Colourpop: Worth the Hype and Hassle?


Recently, I’ve seen numerous bloggers tweeting about Colourpop Cosmetics.  If somehow you have not heard of Colourpop, let me enlighten you with a brief introduction: Colourpop Cosmetics is a company founded in 2014 by Laura and John Nelson.  The Nelsons manufacture their products in a factory known as Spatz Laboratories in Los Angeles, California; the name of this laboratory may sound familiar as it is the same factory where Kylie Cosmetics are made.  Many beauty bloggers have demonstrated that Colourpop products can be used as dupes for many of Kylie’s products.  While beauty bloggers have compared and contrasted products from Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics, John Nelson stated in March 2016 that the products aren’t the same, as “everyone is coming up with their own formulas and their own exclusive products.”  

Topics of discussion on Twitter have ranged from quality and collaborations to whether or not these cosmetics are worth the hassle for those located outside of the United States. People living outside of the US must pay for international shipping (unless you can snag a free international shipping deal), import taxes, and a customs processing fee from the Royal Mail, which is always an extra 8 quid.  

Today I am going to show you the Colourpop products which I have accumulated and been using for a few months, as well as a new palette I received recently that I am dying to try!  I will review these products and write about their quality then give a final verdict on whether or not these cosmetics are worth the hassle of ordering from America.  Please note that all pictures have been taken with flash on.


I must give credit where it is due and Colourpop certainly deserves kudos for offering outstanding prices and deals.  In March 2017, Colourpop celebrated its third birthday and treated its customers to FREE international shipping; therefore, I had to take advantage!  Plus, they had a super-duper deal going where if you purchased two Super Shock eyeshadows, you got a free brush of your choice.  While this wasn’t my first Colourpop purchase, I must admit this was my favorite due to the absolute bargain I received.  All of the products shown above, I purchased for $30 or £23 pounds (I also paid £8 in import taxes and £8 in fees).  Technically, I purchased 7 products for £40 pounds, which means each product roughly cost £5.60.

I’d like to start with a product I wasn’t crazy about then later talk about my favorites.  I hate to admit that I was a tad disappointed with these Super Shock Shadows, Ignition (holographic, ultra-glitter lavender-middle swatch) and Bill (a light, dusty Matte mauve-final swatch). While Ignition has a gorgeous shimmer, I felt that these shadows did not live up to the hype of Super Shock pigmentation. image2However, both of these shadows have 5-star reviews on the Colourpop website, so perhaps I was simply expecting something different. I’ve worn these shadows to work and paired them with Marshmallow (grey lavender-first swatch), an Ultra Satin Lip. Grey has become one of my favorite colors, even for makeup, thanks to Halsey for MAC’s daring slate lipstick, so when I saw this lipstick I had to have it.  I am happy with the color and the formula; I did have to reapply halfway through the day but I am thankful the formula did not dry my lips out.  I never mind reapplying once or twice throughout the day.

Speaking of lipstick, let’s talk about the different types of lipstick products I’ve tried from Colourpop.  A few months ago I was given an Amazon gift card and with it, I made my first ever Colourpop purchases: a lippie pencil in Petit Four (blue grey-first swatch), an Ultra Satin Lip in Petit Four (second swatch), and an Ultra Matte Lip in Jellies (cobalt-third swatch).  I know what you’re thinking: more grey?!! Well yes, more grey…and no, I am not making a 50 Shades pun ha!  I have not worn the Petit Four lippies often because there aren’t many places I can pull it off, but I am thoroughly impressed with the staying power and the richness of the color. image4

Jellies is a color I had been searching for; I absolutely love Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara in Blue as it makes my green eyes POP!  I wanted to find a pocket-friendly lippie which would compliment the cobalt-blue look and was dying to try this shade, which was now been discontinued.  While I love the color, I am not a huge fan of the formula as it bleeds. Before I put it on, I cover my lips with my trusty Esteé Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place lip pencil, color clear.  That way, I can make sure that I don’t look like I’ve just eaten a blue raspberry popscicle (or ice lolly for you Brits).  The final 2 swatches are both Lippie Stix in shades Wet (a pearlized taupe-fourth swatch) and Skimpy (a soft pink nude). Although I have not yet worn these for a full day, I can attest to the formula: it is incredibly creamy and glides on your lips so smoothly.  I am excited to try these for a longer period of time, though I must admit Skimpy is a little too Barbie-pink for me.  Oh, the pigmentation is excellent with these Lippie Stix as well.

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My newest item from Colourpop is the Gemini by Night pressed powder shadow palette from their collaboration with Sonya Esman (a Russian beauty guru). Please excuse my hair arms; I did not realize how hairy they were until I took pictures for swatches.   I used Esteé Lauder’s Illuminating Perfecting Primer as a base.  image3

From left to right, here are the colors:  

~Golden Gate Bridge, a matte warm nude
~The Hidden Hills, a satin warm taupe
~Manhattan Coffee Run, a matte mid-tone      brown
~Moscow Sunrise, a metallic rosy copper      I have not yet used this palette as I received it on 23/05 but I’m super excited to try it out!  As you can see, there is a range of more muted colors to bolder        shades.  These are quite pigmented, too!  

To finish this post, I’d like to discuss the item I use the most: the Lo-Key pressed powder shadow palette, which features orange and red colors with shimmery finishes.  Monochromatic looks have been a hit this spring and this palette allows you to easily wear this trend.  

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Using this palette, you can create a more subtle, suitable-for-work look or an exotic and enticing nighttime look.  Even when I go out at night, I tend to play it safe (as you can see haha) and not go too dark with that final redish color; I don’t like to overdo it.   Here’s a look I recently created with Lo-Key when I went to the Gin Festival in Swansea with some girlfriends.  image1 (2)

I felt like the orange/red colors really made my green eyes pop. I thought Benefit’s sunny golden pink Galifornia blush and Kylie’s metallic peach lipstick metal in Heir really pulled this look together.  

In terms of quality, I have to admit that this is one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas; I currently own quite a few Smashbox palettes, Avon, Pop Beauty, and Bare Minerals sets, and single shades from Lola Cosmetics, Stila, Bella Pierre, and Model Co to name a few.  

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I wanted to include a swatches picture; I used Esteé Lauder’s Illuminating Perfecting Primer as a base.  Once again, please excuse my hair arms; I think I’m going to be saying that a lot on beauty posts!  The colors, from left to right are: 

~ Take it Slow, a metallic warm champagne

~ I Owe You, a matte mid-tone orange

~ Running Late, a matte creamy orange

~ Criss Cross, a matte brick orange

So, finally, I must answer the question: is Colourpop worth the hassle of international shipping, import taxes, and customs fees?  My vote is YES!  While I am not completely happy with all of my purchases, I am impressed with the majority and can see myself using these products as long as they will last me.  In my opinion, I see why Colourpop has a cult following, numerous celebrity collaborations, and a growing company.  We want more Colourpop and I believe we will get more, more, more as this company is not slowing down.  It feels every few days I see hints and ideas via their Instagram story!  

Now that you’ve listened to me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  What products have you tried; did they work for you?  If you haven’t tried Colourpop Cosmetics, do you want to and what items are you interested in?  And even if you’ve had a rubbish experience with this brand, I’d still love to hear your thoughts!