Let me start this blog post off with the following: The hype is real! ColourPop is now one of my favourite cosmetics brands on the world wide web. A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the ‘Where The Light Is’ quad that KathleenLights created in collaboration with ColourPop. BeautyLink (a South African online store) had a very limited amount of ColourPop products available in their online store, and as soon as I saw the quad and a couple of Lippie Stix, my eyes glazed over and I immediately placed an order. My parcel arrived a couple of days later and honestly could not contain my excitement – I ripped it open and immediately started playing with the Lippie Stix. I had to wait before I could swatch the eyeshadows because I needed to take photos for a possible blog post first (life of a beauty blogger). A few days later I managed to dip my hands (so to speak) in the eyeshadows – it was love at first swipe!
I didn’t really feature the ColourPop products on the blog because they are not available in South Africa anymore (I’m not sure when BeautyLink will get stock again) and ColourPop does not ship to our shores either. Boo! Fast forward almost 6 months, and I am happy to report you CAN now get your hands on their products…thanks to Aramex Global Shopper (read my detailed blog post on this service here).
I am going to cover 3 topics in this blog post:
1. Show you the products I bought via the ColourPop website a few weeks ago (I will include short reviews and swatches).
2. Give you an update on my experience using the Aramex Global Shopper service.
3. Introduce you to Picodi (South Africa’s very own coupon website).
My friend, Chantelle, and I combined a ColourPop order and both of us went a little bit crazy. Not too crazy, just a little bit. At $5 (+- R70,00) a pop for eyeshadows and Lippie Stix (similar to a lipstick, just way better) and $8 (+- R110,00) for highlighters and blushes, we couldn’t resist placing a substantial order. ColourPop products have taken the blogging and vlogging industry by storm in terms of quality and price, they have a huge social media presence and one heck of a marketing team. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: They DO NOT test on animals.
All the items were carefully wrapped in foam sheets, and I am happy to report that none of our eyeshadows & blushes arrived damaged or cracked. I ended up purchasing 4 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 1 highlighter, and 2 lip products. Here’s what I bought:
SUPER SHOCK EYESHADOW:
It was a no-brainer for me, I knew I had to expand my ColourPop collection with a couple of eyeshadows. If you are subscribed to YouTube vloggers like Shaaanxo, KathleenLights, Young Wild & Polished and Samantha Schuerman then you have probably already seen swatches of these unique eyeshadows. Never in my life have I ever experienced any other makeup product that has a similar consistency and texture of ColourPop eyeshadows. If a squishy marshmallow, a memory foam pillow, and a panna cotta dessert had a baby – this would be it! Sounds weird, I know, but it’s the only description I can think of. Even though they feel creamy (and almost wet), they transform to a powder finish. They feel lovely – soft and smooth under the fingertips and depending on what type of finish eyeshadow you choose, the pigmentation is on par with some of the most expensive eyeshadows in my makeup collection. As I mentioned the eyeshadows are available in an array of different finishes – matte, pearlized, pressed pigment, metallic, satin, and ultra-metallic.
These eyeshadows are best applied with your finger, I like to apply them with my ring- or index finger and will then blend the edges with a soft synthetic eyeshadow brush. Do not apply the shadows with a brush, because you won’t get the same colour pay-off. Based on my experience with their eyeshadows thus far (I’ve only used their matte, pearlized and metallic shadows), I can tell you that their metallic finish eyeshadows are extremely shimmery (like full-on metallic, very similar to the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadows). Their matte and pearlized shadows are very pigmented and last all day when used with an eyeshadow primer. Without a primer, I imagine the metallic shades will definitely crease on you.
I Heart This (Metallic) – A silvery taupe shade with multi-coloured glitters. It’s gorgeous, but there’s definitely a glitter party going on in the little jar. If you don’t like a lot of sparkle on your eyelids, then I would steer clear form this one.
Cricket (Metallic) – A smoky mid-tone plum shade with warm and cool highlights of soft glitter. Oh, the smoky eye makeup looks I am going to create with this beauty!
Bill (Matte) – A muted chocolate-y mauve shade with a cool undertone (it looks a lot more brown in the pan). I have searched high and low for an eyeshadow shade like ‘Bill’, it looks beautiful applied all over the lid and blended into the crease (for an easy day-time look).
