Back to school be darned! The so-called “hot girl summer” is still in effect. And there’s nothing that says summer like watermelon and honey. Since November 2018, ColourPop has been releasing a string of collections dedicated to specific colors, each with a 9-pan monochromatic eyeshadow palette. I must say, the moment I saw them I wanted them all. The two I wanted most were the red Main Squeeze palette and the yellow Uh-huh Honey.
I am subscribed to ColourPop’s mailing list. Admittedly, I don’t check every day, but I happened to scroll across a message in June with five yellow hearts in the subject line. My interest was immediately piqued. What awaited me when I opened the message was all sunshine and good vibes. It was the release of the Uh-Huh Honey Palette. My heart jumped out of my chest. Yellow seems to be a generally uncommon shadow color, much less a full palette of it. And to be quite honest, my experiences with yellow eyeshadows haven’t been the greatest. To go one further, my experiences with ColourPop shadows has been patchy at best (pun intended).
A Sidebar About Swatches
I went to the website and there weren’t any human swatches like there normally are. Now, I have a bone to pick with makeup brand marketing swatches. Have you ever noticed how perfectly straight and rectangular the swatches are? Or how they will use three different models for three different skin tones and the shadows look exactly the same? We know better, and they tried it. You can’t tell me 99% of these companies are photoshopping the swatches onto the arms like “Hey brown girl! Look! Our products will show up on you, too!” I almost applaud ColourPop for sitting this one out. It wouldn’t have been helpful anyway.
I also noticed in my pre-purchase research that I didn’t see any vloggers of color with reviews or tutorials on this palette at the time. I knew then that I had to try this palette for the culture (and for you reading this).
The Sweet and the Sticky
This ray of sunshine includes five matte shadows, three metallics, and one pressed glitter. The mattes range in color from “crayon” yellow and mustard (Sweet Spot and Oh Beehave) to brown toned yellows (Stinger and Totally Buggin). Palooza is a straight forward yellow-gold pressed glitter, and the palette is anchored by Buzz Kill, a matte yellow-brown.
Now, I’m gonna be honest. I’m not impressed with the mattes, and I’m not surprised. In the wear test, no amount of building seemed to make them vibrant – not even on a white base. In a previous review of a ColourPop palette, I mentioned that the mattes were smooth and blendable. Fast forward two years, and I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I’ve used that palette maybe twice? Maybe. I can see that becoming the fate of these yellows. It’s a shame they don’t use real chalkboards in the classroom anymore because the mattes in this palette might get more use.
The metallics, on the other hand, stole the show. Once again, I’m not surprised because I love ColourPop’s Super Shock shadows and duo chromes. My favorite in the entire palette is Sunburst, which is actually yellow with blue glitter (EE-YIP!!!).
The Low Down On the Main Squeeze
When I saw Uh-Huh Honey, I naturally had to see what else was available. I messed up and discovered all the other monochromatic palettes that had been released this year. And they were all on sale!! It wasn’t a matter of whether I was getting another palette, it was which one. I immediately gravitated to Main Squeeze.
Main Squeeze is actually part of ColourPop’s fifth-anniversary collection. It is such an appealing array of red shadows. Red is also another eyeshadow color that is hard to find, apparently because it is difficult to manufacture*. And if I’m honest, once again, I’ve had my share of lackluster rouge shadows. Still, I had high hopes for this effort.
Main Squeeze contains five mattes and four metallics. Though this palette is advertised as all red, it is really more red inspired. In terms of the mattes, Frose and Seed Money are soft rosy shades, Big Gulp is an orangy pink, and Red Bottoms is clearly maroon. The metallics are even less red, ranging from pink and copper (Bay Watch and Maraschino) to Juicy Fruit, which is gold with peach undertones. The only true reds are the matte Like It’s Hot and metallic Home Slice.
I can say the mattes in this palette faired a little bit better in the wear tests than the ones in Uh-Huh Honey. I was a bit disappointed that the red look I was trying to create based on my swatches turned out decidedly pink and peach.
Funny story: when I saw the packaging with all the red and the little white seeds, I said “Aw, how cute! A strawberry collection.” When I put the shadows on, I was a bummed about how the colors were more reminiscent of watermelon. It didn’t become obvious until I sat down to write this review that the green “rind’ around the package was meant to resemble something familiar: a watermelon. Not to mention, on the day I wrote this the actual strawberry palette was released. So, I have to give it a fair shake as a watermelon palette, not strawberry.
*Speaking of manufacturing, the pigments in red eyeshadow (as well as others) often contain ingredients that have not yet been FDA approved for use on the eyes. This is due to the potential for allergic reactions and eye irritation. We should probably be patch testing any makeup we use for this very reason, but I digress. American cosmetic manufacturers, such as ColourPop, will put a warning label on their products stating, “Not intended for use in the eye area.” If you have sensitive skin or eyes you may want to go easy or sit this one out.
- The Palettes – I love the plastic compact with a mirror. There are other brands that sell more expensive palettes with less impressive cardboard packaging. The hard case is a nice touch that makes it feel more expensive and durable. I also bet that if a person were to buy the whole collection of palettes they’d look beautiful together as a collection.
- The Products – Overall, the actual shadows were hit and miss. As I mentioned above, the metallics were great, the mattes not so much. However, at this price point, I feel like I would purchase both palettes again on the strength of the shimmers. They were truly the stars of the looks I created, and they were very smooth and blendable.
- The Price – Each palette retails for $12. If I do the math, this comes out to $1.33 per pan for nine colors. If I only used the metallics I really liked (three to five in each palette), that’s still $4.00 or less per shadow used. To further put this in perspective, ColourPop sells their Super Shock shadows for $6.00 each. The palettes really are a good value.
Rating: It’s ok.
I think both Uh-Huh Honey and Main Squeeze are great collectors palettes, but I’m not sure how often I’ll reach for them. I also think these would work a bit better on fairer skin, which would explain the limited reviews from people of color. All in all, I still may purchase other monochrome palettes for the metallics, but I’m not in a hurry.
Have you purchased Uh-Huh Honey, Main Squeeze, or any of the other palettes in ColourPop’s collection this year? Or do you have a good recommendation for either red or yellow eyeshadows? Talk to us in the comments!