Review: ColourPop Brown Sugar Palette

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!

Far shot of ColourPop Brown Sugar palette on marble surface

THE BASICS

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 PACKAGING

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!

Outer packaging of the ColourPop x Karrueche Brown Sugar palette
This is what the outside of the Brown Sugar palette looks like. I don’t know if you can tell, but it was scuffed up this like when it arrived.

 

THE SHADES

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.

Close up shot of the ColourPop x Karrueche Brown Sugar palette with shade names
Here’s a shot of all the shades with the names underneath

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.

Close up swatches of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with shade names
Swatches of all the shades in the ColourPop Brown Sugar Palette

 

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.

Swatches of the ColourPop Brown Sugar Palette without names

THE PERFORMANCE

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.

Macro shot of the ColourPop x Karrueche Brown Sugar palette
The shades in this palette have a bit of kickback, so it’s easy to get powder everywhere.

THE LOOKS

Look 1

This first look is a cool-toned halo eye. I couldn’t wait to pair Henna and Saute together!

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Henna and Saute

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Henna and Saute

Look 2

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.

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Ginger and Sorrel

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Ginger and Sorrel

Look 3

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.

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Auburn and Choc

 

Close-up eye look of the ColourPop Brown Sugar palette with Ginger and Sorrel

THE SUMMARY

Pros:

-Affordable price
-Great variety of shades considering small size of palette
-Stellar formulation and colour payoff
-Packaging includes a mirror

Cons:

-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?

15 thoughts on “Review: ColourPop Brown Sugar Palette

  1. Wowee, your swatches are so precise! 😀 I do especially like seeing them applied onto the eyes though, seeing them applied rather than thickly swatched shows them in true form. I’ve never attempted a cut crease look yet – with my eye shape I think I’d end up with shadows all the way up to my brows. Not a good look.

    Saute is so dreamy! So is Henna. They’re kind of out of place among all the warm shades though. But I’m not complaining.

    ColourPop shades are such good quality. And I’m so impressed this palette isn’t cardboard and includes a mirror for such an affordable price. Plus it’s made in the US. Just how?

    For neutral palettes, I’m still enjoying my Zoeva Cocoa Blend and Too Faced Semi-Sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree, while it’s satisfying to see swatches using the swatch stencils, they’re not accurate because you pile on the eyeshadow using your fingers. Eye looks are so much more useful to see how they actually perform! I don’t think cut creases are really suitable for all eye shapes (my own included haha). Or I don’t know, maybe I just need more practice?

      I agree that Henna and Saute are a bit out of place – but I’m glad they were included and think they go really well together!

      I’ve only used a few of their single shadows until recently, but I now kind of understand why ColourPop palettes are so popular. Super inexpensive, high quality, made in the USA…it’s crazy!

      If only I had gotten the Semi-Sweet palette when it was still available, it’s so beautiful. Missed opportunity!

      Like

  2. I know exactly the same amount about Karrueche so I was surprised to see a CP collab with her. That being said, I’ve been eyeing this palette since it came out. I really need to just grab it. I love the looks you did with it, makes it seem extremely versatile despite being a neutral palette

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weird, right? I think this is her second collab with ColourPop! She must have a big following on IG or something. Yes, it’s a really beautiful palette and the formula is amazing! I would highly recommend it if you have been thinking about getting it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As you know already, I’m not an eyeshadow person but damn, those swatches look impressive! I would agree that it seems like a great all-in-one neutral palette with your warm tones and your cool tones.

    This has nothing to do with anything but you have nice brows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I was SO impressed by the quality and colour variety of this palette, which is hard when you’ve seen every version of a neutral palette!

      Hahah thank you, that means a lot to me! To be honest, i like my eyebrows in general, but I think they look crazy in these up-close shots. No one would ever see them this up close!

      Like

  4. I’m so glad that you loved this palette so much! I’m always worried that someone will buy something I recommend and then hate it lol
    The looks you created with it are so pretty, I never thought to create a halo eye with saute & henna. I will be trying that soon!
    I still struggle with getting cut creases right a lot of the time but something that helped me was watching Judy C’s ColourPop 3 look tutorials on youtube. That girl can do an amazing cut crease! I don’t even have the same eye shape as her and it helped me out a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, it’s okay if that happens! People have different tastes, I know it’s not a guarantee that I’ll like something just because a friend does.

      I want to go back and read your review again/look at your eye looks! I purposely didn’t go back to read yours when I was reviewing it because I didn’t want to be influenced by your post.

      Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to take a look at Judy C’s video! I feel super awkward doing a cut crease on my eye shape because my eyes are so round, plus the fact that I never wear it out because it looks too dramatic!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes that’s true, we’re all different after all.

        lol that’s probably smart! I’m glad that you had a similar experience with the palette.

        She’s so good at explaining her tutorials, I hope you find it helpful! I’m lucky in that I have giant glasses so it really mutes how dramatic my makeup is lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I need to write that I am not a fan of neutrals (I mean, I wrote a whole post about it…I mean against it 😀 ) but I am searching for your site every time I need something similar. I am really enjoying how you did the eye looks and they look really good on your eye shape. Coming to a post for a neutral eye look is a big deal and means that I really liked it 🙂
    Have a nice one 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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