So Quiche (Metallic) – A soft olive-toned brown with highly reflective gold and pink violet duochrome glitters. This is such a unique shade because the pink sparkles really pop on top of the brown base.
I wish I had ordered a pearlized blush as well, to compare the texture and pigmentation to the matte blushes. When I looked at all the shades online, I felt a bit overwhelmed (there are A LOT to choose from) and so I tried to keep my cool by only ordering 2 blushes. But I’ll be sure to order a satin- or pearlized finish blush in my next ColourPop order. You can apply the blushes with a synthetic blush brush or your fingertips, but I prefer using a brush like the Real Techniques Blush Brush (sheer coverage) or the Sigma F82 Round Kabuki Brush (more coverage).
Thumper (Matte) – A mid tone bubblegum pink with a cool undertone. This is the perfect fresh-faced Spring makeup shade, that will give your cheeks a beautiful flush.
Holiday (Matte) – The website describes this as “A true mid tone peachy pink”, but I don’t agree. This is definitely a bright coral shade, leaning more towards orange than pink. The photo on the website makes this look a lot less vivid, more like a soft pastel coral shade.
Absolutely stunning! So creamy, and blends very well to highlight certain areas on the face. I’ve applied it on my cheekbones, inner corners of the eyes, tip of the nose, under my brows, cupids bow and even on the center of my bottom lip to make my lips appear fuller. Depending on how much you apply, this highlighter can give you a very natural glowy look or a full-on strobed makeup look. As mentioned, the eyeshadows, blushes and highlighters have a cream-to-powder formula, so they are suitable for all skin types.
Smokin’ Whistles (Pearlized) – A cool-toned pink champagne shade with silver highlights.
I picked up 2 Lippie Stix (no idea why I didn’t also get a lip pencil, or two) in the shades ‘Bound’ and ‘I Heart This’. I’m already quite familiar with their Lippiestix as I have used ‘Lumiere’ (a gorgeous muted mauve) and ‘LBB’ (a dark & vampy plum) ever since I placed my initial order with BeautyLink. ColourPop has so many gorgeous (and some very unique) shades in their collection of Lippiestix. Just like their eyeshadows, the Lippiestix are available in various finishes like matte, sheer, pearlized, crème, satin and glossy. Each Lippie Stix can also be bought with a matching lip pencil – genius! I really like the retractable shape of the Lippie Stix, the slender and slanted tip makes application a breeze (especially if you don’t normally use a lip liner). One thing I’m not that fond of, is the rather strong vanilla scent (but that’s all down to personal preference). They apply very smoothly (even the matte shades), and have amazing colour pay-off. I am impressed! The wear time on these is not too bad, with about 3 – 5 hours depending on what you’re doing (plus the darker matte shades do stain the lips as well). If you are eating and drinking, you will need to touch these up afterwards. One last thing I would like to mention about the Lippie Stix – they are not made for our hot South African weather. My ‘Bound’ shade started melting yesterday, it was so soft a piece broke off while I was applying it to my lips (I imagine it’s because it is a very creamy formula). I checked ‘I Heart This’, which is a matte, and it is still in good shape (no melt-downs, so to speak).
Bound (Glossy) – A light nude pink shade with a slight mauve undertone, it’s packed with moisture and feels creamy & buttery on the lips.
I Heart This (Matte) – A bright red-toned fuchsia shade, that is very full coverage, long wearing, and yet it still feels comfortable on the lips.
ARAMEX GLOBAL SHOPPER EXPERIENCE:
I was very impressed by how quickly my parcel arrived. I placed my order with ColourPop on the 16th of October, and for some reason they only dispatched my order on the 22nd. My parcel arrived at the Aramex hub in New York on the 22nd (I received a confirmation email from Aramex), where it was then sent to South Africa on the 24th and arrived in Johannesburg the very next day (25th). I received another confirmation email requesting that I pay my outstanding shipping fee. The parcel weighed more than 1kg, so I paid (R274,00 – not bad if you split with a friend) and I paid NO CUSTOMS / DUTIES! Yay! I immediately paid the shipping fee via credit card (online) and my parcel was delivered on the morning of the 28th of October. So, in total, it took Aramex Global Shopper just 5 business days to deliver my ColourPop parcel.
Well done, Aramex!
