easier to pick up from the brush. It is super-duper intense, so work slowly to blend this up. It didn't crease on my outer eye corners where the 'hood' effect is most pronounced. It doesn't grey-out on the lid, so I am usually quite careful to not smear it carelessly on the lid. Removing or correcting it might become a pain with the rest of the makeup already done. I did a light one-swipe swatch below and that does showcase its intensity which can be layered or built up to your liking. Definitely a must-have if you don't own a deep black. Just a tip, you can try layering sheerer blacks on a gel eyeliner pencil or creams for the intense smokey eye.
Grade: A-


Hammered - Moonshine - Roulette

Bae, Lace, and Coconut classify as the 'bolds' I have in my collection. This brand had some of the most eye-catching vibrant bold colors, if you are into them. I am not a vibrant eyeshadow fan as such, but these were calling my name. I have used them for a pop of color and over the lid in a smokey eye. Either way, they are very gorgeous and worth having in your arsenal when you're all about flaunting ;-) Let's have a closer look at their awesome-ness. Spoiler: Coconut swatches beautifully <3

Bae

Bae is a duo chrome brown-turquoise with the teal glitter specks. I have had a similar shade in Wet n' Wild Comfort Zone Palette that I reviewed on the blog previously. I found the shade quite intriguing. MAC and Makeup Geek have similar duo-chromes in their collection as well. How I found it different than the Comfort Zone shade is that the duo-chrome effect is not as pronounced while the teal shimmer flecks are denser in this one. I have used it as a crease transition color - which is odd for me since I never wore glitter shades in the crease. This just made sense with the grey-teal look that I was going for and I used it as a layer over a more blended matte brown shade, the effect was gorgeous. It lasted almost 4-5 hours on me, but the glitter did fall out a little during my vigorous blending strokes. Still, a recommended shade for y'all.
Grade: B+

Coconut
Coconut is described as a bright peacock teal by Colourpop. I had to stare at it for a while just so I can give an appropriate explanation of the color. Whatever the color is, I had my eyes set on it the moment I saw the pre-release swatches. This is the quickest I have added something to the cart :-) I mean just LOOK at it, damn! I have never quite appreciated or worn a blue eyeshadow before. There is something about my childhood and seeing an aunty don a royal blue eyeshadow on the lids with a matching blue dress AND jewelry along with the talon-sized bright blue nails painted with polish. Not to forget the blue chunky glitter in her hair. Yep, that description is about right. So after that traumatic sight as a kid, I had been put off with blue eyeshadows... until this one came along. I have worked it on my lower lashline as well as a pop in a smokey grey look. It looks wonderful and stays put very nicely. I didn't experience any fallout or spray of shimmer with this one. A total win!
Grade: A

Lace
Lace is an interesting medium-purple with blue shimmer specks. The presence of blue micro-glitter does make it an interesting choice. Most of the purple eyeshadows that I have tried do not live up to the true purple shade as it is in the pan. When given a sheerer swipe on the lid, it comes off as a muted deep purple. As you pull off a more pigmented punch of color, it shows up as brighter purple with visible glitter. I have used it in a smokey neutral look with deep browns. It is an unconventional combo that paid off well. The eyeshadow had slightly firmer texture than the rest. A good pick if you are a purple fan.
Grade: B+

Bae - Coconut - Lace


Coming onto the "staple" metallics one should have in their stash - Get Lucky, Glitterati, and Liberty. I see all the bridal looks with vivid metallics on their lids, it makes me want a similar effect without using loose pigments or glitter. If you don't have a silver/gold shade in your eye makeup stash and want to test the formulation from Colourpop, these offer the best start. They can be used more often and incorporated in different looks. No wonder, I find these to be the best of the bunch - as per my personal preferences <3 Too bad, the lighting and camera couldn't quite showcase how great these are. Do check out more swatches online to see how it looks on different skin tones. I have used this on my niece and it complemented her duskier skin tone so beautifully. Let's take a look at the swatches below:

