Review: Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadows, part 1

This is part one of at least a two part review. I purchased five colors during sugarpills Black Friday sale, Royal Sugar, Weekenders, Absinthe, Birthday Girl, and Paperdoll, and a sample baggie of Junebug(Yay freebies!). Birthday Girl, and Paperdoll were very similar, and after some failed experiments working with them, Amy, founder of Sugarpill contacted me to say that they were reformulating them to fix the problems I had noticed. This review will encompass the other three shades, and there will be more discussion of the reformulated Birthday Girl and Paperdoll, after I’ve tested them.

Overall, Sugarpill is WELL worth the money, and I intend to buy more from them. Product prices are reasonable, the site is easy to navigate, and well put together. The products are VERY nice quality, on the whole, and I’m more than a little bit impressed by the customer service, and the amount of attention that is paid towards user feedback. Seriously…. I wrote two sentences in a look post mentioning the difficulties I was having, and not even a day later, I had an email from Sugarpill about correcting the issues with the product!

Sugarpill impressed me from the very beginning—the website is easily professional quality, the product and swatch photos are gorgeous, the shipping charges were reasonable, and the products are LOVELY!  For those who aren’t familiar with it, sugarpill was started by a makeup/fashion goru, Amy Doan, and releases many vegan products.  Despite this being a fairly new company(around a year, I think?) Sugarpill has set itself up phenomenally well,  with a nice return policy, cheap shipping, great customer service, nice packaging, and high quality products.

Sugarpill is NOT a brand for the faint of heart. The eyeshadows are primarily bright mattes, bright shimmery pigments. You may need more colors in your collection than JUST sugarpill to round the look out, but these colors work VERY well as the centerpiece of your look.

Royal Sugar is a BRIGHT royal blue, very dense, with some shimmer to it, as well as prominent glitter. It’s very easy to work with,wet or dry. It works well to add some vibrancy to softer blues or aquas, or as the focus of a look. It blends well, and wears well.

Weekenders is a stunning cool blue-violet, with blue, pink, and violet sparkles. It reminds me of MAC Cornflower pigment, but is less sticky/chunky, and easier to work with.

Absinthe is a yellow-green, with vibrant gold sparkles. This may well be my favorite out of my purchased shades. The color is very playful, easy to work with, and sparkly.

Junebug is a deep forest green, with green and gold shimmer.  It really does look like a that metallic shine that beetle shells, or peacock feathers have.

They sell for 12$ for 5 gram jar. Compare that to MAC’s pigment, at 18$ or a 4.5 gram jar. Sugarpill is considerably cheaper, for a great amount of product. The texture tends to be much finer than MAC’s pigment textures, though Royal Sugar is slightly clumplier with itself, like one of the powderier MAC Pigments. I found these easier to work with than MAC pigments, UD Loose pigments, or Mineral eye shadows(though they handled closest to that).

Foil(apply wet) for the most sparkle and vibrancy, but they look gorgeous, even without that technique. If you use a sticky primer, like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, it will still work, although I noticed less of a difference using Sugarpill over PE, than other loose shadows, or applying Sugarpill wet. These adhere better than many loose pigments I’ve seen, even without special technique or stickier primers.

The packaging itself is beautiful, in my opinion. The shipping box had a pretty stamped logo on it, and the products all had cute boxes, with a little logo for each color. There’s a sugarpill heart printed on the top of the jars, and they are pretty flat, with a wide opening at the top, so they’re difficult to knock over(seriously. I HATE the new MAC Pigment jars because of how easy they are to tip!). The lid screws on quite tightly, and there was no mess from the shadow in shipping, or in usage. I feel like these containers are a LOT more utilitarian and secure than any other loose pigment/shadow jar I’ve seen from a mid/high end brand. There’s no sifter, but that works for me. I usually HATE sifters, and would rather just be careful how much product I get on my brush.

(MAC Pigment, next to sugarpill)

I do sort of wish that Sugarpill offered sampler sets for the loose shadows—-that has been one of my favorite features from independent makeup companies! It’ll take me YEARS to use the whole jar, and I’d happily payfor sampler jars of 1/3 or ½ the size. Especially with the variety of colors available. They offer palettes of their pressed eyeshadows(which I haven’t tried…. each of the palettes has two shades I don’t want to spend the money on, so I’m holding out the vain hope of a custom palette system, or new releases that DON’T have the colors I don’t need). At any rate, I’d love to see them pick themes for pigment sets….. Junebug, Absinthe, Weekenders, all work well with each other in varying combinations, and might inspire make up users who aren’t accustomed to working with bright shades. Not all of us have five varieties of neon green ranging from Chartreuse, to bright forest green….. Weekenders, Birthday Girl, Paperdoll, and Goldilucks might be another nice “starter” theme, for more dainty colors…

Still, most of that just comes down to my own preferences for makeup shopping. I’d rather buy samplers, palettes, value sets, etc. whenever possible when dealing with unknown brands. I don’t like to evaluate things on the basis of only a few products picked arbitrarily, and I love companies that can put together nice themes for their sets.

Here’s product photos and swatches!  Some of the swatches also have other colors nearby, with similar color or finish.

Junebug in its sample packaging

Junebug(J) and Illamasqua Conquer(C) swatched wet

Sugarpill Absinthe

Absinthe(A) swatched over fyrinnae pixie epoxy next to Tokidoki Soya(S), and Urban Decay Graffiti(U)

Sugarpill Weekenders

Fyrinnae Faerie Glamour(G), Sugarpill WEekender(W), Fyrinnae Optimism(O), and MAC Cornflower, swatched wet.

Sugarpill Royal Sugar

Royal Sugar next to Fyrinnae Cheshire Cats Grin

Sugarpill Royal Sugar(S) next to Fyrinnae Cheshire Cats Grin(F)

I’ll see you guys for part two shortly!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Phyrra
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 13:08:22

    Very pretty swatches!
    I love Fyrinnae and Sugarpill.
    I definitely feel like they’re both worth it for the money 🙂


    • dolcearia
      Dec 27, 2010 @ 15:07:45

      COMPELETELY! I originally started swatching those together testing for any obvious dupes, but even seeing different nuances in the finishes was quite interesting. I definitely think that the texture of these compares more closely with MAC pigment than the fyrinnae loose eyeshadows. And it’s definitely worth the money in that sense, since it is cheaper than MAC and has a bit more product besides….

      I’m still more than a little obsessed with these colors, and I think I’ll be buying two of the pressed eyeshadow palettes soon….


  2. ApplePark
    Dec 28, 2010 @ 15:11:28

    Great review!!!! I did a Sugarpill haul recently too and I am LOVING everything. I kinda wish they did neutral colors too.


    • dolcearia
      Dec 28, 2010 @ 23:27:14

      I’m not such a neutral fan, so I don’t mind…. I’d just like to see samplers for the pigments, since the key to wearing brights well is in using other shades to preserve a level of depth to the eyes. It’s hard to buy ONE sugarpill pigment or eyeshadow and base a look off it unless you already own a lot of other stuff. I think it would make the brand more accessible to people who are learning or experimenting.


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