I will admit, when ColourPop announced that they were releasing pressed eyeshadows, I did not immediately jump on board the train. ColourPop is popular for their Super Shock shadows, a long-wearing formula made of a combination powder-cream consistency. They’re popular because they’re vibrant, not dry, consistent, and the colors are stunning. However, some people don’t like the idea of applying shadows with the fingers, which is the best method of applying them to get that vibrant, one-swipe coverage. Enter…. ColourPop pressed shadows!
I wasn’t the first to run and purchase them because every other brand makes them, and I couldn’t imagine how ColourPop could produce something that stood out among the rest. In addition, the price of them was enough alone to take pause at $5 each, which I felt it was a little high for the small pressed pans. ColourPop no longer fits into the “drugstore price” category anymore when a quad costs $20, compared to the average drugstore brand price of $6-10 for a quad. You may ask…. What’s the difference between paying the $5 price for a Super Shock shadow versus a pressed shadow? The answer is in the amount of product you receive. Super Shock shadows have much more product and last longer, as long as you keep them tightly sealed to avoid them drying out. A Super Shock shadow contains 2.1 grams of product whereas a pressed shadow contains only 1.20 grams…. half the amount of product for the same price. That seems off to me, and I wish ColourPop would reconsider that price point. Compare them to other popular shadows such as Makeup Geek and MAC. Makeup Geek is $6 for 1.8 grams, and MAC is $6 for 1.3 grams. You get more grams of product with Makeup Geek for just a dollar more. Despite the prices, which I feel are too high for ColourPop, I decided to try them out when they ran a promotion to give away free empty quad palettes to put them in, in addition to the shade Milli for free with a minimum purchase. I didn’t purchase all of them, but rather selected 14 shades in the nude family to test out. So let’s talk about the shadows’ quality and performance.
First Impressions | ColourPop Pressed Eyeshadows
I purchased 7 matte shades and 7 shimmers, including the free shade Milli that was offered during a promotion only. The shades I purchased were:
- Mattes: Hear me out, Wake Up Call, Bel Air , Made to Last, Note to Self, Popular Demand, Cloud Nine
- Shimmers: Take it Slow, Liar Liar, You Know the Drill, Save it for Later, Come and Get It, High Strung, Milli
I swatched and applied the matte shades first. When I dipped my brush in the pans, they felt very soft. They kicked up loose dust immediately but not too much. They almost remind me of the Anastasia Modern Renaissance shadows in texture, quality, consistency, and softness. I like them very much and feel that they’re on par with other high-end brands (better than Too Faced and Tarte in my opinion). The matte shades were pretty consistent in quality across the board with one or two small exceptions… Popular Demand is a red-brown shade, but it applies slightly patchy initially compared to the other shades. I can still make it work, but it takes more than one dip in the pan to product a good swatch and to get an even color. It blends out nicely eventually, but compared to the others, it’s slightly different. This is a common issue with shades containing red pigments, so just be aware of that with this brand also. The only other shade that I didn’t personally like was Hear Me Out. I bought this to use closer to the brow, somewhat as a highlight shade but also as a base color for the entire eyelid. It’s hardly visible when applied, perhaps because it’s so close to my skin tone. My eyelids are very dark thanks to genetics, and this shade didn’t do anything to lighten up that area when applied all over the lid. It’s also difficult to see when swatched on my arm (shown below), and I expected to see something. This is one shade out of the collection that I would skip and not purchase again.
Next I moved to the shimmers, and I tried to apply them with a brush at first. I noticed a stark difference between the consistency and behavior of the shimmers compared to the mattes. They don’t feel as soft or kick up any dust when dipping a brush into the pan. I initially had trouble getting them onto my brush. I took my finger and wiped off the top layer from each pan, which seemed to help a little. The shimmer shades don’t feel consistent compared to each other. A few felt soft while others felt more dry and textured.
Surprisingly, the shades that I wanted the most such as Come and Get It (a duochrome with a pink rose and gold shift) were the shades that were the most difficult to work with, and they didn’t produce a good one-swipe swatch. It was dryer than the other shades and had a slightly different texture, making it difficult to apply and blend. It didn’t show up well on the eyelid, and I had to use my fingers to apply it. Another shade that I had trouble using was Milli. This is very disappointing, because it’s a beautiful shade in the pan. I thought it would be a soft metallic that swatched perfectly with one-swipe opaque coverage, but it just didn’t work out that way. To use it effectively, you have to use your fingers, and it can take more than one dip in the pan to get enough color for a consistent application. In my opinion, it’s pretty obvious why they gave this shade away for free. How disappointing.
You Know the Drill is a beautiful copper gold shade, but it’s just slightly dry to the touch and had some loose powders that kicked up when I swatched it on my arm using my finger; however, it’s still very nice and workable. The best shade out all of them, with a very soft, buttery texture and one-swipe coverage, was High Strung. It’s a stunning metallic rose gold. Even though there are some small inconsisteies in texture and feel of the metallic shades, I like them very much overall. They are all completely workable, as long as you understand that you may have to wipe off the top layer and perhaps wet your brush slightly to coat a couple of them with your brush for best results.
FINAL IMPRESSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION
Overall, the ColourPop eyeshadows are really nice, and they’re an excellent addition to any collection. If you found the ABH Modern Renaissance palette out of reach, this is an excellent option, although the quality isn’t exactly the same. The ColourPop shadows have a few consistency issues, but it’s nothing significant or unacceptable. No brand is perfect with 100% consistency across the entire shade spectrum (at least I haven’t found such a brand). Different pigments shades affect the consistency and performance of shadows.
The only shade that I wouldn’t repurchase at all is Hear Me Out, and Come and Get It comes in a close 2nd. Yes, you have to play with the metallics a moment to get the best results, but once you wipe off the top layer, most of them work nicely and are stunning. During my wear-test, they never creased, faded, or migrated to other areas of my face. I didn’t wear a traditional primer as usual, but rather applied a liquid color corrector to my eyelids first. Then I applied Hear Me Out as a base across the entire eye area. My eye look lasted throughout the day and into the night without any issues.
Keep in mind that I’m judging these with a very high level of scrutiny. Your opinion may be very different. However, I feel that the extra scrutiny is warranted for a brand that achieved such phenomenal success with their original Super Shock shadows, especially after they entered a very competitive market with pressed shadows at this price point. The pressed shadows aren’t cheap when you consider that a quad is $20. They priced themselves out of the “drugstore makeup” category, which I believe could be an issue for some of their customers. I definitely recommend the ColourPop pressed shadows, but I recommend that you to wait for a sale or promotion to invest in them.
Hit or Miss? Overall, thumbs up. 👍🏻
Price: $5 each shade for 1.20 grams
Where to Buy: Only available via the ColourPop website
Have you tried out the new ColourPop pressed shadows? Are they on your wishlist or are you passing on them? Comment below or visit my Instagram page, and let me know your thoughts.