And now for something completely different!
For some reason or another, I have never made a Colourpop order before. I remember it being basically like the second coming of NYX on YouTube when it first launched (who else is old enough in the YT beauty community to remember all those Round Lipstick swatch videos made in MovieMaker? The ones that were basically like 5+ minute PowerPoints with just back to back pictures?). So many colors, hardly available in store anywhere, and shades that other similarly priced brands didn’t come close to…sound familiar now?
But for some reason or another I’ve not got my hands on anything before now. Which I regret, if I’m being completely honest, because when they first launched I think they had a better range of colors to choose from than I’m seeing recently.
A lot of the greens and blues and other “out there” options they had have been replaced by variations on a theme: nude. Mauvey nude. Peachy nude. Brown, milky, shiny, matte, glossy nude. They are all beautiful! But it was something I noticed as someone who has followed the brand since its first launch. And I obviously know that they have to make money and those shades probably sell better than that beautiful mint green they used to have that I wanted so desperately…but if you go in looking for or expecting “adventurous” options from their reputation, know you might be a bit limited from the start.
Still, I found a few things that called to me and I have some thoughts and swatches for you below. For reference, I am around a MAC N5-10. I am also not a professional photographer. 🙂 These are true to color if not the most aesthetically done.
(Pictured: SuperShock Highlight in “Monster,” SuperShock Shadows “Cat Nap” and “Puppy Love,” Ultra Glossy Lips “Crystal Ball,” “Kink,” and “Furry,” Ultra Matte Lip in “Be-Dazzled,” and “Climax” Lippie Stix). (I don’t see Be-Dazzled on their website anymore to link to, even under their Clearance section; they must have stopped selling it, but I’m not sad. Read on).
First off, let’s ignore the fact I was clearly having a Freudian episode when ordering some of these suckers. Mkay? Mkay.
I have definite favorites and regrets in my purchase. Let’s start with my first: the beautiful purple lipstick that was supposed to make my dreams and life, and instead only made me sad. Partly this is my fault; I knew the Ultra Matte Lips were drying and crumbly AF but thought this was actually an Ultra Satin, which I heard were better. (This beautiful violet color was what I thought I added to my cart). I say partly because even though I’m not a huge liquid lipstick fan and am immediately biased towards not liking them, and it was also my bad that I didn’t realize this was a formula I wanted to stay away from, it should also not be the case that their formulas vary so drastically in terms of quality that I have to swear off one line entirely, especially considering not all their colors are available across all formulas.
This lipstick is weird because it doesn’t stay true to color. (It’s also so dry it shrinks your lips to look like a cat’s asshole). (That was crude, but so was the fact I felt the life literally being sucked from my mouth like a Dementor’s Kiss immediately upon placing the applicator to it). What I mean is this doesn’t quite feather, but the outer rim of my mouth (and you can kind of see it in the swatch) was this incredibly bright magenta color, almost like the pigment in the product isn’t mixed evenly or something? Because it’s not like this happens after hours of wear, this is just after trying to get it even on my mouth on initial application. Does it transfer? No, not really unless you are really going at it. Will it crumble if you rub at your mouth accidentally or start makin’ out with your partner? Yes. Will it fade gently into that good night? No, because it doesn’t fade true to color either, leaving you instead with that neon magenta, if you can even tolerate it being on that long.
Next is the Lippie Stix (I hate typing that out, because it definitely sounds like a plural when I mean it as a singular) in Climax. I’ve wanted a blue lipstick for a while, and the swatches I saw of this one were beautiful and it was on clearance so…I had no choice, you see? It’s not as egregiously bad as Be-Dazzled, but I was similarly underwhelmed. It kind of balled up as I applied it and really had an annoying drag to it, taking a few swipes to stop looking patchy. (Turns out this is in a new “Matte X” formula…I feel like just shaking Colourpop because literally did I ask? Who asked for lips this matte? This dry?! Even if a formula is “matte” it doesn’t have to mean no-life-on-Mars-dry. We have cloned mammals, people. Wet n’ Wild’s matte lipsticks are far creamier than this, and at an even lower price point!) The color is also deeper than I was hoping/than it looked on the site. But Colourpop doesn’t have real-people swatches for a lot of their lip products, so I don’t know if I can hold it against them the way I do the formula, which despite being so stiff doesn’t even last a particularly long time. It’s bearable, but far from great.
The Ultra Glossy Lips gave me hope, though, to try other formulas from the brand. Crystal Ball is the green I long for, and Kink is a bit sheer-er than the other two, so it’s easy to put on mirror-less as a pick me up to brighten the face. Furry is probably my favorite, though — the color is like my own safety blanket. 🙂 Wearable, comfortable, easy oomf. No scent, no stick, no muss or fuss. What’s interesting, to me, is that after the gloss (which yes, is glossy, but not Ultra glossy. Not 90’s jelly-type tube gloss glossy) fades, the pigment remains immaculate on your lips. Better than the Lippie Stix, better than the Ultra Matte, and much more comfortable. Almost like full on color that lasts doesn’t have to be painful…
Onto the “powder” products. Y’all, these feel weird. They feel so cool. I also really like them. I worry I haven’t really been able to capture how pretty a flip they have, especially the lighter ones, but trust me when I say they are even prettier in person. I picked up Monster because I have struggled finding highlights that are in fact actually light enough for me and it looked so unique with the red/pink duochrome flip. I swear I see a bit of teal sometimes in the light! It makes me look like the mermaid fairy disney princess of my childhood whimsy.
I would also be remiss to not mention here that the first time any human complimented my highlight specifically I was wearing this. She said it was “very cool.” I’ll take it.
More importantly, this shit lasts. My skin has gone back to being a bit of a grease pit and eats highlighter and blush for breakfast. (If I use primer, then for brunch). But this looks exactly the same as it does immediately upon application after a 10+ hour day, even going to the gym. I will absolutely be picking up more of their highlighters, and want to try a blush or two next. The eye shadows were pretty good, too, though not as immediately impressive as Monster. The darker shade definitely switched much lighter and less true to the color in the pan. And even the arm swatch above is darker than what ends up actually getting on your face. It was mostly just lots of sparkle with no real color, certainly anything near what it looks like in the pan. Still, they aren’t the worst things I’ve ever tried; they still apply nicely, and they all blend easily (With my fingers. I am a professional).
Overall, I do want to try more Colourpop — other formulas of their Lippie Stix and their Ultra Satin Lips specifically, and more highlighters and blush.
I’m including a little selfie here so you can see how the powdery products blend out and see how beautifully their Ultra Gloss sits on the lips without gooping or collecting in liplines. Before I forget, I do want to mention how similar Puppy Love and Monster are, though they don’t seem so in the pictures above or even in their individual pans — you probably only need one of them, and I know Puppy Love is limited edition. Puppy Love flips a bit warmer, more peach than pink, but when they are on and blended…I’m just saying.
For reference, I am wearing: Colourpop Furry Ultra Glossy Lip, Monster highlight, Puppy Love and Cat Nap eye shadows, Kevyn Aucoin SSE Sx01, Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Sweet and Spicy, Jordana Sculpt n’ Go in Light 1, Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, NYX Faux Blacks eyeliner in Oxblood, Maybelline Define-A-Lash waterproof, and Ulta Raincoat Waterproof Mascara Topcoat (if your eyes are smudgy like mine, this is one life-saver product).
Thanks for letting me chat about makeup with you today 🙂 I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back Monday or Tuesday announcing a new bookish series that I am masochistically excited about. If you have any suggestions for my next Colourpop order or if you have any questions I didn’t cover above, please let me know!