Get Lucky
Get Lucky is a medium-gold metallic shade. It leans warm, but definitely not the deeper gold color. I remember carrying it in my makeup pouch and I had to do a formal makeup look for my sister-in-law's impromptu engagement party. Unfortunately, my dress and jewelry were grey and this was all that I had. I put it on the lid and covered it up with a least pigmented shimmery grey eyeshadow in my SIL's stash and lightly patted a glitter eyeliner on top. People were asking me which parlor I went to and if I knew what color they used on my lid. This was the validation this baby deserved. It stayed put in the humid weather and my oily lid. Partially, it could be due to the sealing I had on the top of it. Still, I have used it a bunch of times afterwards too and it stayed nice and fixed. The oilier lids might make this slip a little, so you'd need a primer. Overall, a must-must-have.
Grade: A

Glitterati
Glitterati is a silver-grey base with lots of gold shimmer specks. This became my obsession when I was on the hunt for something that would complement my off-whites and skins without leaning towards silver or gold. This is perfection, in terms of the shade. When I first opened the pot, I did feel it had a chemical scent. None of the other eyeshadows had it. It was a turn-off, but that 'scent' did not linger and was gone the second-third-fourth times I have opened and used the pot. This does have very soft texture and amazing pigmentation. I have to be the most careful while handling it. I found it to be a little creasing beyond the moving part of the lid. More so than the others. Next time, will be trying it with sticky primer, perhaps. The gold spray does fall out a little. As beautiful as this shade is, I still love it with all its flaws and will keep purchasing its backups.
Grade: B+

Liberty
Liberty is your standard no-nonsense silver metallic shade that is almost a staple. It leans a little towards the cooler undertones that would work with all types of shimmery silver looks. Its formulation is more stiff than the other eyeshadows, but that does not affect its pigmentation. I wish other shades had the same formulation. It was very easy to show a swatch of it and it took one finger swipe for the magic to unlease ^_^ It applies with ease and stays put great without primer for over 5 hours. I don't do silver clothing/makeup much, but this does flatter my warm skin tone. Another one of my favorites.
Grade: A

Get Lucky - Glitterati - Liberty

I shall repeat - even though the Super Shock Eyeshadows did not get the best 'grade' points, I still find them awesome and would recommend Coconut, Roulette, and Get Lucky with all my heart. These do have shallow pans and the product wastage might use these up sooner than you'd wish so, but that is still a blow I am ready to take at the wonderful price point of $5 a pop. I sincerely wish that Colourpop finds out a way to protect their "magic" in the Super Shock formula and introduce a palette option. with a relatively firmer formula. If that were to happen, I would surely give the same shades an absolute A+

Ultra Matte Lip



Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip was launched in 2015 and became one of the most-hyped products from Colourpop even prior to its release. Yours truly was among the ones hunting for swatches by policing the hashtags on Instagram almost every hour. A big sigh of relief was heaved by me when I got to know that they will retail at $6 each for 1 oz of product. It was impressive that they were releasing over a dozen shades in their first go to cater to everybody - wherever their preference lies on the spectrum. Since the original release, Colourpop has come up with a couple of dozen limited edition shades as well as additions to their permanent line. In the Holiday Season '15, Ultra Matte Lip became available in packs of "mini" (deluxe) sizes which became a hit for those who wanted to experiment with different colors or liquid lipsticks, in general,  without purchasing the full-sized items.


Ultra Matte Lip claims to be a super pigmented formula matte lipstick that glides onto the lips to offer a smooth matte and long-lasting kiss-proof finish. The packaging is thick plastic tube with a standard doe-foot applicator wand that most lip glosses and liquid lipsticks have. It is not customized or shaped any differently than your regular gloss applicator to aid the application. It's okay, though. I feel it does the job just fine. You do need to use a lip brush or line with pencil if you wish to get a uniform application. All of the shades deliver packed punch of pigmentation and they dry out to become matte - super matte. As for the "smoothness", I felt that it varies on the type of layer you apply. I never felt the need to reapply these because they would fare well above the 6-7 hour mark. By the end of it, there would be a stain left with most of these. The stain starts to vanish from the inner middle of the lips beyond 8 or so hours. Sometimes even longer - if you haven't had much to drink or eat.

My biggest beef with liquid lipsticks has been the drying formula. They are being launched left, right and center. Yes, I have tried different brands and their formulations and I have used lip balms and lip primers underneath them. I have used glosses on top of the matte liquid lip colors and tried almost every trick there is in the book of liquid lipsticks. I will spare certain details of my experience and list them down in a separate post dedicated to liquid lipsticks.

