Hi everyone! I made a large ColourPop order at the end of last year, and this was one of the palettes that was part of that order. I’m slowly trying to get the reviews written, but it’s been a slow process since it takes a few weeks to test each palette out thoroughly! Since my last review was on the Chasing Rainbows palette, which was by far the most colourful one I had in my order, today I thought I would go back to basics with the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette. I just posted a product review on Tuesday, and I try not to do reviews so close together, but I’m trying to pump these out before I go on my break!
The Brown Sugar palette was released as part of the Brown Sugar collection, which was a collaboration with Karrueche. I don’t know much about Karrueche except that she’s a model and dated Chris Brown for a bit years ago, haha. It contains 9 shades of neutrals, 6 of which are mattes and the remaining three shimmers. The palette retails at $12 USD, and is made in the USA.
The Brown Sugar palette comes in a shiny, hard plastic compact with a snap closure. It’s not the heaviest, most sturdy and high quality plastic – the front of mine came looking a bit of roughed up! You can’t really see it in the photos, but the pan of the shade Sorrel has popped out a bit, although I was able to press it back in. I feel like if I were to drop this palette, the pans would pop out and the shadows would possibly shatter. But at $12 USD, it’s hard to complain about the packaging. In fact, a big bonus is that it comes with a mirror – I mentioned in my Chasing Rainbows palette review that I wish that palette came with a mirror, and this palette answered my prayers!
To be honest, in any other circumstances, I would not have batted an eye at this palette because it just looks like all of the other neutral palettes out there. However, Cleia from Always Cleia said this was her favourite palette of 2018, even over the Soft Glam palette which everyone raves about! This really intrigued me, which is how the palette made it into my cart while I was shopping on the website.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I pretty much exclusively wear neutral shades, so I own a lot of all-neutral palettes. I thought that this would look a lot like the palettes I already own, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that this palette features a handful shades that are unique to my collection. This is impressive considering it’s only a 9-pan palette! The palette mostly leans warm, although there are some good neutrals and cool shades in there as well. Another thing I enjoyed about this palette was that each shade is vastly different from one another; a huge pet peeve of mine is when brands include really similar shades in the same palette – I mean, why?? ColourPop did a great job with this one in terms of providing a large variety of neutrals and browns in this palette, as no two shades are remotely the same.
Chai – a warm beige in a matte finish. It’s not really the type of colour I think of when I think of chai, but that’s okay.
Jamocha – matte camel. Great workhorse shade. I tend to mix this colour with Chai as my transition colour, but using it on its own is good too.
Amber – matte burnt orange. I really love how vibrant this one is, and usually use it to deepen the crease.
Ginger – shimmery champagne. Out of all the shades in this palette, I would say this one is the most neutral, but it’s a good addition for when you want a simple every day look.
Auburn – shimmery copper; a really rich red-based shade that I love all over my lid.
Saute – Shimmery taupe with a blue flip. This is a REALLY interesting colour. I find it kind of duochrome-y but also not at the same time?
Sorrel – matte medium brown – this is the perfect mid-toned brown that I’m always looking for in every palette; like Jamocha, it’s another perfect workhorse colour.
Henna – matte dirty taupe. This is a really nice cool-toned addition to an otherwise warm-toned palette.
Choc – red-based chocolate brown that is the perfect colour for deepening the outer V area.
Similar to the Chasing Rainbows palette, the one thing I noticed was a missing highlight shade, at least for my skin tone. Chai is way too deep to be a highlight shade on my light-medium skin tone, but I can appreciate that it might be a decent highlight shade for deeper skin tones. Otherwise, I feel like this palette had everything I needed for a full look, whether I wanted to do something warm or cool-toned.
What I find impressive is that every shade in this palette is a high performer, which is quite unusual for me. Most of you will know that in the majority of palettes, you’ll usually get one or two shades that are dry or troublesome to work with, but all of these shades in the Brown Sugar palette have great colour payoff and texture.
The mattes do have a powdery texture and a bit of kickback when you dip your brush into it, but they apply beautifully on the eyes without any fallout. All of the shades are pigmented when swatched, but they are equally pigmented when applying to the eyes with a brush. The patchiest shade to swatch is Choc, but it builds up perfectly fine in eye looks.
The three shimmers have my absolute favourite formula – very silky and soft without being crumbly, with intense colour payoff.
This first look is a cool-toned halo eye. I couldn’t wait to pair Henna and Saute together!
Look 2 is what I would say is my “every day” eye look for this palette (minus the lashes). I place Jamocha all over the crease as my transition shade, then apply Sorrel in the outer third of the eye and run it into the crease, using a small blending brush to fade it into Jamocha. I also run it into my lower lash line using a pencil brush. I then take Ginger and place it all over my lid.
This one is my cut crease look, but I struggle with cut creases and didn’t do a very good job at it! Practice makes perfect, right? First, I applied Amber all over the crease with a fluffy crease brush, then used a smaller, more precise crease brush to concentrate Choc on the lower part of my crease area, leaving the lid area blank. Using a pencil brush, I take Choc and draw a precise line right above my lid area. I then applied some concealer all over my lid area which is completely clean at this point. I set it with the shade Chai, then placed Auburn all over the lid.
-Great variety of shades considering small size of palette
-Stellar formulation and colour payoff
-Packaging includes a mirror
-Matte shades are a bit powdery and have some kickback
-Packaging doesn’t feel entirely sturdy
-No highlight shade for lighter skin tones
In most of my palette reviews, I usually reimagine the palette the way I personally would have wanted, but to be honest, this palette is darn near perfection! Even though I said it was lacking a browbone highlight and Chai was too dark, I left it the way it is because Karreuche has a deeper skin tone herself, and probably made this palette with herself and people with her skin tone in mind.
Overall, this is a really solid palette with some amazing quality and great shades, and I have zero complaints. Is it a must-have? For someone with 20 neutral palettes (aka me), ehhhhhhhh….probably not. Although I am delighted to add this to my collection just because of how impressed I am with the formula and the amount of shades that were unique to my collection, it’s still a neutral palette at the end of the day. However, I would highly recommend this palette to someone who doesn’t own a lot of neutrals – perhaps someone new to makeup, or someone who owns a lot of colourful palettes. This would really be a great addition!
That’s it for my ColourPop Brown Sugar review! What is your favourite neutral palette?