Over the last four years, ColourPop experienced one of the biggest beauty come-ups due to the brand’s incredibly affordable price points, quality products, and constant releases. The brand frequently collaborates with some of the industry’s biggest beauty influencers from Kathleen Lights to Bretman Rock and Makeup Shayla.
Their most recent collab is with beauty influencer, Karen Gonzalez, otherwise known as ILUVSARAHII. She is most well known for her flawless, Insta-glam makeup and is one of my favorite influencers on Instagram. When I saw the ILUVSARAHII Palette I was immediately entranced by the stunning mix of warm-toned oranges and cool greens in this palette.
Although ColourPop seems like a mainstream brand to many of us who are deeply involved with the online beauty community, the brand is largely still unknown in the US (and globally). However, given this brand’s somewhat meteoric rise and constant online praise, I decided to review this palette. Please keep reading for an in-depth review of this palette.
Price & Packaging
ColourPop x ILUVSARAHIII Through My Eyes Palette retails for $23.00 USD and is sold on ColourPop.com. This is a limited edition palette, so once it is sold out it is gone.
In addition to the Palette, ILUVSARAHII and ColourPop released two nude liquid lipsticks and a nude gloss. You can purchase the entire bundle, which comes with a custom kaleidoscope, for $50.00 USD. Personally, I did not pick up any of the lip products because I don’t reach for liquid lip products regularly and don’t need any more nudes.
The outer box is a trippy, orange-hued kaleidoscope design that features Karen’s eyes. While I find the design captivating, the box hugged the palette too tightly, so I struggled to get the actual palette out of the box without tearing the outer packaging.
The palette packaging is truly mesmerizing due to the gorgeous emerald hues and intricate kaleidoscope detailing. In addition to looking good, the packaging is quite sturdy. It appears to be made out of cardboard, as opposed to plastic, which I prefer.
I appreciate the large mirror and the inclusion of shade names on the inside of the palette. These two features make it easy to see exactly what color I’m applying on my eye and allow me to apply my makeup almost anywhere.
ColorPop claims that this 16-pan palette will help wearers to embrace and express their individuality. Furthermore, ColourPop states that the green and orange tones of this palette will enable wearers to “get ahead of the curve with the trendiest shades.”
From a product performance standpoint, ColourPop notes that the pressed shadows will apply evenly and will be long-lasting on the eyes. The shadows are further described as feeling “ultra-velvety and silky.”
Ingredients & CF Status
It is important to note that these shadows contain Talc, a divisive additive. Also, the shades Mesmer-Eyes, Lomo, Divina, and Missbehave are “Not intended for use in the immediate eye area” according to the ColourPop website. This is likely due to some of the pigments used to give these shades their reddish hues. This palette was manufactured in the United States and is Cruelty-Free.
Swatches & Pigmentation
Although swatches are not always perfect, they are still a great way to determine how an eyeshadow may perform on the eye in terms of ease of application and pigmentation. In the below photos, I’ve swatched each row in the Through My Eyes palette using both my fingers and a brush across my bare arm. Each finger swatch was created with a single swipe of color, whereas each brush swatch was built up two to three times. In all the photos below, the top swipe is the finger swatch and the bottom swap is the brush swatch.
Row 1 | Lucido (metallic light gold), Wild Soul (dusty mustard yellow), Mesmer-Eyez (metallic gold orange), Sandalwood (matte soft light beige)
Performance notes: The two metallic shades, Lucido and Mesmer-Eyez glided across my arm, whether applied with my finger or with a brush. However, Mesmer-Eyez crumbled and produced a ton of fallout when I swatched it. This is due to the incredibly soft, metallic formula. The matte, mustard shade, Wild Soul, felt dry to the touch and didn’t swatch well with a brush.
Row 2 | In a Wink (matte soft pastel peach), Euphoric (matte bright true orange), Canela: (matte soft terracotta sprinkled with gold glitter), Lomo (metallic bright coral red)
Performance notes: Similarly to Wild Soul, the orange shade, Euphoric, felt super dry in the pan. Nevertheless, Euphoric swatched fairly well with my finger and with a brush. Lomo stained my arm, which indicates that this shadow should be long-wearing on the eye.
Row 3|Emerald Dream (metallic vivid emerald green), Muze (metallic bright warm gold sprinkled with silver glitter), Divina (matte deep blackberry), Flecks (metallic icy taupe packed with silver glitter)
Performance notes: By the time I finished swatching the third row of this palette I felt frustrated by the fallout and the overall inconsistency. As you can clearly see, the gorgeous Emerald Dream shade is non-existent when swatched with a brush. The warm gold shade, Muse swatched like a dream but was too soft and crumbly. The shade Divina was dry, applied patchily, and did not blend well. I was only able to achieve the level of pigmentation seen above in my brush swatch by packing the dark color onto the arm.