In case of Ultra Matte Lip, the formula launched in the beginning was relatively drying. It would apply nicely and would not cling to any patches to make the wear worse. However, as it would dry, I would feel the natural crease and wrinkles on my lips to appear more pronounced. It was disappointing and the same hue & cry was raised by different MUA, bloggers and vloggers worldwide. That apparently amounts to something as the brand's subsequent releases had improved formulation - without them marketing as such. The newer shades definitely were more forgiving and stayed put like suede than cracking crinkly layer.

Just so you guys know, I still use the old formulation and have learnt to apply it. Just use the thinnest layer possible with enough product to give you opaque coverage. You know how we are conditioned to press our lips together with regular lipsticks to even out the coverage. Yeah. Don't do that with liquid lipsticks. Must fight the urge. In most cases, that disrupts the smooth drying layer of the lipstick and it becomes prone to flaking off.

Drive In - More Better - Scrooge - Mars - Creeper - Bumble

Let's have a brief look and grade points received by each of the six shades that I currently have:

Drive In - It is a cool-toned medium purple with strong pink undertones. Those who love the purple lipsticks, but are not quite sure of how it would go with their personality/dressing - you guys, you should try this safe-bold shade. Depending on your skin tone, either the purple or the pink of this color be more pronounced. On me, its purple undertones become more evident. I love how the color goes with summery wardrobe of mine. It was one of the original shades and does dry my lips out a little. However, it gives a nice coverage and lasts well above 6 hours. Grade: B

More Better - It is a deep berry shade with warm undertone. Man! This color, I tell you, is a keeper if you feel as strongly about the berry lips in winters as I do. Definitely one of the better formulations. I don't feel it to be drying on me like the others. It still has the traditional liquid lipstick feel, but I find its matte appearance to be more 'forgiving' than the overly dry-matte. I thought the application would be wee bit streaky, but thankfully, it wasn't the case. It does dry to become somewhat darker than the swatch, but I love it! It did smudge a little during the day as I would drink and eat. The stain was deep enough to last through the day. I guess the transferability is the price for more comfortable texture. Nonetheless, loving the vampy and mysterious shade <3 Grade: A-

Scrooge - It is a warm rose-pink shade with berry undertones. It sure is different from More Better, but on my lips, it looks like it belongs to the same color family has More Better's. Not that I am complaining.. but I did think I would keep one for myself and pass the other one along since the tubes also looked quite similar. I applied More Better one day and fell in love with it. I thought, Scrooge might be the one to go. However, the next day, I applied Scrooge and was wowed by it too. It is one of the better formulations and pigmentation. Looked absolutely gorgeous and lasted well through a very oily breakfast that I had. It did fade from the inner middle of the lips gradually - the same transferability as More Better. I couldn't bring myself to part from any of these two. Stellar colors <3 Grade: A-

Mars - It is a bright pink with red undertones. I am a red-lip lover, but bright pinks inspire me more. I had a real tough time deciding between Sundae and Mars while buying them. I have an array of bright pinks, so I wanted not to repeat any shade (lol, like THAT would be possible). Since I had selected Drive In which had blue undertones, I went for the warmer pink - MARS. The drying texture problems aside, damn! I love the color, the pigmentation and how magnificent it looks against my complexion. Would have appreciated more if it weren't drying, but it does have impressive longevity and lasts over 7 hours on my lips. Grade: B

Creeper - It's a bright red with neutral-warm undertones. Under certain lights like the one this swatch is in, it comes off as warm undertoned, but on the lips it is true bright red. I was a little disappointed in how dry and wrinkly my lips look after applying it for testing purposes, but it was my husband who made the comment about how gorgeous the red color is. Gaining a bit more confidence, I wore it for a photo-session and long drive to the beach last year. Gotta hand it to Creeper, it crept up on me. The photographs were beautiful and I couldn't be more satisfied with how the color 'looked'. I still feel that its drying texture causes me to wear it less or with utmost care - but even with that impediment, I have worn this quite a lot last. Grade: B+

Bumble - It is a flesh-toned rose pink color with neutral brown undertones. It was a love at first swatch. There were quite a few neutral-looking colors in the original release and I wanted one which is not as nude or pale as Donut because that type of shades call for a full-faced grooming and I usually wear just the lippie, unless it is something formal. I landed onto Bumble and does dry to be a little darker than the swatch. It was one of my last year's favorites because I got the most frequent wear out of this. It does have drying texture, but that is somewhat less than its counterparts in the original release. The wear time is impressive over 7-8 hours and then some. Definitely a must-buy for y'all! Grade: A-

