Sugarpill Pressed Shadows Review (Pt. 2.5)

25 October 2011

Originally this post was going to go in my main review of these shadows but it was already pretty long and I didn't want to make it SO obnoxious to read so this is the pressed shadow review Pt. 2.5, which just looks at the actual shadow colors themselves. I've gone through and swatched any shadow I owned that could be considered a dupe, from high end to low end and, well, the results speak for themselves. For my initial thoughts regarding Sugarpill in general, click on the second picture of the Burning Heart quad. For the review on the shadow quads themselves, click here.

I purchased the two available quads - the Sweet Heart quad and the Burning Heart quad. There are nine total pressed shadows available, so the only one I didn't purchase is "Bulletproof", which is the matte black. I really like the NYX single shadow in "Black"; in fact, I like it so much that I purchased a backup when NYX was on sale at Ulta. That, and I have MAC's "Carbon" in both the Pro pan form and in a pot from the Venomous Villains collection, so...I really don't need another black shadow!

Okay, I'm just going to get straight into this, because it's a lot of text and photos. These aren't in any order...besides the order in which they appear on Sugarpill's website. I'll list which quad they come from as well. Also, these were swatched over bare skin, so no primers or anything. Also, this post is picture-heavy and pretty long, unfortunately. So I'm putting in page anchors so, if you only care about one or two shadows, you're not scrolling and scrolling, haha.

Love+ - Buttercupcake - Poison Plum - Tako - Dollipop - Flamepoint - Midori - Afterparty


Bright red with a semi-pearly sheen! Not for the faint-hearted. From the Burning Heart quad.

From L-R: "Love+", Ben Nye Dry Rouge (Yeah, I know...this is a blush. I bought this years ago from Hot Topic and they had it categorized as an eyeshadow. I didn't find out until recently when I went to repurchase it, haha.) in "Soleil Red", Wet N Wild shadow from either the Night Elf holiday palette or the Enter A New Realm LE trio, Coastal Scents 88 Ultra Shimmer Palette, and the e.l.f. 100 Shadow Palette.

As you can tell, the Ben Nye blush and "Love+" are definitely the most pigmented. The blush is matte, while the Sugarpill shadow has a sheen to it. It's not a straight-up shimmer, but it's more of a satin finish. If you have either of the two WNW LE palettes, you probably don't need this shadow. The WNW one looks closer in color to the Sugarpill's just much less pigmented. But if you use a white base underneath, it'll probably look similar. Obviously, I do recommend this shadow, if you need a bright red. This shadow does stain a bit though. As for the 88 palette, you could work w/ this too, but you get a lot more bang for your buck w/ the Sugarpill. And, frankly, the e.l.f. palette is kind of a joke. It took a lot of rubbing to get that swatch and a vast majority of the shadows have poor payoff.

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The brightest bright matte yellow with awesome opaque coverage. From the Burning Heart quad.

From L-R: MAC shadow in "Chrome Yellow", "Buttercupcake", MUFE shadow in "No. 02", NYX single shadow in "Chick", Coastal Scents 88 Ultra Shimmer Palette, and the e.l.f. 100 Shadow Palette.

I don't know why I swatched "Chrome Yellow" first. I also swatched the three light shimmery yellows to point out that it's going to be a lot more difficult to find bright matte yellows. I'd recommend the first three, because they all have decent payoff. The MAC shadow and "Buttercupcake" are the closest, whereas MUFE is a bit lighter. The last three, especially the NYX and the CS shadow are super powdery as well. As far as bright matte yellows, again, Sugarpill wins just because the size vs. price is just so much better than MAC or MUFE. I also don't know why I swatched these w/ q-tips and the rest w/ brushes, lol.

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"Poison Plum"

Dramatic purple with a semi-pearly sheen. From the Burning Heart quad.

From L-R: MAC Mega Metal Shadow shadow in "Noir Plum", "Poison Plum", and MUFE shadow in "No. 92".

I don't think the Mega Metal Shadows are available anymore, but Urban Decay's Deluxe Shadow in "Ransom" is pretty close. Both of these shadows are much more frosty and blue-toned than "Poison Plum". The closest dupe is the MUFE shadow, but "No. 92" looks a bit more red, whereas "Poison Plum" is more bluish. I like this shadow a lot and I don't think the sheen really translates to the eye. This blends out a bit nicer than the MUFE shadow (maybe because it has that sheen to it) but if you already have the MUFE shadow, (which is actually listed as a blush, according to the packaging!) you really don't need "Poison Plum". However, I'd buy it anyway, haha. This shadow stains my lid as well. I didn't even bother swatching the CS or e.l.f. palettes w/ this because there aren't even close colors to the Sugarpill shadow.

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Pure matte white. From the Sweet Heart quad.

From L-R: "Tako", jane EyeZing shadow in "Hip Bone", e.l.f. Essentials white shadow from the Drama quad, and the white shadow from the Wet N Wild ColorIcon palette in "247 Pride".

So, as you can see, these pretty much look all the same. TBH, if you find a cheap matte white that works, stick w/ it. I've heard that MAC's "Gesso" isn't that great and that shadow is $14.50! Out of all of these, the jane shadow is the least impressive but it's certainly not horrible and it's probably also a bit more readily available. I do think that "Tako" has a better consistency - it's much less chalky and powdery than the other three, but is it a requirement? Definitely not; the three cheap options will certainly do the trick. And the e.l.f. quad is only a dollar!

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Vibrant, matte hot pink. Dreamy! From the Sweet Heart quad.

