Monday, December 19, 2016

Why I No Longer Buy From Colourpop

Photo: Temptalia 

Colourpop came out of no where in the past few years, created an unbelievably successful marketing campaign, and became a massive success, at least for people who know the online beauty industry. 

For the "normal" makeup consumer, they probably haven't heard of Colourpop, except when their makeup-obsessed friend mentions the brand. And they are most known for having "good" products at very reasonable prices, with most products priced at $5. 

I bought into the hype with Colourpop and purchased a quite a few of their products, ranging from matte and shimmer eyeshadow, lipstick, liquid lipstick, and highlighter. I feel like I have really given the brand a fair try. And I really didn't like their products. The thing with Colourpop is that I feel like there are only glowing reviews available, and there is so much hype. And while I believe that most of those glowing reviews are absolutely genuine, I feel it's also important to share my non-glowing review. 

The first products I tried were eyeshadow. I bought the KathleenLights Where the Light Is quad:

Photo: Temptalia

As well as the single in Shark Attack:

Photo: Temptalia 

And the brand's signature shade: I Heart This:

Photo: Temptalia 

The eyeshadows were definitely the best products I tried from Colourpop. The shimmer shadows had good pigmentation and wore well for many hours. They didn't last quite as long as other cream or powder shadows in my collection, but they lasted for the majority of the day. The mattes weren't that great. I felt the Where the Light Is quad color scheme tried to replicate what would be found in an average warm-towned quad. But as cream shadows, this really didn't work. Trying to blend the matte shadows when also using the shimmers didn't work, and the mattes on their own weren't that impressive. 

Personally (and this really is just personal preference), I don't like applying cream shadow (or any shadow for that matter) with my finger. I just don't like it. I don't like how shadow gets under my nail and that I have to wash my hands immediately after application or have shadow all over my face. I also found that the Colourpop eyeshadows dried up incredibly quickly. I followed all of Colourpop's instructions on how to properly secure and store the shadows, and still, I noticed that after about six months, they were really hard to work with because they were so dry. Eventually, I found the shadows just a little too high maintenance for an effect that wasn't really all that different or more special than what I could create with the powder shadows already in my collection, and I threw them all away. 

Then I tried the Lippie Stix (I hate the name) in Tootsie:

Ugh, this was a dumb purchase. This purchase was 100% fueled by hype. Everyone was hyping Lime Crime Cashmere and all "greige" lip colors, and I somehow convinced myself that this was a color that could flatter my warm olive undertones. I was wrong. I looked awful, and saying I looked like a corpses would be putting it lightly. 

Apart from the fact that I picked an incredibly unflattering color, I just didn't like the formula of the lipstick. It was fine, kind of like the eyeshadow, but it just wasn't great. For $5, I still don't think it's that great. There are plenty of really fantastic lipsticks at the drug store for $5 that felt better than Colourpop. 

Next I tried a highlighter in Monster:

I really, really disliked this product. I saw swatches of Monster, which is a holographic white that shifts into shades of blue, pink, and purple, and knew I wanted it on my face. I had fantasies of looking like a fairy and dancing around in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I couldn't wait to try it. I swatched it on the back of my hand and was in love. It was unlike anything I had seen before in terms of a face highlighter (at the time). 

But then I applied it to my face. I tried dabbing it onto my face with my finger. No color showed up. I tried using a stipple brush. No color showed up. I tried flat-out swiping it across my cheekbone as though I was swatching it onto the back on my hand. Finally, I had some color, but I looked awful. When I tried to blend it in a bit, all the color faded away. I kept thinking that it was user error and that I was doing something wrong, but then I realized it's just not a great cream highlighter. 

And finally, the absolute worst things I purchased: Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks. 

I purchased Creeper:


And Clueless:

To be completely honest, I shudder just thinking about wearing any of these liquid lipsticks. Before I go into how terrible it was to wear these, I should mention that Clueless was not as bad as the other two. I also loved the color of Clueless on my lips, but eventually decided that even the color wasn't worth it (and it wasn't even as bad as the others). 

I should start by saying that I got caught up in the liquid lipstick craze. A lipstick that looks beautiful; stays on all day through eating, drinking, and kissing; and is comfortable to wear? Sign me up! Unfortunately, that is not at all what wearing a liquid lipstick is like. 