Drive In - More Better - Scrooge - Mars - Creeper - Bumble

Super Shock Cheek



Colourpop Super Shock Cheek retails for $8 for 1.5 oz of product. The product range contains matte and pearlized finish in blushes, highlighters, and bronzers. They were also a major release of the brand in 2015. Before that, cheek products were a part of limited edition collections, not available separately. When they introduced the permanent range (and subsequent releases), they made an impact with the wide variety of colors. The dizzying array of colors makes you take a while to decide which one should you pick. On the cheek, the differences in the shades isn't quite evident because it is supposed to be sheer and light-handed. Shades that are thoroughly different in the pan end up looking quite the same on your cheeks. I expected them to be super pigmented, since I had tried the eyeshadows already. Let's have an individual look at these and the experiences:


I selected Fruit Stand, Wisp, and New Lowes from the Super Shock Cheek range. The blushes and highlighters come in the white plastic pot packaging identical to the eyeshadows. The sizes of the cheek range are bigger than the eyeshadows. The clear plastic inner of the twist-up lid lets you see the color in the pan. Colourpop recommends closing this properly to keep the 'magic' of the shades intact.

It is soft and a little spongey like the eyeshadows, but possibly firmer. Yay! I was worried that I would have to be as careful in handling these as I treat the eyeshadows - like a ticking time-bomb. I don't toss these around or mishandle them, but yeah, there is a level of comfort. I have travelled with one of these in my bag and haven't faced any problems yet. Preferably, these still are my stay-on-the-bed-do-the-makeup picks.

Pigmentation is remarkable with all three. Just like the website explains - you can pick the most pigment with the fingers. I did try that with the highlighter one and that works. Blushes I haven't quite applied with the finger, but I did swatch using the index finger. They are a bit messy, but the swatch tint remained even when I wiped my arm off with the makeup remover. Don't worry, they don't stain you much, just enough to let you know who's the boss in the pigmentation department :P

New Lowes
New Lowes is a berry shade with maroon / wine undertone. It is a matte blush, so you would not find even a hint of satin or shimmery finish. I did not experience any fallout from these in the pan yet. You might have experienced certain powder blushes being dry in texture or clinging to the peach fuzz on your face. That usually is a dealbreaker for me. I love how this diffuses on my skin with the little-st touch of Real Techniques blush brush. It is a synthetic brush that makes the pigmentation appear just right on my skin. Even on the bare moisturized skin, it flatters my complexion and lasts well through 5-6 hours. It is a cool-toned berry shade that looks luxe with all types of desi complexions, especially in the winters. I love it for office days when I am going for minimal eyes and lips. Highly recommended! Grade: A

Fruit Stand
Fruit Stand is a bright coral-pink shade with strong orange undertones. I know many of you would see the almost-neon shade in the pan, but don't let that scare you awar from the super summery shade that this is. There are different options similar to this shade in the original blush range by Colourpop. Some lean towards pink, others are more orange or coral. The website describes it as neon red orange and I can see how they might classify it as such. The matte shade, again, diffuses beautifully on the skin, with and without the foundation. It warms up the complexion for the summery days and it gives a nice flush of color to last you over 6-7 hours. Try to use a lighter hand because they are crazy pigmented! Grade: A

Wisp
Wisp is a champagne powder highlighter with a very creamy feel. I kinda miss the texture Colourpop has on most of its items. They give an identity or the Colourpop feel to the products. A plus side of not having the texture embossing is that the usage doesn't make the surface uneven - like other products become. Colourpop describes it to be a duo-chrome gold-champagne highlighter. In the pan, it comes off as champagne, but the gold specks become more visible once you swatch or apply on the cheeks. Against my skin, the gold becomes prominent and you can see that the swatch for the below. Compared to the blushes, I feel that it has softer texture and hence, more fallout. You can see in the picture that I have partially blended all three swatches since nobody wears powder products in their opaque glory. The highlighter travels and smudges a little. On the facial skin, you need the pores to be filled and closed well, unless it might make them prominent. I dust this very lightly with a fan brush over the top of my cheeks and the sun-kissed radiance does make my skin appear healthier. One slightly annoying thing for most highlighters is that the shimmer or micro-specks come off as I attend the phone calls. They transfer onto the screen of the phone that I have to wipe off every time. The fixing sprays don't make it better either. It is a good highlighter, but definitely not the best in this price. Grade: B-