From L-R: MAC pigment in "Magenta Madness", "Dollipop", Too Faced shadow in "Mess In A Dress", and Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hypershadow in "Candy Cameo".

"Dollipop" is the last Sugarpill shadow that I noticed staining w/. It's a bright hot matte pink and I really like it. This shadow blends super nice, especially into blues. It makes the prettiest purple shade if you blend it into "Afterparty", FYI. The MAC pigment in "Magenta Madness" is much more neon but it's also a bit harder to work w/, since it's both a pigment and a matte shadow. I don't even know why I swatched the last shadow, since it's not matte and it's not a hot pink and it's also a LE product! Matte hot pinks are a pretty rare find, so I suggest snatching this shadow up. "Mess In A Dress" is more muted and I forgot to swatch it, but Wet N Wild has a trio w/ a shadow very close to the Too Faced one, so if you like a slightly less bright and more shimmery pink, you can pick up the WNW trio because it's in the permanent line. Overall, I like this shadow a lot, even though pink isn't my favorite color. It doesn't make me look sick or tired the way the Too Faced one can, which is probably why I like it. And it's a pressed shadow, which means it wins over the MAC pigment, haha.

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Vibrant matte orange. From the Burning Heart quad.

From L-R: "Flamepoint", MAC shadow in "Orange", NYX single shadow in "Hot Orange", and the e.l.f. 100 Shadow Palette.

"Flamepoint" is pretty amazing. I have been searching for a true, matte orange shadow for a while. The NYX shadow is what I first started out w/ but it contains actual chunks of glitter and just isn't as pigmented as the first two shadows. MAC's "Orange" is a bit more red-orange, at least in the swatch, whereas "Flamepoint" is a bit more of a true orange to me. They both have excellent color payoff, but Sugarpill's shadow is $12 for 4g of shadow, whereas MAC's is $14.50 for 1.5g, so Sugarpill wins this battle, once again. MUFE has an orange shadow which I don't own, but if you do, or if you own the MAC shadow, you don't really need this one. I don't recommend the e.l.f. palette at all, BTW. e.l.f. has a lot of great products that work amazing for the price, but this damn palette just isn't one of them.

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Vibrant green with a slightly pearl sheen. From the Sweet Heart quad.

From L-R: "Midori", Hard Candy Powder Keg loose shadow in "Kryptonite", CARGO green shadow from the Los Angeles quad, Ulta brand shadow in "Green Machine", MUFE shadow in "No. 93", Urban Decay matte shadow in "Chronic", and the green shadows from the Wet N Wild ColorIcon palette in "247 Pride".

This is the shadow I was most excited for and it's also the one I'm most indifferent to. I've tried a ton of green shadows. For the longest time, green has been my favorite shadow color. Anyone who has read this blog for a while probably rolls their eyes whenever I mention the NARS shadow stick in "Celebrate" or tokidoki's "Soya" because, well...I use them all the time. Of course, I'm not super big into forest or army/olive greens, but you get my drift. For some reason, I thought this shadow would be similar to "No. 93" from MUFE (which, strangely enough, is a blush, according to the product sticker...) but it's kind of deceiving. It looks like it's a bit more sea foamy but it swatches much more green than blue. This was the one shadow that, while still being pigmented, swatched a bit weaker than all the rest. The shimmer shows up on the lid and it's still really good, but I don't think it's a necessity.

If I could reorder, I probably would have just purchased the Burning Heart quad and "Afterparty". While I love "Dollipop" and I am glad to own it, I do have that MAC pigment which is pretty bright and wonderful as well. Yes, Sugarpill is much cheaper but I also have a backup of aforementioned pigment and they're just too close to make it worth owning both. But I digress - "Midori" is lovely and I do like it but I own A LOT of different green shadows and I can definitely be a bit picky because of this. I think the closest might be the Ulta shadow - "Midori" is more true green than sea foam/blue and it's also shimmery. I do like this shadow and I'm glad to have it but I don't think it's MUST HAVE status.

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Bright turquoise with a semi-pearly sheen. From the Sweet Heart quad.

From L-R: NARS shadow in "Outremer", "Afterparty", MAC shadow in "Electric Eel", Revlon Matte shadow in "005 Venetian Blue", and LA Splash Mineral Eyeshadow in "Accentric".

I love "Afterparty". It shows up a bit more matte when applied to the eye, but I like it way better than "Electric Eel" which, for whatever reason, never applied that nicely. The Sugarpill shadow is a bit darker and more blue in appearance, but it's still pretty similar. The Revlon shadow has a much lighter color and more powdery consistency. I swatched the NARS shadow in "Outremer" as an example of matte shadows from high end brands - they're not always that great. Sugarpill shadows blow this particular shadow out of the effin' water. I think the LA Splash color, despite being matte, is the closest cheap dupe of "Afterparty". I definitely recommend the Sugarpill shadow though - the color payoff is excellent, the color itself is different from a lot of other shadows I've seen, and it's just really pretty, haha.

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So, if you've made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, I congratulate you! My apologies for this being so damn long. :/ Again, I suggest purchasing these colors in the quads to get a bit more savings but if you just want one or two, definitely look into these shadows. If you like bright colors, these are really up your alley! Are these a necessity? Nope. But are they fun? For sure and they're an amazing quality for the price. Plus, I just feel slightly better for supporting indie brands, ya know? So, to finally conclude my reviews on the pressed shadows from Sugarpill - yes, they completely warrant the hype; they are that good. However, they're not the kind of thing you have to run out and buy because they aren't going to appeal to everyone and also - not everyone has access to online purchasing, nor do they have the funds to purchase $12 eyeshadows.


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