The first launch from start-up brand incubator SEED Beauty, ColourPop Cosmetics is an LA-based, cruelty-free cosmetics company. Their current product line consists of their “Lippie Stix” lipsticks with corresponding “Lippie Pencils” as well as Super Shock Shadow eyeshadows and new Super Shock Cheek blushes and highlighters. I’ve got a few of each so keep reading for some swatches and reviews from this unique brand. (Prepare for lots of photos).
Since I have more lip products than anything else, let’s start with their Lippie Stix and coordinating pencils, $5 each.
I have to say, when they first arrived in the mail, I was immediately impressed by these lippie stix. The sleek packaging is unique and attractive, and makes these must-have shades super portable. The lids click into place so they’ll be safe in your purse/car/wherever, and nothing bad can ever come from an entire line of lipsticks with coordinating lip liners. That is not to say that all of the lip liners are identical to their lippie stix counterpart – rather, they were designed to complement and enhance each other (how cool is that?)
So far I have only tried their satin and matte finish lippies, but the formulas for both are surprisingly long-wearing – KathleenLights x ColourPop collaboration shade Lumière paired with the lip liner lasted through an entire evening of food, drinks, and hookah. I didn’t have any problems with bleeding or feathering either, but if this is something you struggle with, try a lip-lock pencil like this one from e.l.f.. I have heard less-great things about the ColourPop glossy formulas, but I have yet to test it out for myself.
The only real downside to these that I found is not actually specific to ColourPop, but is pretty common with lipstick in general – to ensure a clean and smooth application, make sure your lips are in good shape! Drink plenty of water, apply a thick balm like Vaseline or Aquaphor every day, and exfoliate a few times/week.
Super Shock Shadow ($5)
I’ll be honest, the Super Shock shadows are my least favorite of the ColourPop product line-up. The texture is a really nice bouncy sponge-like cream, and the shades are very pigmented, but I ran into a few issues with application.
While the metallic shades are truly like a liquid gold (or silver), all three shadows I played with were difficult to blend and difficult to build-up on the lid. They are absolutely true to color and long-wearing, but I found them frustrating to work with. ColourPop recommends using your fingers for the best application, but I found it nearly impossible to achieve proper placement like this. Instead, I have been using their “second best” recommendation – a synthetic brush. I usually reach for a stiffer pencil brush to apply the metallic shades in the inner or outer corners of my eyes, but I almost never use Hustle – a beautiful matte burgundy violet shade, but I just couldn’t make it work for me. I expected more of a cream-to-powder finish, but they seem to dry pretty quickly so trying to build up or blend the product usually ends up just wiping it away.
It’s a shame because the colors are gorgeous and so pigmented, but I haven’t yet mastered a way to apply these that makes them a worthwhile purchase (in my opinion). I will keep trying, but for now – there are no Super Shock Shadows on my wishlist.
Update, 23 April 2015: So I’ve spent some more time working with these shadows and I like them a lot more than I did when I first got them. I used a short brush (RealTechniques deluxe crease brush) to sweep Hustle into my crease and then blended it out with a light neural shadow. Then I just used my ring finger to tap Get Lucky all over my lid, and took a bit more shadow to blend out the harsh lines. I honestly feel like I just saw these shadows in a new light and I will definitely be playing with them more from now on. One thought that came to mind is that perhaps I am having better luck now as it’s getting warmer and my skin is less dry so if you didn’t have any luck with these over the winter months, give them another shot! You may just like what you find.
Super Shock Cheek ($8)
The newest addition to the ColourPop product line, the Super Shock Cheek cream blushes are one of my favorite products right now. I currently only own two shades – a matte mid-tone peachy pink called Holiday and satin pastel peach Trickery – but I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on more of these and the new highlighters coming out soon.
Unlike the Super Shock shadows, I found the blushes very buildable and easy to blend. ColourPop still recommends using your fingers for the best application – they are the same spongy creamy texture – but I still tend to reach for my synthetic brushes to blend. These shades are gorgeous and so pigmented, a little will go a long way (and last all day). I honestly have nothing negative to say about these blushes so far.
To apply, I’ve been bouncing my elf studio small stipple brush into the product and stippling or pressing it onto my cheeks in circular motions. This leaves quite a natural finish, while using your fingers will pick up more product and thus be more dramatic. If you use a powder foundation like I do, I recommend applying these over your primer, but before your powders. I also use a liquid highlight and have had the most success with my cream and liquid products applying them under the powder foundation.
Overall, I am pretty damn impressed with ColourPop. They “popped” up seemingly out of nowhere and suddenly they were everywhere. I know the aggressive marketing has led some people to question the quality of the product, but I think they are doing a fantastic job, especially for such a new brand. I definitely plan to buy more “lippie stix” and blushes in the future, and I absolutely can not wait for the new highlighters coming out soon, but will probably skip over the shadows for now. Don’t let that discourage you though – for five bucks a pop, most can afford to give one or two a try.
Disclaimer: Despite the mailings from ColourPop en masse to beauty bloggers/vloggers, all of these products were purchased with my own money and this is not a sponsored review. ColourPop has no idea who I am and did not ask me to write this review or send me free products to write about.