New Lowes - Fruit Stand - Wisp

Creme Gel Colour & Liner



Colourpop Creme Gel Liner and Creme Gel Colour are yet another release by the brand in 2015. With mattes, glitters, and metallics ranging from neutrals to bright and bold colors, the liner range was something I had been hoping to try. You can find different drugstore brands having a range of creamy eye liner pencils in an array of wearable & impressive shades. There are many things that should go right with such liners. First off, they need to be pigmented, glide on smoothly, be resistant to smudging, should be able to last longer on the lashline and not be an irritant to the sensitive eye area.


At the retail price of $6, Creme Gel Liner and Colour are available in 1 oz. quantity. The brand claims that the colors are pigmented and glide effortlessly on your skin. They can be blended with a stiff pencil brush for a more smoked out effect. The liners come in a variety of shades from deep intense mattes to super metallic glitters. Every shade has a gel liner pot version and a pencil version. I commend this since not everyone is comfortable with a gel formula, but might fall for the same shade. This gives you the convenience of applying the gel liner and then perhaps carry the pencil for touch-ups.
Since these are two different types of products, I shall do a more elaborate individual product review for them:

Kicker
Kicker is a cool-toned metallic silver gel eyeliner. It is packaged in a sturdy glass pot that is roughly the same size as Bobbi Brown's or L'Oreal's gel eyeliners. It has a thick white lid which closes securely onto the liner jar. I am glad to comment that it is one of the sturdier packaging from Colourpop. You do need to securely twist this one shut because any gel liner would dry up if exposed unnecessarily to the air and its constituents. I stared at the pot for quite some time since this just looked like molten metal. My Hollywood reference for that would be Unicorn blood in Harry Potter! Nope, there is no Dark Lord for whom I am reaping the blood :-P

Back to the makeup lingo. I used a thin slanted liner brush to graze the top of the gel with gentle-st of touches. The gel was soft and creamy and the arm swatch glided beautifully on the back of my hand. The color dried up after few minutes and after that, it did not budge as I put my hand under the tap water. The smudging did happen as I lightly rubbed on the swatch. Over the course of the day, a silver stain remained nice and bright on my hand until I used a waterproof makeup remover wipe. Wearing the shade on the eye was easy breezy. I am not bold enough to sport it by itself, but I used it to outline my black eyeliner and used on the lower lash line. Both ways, it went on nicely without any glitch or tug on the eyelid. I have only recently grabbed the piece, so haven't experienced any drying as of now. Will edit and update you guys once I get more usage out of it. This will definitely be going in the wedding looks I am about to do for my Sister-in-Law's reception and events :) I haven't tried it as an eye base to silver eyeshadow or smudged the liner for a smokey effect, so can't comment on that. It did, however, last on my lids for over 5-7 hours without smudging. For its price, it is definitely a smooth fuss-free gel eyeliner that you should try!
Grade: A

Bee Sting

Bee Sting is a gorgeous pale blue color with a florescent quality to it. This color is what I plan on sporting all summer round. Packaged in a twist-up plastic pencil, the 1 oz. of product retails for $6. The packaging reminded me of others I have seen in drugstore like Maybelline's Colossal Kajal, Jordana Eyeliner, Essence eyeliner pencils, Avon, etc. There is nothing ground-breaking about that and you do have to be careful during hotter weather to put its lid back on nice and slow. I have had quite a few broken creamy pencils as the liner was dispensed too much. It is also prone to breakage that way - just as Colourpop also warns you. Be careful, folks.

