A few weeks ago I wrote a post about asking strangers where they got things. One of the main examples I gave was asking a girl about her lipstick. I had this encounter over a month ago, but little did I know that it was just the beginning of a long journey.
Colourpop. Yes, with a “u.” The British way, but for an American company. That was the brand of lipstick the girl said she was wearing, in a shade called “Bad Habit.” I figured I would pick it up the next time I found myself at Ulta, or Sephora. Maybe they’d even have it at the drugstore. Nope. Nope. And Nope.
I began to realize I was venturing into the makeup underground of insider knowledge, but the insider knowledge was actually everywhere I started to look — specifically in the realm of instagram-fame.
So, if you’re a makeup guru, chances are you’re thinking “old news.” But, if you’re a makeup pleb like myself, we’re just discovering what lies beyond the pictures we occasionally see in our feeds of airbrushed pores, eyebrows not of this earth, and dark painted lips. (Oh, and highlights and contours — but we’re sort of, already figuring that one out.)
So do a hashtag-colourpop search anywhere and you might find somewhere around 1.3k results, with pictures like these:
There’s plenty of those “arm swatches” in perfectly straight lines. I wonder what that clean up is like? My new theory is that you can pick out a makeup guru by finding someone who appears to have a rash on their arm.
Anyway, there were a few things I quickly began to understand about this brand.
#1. It’s only sold online
#2. It’s cheap
#3. It has cult worshippers
#4. The Kylie Konspiracy
I’ll touch on that last one quickly before I get to my own personal experience with the lipstick that at this point seemed to possess magically qualities that so far had been off-limits to me.
There was a rumor going around that the infamous “Kylie Lip Kits” were simply Colourpop products repackaged at a higher price. So I looked into it, and the colors are very similar with that same level of high-intensity pigment. But my makeup savvy sources say the formulas are different. Apparently the Kylie colors last longer, aren’t as dry, and resist smudging. But who am I to know the difference?
Apparently they are made by the same company behind the curtain. Interesting…
I went to the site and began browsing the overwhelming amount of options. It’s not just lipstick any more - it’s Ultra Matte Lip, Ultra Satin Lip, Lippie Stix, Lippie Pencils, Ultra Metallic Lip, and Ultra Satin Lip.
You can choose from the categories of Eyes, Face, Brows, and Lips. I didn’t even begin venturing into the other options. I found Bad Habit under the Ultra Matte Lips for $6. I figured since I was going to do an order and pay about that same amount for shipping, that I should try another “colour” as well. I settled on Tulle, an Ultra Satin Lip in dark red.
About 4-5 days later I found a little white package at my door. I got swept up in the package excitement, quickly went to the mirror with the good lighting, and opened up the little boxes inside.
Inside were Tulle (my second purchase) and something in a tube that looked exactly the same called Barracuda.
No Bad Habit. I snapped a pic of the shipping label and the tubes and emailed customer service. I tried on the other two colors, which I found were exactly the same except one was matte and the other sort of shiny.
I sent my mom and sister a picture.
My mom simply replied “No.” Don’t you love moms?
This color comes from maybe two full swipes of the lipstick, it’s very pigmented and dries super fast. I did not feel like I was pulling it off. Also, with a color this dark, you probably need a lip liner or something because as soon as you open your mouth you can see the light insides of your lips.
My sister said she liked it. Later that week I brought it over and had them both try it on. My mother’s technique was to dab the color on her finger and then swipe it on (which I thought was genius until you realize how hard this stuff is to get off your fingers.) My sister went full Kylie and did not approve.
We attempted to blot to reduce the color, but don’t even try.
I heard back from Colourpop that they were sending the right color. So, 4-5 days later there was another package at the door, yay for getting packages! I went to the mirror again, pulled the tube out and saw, with horror that it was the same Barracuda color I never wanted.
Not happy. I sent a very strongly worded email to customer service and even included some CAPS LOCK to show them how serious I was. I eventually had to send them proof that they sent the wrong one.
Now you see why this follow up post took so long?
Well, now we come to today. I’m sitting here typing with Bad Habit on my lips for the first time. (Before it came I bought a matching NYX lip pencil to do it like the professionals).
Well, I must say I do feel pretty bad ass. As though I have been (slowly, but surely) inducted into the Cult of Colourpop. If I ever meet the girl with the lipstick in the coffee shop again I might say thanks, but I also might ask if/how she puts herself through this long torturous process every time she needs a new shade, or a new instagram pics with 200+ likes.
This is a strange brand, but one I’m glad I can understand a bit better. And in the circle of life and products, two co workers asked where I got the lipstick. So try out the journey for yourself, and let me know what you think.
And even if you can’t blot off some of the color, at least your morning tea can do it for you.
And here’s one last tip I got from my makeup savvy friend (in exchange for my extra tube of Barracuda.) If you want to get this look right now, in a nice nude color, check out the NYX section at your local drugstore and pick up a tube of “NYX Lingerie.”