Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to Wear Colourpop Glass Bull

This is a different kind of post. Typically, this would be a "Weekend Looks" post, but for the first time in more than a year, I did the exact same look both days this weekend, which centered on Colourpop Glass Bull.

I mentioned in a post recently that Glass Bull and I were basically not getting along. It is one of Colourpop's bestselling shadows, and I have seen so many people rave about it. I bought it the day it released (before I saw swatches of it) because it sounded like an interesting shade and I wanted to have it. And since then I have been kicking myself for that decision because I just have never liked how it looked on me.

See, I like pigmentation. I'm not a huge fan of colors that require a ton of building, and I like my shadows to really stand out. Part of that is because I have deep set eyes, which means that they are close to being hooded. Therefore, I don't have a ton of visible lid space when my eyes are open. And I like my shadows to pack a pigmented punch on the lid. And Glass Bull is the opposite of pigmented.

Let's take a look at Glass Bull:

It's an interesting shade. The texture is not something that I personally have ever felt before, and it feels almost oily. The color is also unusual. It is an incredibly sheer duochrome that resembles MAC's Blue Brown pigment or Club eyeshadow. Sometimes it looks brown, red, blue, or even green:

Most of the time, on me at least, it looks like a very sheer red with blue shimmers. Sounds cool, right?

Well, I couldn't figure out how to wear it. And I don't mean I couldn't figure out color combinations to pair with it—I really didn't understand the shadow at all. It was just so sheer, and whenever I paired it with a shadow in the crease, I felt all that was visible was the crease color.

The first time I wore Glass Bull, I paired it with a berry in the crease:

Overall, I think this made a generally pretty look, especially in photographs, but in person, all I could really see was the crease shade.

I then wore it over a taupe shadow, thinking maybe it would work best as a shadow topper:

I was really disappointed in how this look turned out. I don't think there is necessarily anything all that wrong about it, but it just wasn't what I wanted out of the shadow/look. 

I was about ready to declutter Glass Bull from my collection this week when I decided to wear it on its own. See, it occurred to me the last time I wore this shadow that maybe the entire point of it was to give a similar effect to eye gloss. If you don't know what eye gloss is, it's exactly what it sounds like: gloss for your eyes. It's something that is featured most often in editorial looks as the practicality of it really doesn't work for an everyday basis or even for several hours over the course of the day. 

It's a style that Glossier features prominently in their advertising: 

And it gives a really natural but "effortlessly gorgeous" look. 

So I tried Glass Bull like that this weekend:

And I have to say that now I am a Glass Bull believer. I get the hype, and it has rapidly shot high on my list of favorite single shadows. (In fact, I think I may need to update my post on my most interesting/unique single shadows to include this one.)

Many years ago, when I first moved to New York City, I worked in a prominent New York City cultural institution, and it was an incredibly conservative work environment. Almost exclusively for over a year, I only wore powder foundation, mascara, and NARS Exhibit A blush. One day, I wore a light champagne shadow and a thin line of eyeliner and so many people approached me about "all the makeup" I was wearing. They didn't realize I had been wearing mascara and blush the entire time, but they noticed when I added a little bit of shadow and liner. After I left that job and went into graduate school, I went pretty wild on my makeup looks and never really looked back. I resented that work environment for making me tone down such a huge part of myself and my creativity, and I wanted to explore it as far as I could. 

With that said, I have often felt like I look the "best" with a more natural look. I also think I look better in neutrals than I do in color. However, makeup for me has never been about looking "better." I know that is what it's about for many women, and I don't place judgement on that. I think it's fantastic that makeup can make women feel better about themselves. But for me personally, makeup has been a creative outlet rather than a means to make myself look the "best" I can. 

Which brings me back to Glass Bull. As you can see from the photos, I just applied Glass Bull all over my lid and into the crease and added some Wet N Wild Brûlée onto the brow bone. I chose not to apply any eyeliner (on the top or bottom lids) and also did not apply a shadow in the inner corner. And I loved the look. So much so that I wore it the next day as well, which, as I said at the top of this post, has not happened in more than a year. I paired this look with a soft pink blush both days and with Dose of Colors Stone one day and Maybelline Touch of Spice the next. 

Now, obviously, you can wear this shadow (or any shadow) however you want. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to wear anything. It is my opinion that the intent behind this shadow is to wear it similar to an eye gloss or Glossier ad. And that is certainly my preferred way to wear it. Last week, when I was struggling to figure out a way to wear Glass Bull, I Googled "Glass Bull looks," and the only look that really came up was my own. I wasn't sure if there were other people out there struggling with how to wear Glass Bull, so I thought I would offer up my preferred way. 

Colourpop has another shadow that is very similar to Glass Bull (except that it leans green instead of blue) called Tea Garden that I also own. (I bought both shadows at the same time but have not yet used Tea Garden since I could never quite figure out how to wear Glass Bull.) Because of how much I am loving this minimal look with Glass Bull, I have to admit that I am really excited to try Tea Garden now. 

As a final note to this post, I feel it is worth mentioning that I have a friend who really loves to wear eye gloss. I texted her yesterday to tell her about Glass Bull as I thought it was really the perfect shadow for her. I showed her pictures of my look and she said she was really interested in trying it. She also laughed and said that it's funny that what I consider to be my "natural" look is what she considers to be her "going out" look. And I really loved that she said that. Makeup is so personal and is a great tool to use as an expression of oneself, and it was nice to see that the shadow that I was excited to use for a toned-down natural look would also be exciting for someone to use to glam up their look for a night out. It was a nice reminder about how makeup really boils down to one's personal preferences. 


  1. Thanks for a fantastic post as usual! Way back I'd asked your advice on a first eye palette and I ended up going for Yes Please! and I'm so glad I didn't spend loads of money on a super expensive palette—I'm very happy with Colourpop and excited to try more adventurous colours.

    Your blog has taught me so much about eyeshadows and while my spending vice isn't primarily in makeup (art supplies are an endless pit), I could definitely have been making better choices. You showed me that I was falling into a whole bunch of marketing traps and most of all saved me from buying the same thing over and over. I always look forward to your updates and I think you do such gorgeous and helpful posts—thanks so much and take care!

    1. Thank you so much for such a nice comment! I'm glad you're loving Yes, Please! That is certainly one of my favorite palettes regardless of price, and it is a huge bonus that it isn't nearly as expensive as others.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Great post! I had thought about Glass Bull at one point but had not pulled the trigger. I myself love one eye shadow looks, especially when I don’t have much time to get ready. It looks so great just by itself!

    1. I hadn't done a one shadow look in a really, really long time, and wearing Glass Bull reminded me how fun it is to find a shadow that can really stand on its own. I'm excited to try Tea Garden!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. It so happened that last week I saw a performance by Jessie J on a Chinese singing competition, and she was wearing this really beautiful eye gloss. Since then, I've been searching for an alternative to eye gloss, and I experimented with a few highlighter type shades to find the one that looks most like gloss. It turns out that on my skin tone, a light layer of a silvery shade buffed into the skin looks the most like gloss.

    But after reading this post on Glass Bull, I am tempted to try this shade for that glossy look. It looks so unusual with that blue-green shift. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. I really like what you've created here, and like many others, have gained so much in terms of critical thinking regarding makeup from reading your blog. Do you know what the inner conner white shadow is on the first look? Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for such a nice comment! My inner corner highlight in that picture is Urban Decay Roadstripe.

      Thanks for reading!