In texture, it does have the creamy gel feel, but that might not be as pronounced as the cream-color version of it. Relatively firmer texture allows you more control in applying eyeliner on the go. I am not too sure if I mentioned it adequately before, but these are marketed as multi-purpose products. So, don't limit them to the usage around the eyes only. Certain bright colors are also declared to be unsafe for the sensitive eye area due to their ingredients. The disclaimer has been included in the description boxes underneath each color on the Colourpop website. So, coming back to the usage experience, I am fairly pleased by the color and its performance. There are a few unconventional colors which you can try and pair with NYX or Essence colored mascara for a pop-eye look :-) On my lids, this fared well for over 4-5 hours without fading or smudging. I don't usually have a habit of rubbing eyes, but I did end up doing that a couple of times while I had it on. Thankfully, it only smudged to 10% of its intensity on my eye after vigorous rubbing on my behalf. I wear contact lenses and they haven't been irritated or become sensitive to this.
Grade: B+

Bee Sting - Kicker

Lippie Stix & Lippie Pencil



Colourpop Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencils are from the initial product range launched by Colourpop. Retailing for $5 a pop, Lippie Stix and Pencils continue to thrive as the community favorites among all those who have had a dose of it. Being a lipstick hoarder, I was intrigued by what Lippie Stix had to offer. I won't lie, I was kinda let down by the phrase "lippie stix". While I do appreciate cheeky product names, this didn't quite wow me. It has kinda grown on me now, so I won't discuss too much around it. So, the variety of Lippie Stix comes in matte, creme, sheer, hyper glossy and a newly-launched matte x range (which is supposed to be super matte, perhaps like retro mattes from MAC). In a couple of limited edition deluxe kits, Colourpop introduced special sizes of Lippie Stix and Pencils as being double sided lip products. If I hadn't grabbed too many of these already, I would have definitely checked those kits out.

Lippie Stix are packaged in white plastic twist-up 'crayons'. Lippie Pencils, however, need sharpening. I find the twist-dispensing more convenient for pencils as well because I am the one who often forgets to carry the sharpener along in my makeup bag and then I continue using the pencils till the limit that I am swiping the wooden edges against my skin. So, yeah, I hope Colourpop upgrades the Lippie Pencil packaging.


The slanted edge of the Lippie Stix is wide enough to comfortably cover my lips and help in precise application. The bottom and the plastic on the Lippie Stix covered by the white lid is in the color of the shade of the lipstick. It helps you differentiate and identify the shades. I apologize for not photographing that. I hope my explanation will suffice. For reference, the pictures you see on the website of Colourpop, the actual shades are a tone or two lighter than what they appear in the bullet of the product. I appreciate that they use women of color to show different types of swatches. It just gives you a fair idea about how the color would look on you. These swatches do take a while to show up  for newly released items though - unless you are searching on social media ;-)

I have tried the matte, creme, and hyper glossy finish of the Colourpop Lippie Stix. I will briefly discuss the individual colors below, but one of the remarkable traits of these are the color payoff and longevity. Even the creamier versions last so well on the lips that you would be amazed seeing your lip color intact after having a particularly greasy feel. I am turning too superlative in case of the Lippie Stix but they are an absolute joy to work with. So easy to carry, wear and retouch. I am particularly happy about the range of colors I have selected. haha! I was disappointed when Colourpop packaged Bossy in the box for sheer Peacocky (that I had originally ordered), but I understand the mess-up since I placed my order during Black Friday and Holiday period. I hope they rectify the probability of this happening - even during rush sales and shopping season.

Commenting on the longevity of these - well, I have gone normally between 7-8 hours with deeper colors. They do leave a stain that lasts almost over 3-5 hours. Yep. True Story! I can't wait to let you know the individual ratings for these:


Lippie Primer - I got this to compare with my MAC Prep and Prime Lip. For $5, it is the best dupe I have found for what Prep & Prime does to my lips - making the application for liquids and mattes easier and making them last considerably longer. Grade: A-

Lippie Pencil in Brink - It is a flesh-rose color. Slightly darker than the Lippie Stix in the same shade. This.is.my.Holy.Grail.Lip.Pencil! I have never liked lining my lips or appreciated how lip pencils bring a structure to your lip color. I did have a few Rivaj, Rimmel, and Essence lip liners, but never had this creamy luxury for $5. I have worn this with the most un-work-able colors and the Brink shade complements my natural lip color oh-so-beautifully. Grade: A+

Brink - It is a rose-brown color with neutral pink undertones. The matte finish is comfortable semi-matte that does become more matte as the wear-time prolongs. It gives opaque coverage in one or two swipes. This lasts well through meals and stays put through 6-7+ hours. I do feel that you shouldn't expose this or any other Lippie Stix directly to sunlight/heat in the scorching summers as they are prone to melting and breakage. Other than that, it is one of those universally-flattering colors that you must own <3 Grade: A

