This story was originally published on May 27, 2016.
If you've been following along this week, you know we've been sharing the spoils of a day spent in ColourPop's L.A. headquarters. But between an in-depth sit-down interview with the (once) elusive owners and a detailed look at how the brand makes its cult lipstick, we didn't forget to bring home some pure eye candy. That is, a colourful look at how the brand's popular eyeshadows go from loose shimmer to pressed perfection.
Just over two years ago, ColourPop launched with 31 shades of shadow. If you're a fan, you know how addictive the unique, bouncy texture and vibrant colours are to wear and collect. They are, after all, only $5 USD a pop.
While ColourPop's lead cosmetic chemist says the formula took some serious perfecting (almost a year of tinkering), it's gone unchanged since the launch. In the factory, we followed the best-selling shade Nillionaire, a limited-edition hue from last summer's collection that, due to popular demand, was just added to the full-time roster. (The name, as you might assume, means you act like you're a millionaire and you really have nada — but you still got the $5 to buy the shadow.)
In what is part glittery disco vibe and one part dorky chemistry video, the product is a relatively simple concoction of pigment and pearl blended with a secret mixture of solvents. Then, it's scooped and pressed into pans. The entire process is lightning-fast, but how you decide to wear it, of course, can be far more complex. Press play, above, for a closer look...