Wearing a liquid lipstick (for me) is like applying paint on my lips, letting it dry and settle into all the crevices of my lips, and then walking around all day looking like I have "butthole lips." (I hate that term, by the way.) And yes, I exfoliated my lips. And yes, I have an incredible lip balm and regularly moisturize my lips. And yes, I also tried Revlon and Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks, and while they were both far more comfortable to wear than Colourpop, they still gave me the same "butthole lips" result. 

The Colourpop liquid lipsticks, however, were terrible. Within a minute of applying them, I could feel all the moisture rushing out of my lips. Within 30 minutes my lips felt dry and uncomfortable. Within an hour my lips felt horrifically chapped. And by three hours, I had to take the product off my lips and apply generous amounts of lip balm. They are terrible! And the really disappointing part is that I loved all three of the colors! They looked incredible on me (minus all the texture issues mentioned above), and I have been unable to find suitable shade replacements. 

I fully recommend watching Stephanie Nicole's review of a Colourpop Ultra Matte liquid lipstick. She was able to keep it on for eight hours, but her scathing review is one of the most accurate I've seen. 

So, after trying eleven products from Colourpop, not really liking some of them, and outright hating others, I decided to not buy from them again. For people who are just dying of curiosity to try Colourpop, I can see how the $5 price tag makes it a seemingly innocent purchase. But when you consider that you have to spend $30 to get free shipping and how easy it is to fill a cart with products you just want to try, at $5 each, it can get expensive fast. However, unless you plan on using the cream products immediately until you use them up, there's a good chance the product will dry out before you get a ton of use out of it. And if you plan on buying several shades, then you are almost guaranteed to not be able to finish them in time. 

I honestly feel the most alluring thing about Colourpop is the price. It's great to have less expensive items available, but I personally feel that the quality fits the price tag. And I have seen better products at the drugstore within the same price range, so I feel Colourpop mainly survives off of YouTube sponsorships and hype. I got caught up in the hype and learned my lesson the hard way. I ended up spending quite a bit of money on mediocre products I didn't even like. So, no matter the hype, I won't be buying from Colourpop in the future. 


  1. You just exactly expressed my feelings about this brand. Just like you, I bought into the hype on YouTube and ended up spending more than I wanted on eyeshadows. I didn't realise these shadows are creamy and can dry out to be unusable in a short amount of time. The matte shade is very patchy if applied with a brush, and it has to be applied with one because that's a crease shade. The shimmers are okay on the lids, but only with finger application. I regret buying these shadows also because $5 a shadow is not cheap, and adds up quickly. My other high end shadows, which costed about the same or even less in a palette, last many years.

  2. Ugh, I just bought my first shadows from them. I guess I got sucked into the Temptalia hype. All are amazing for a wash of color on the lid, a two color look, or smudging along the bottom lash line. I hadn't read about how quickly they can dry out, so I'm glad to know that I need to hurry up and use them. Perhaps I should use the ones I bought for six months or so before I buy again so I can see if they are worth it, since the eyeshadow pots are at roughly the same price point as a mini-to-full size indie eyeshadow.

  3. Last year, when I was in my psycho makeup junkie stage, I thought you guys in the States were so lucky to have zillions of make up brands available and much cheaper cosmetics than we have in Europe. Now that I have begun to phase it out I am actually grateful that we are not as exposed to the crazy markerting and that shipping costs are high. I would have spent so much more if I had this many brands accesible to me. Love your blog btw, it is inspiring. I am also doing a 1week1palette project ;)

  4. So inspiring post. I just found your blog and I'm soo happy I did. Your opinions really make a difference in my view on makeup. I really apreciate your honesty and no bullshit reviews and viewpoints. So glad I was able to resist Colourpop purchase. Once again, you saved my wallet and happiness ☺

  5. As a dupe for clueless, but more comfortable, I found Sephora cream lip stain in marvelous mauve. Also, I love your blog and I need to subscribe but I can't find the way or there's no way to get your post into my email box :( please tell me how if there's a way *my money begging you*

    1. Hi Cristina,

      Thank you so much for bringing the subscribe problem to my attention. I have just addressed it, and there should be a subscribe button at the top of the page. Please let me know if you have any problems. Thanks for reading!