LBB - It is a standard warm berry color that I go ga-ga over. It reminds me of MAC Rebel, but this remains a little fresh with strong pink undertones, while Rebel turns more intense berry on me. The coverage is opaque in 2-3 swipes, but I do like keeping it one-swipe berry pink for more longevity and less transferability. It effectively stains the lips and lets you sport the gorgeous color for over 5-6 hours. Grade: A-

I 'Heart' This - It is a deep pink with red undertones. Looking at this color, I am reminded of the slurpy slush I like in Summers :-) This gives you the most luscious pink-red lips that are at par with the pout Chanel features in their print ads. It is almost blasphemous to compare such high-end brand with this, but I can proudly say that I did give up certain shades of Guerlain because I had been equally comfortable in the Colourpop ones <3 So, this one feel a tad sheer than the other mattes. I do enjoy the creamier feel of it, but it is better if you line these with the same liner for the liners to be sharper and less prone to smudging. Oh, and it lasts almost 5-6 hours as well. Grade: A

Behr Hug - It is a bright red with neutral undertones. It is a true red that I purchased on an impulse. I would not call it my favorite, because the competition is tougher for this one right here :-) I love my reds in MAC. Anyhow, this has a very comfortable creme opaque coverage. I didn't quite feel this being much different from the mattes of Lippie Stix. It lasts well through 6-7 hours and leaves a stain for another 2-3 hours. Grade: B+

Go Fish - This is a classic medium coral-pink. I got this without any swatch/review and man, I never thought I would obsess over a glossy coral this much. This just lightens up my face with its lovely coral sheen and complements my complexion with the pink undertones. Although it is categorized as hyper glossy, this is what you would call a creamy finish in other lip products. This lasts so well that my lips have been comfortably stained by it for over 12 hours without any complaints. I will keep repurchasing this for... like ever. Oh, and this is the one that stumped a Guerlain for me :-) Grade: A+

Clique - Although the website and online swatches make it more of an orange-red, this comes off as a true orange with slight red undertones on me. I was underwhelmed by the shade because I wasn't too sure of the face prep that this would require for a proper lip application. Such oranges and corals make my teeth look yellow and emphasize my moustache :P ehm... the threading growth, if I am to quote it in a lady-like manner. I have not worn this for more than a couple of times till now. It is opaque in a single swipe and relatively more matte than others. Lining with a red lip liner or using it in an ombre does create a bold impact. It lasts considerably well on my lips and does leave a comfortable & even stain for more than 6-7 hours. Grade: A-


Brink (Pencil) - Brink - LBB - I Heart This - Behr Hug - Go Fish - Clique

.... AND with this, I shall take a bow in front of all those who read through my ramblings to reach at this stage. The whole post was written in parts with different states of mind, so I hope you don't hold any errors against me :-D Feel free to ask for more details about any of the products and I shall make sure to reply you directly or add the required information in the post itself. 

All in all, I feel Colourpop is a promising newcomer in makeup brands that you guys should try out. It does have areas that it needs to work on. I hope the relevant departments are keeping the ear to the ground or more like... their eyes on the social media forums to gather all the intel and see how they can work through these shortcomings. The products are remarkable in their pigmentation, but the performance needs to go beyond pretty swatches and static pictures, right? 

I love their products and they are a part of my daily routine, but I did strike off the marks where needed for it to be presented more objectively. If I were to recommend Top 5 products from the ones I have, that list would be:

1. Lippie Pencil & Lippie Stix in Brink (okay, yeah they're two - but no, we will count it as one! :P )
2. Super Shock Blush in New Lowes (I find Fruit Stand to be comparable, but not everyone has a shade similar to New Lowes in their stash)
3. Ultra Matte Lip in Scrooge (I am torn between this, More Better and Bumble...)
4. Super Shock Eyeshadow in Gliterrati (because... just look at it!)
5. Super Shock Eyeshadow in Get Lucky (You can't go wrong with a bright gold)

As for availability, you can order these through online Facebook pages dealing in cosmetics or request your relatives / friends / contacts in US to bring these beauties. Sadly, Colourpop does not deliver to Pakistan or has any official distributor of their products.

I am looking forward to your feedback! Let me know your experiences and wishlists from the Colourpop range.

