So one of my new makeup purchases (vs gifts, samples, etc etc etc) in a long, long time was the Colourpop Shadow Stix. These re a new product, launched just this year, I believe. I like shadow sticks for travel or bringing around, because I can easily apply them on the go and with my fingers.
A super creamy, multi-tasking eyeshadow in a stick! Ultra pigmented for high impact color in one swipe and a long wearing, water-resistant formula that lasts all day. Line it up, wear it all over, smudge it, smoke it out, wear this colour in so many ways! Use the built-in sharpener to create the most precise tip.
Right off the bat, when I received them, I realized that they were ABSOLUTELY TINY. Like, built for kids tiny. A quick check shows 0.65g in each stick. Just to compare, my Kiko eyeshadow stick holds 1.64g, which is also the same with the famous Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. CP is only 40% the size!!!! In comparison, an Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner has a whopping 1.2g of product, nearly TWICE as much as the CP shadow stick. It’s more of a mini eyeshadow stick than anything, but even Laura Mercier’s mini eyeshadow sticks hold 1g of product.
This may or may not bother you. Seeing as I’ve barely gone through 1/4 of my Kiko shadow stick after a few years of infrequent use, I would probably take quite a lot of time to go through a CP stick. However, if you’re a fan of a certain colour and if you like to use it all over your lids as a daily eye look perhaps, it’s likely that you’ll finish it up in… half a year? 3 months?
Price wise, it’s USD6 for a CP stick ($9.23 per gram). Kiko costs USD9.50 in Ulta ($5.79 per gram). So CP is a LOT more expensive. Kiko also has 25 shades (at this time), while CP has 16. Now note that normally I don’t compare products to the price per gram etc etc because we rarely finish eyeshadow anyway unless it’s a go to product, but I was truly stunned by their size when I first opened them up. So honestly, CP is not that great a deal as it seems at first. I did buy them on sale for $4.20 each, so that was more palatable, but still makes it more expensive than Kiko per gram.
I swatched them in a line, as well as smudged out. For me, I bought them with the intention to use them in my portable make up bag, so smudging is important to me.
So some comments about the formula. They are creamy going on, but they set WAY. TOO. QUICKLY. Normally, and I say this as someone who is no stranger to using cream eyeshadows of various kinds, you can apply a cream eyeshadow and take a little bit of time to smudge/blend it out. For these, I tried to draw a patch, close the cap on the stick and then smudge it out, and in the 2 seconds or so I took to close the cap, IT HAD ALREADY SET FIRMLY. That’s why my first smudge swatch was a total fail – you can see that it smudged like 0%. Plus, some of them set much faster than others.
So to use these, you have to scribble it all wherever you want it to go and IMMEDIATELY smudge it out else it will stay put like a motherfucker. I mean, some people always say online – ‘these set quickly so work one eye at a time’ but I ALWAYS do only one eye at a time and this is taking speed to a whole new level. Like, I have eyeliners that set slower than these.
In practice, with the way I do my makeup, it’s not so bad. I colour it onto where I want it on my eye and immediately smudge it out without replacing the cap. I would say if you want to blend these out, you probably would want to use your fingers, and you have to not mind some imprecision. In general, if I use sticks, I’m on the go and I don’t want to fuss with brushes anyway.
After several times of usage of all the shadows, I would also say they don’t layer well. If you try to blend 2 sticks together or layer over for more opacity, there is a tendency to push things around or rub off.
My favourites would be Happy Days and Day Date. Happy Days is like the CP Dream Lover shadow in stick form, and is amazing for a one-shadow look. It’s a bit of berry pinkness and very sparkly with a blue flash. Day Date sets a little slower than the others and is the least troublesome to smudge out, which is good because I intend to use it as a crease shade.
The Riviera set I’m not feeling so much – the brown which I wanted as a crease shade is tougher to blend out, and the 2 golds are a bit flat – they’re not as multi dimensional shimmery, they’re more of a flat frost kind of shade, which I feel are a bit boring and can look dated.
In general I find that the metallics (which are more of a frost) kinda suck. The mattes are workable – they don’t lift as easily and they don’t bunch up on themselves. However the metallics look very textured and heavy going on the eye, for some reason, and I’ve tested them on eye primer as well as on bare eyelids. And they tend to go very patchy on. You can see it in my eye looks below. I was very disappointed because shimmers are usually a lot easier to formulate than metallics and these fall so short.
They also claim to be water resistant, so I swatched my Kiko eyeshadow stick, splashed a few drops of water on. They’re water resistant, until you rub them gently, and they will come off COMPLETELY. Like, you don’t even need make up remover, or to scrub particularly hard, to remove them. The Kiko however, stays more or less put even after a few firm scrubs, with some fading.
Now, depending on your own preferences, you may or may not like this. I personally DON’T like this, because I live somewhere super humid with frequent thunderstorms, plus I sometimes sweat a lot, or you may want to wear these to the beach, and I would prefer that I don’t take off my eyeshadow with one accidental rub after it comes into contact with water.
I definitely don’t think they’re as bad as the Temptalia rating given to them, but I wouldn’t heartily recommend them. I love the Kiko eyeshadow sticks and they’re only a few dollars more expensive and you get much more product and value. They’re easier to work with and are waterproof even with scrubbing.
I really like Happy Days and Day Date actually, I think they pair very well for a pinky eye, but I didn’t photograph a look on that day. Skip the shimmers, they are not worth it.