With nearly every makeup product imaginable already being sold on the market, brands are at risk of losing their footing if they don’t innovate. From packaging revamp to striking up a collaboration with high-profile figures, companies such as M·A·C have been employing numerous marketing strategies to shake the somewhat stagnant beauty industry to great success, and it sure didn’t take long for emerging brands like ColourPop to learn the tricks of the trade and follow their footsteps.
Being a (largely) e-commerce brand, the decision to book social media influencers to front their beauty campaigns is a no-brainer for ColourPop. But what makes them more relatable than any other brands (apart from their low costs) is how they have been promoting a sense of inclusivity by putting the spotlight on people of colour – Latinas (Kathleen Lights, ILuvSarahii), Asians (Jenn Im, Hello Kitty 😂) and now the third African-American after Ellarie and Karrueche, MakeupShayla.
For the unfamiliar, MakeUpShayla (whose real name is Shayla Mitchell) is a beauty guru with nearly 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 2 million followers on Instagram. As part of her larger goal to make brands more diverse, she jumped at the chance to collaborate with ColourPop to come up with makeup that would complement darker skin tones.
Her collection, which comprises Crème Lux Lipsticks (OOUUUU! / Quickie / C’mon Sis), Luster Dust Loose Highlighter (Boomin’ / Pose), Ultra Glossy Lip (Neat Freak) and a Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (Perception), is a throwback to the emo era with paint splatters (albeit emblazoned in gold foil) all over the black packaging. You could buy the entire collection in a bundle for five bucks less, or simply get the eye shadow palette and another seven-dollar item to enjoy free domestic shipping. Since I’m not residing in the U.S., I would have to fill my shopping basket with more products to have them shipped to me at no cost. So lucky you – more of ColourPop in this review!
With 16 bold yet versatile shades for creating day-to-night looks, Perception is a refreshing change from the neutral and rose gold palettes that have been sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms. At just US$23, you are essentially paying about US$1.50 per gram of eye shadow (for comparison, M·A·C charges about U$4 per gram).
Despite the low price, it still comes with a mirror (covered by a protective film)! Having a mirror in your eye shadow palette is like realising your dress has pockets – they are little bonuses that you never know when will come in handy, so that certainly contributed to the positive first impression. Besides, a lot of attention was paid to the overall aesthetics of the palette as can be seen from the gold-scripted names underneath each pan. For the record, printing the names of eye shadows isn’t a common practice of ColourPop!
The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to Perception: Kat Von D 10th Anniversary · Kat Von D Saint and Sinner
Unbothered is described as a metallic ivory with a peachy flip. This cream contains ivory gold micro-shimmer that lends a radiant (yet not too obtrusive) shine to the eyes. It has a smooth and silky application (almost like Satin finish) and is finely milled to provide deeper coverage. The texture adheres to the lid very well without appearing streaky and blended out very easily even in wet state. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Spill The Tea.
TF is described as a metallic true gold. Upon application, this eye shadow luxuriously envelops the lids like the finest silk (because the texture is so smooth!) with a high-shine gold shimmer-infused (somewhat muted) warm gold colour. When used dry, it goes on slightly sheer on first pass but is buildable to full opacity but the payoff becomes richer and more intense once it comes in contact with water. There was no fallout and edges were relatively easy to diffuse. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Strut ‘n Slay.
Titus is described as a metallic gunmetal. To be more explicit, it is a grey with purple undertones which has small yet sparse predominantly silver shimmer particles. It has semi-sheer payoff which improves slightly when used with a dampened brush. Although the texture was smooth (as with majority of the shades in this palette), it took me a bit of effort to diffuse the edges and after awhile, it became patchy on my lid. On top of that, I noticed that it started to settle into my crease about two hours into wear.
Stallion is described as a matte black with blue glitter. Like Titus, this bluish-black contains shimmer that scatters all over the skin when applied. But in terms of application, this performs much worse due to its slightly grainier texture which refuses to adhere to my lid, thereby causing some fallout issues. Although pigmented, it tends to become patchy once it is blended out (which is also a difficult task). Generally, I find this shade to be rather messy – there was never a time when the area around the pan would be spotless after use because of the kickback. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on 14.
Spill the Tea is described as a metallic warm taupe. This warm rose gold has a finish more metallic than the ones mentioned before this because of its densely packed shimmer. It has a smooth but uneven consistency which doesn’t blend out very well. A lot of the product tend to congregate at one spot, leaving the other areas sheer. But I realised the application got better when used with a dampened brush.
Diva is described as a metallic amber. This finely milled deep copper is densely packed with shimmer of the same colour, rendering it a true metallic effect. It is a darker, warmer and certainly a more pigmented version of TF. Loosely pressed and moderately creamy in texture, a lot of product comes off the pan easily in a powdery soft form with just a small dab of the brush. As kickback is expected for this shade, it would be advisable to pick up the pigment with a light hand. When applied, it yields a smooth and intense pigmentation even in its wet state (which makes it suitable to be used as a liner too) without fallout. Diva is certainly one of the better performers in the palette. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Strut ‘n Slay.
I.E. is described as a metallic olive. This muted army green is flaked with gold micro-shimmer and it applies pigmented on the lid with minimal fallout when patted on top of a primer. However, it quickly loses its intensity upon being blended out, becoming a patch of muddy grey with an uneven texture. I found the colour payoff and consistency to be much better when applied with a dampened brush. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Sassy.
