Colourpop and beauty influencer Kathleenlights have teamed up once again for the Dream collection, which includes a lip bundle and the Dream St eyeshadow palette.
And I won't be buying.
This post will focus on the eyeshadow palette, but I will not be buying anything from this collection.
To start off, I just want to say that I really dislike writing posts about beauty influencer collaborations. Personally, there is not a single person who I watch on YouTube or whose blog I read that I feel so connected or dedicated to that I will buy whatever they attach their names to or recommend, and certainly no one who I will defend as if they were a member of my family.
I have been watching YouTube for eight years at this point, and I have seen the beauty community evolve from one of authenticity to one that is corporate. I've talked about this before, but when we watch a commercial for CoverGirl or Maybelline, we know that we are watching an advertisement. We know that Katy Perry is not really using CoverGirl makeup in her daily life in the same way that we know that Nicole Kidman is not slathering on Neutrogena skin care every night. But YouTube started as a different platform, and most big influencers got where they are today but building a more authentic platform when they first started. So now when people see Jaclyn Hill or Kathleenlights or Tati recommend something, they already have this viewer relationship to them that they had when each was a smaller channel, and people don't necessarily recognize that these promotion of products are not all that different from Katy Perry or Nicole Kidman ads.
By far, the most negative comments I receive on my posts are the ones I make about influencer collaborations. And although I recognize that the majority of these people are very young, impressionable, and, frankly, immature, it still baffles me why there is such an intense need and desire to defend someone whose only connection to you is that they make makeup videos that you watch.
And I suspect that this post will especially touch some nerves because, yes, I will be discussing Kathleen's recent use of a racial slur on social media and subsequent apologies.
But first, let's talk about the palette.
What's interesting is that I first heard about Kathleenlights because of her first collaboration with Colourpop, which was the "Where the Light Is" collection of Super Shock shadows. I purchased that collection of shadows at the time because I wanted to try the Super Shock shadows (I don't like them and will not purchase any more, FYI) and I liked the color scheme.
Coincidentally, I have since purchased another Colourpop and Kathleenlights collaboration, which is the lipliner in the shade Lumiere. I did not purchase this lipliner because it was attached to Kathleen; rather, I was looking for a lipliner for one of my all-time favorite lipsticks, NARS Anna (Maybelline Touch of Spice is really similar). Because of the color, this is easily my most used and favorite lipliner, and I am almost finished with it.
Furthermore, I have also purchased from KL Polish, which is Kathleen's nail polish brand. Generally speaking, I really like the polishes, but some of the colors did not flatter me and have since been decluttered. I did not purchase these polishes because of Kathleen; I had read excellent reviews about them and they had a few colors I felt were unique.
It's funny because in my head I think I have never purchased a beauty influencer collaboration before, and it's because I have purchased products that seemed interesting to me that happened to be designed by Kathleenlights.
I've recently been gifted a few palettes, which, ironically, include two palettes that I have written anti-haul posts on—KVD Saint and Sinner and the Morphe Jaclyn Hill palette. (It's interesting receiving makeup as gifts because people know that I love makeup and write a blog about makeup, so it makes sense that they think to give me (popular) makeup as a gift, but then I am in an interesting situation since I write about why I don't need certain makeup.)
So that is the extent of influencer collaborations I own or have owned, and I did not acquire any of them because of any personal feelings about the influencer attached. But I also mention this to say that I don't have any personal vendetta against these influencers when I write a post about why I am not going to buy their products.
Had Kathleen not been associated with the Dream St palette, I still would not have purchased it because I have comparable shadows in my collection. But I will still start off with some positives about this palette, which include the price ($16) and the fact that Colourpop pressed shadows are typically quite nice.
Here are swatches from Kathleen:
When I look at these swatches, the first thing that comes to mind is the NYX Fire palette:
I also think it looks like a mix between Colourpop Yes, Please!:
And Colourpop My Little Pony:
Furthermore, I think it also looks a lot like the Mophe Jaclyn Hill palette:
I now own every single one of the above palettes, so I absolutely have this color scheme covered. And if you have any of the above palettes, you have the majority of the shadows already covered as well.