Cheers,

Bia

26 comments:

  1. OMG! I am so glad I am getting Liberty, Bumble, More Better and Wisp :D Some wise choices I made there :D
    -Fizzah

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    1. Bia ye tune kya kiya? Bachi haath se nikli hui hai pehle hi. Ab sarak pe bhag rhi hai!!! -Sadaf

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  2. I always wanted a silver shadow like Liberty and now I have my eyes on a true gold shade. I will see where can I get that from :D
    -Fizzah

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  3. I LOVE More Better and Bee Sting (but tbh i just bought it for the color and havent used it, cant stand twist up pencils because they always break on me and Colorpop is no exception). We have pretty similar tastes when it comes to bright, in-your-face colors in make up Bia :P

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  4. MAshaaAllah i appreciate all the efforts, time and money you put in to deliver this brilliant post. All lovely colors has been noted down ... Thankx alot

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  5. this is something really huge bia <3 great effort , it all shows ur dedication towards work n u r so good at this.I have ordered scrooge,bumble and glitterarti.Can't wait for them to arrive :)

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  6. Great effort love! Amazing post! x

    http://ohmymascara.blogspot.com/

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  7. Wow... You helped me in deciding which shadows to buy

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  8. Wow its such a detailed review bia. Thumbs up for that :D as for the colorpop products i love them equally. And i can totally relate of strugle buying Mars or Sundae lol. It was the same with me. I was like to buy Mars or Sundae? And i end up buying Mars too and dont regret it :) have Wisp‚ I Heart This and Creeper. And you justified them correctly <3

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  9. Woah thats one heck of a post Bia. Loved ur swatches. Bae is such a gorgeous shade <3 Need to get this. Also i need to get scrooge ultra matte. Thats gorgeous. Once again hats off for an amazing post :)

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  10. Loved your detailed review on colorpop, the swatches are so pretty and tempting, I have get lucky eyeshadow and its amazing.

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  11. That's is one detailed review and I must applaud you for your time and effort! Good work Bia!
    I started out with Colour Pop with Lippie Stix and Super Shock eyeshadows and agree with all of your points. I have finally jumped on the ultra matte liquid lipstick bandwagon with Trap and Lumiere 2 (gotta support my favorite Youtuber), yet to receive those too though.
    Again thank you for such a complete and detailed review! Love the swatches ❤

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  12. I have no idea how you accomplished this post. Glitterati, LBB and Clique are screaming at me. I am waiting for my Clueless and DTLA :D :D

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  13. Beautiful is a woman who has a distinctive personality, one who can laugh at anything, including themselves, who is especially kind and caring to others. She is totally different from others. beauty Meaning

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  14. Such a comprehensive post!
    I have tried colourpop and I personally hate their blushes. All the product gets left behind on my finger and I don't have enough time in the morning to struggle with them.
    However, I love their lippie pencil, eyeliners and lippiestix. Those are great!
    I really appreciate how objective your review/overview was. Keep up the good work.

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  15. WOW! what a lovely post..... thank you so much for swatches and reviews of each and everything.

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  16. Awesome post now i can finally get some Colour Pop for me :)

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  17. That is some collection. Wonderful. I love how detailed your review is. I have bumble and creeper. Have yet to try other stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. This is something I am calling it a huge review huge in every way amazing collection loved your picks ....
    Detailed review I am shocked to see mac eyeshadow didn't work for you it is an amazing post really it makes me crazy for their gel pots and brink lipi stick and clique
    and liberty is a beautiful shade gr8 job once again you nailed it girl

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  19. Now Im looking for somrone who can get me more colourpop at good price...
    (Daad chupi he is main)
    Ps recommend a trusted and affordable seller Bia.
    One heck of a GRAND post :p

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  20. A very detailed and a very nice post i've ever read.u have thoroughly describe each product which makes it easy to decide which product should i have to purchase now.The swatches r Awesome.good job.thank u sooo much for this lovely post:)

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  21. A very detailed and a very nice post i've ever read.u have thoroughly describe each product which makes it easy to decide which product should i have to purchase now.The swatches r Awesome.good job.thank u sooo much for this lovely post:)

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  22. Wow Great post with all details, loved all photos <3

    Would you like a GFC connection? Follow my blog and leave a comment. I will follow you back =)

    http://ohladymania.blogspot.com/

    .

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  23. Loved the post <3 this brand sure has some amazing stuff!

    http://ayeshasglam.blogspot.com/

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  24. Where can we get these in Pakistan?

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