Row 4 | Nostalgia (matte mid-tone warm rose), Moody (matte rich forest green), Nocturne (metallic rosy red), Missbehave (matte rich wine red)
These shadows swatched better than those in row 3, but not by much. The warm rose shade, Nostalgia was patchy, while the wine red, Missbehave, swatched fine but felt dry. Moody, swatched well but translates as a dark teal rather than a forest green. Nocturn is one of the most stunning colors in the palette but has a lot of fallout.
Application & Wear-time
After having such mixed results with the swatches, I was apprehensive about how this palette would apply on the eye. I wanted to test as many shades in this palette as possible given the inconsistent formula. Sadly, after creating a few looks, my views are still mixed. Some shades exceeded my exceptions, while others were terrible.
Look #1: Reddish, Orange Smokey Eye
In the below look, I buffed the shades Sandalwood and I’m a Wink just above my crease using a fluffy brush. Then I lightly worked Euphoric into the middle of my crease, while I stamped Missbehave into the outer portion of my crease and the outer-V using a small, detail blending brush. Once I had the base of my look set, I began to play with the metallic shades.
I took a flat, dense shader brush to pack the metallic shade, Nocturne, onto the center of the lid, softening the edges with the coral shade, Lomo. Given how crumbly Mesmer-Eyez was while swatching, I wanted to see how this shade would hold up when applied to the eye. Surprisingly, I was able to pack this orange metallic onto the eye with minimal fallout. Then, using my fingers, I patted Lucido into the inner corner of the eye.
To bring the entire look together, I tapped my fluffy brush back into Euphoric and Missbehave and blended these colors into the crease. This softened the upper edges of Nocturne and added more dimension. I deepened the look by stamping Divina into the outer-V. Be aware, this shade was difficult to blend and applied patchily.
For the finishing touches, I blended Warm Soul across the lower lash line, deepening up the outer-corner with Euphoric. Finally, I took a small detail brush and highlighted my brow bone with Lucido.
Not only was I impressed by the overall ease of application on the eye, but I was blown away by the pigmentation of these shadows. These colors wore for 8+ hours without any creasing or fading. Note: as always, I am wearing an eye primer on my lid to keep the products in place so I cannot speak to the pigmentation or wear-time without a primer.
Look #2: Emerald Smokey Eye
I created the below look using the greens in the palette…. and YIKES!
I started out by blending Sandalwood and Wild Soul into the crease. Then, curious to see how Moody would perform, I began to buff that color into the crease and outer corner of the eye. Man-o-man, not only was Moody patchy but the color blended away into nothing and didn’t work well with the other mattes in the palette.
Given my struggles swatching Emerald Dream, I was anxious to try this shadow on my eye. While I was able to build up the pigmentation by stamping this color onto the eye with a dense, flat brush, this shadow is best applied using the fingertips. To add more of a gradient effect to this look, I used my finger to tap Mesmer-Eyez into the inner corner of the eye.
I attempted to add depth to the look by applying Flecks to the outer-V, but this shadow didn’t show up very well. (Note: even when worn on its own, Flecks is not a super pigmented shadow.).
The most frustrating thing about this second look was how quickly the shadows moved around and creased. When I saw the photos of how this look wore throughout the afternoon, I actually felt self-conscious that I had gone out in public wearing these shadows.
Final Thoughts on the ColourPop x ILUVSARAHII Palette
To be completely candid, this palette is completely on-trend but is in no way “ahead of the curve.” It is a warm-toned palette with a few pops of green… a trend seen across many releases throughout 2018. While I didn’t own a palette like this, avid cosmetic collectors are likely to already own something similar. In fact, a common complaint voiced by many ColourPop fans was that this palette is very reminiscent of Kathleen Lights’ popular Dream Street palette.
Although shadow swatches left me feeling uneasy, most of the colors wore beautifully on the eye. Knowing that even high-end brands sometimes include a dud shade in a palette, I wasn’t super disappointed that a few of the cool-toned matte shades didn’t perform very well. At the end of the day, I am impressed by the overall quality of the palette for the affordable price point.
Would I recommend this palette? If you don’t own similar shades or you are a fan of Karen, then I suggest picking up this palette. However, if you are purchasing this for the green shades, then I’d pass. Also, as always, if this color story doesn’t speak to you, don’t feel pressured into buying this. Check out any of the brand’s other palettes instead.
Have you tried ColourPop’s pressed eyeshadows before? What do you think of this color story? Let me know in the comments below.