Since Colourpop palettes are so inexpensive when compared to other palettes (ranging from $16 to $18), I think it can become really easy to justify collecting them, even when you already own the shadows. Personally, I struggle with owning both NYX Fire and Yes, Please! since the two palettes are so similar. However, I use both, so at this point I do not want to declutter either. But it is a lesson I have learned that just because something is inexpensive, that doesn't mean you need to buy what you already own. (For the record, I purchased Yes, Please! first—lesson still applies.)
If you already own the majority of these shadows or all of them, buying this palette, even at $16, is still a waste of money. Colourpop offers free domestic shipping on orders over $30, so you will either pay an additional $5 for shipping, or you will spend an additional $14 to get "free" shipping. And at that point, it really starts to feel like a waste of money to buy shades that you already own.
I don't find the color scheme of the Dream St palette to be entirely inclusive as I feel like the lighter colors will look very similar to each other on medium to deep skin tones, but the color scheme is no where near as egregious as the Too Faced White Chocolate Bar palette, for example.
I think Dream St is a fine collection of shadows, but there is not a ton that is all that interesting, unique, or new about it. I've seen most people comment on the teal shade, but similar shadows are found in NYX Fire, Colurpop My Little Pony, and Morphe Jaclyn Hill. And if that is the one shadow that is attracting you to the palette, there is always the (better) option of trying to find that one shadow in a single.
To end this post, I would like to talk about the desire and sometimes need people have in "supporting" their favorite influencers.
And to start off, I would like to address Kathleen's use of a racial slur on social media. For those who are unfamiliar, Kathleen used the n-word while drinking in a video Jaclyn Hill posted to Snapchap. Immediately upon saying the word, she asked Jaclyn to not post the video. Kathleen has since apologized for this on several social media platforms, but not on YouTube, which is her main platform. Kathleen also said that she made "one mistake" and that she used a "bad word," which, in my opinion, gravely undermines the deep significance of this word as a slur to degrade an entire race.
In my personal opinion, every person knows that word is a racial slur. For people who use that word, I believe that they use it willingly. And I personally find it difficult to find an apology authentic when Kathleen made the decision to not apologize on her biggest platform with the most viewership and potential to reach her audience.
I also find it very upsetting that the majority of people who vocally "forgive" this entire situation or accept the apology are those who are not people of color. It is not up to those who are not part of the affected community to determine if something is a big deal or not to the affected community.
In previous blog posts, I have commended Kathleen on her highlighter palette collaboration with Makeup Geek because she made a palette that could work for multiple skin tones. Many people with light skin complained about the palette because they could not use all of the shades, which I think speaks volumes to the amount of privilege and ignorance that exists in the beauty community. It is not my intention with this post to label Kathleen in any way, and it is also not my place to comment on if people should "move on" or not from this. I will just say that I do not subscribe to Kathleen's channel or watch her videos, which is my personal choice.
Coming back around to this notion of supporting beauty influencers, that is a personal choice. I will say again that a lot of people who feel this need to "support" their favorite influencer by buying their latest collaboration tend to be younger. I have mentioned this before, but when I was a tween, I would have purchased anything that had Justin Timberlake attached to it. I have been young and impressionable, so I understand being that way. It is still worth mentioning that just because someone you like has collaborated on a project, that doesn't mean that you need to spend your money "supporting" them. Buying this palette will not make you friends with Kathleenlights in real life, nor will she know that you personally bought this palette to "support" her.
If you genuinely love this exact color scheme and don't have anything else like it in your collection, Colourpop pressed shadows tend to be quite good, and the palette is only $16. Something I like about a lot of Colourpop's collaborations is that they don't hike up the price compared to other similar products to pay the "influencer fee" (like with the Morphe Jaclyn Hill palette).
For me, I have all of these shadows already and don't have any need or desire to add any others to my collection. So, I won't be buying.