One thing that I would like to touch on again (I already mentioned this in my previous blog post), is that there are certain international online stores that 1. do not ship to freight forwarders; and 2. do not accept payments when using a South African credit card. ColourPop, Bath & Body Works, Etsy, eBay, and Feelunique all accept orders with no issues. Sephora either doesn’t ship to freight forwarders or they don’t accept a South African credit card (I’m not sure which one yet) BUT I do have a solution:
I recently signed up with US Unlocked – it’s basically a reloadable card with a US billing address that gives you access to US online shops that do not accept South African credit cards. US Unlocked do not have any access to your credit card or banking details, you sign up for a virtual card and YOU have control over how much money you place into the account. To set up your account, they need to know some personal details such as your name, home address and date of birth. They will also ask you to submit the US shipping address you might have (I used the Aramex New York address) to use for your card. The next step is to make a card load payment (via bank transfer) which will include a one-off application fee of $15. You also need to provide them with a scanned copy of your driver’s licence or passport. Your virtual card (and PIN) will be issued approximately 2 to 4 business days after they have received your payment (provided you have passed the address and ID check). My ID and address have been verified, and I received confirmation on Friday that they have received the money I loaded onto my US Unlocked account. Now I am just waiting for them to send me my virtual card and PIN, once I have that I can start shopping at additional online stores. One thing that I would like to mention: You will have to conceal your IP address when you use your US Unlocked virtual card, but everything is explained on the website.
I wish I could place 10 orders with 10 different online shops but it would end up costing me a fortune, because I would have to pay at least R175,00 per parcel for shipping with Aramex. So here’s where I need your help: If you signed up to Aramex Global Shopper (my 78% discount code is still active until the end of February 2016) and you have ordered from any online stores, AND you have received your parcel with no issues, please let me know in the comments section below. That way, everyone can see which international online stores accept SA-based credit cards and / or ship to freight forwarders. So far I know that Beauty.com and Drugstore.com will ship to Aramex but you need a US Unlocked account (thank you to Deborah for letting me know).
For my 78% discount code, check out this blog post.
Please bear in mind: This is a new concept for me too, and I can’t tell anyone with certainty what customs / duties charges will be for each package. I can’t say why I wasn’t charged customs for my ColourPop parcel (as the value was $103), and just because I wasn’t charged, unfortunately doesn’t mean you won’t be charged either. I’m in the same boat as everyone else, we all learn as we go along.
Remember, if you sign up and you are not happy with the service from Aramex (or you feel it’s not worth it) you can always cancel within 12 months and they will refund the sign-up fee.
Once I have my US Unlocked virtual card, I am going to place an order with Beauty.com (and Drugstore.com, the two websites are linked). I might wait until the end of November, though, because we all know about the Black Friday Sales in the US. Black Friday is on the 27th of November this year, so if you are planning on placing a couple of online orders (Christmas prezzies, anyone?) then I suggest you wait until then.
Speaking of Black Friday sales…did you know certain South African stores also have Black Friday sales coming up this year? Yep, I have inside info from Picodi – they say we can expect incredible deals and promotions (both online and in-store) from brands such as Superbalist, Spree, ALDO, Hello Pretty, Takealot, Sunglass Hut and many more!
What is Picodi? Well, it’s a very nifty little website! You know all those newsletters you receive in your email inbox every single day? The ones from soooo many different online stores, to keep you up to date with their sales and promos? At one stage I was subscribed to 87 different newsletters – yes, I checked and unsubscribed to 80 of them. That’s a thing of the past, because now I can see all the best deals in South Africa on one easy to navigate website. You can look forward to ‘free shipping’ deals, coupon codes to save you money and other promotions. These are not necessarily deals that are exclusive to Picodi, but all the best sales / deals / promos in South Africa are collected for you by Picodi. At the end of the day, these promotions will save you money and maybe even introduce you to new & exciting brands and websites. I don’t know about you, but I’m always up for saving a bit of cash (perhaps to spend on that one thing you’ve always wanted, but have never had the extra money for).
Don’t forget to check out the Picodi Black Friday deals coming up, they’re collecting the best deals, so it’s definitely worth it to check out their website and Facebook page. A huge thank you to Picodi for reaching out to me to introduce my readers to their website.
Disclaimer: The Picodi section of this blog post is sponsored.
I hope you are having an amazing Tuesday, I’m working on my ‘Products Popping Up – November 2015’ blog post which will be up tomorrow morning bright & early!