14 is described as a metallic navy with closely packed blue shimmer that provides a uniform shine with every application. Fairly smooth in texture, it has an even consistency and a nearly opaque pigmentation. But it was a bit challenging for me to blend out the harsh edges without causing them to become blotchy in the process. I prefer applying this wet to maximise its intensity.
Strut ‘n Slay is described as a metallic rosy copper with a name inspired by Shayla’s signature tagline. The colour payoff is mostly opaque in a single layer, and despite it being of a shimmery finish, this shade does not catch as much light as the other metallic ones in this palette. Furthermore, the product did not seem to adhere very well to my skin as there was a reasonable amount of fallout during application. However, it blends out seamlessly without losing much intensity.
Culture is described as a matte soft brown. Moderately pigmented, this muted orangey brown has a sheer-to-medium coverage with a soft and smooth texture that doesn’t feel dusty or dry. The product doesn’t have much fallout and its edges can be diffused easily without sheering out too much. Contrary to the other shades, I found Culture more suited to be applied dry because the colour on its own is gorgeous and the original finish gives a soft touch to the eyes. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Thic.
Sassy is described as a metallic eggplant with a teal flip. This intriguing shade has a strong teal presence in the pan but applies medium brown on the lid. When more product is piled on, only then will the teal shift be more apparent. The first layer rendered a rather streaky consistency but it gradually evened and smoothed out with a couple more pats. To maximise its potential, use Sassy with a dampened dense brush.
September is described as a metallic pinky violet. This mulberry pink is finely milled with densely packed shimmer. It applies semi-opaque with a rather weak intensity at first, and takes about three layers to build to full coverage and achieve the same degree of vibrancy as in the pan. The product adheres fairly well to my lid and I was able to diffuse the edges easily.
Revenge is described as a matte red brown. This shade is rather loosely pressed in the pan so my brush was able to pick up a lot of product with only a light touch on the surface. Needless to say, there was a decent amount of kickback in the pan. Almost velvety in texture, Revenge appears burnt red when applied, but turns slightly more brownish when blended out. When used wet, it also becomes a bit patchy. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Shade.
Thic is described as a matte vibrant orange. This warm orange feels much drier as compared to other mattes, thereby rendering it a slightly grittier texture (but it isn’t rough on the lid so not to worry). It applies pigmented but sadly doesn’t blend very well over a large surface area. The intensity and pigmentation of this shade remain largely unchanged regardless of wet or dry application.
Played Out is described as a matte chocolate brown. This deep cocoa brown can be simply described in one word: problematic. Smooth with great pigmentation and a nearly opaque payoff on the first sweep, this shade was off to a promising start.. until I blended it out – a great deal of intensity and opacity was lost in the process and the finish actually separated on my lid. The harsh edges were a pain to diffuse too. I thought it would be a lot better when applied wet, but it became patchy so.. 🤷🏻♀️
Shade is described as a deep matte purple with violet glitter. This maroon brown contains mostly silver but sparse shimmer. Like Revenge, it has a considerable amount of kickback in the pan due to it being loosely pressed, but it is drier in texture and more coarse to the touch. It goes on slightly streaky on the lid, coating it with a semi-opaque and streaky colour (some of which landed on my face). More product was piled up to build it to full opacity, but to little success. And once it was blended out, it instantly sheered out. That said, Shade may yield better results when used wet.
APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK
OOUUUU! is described as a warm peach with Crème finish. This satin lipstick glides with ease to saturate the lips with a lustrous reddish salmon (orange) colour which is quite a letdown for me because it appears way too peachy than what is depicted in the tube, and anything too peachy makes me look jaundice. Like the other Lux Lipsticks, this is infused with a faint chocolatey scent. Although moisturising, it feels excessively creamy, making it prone to transfer and not as long-wearing as I would like it to be. On top of that, it also tends to leave gaps on the lips and cling onto rough patches.
C’mon Sis is described as a soft pinky brown with Crème finish. This gorgeous medium brownish-red has the right amount of slip to blanket the lips effortlessly with a moisturising coat of colour that instantly brightens up the face. Richly pigmented, it is opaque in one pass without emphasising the lip lines. A great everyday lip colour for medium skin tones especially, C’mon Sis goes well with any occasion and stays on the lips much longer than OOUUUU!.
Quickie is described as a peachy nude with Crème finish. Touted as the perfect nude lipstick for Black women, this salmon beige goes on smooth to deliver a nearly opaque colour (but buildable to full coverage) with a moisturising sheen on the first swipe. But due to the overly creamy and slippery texture, the product moves quite a bit during application and, of course, doesn’t last very long on the lips.
When I swatched it, the colour seemed lot lighter than what was shown in the swatches provided on the ColourPop website so naturally, I didn’t expect to like it on my lips. But surprisingly, it doesn’t wash me out and it actually complements on skin tone. If you’re planning to amp up the eye makeup, this also makes an ideal lip colour to keep it as the focus. That said, this shade may still be too pale on some skin tones so I recommend pairing it with a mocha brown lip liner to create some depth.
I am not going to lie – the preposterous amount of beauty influencer collaborations in the market has tamped down my interest in them entirely but this ColourPop × Shayla partnership has definitely brought in some interesting and unpredictable products (I’m so over those warm palettes) – with great value, no less. If there’s anything I’d recommend from this collection, it would be the Perception palette which is probably the most diverse palette ColourPop has ever released.
What are your thoughts about this collection? For those with darker skin tones, do these products really work for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Otherwise, simply take a quick poll!
Thanks for reading!