For the past few years, I’ve been performing two beauty-related rites of spring. The first rite involves destashing a bunch of lipsticks (more on that soon). The second rite consists of searching for a pinky-red coral lipstick and a lavender blush. Those searches usually end in failure, though for different reasons. There are thousands of coral lipsticks on the market, but only a small percentage of corals flatter me. Most lavender and lavender-pink blushes flatter me, but only a small percentage of blushes are lavender. I’ve tried so many coral lipsticks that made me look dead and so many blushes that promised lavender but delivered neutral pink. I should have learned my lesson by now. Yet every spring, without fail, I take up the quest again.
This year’s coral lipstick and lavender blush come from the same source: ColourPop’s Spring 2018 Butterfly Collection. Like many ColourPop collections, it comprises an overwhelming number of new products: eight Lux Lipsticks, six Lippie Stix, 14 Super Shock Shadows, a few sets of different combinations of those shadows, and three blush/highlighter duos. I ordered the Lux Lipstick in Dream Easy, the face duo in Winging It, and the Super Shock Shadow in Ladybird, a sheer pale gold with silvery glitter (still haven’t abandoned that fantasy of k-pop-worthy sparkle). I also bought the Super Shock Shadow in Muse, a metallic rose gold, which is from the permanent collection. This post will focus on Winging It, and I’ll review Dream Easy and Ladybird in a second post, which should go up over the weekend.
Most of the Butterfly Collection’s packaging is adorable, with embroidered-looking butterflies and beetles on bright backgrounds. Even the Super Shock Shadows have tiny butterflies printed on the lids! I appreciate the attention to detail, especially from a brand with a low (though steadily rising) price point.
|Clockwise from top: Muse, Ladybird, Winging It, Dream Easy.|
Of the four products in my haul, Winging It ($16) excited me most. I would have preferred to buy the blush without the highlighter, but since I didn’t own a lavender highlighter, I was happy to try that as well. Winging It is called a “Pressed Powder Face Duo” on the ColourPop website and a “Highlighting Cheek Duo” on the packaging, which is confusing; I hope ColourPop makes up its mind about the name before releasing more duos.
I was disappointed to discover thar the cute butterfly packaging is a removable sleeve. Slide it off and you’re faced with a boring white cardboard compact resembling a factory prototype. For $16, I’d expect at least a half-assed metallic butterfly stamped on the lid.
On the bright side, the blah packaging gave me an excuse to use one of the cute stickers I hoard. This one is by Joanna Behar, who also makes adorable enamel pins.
Winging It consists of a satin-finish blush called Whirl, a “soft lilac,” and a powder highlighter called Swirl, an “icy metallic lilac.” As we all know by now, ColourPop’s product shots are comically inaccurate. On the website, the two shades look very pale and very similar to each other; in real life, they’re significantly deeper, and Swirl is warmer-toned and more muted than Whirl. The face duos deliver a hefty amount of product: 0.25 oz per pan, 0.5 oz total. (By contrast, Urban Decay blushes are 0.23 oz and NARS blushes are 0.16 oz.) A mirror in the compact would have been nice, but we can’t have it all.
A closer look:
In action, the two shades resemble one another more closely. They lean pinker on my cool-toned skin than they do in the pan, but they’re still comfortably within lavender territory. On warmer-toned people, they’ll probably pull more violet.
And here they are swatched alongside a few other blushes that let me down in past springs by not being lavender. L-R: Swirl, Whirl, NARS Mata Hari, NARS Threesome, Glossier Puff.
This photo (taken in direct sunlight) is less color-accurate, but it does a better job of showcasing Whirl’s slightly shinier finish compared to the other blushes:
Whirl has an odd texture, one that I see more often in eyeshadows than in blushes: soft, loosely pressed, and almost crumbly, with intense pigmentation. I’m not devastated about this, given that my last true lavender blush was practically invisible on my skin, but I do have to be careful with my brush. One small tap is all I need, and I have to blend out the product hard if I don’t want doll cheeks. However, I’m delighted to report that Whirl is exactly the color I was looking for all those years! Below, I’m wearing it without highlighter, along with Glossier Lidstar in Fawn and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Backtalk.
Despite my usual preference for cream highlighters, I’m enjoying Swirl as well. It’s almost as pigmented as Whirl, so I have to be careful while building it up on my skin. Like other powder highlights I’ve tried, it does emphasize texture on my cheeks, and it’s a little more metallic than the highlighters I usually wear. But it’s really pretty! In natural light, it looks more silvery than lavender, but in artificial light, the purple comes through. Because it’s on the dark side for me, I like applying it a bit forward on the cheekbones, so that it functions as a blush topper. (Ugh, I hate that phrase and never thought I’d use it except to complain about it. Forgive me.)
Here’s Swirl in natural light, with a nude cream blush (Illamasqua Zygomatic). Excuse my daft expression; it’s not easy to take good closeup shots of a sliver of your face. I’m also wearing Glossier Fawn (again! I can’t stop!) and Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nice to Fuchsia.
Same day (today, in fact), in bright artificial light:
Finally, here’s Swirl layered on top of Whirl for the perfect fairytale cheek. My lipstick is MAC Rebel, which I’m thinking about destashing: I just don’t get along with the formula, which feels weirdly thick and slippery and stains my lips something fierce.
Anyway! Quibbles with formula and packaging aside, I’m very pleased with the Winging It duo (even if ColourPop did use the phrase “first thing’s first” [sic] in the product description). My search for lavender blush is over…well, until next spring.