The Color Didn’t Really Explode

I normally don’t buy Maybelline.  I realize that it’s an unpopular thing to say, but to me it’s always been cheap.  In my experience, the shadows were barely pigmented and the foundations caked and never matched my skin.  I gave up when I discovered indie and counter alternatives.

One of the things that caught my attention in Ulta last weekend, though, was the display of Maybelline Eye Studio’s Color Explosion palettes.

• Sophisticated color, ignited by an exclusive luminizer, reveals amazing color highlights.
• Explosive pigments sweep on for the truest color payoff. Exclusive luminizer unleashes a surge of color.
• Ophthalmologist-tested. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

They are available in five different colorways, I chose Pink Punch.  Each compact has five different shadows and retails from 8$ to 12$, depending on where you find it.  I think the phrase ‘explosive pigments’ won me over.  That and they looked like they were more matte/satin then shimmery finishes.  Each compact contains four shadows as well as a luminizer and contains 2.6 grams or .09 ounces of product.  Needless to say each pan of shadow is tiny and about .52 grams each.  I had to fuss to get my favorite brushes to pick up the color like I wanted them to.

I swatched the shadows over TFSI and I had to really layer it to get the colors to show up.  I used the little sponge applicator in the compact and had to go over the swatches about four times.  The shimmery triangle on the top isn’t a powder shadow at all, at least from what I can tell.  It’s more of a cream shimmer.  If it IS a powder it’s realllly bad because it has NO sticking power at all.

Even with the primer these shadows didn’t want to be very vibrant.  Swatching them I had hopes, I really liked how they turned out, the darker shades in particular.  Once I applied them on my eye (over a primer), though, I just couldn’t get that same sort of vibrancy and the blended too… easily.  That is when I tried to blend them into each other they became sheer.  My shadow lasted about an hour before it was wearing, creased, and faded.  I can see why so many people say they don’t like pink eyeshadow, especially if they are judging it on drugstore brands like this.  I looked like I had rheumy and bruised eyes, the shadows faded and streaked so oddly.

Would I purchase Maybelline Eyestudio Color Explosion eye shadows again?  No.

✘  The colors are really poorly pigmented.

✘  It doesn’t wear well at all.

Price: 4/5

Packaging: 3/5

Pigmentation: 2/5

Wear: 2/5

Overall: .75 / 5


17 Responses to “The Color Didn’t Really Explode”

  1. Maybe it’s just that palette. But there’s a youtube beauty guru called “glamlifeguru” and she RAVES about how awesome these are. She bought all of them. She says they are super pigmented and pretty. I dooont know. :/

    Either way they test on animals so I won’t be buying ;(.

    • Tip-off that someone’s opinion may be invalid: They take “guru” and run off with it (perhaps to Puerto Vallarta?).
      Such an abused term, lately–thanks, YouTube.

    • “Either way they test on animals so I won’t be buying ;(.”
      Ditto for me.
      There are a gazillion other cosmetics companies that don’t test on animals – drugstore, counter and indie – why bother with one that does?

  2. Maybelline never really tempts me … of all the drugstore brands stepping up their games these days, Maybelline is definitely at the bottom.

  3. That lightest shade sure is chunky. I want to see it do the Truffle Shuffle.
    Pink is so meh and boring anyway…

  4. I agree with Maybelline’s shadows being .. well horrible.. I have bought a couple and usually never use them or my neice takes them to practice with… I recently bought their eyeshadow in black in hopes that its changed and was yet dissapointed agian.. its just not theblack black I wantd.. its ashame .. because I actually love their mascaras.. “the falsies” is my favorite go to mascara.. smh.. sucha shame they fail on the eyeshadow and foundation status.. for drugstore boughtfoundation I actually like rimmel the best.. and elf’s tinited moistureizer!! anyways thanks for the review Grey!!

  5. Reviews like this make me not to want to buy drugstore stuff – and leave me totally complacent wit all my TKB lovelies :), Thanks Grey for looking out for my wallet as well 😉

  6. I saw these the other day. I was tempted by how beautiful the green shadows looked on the model on the display. I’m glad I passed them over. Thanks for your review!

  7. ugh, I gave into these too, they looked so pretty! I know what you mean when you say they blend too easily, I couldn’t get the colors to not look like a blurry smudge of one streaky color. That, and the entire thing just wandered up into my crease and hung out there until I noticed and just took it all off.

    And a minor point, this whole package is not huge, so I had a had time getting my brush into the narrow strip of darker color. Thumbs down.

  8. I wonder if that shimmery, cream-like top triangle is the “luminizer” the marketing blurb speaks of…perhaps it’s designed to be used as a base? Not that it would necessarily make the product better (remember, the products used on the models in the advertising materials are likely NOT the product being advertised).

    I stopped buying drugstore a while ago when the prices started creeping up. $10 for a shadow that may or may not be any good? I’d rather plop down a few extra dollars & get something I know I’ll use (and can return if I don’t!)

  9. When I was a teen, most of my makeup was Maybelline and every shadow I had performed exactly as you described. Definitely not worth purchasing.

  10. I’m actually a huge fan of Maybelline eye shadow, and have been wearing colors from the Enchanted Forest quad a lot, recently. Then again, I’ve had my three favourite quads for ages, and I don’t think they make those colours or combinations anymore, or if they do, they miht have changed pan sizes or formula or something. Then again, I only use neutrals from them, almost always wear UDPP under, and a few months ago started using PE with them s well, which does wonders for the highlighter shades, actually. I think it might be an inconsistency in colours, because I also have two purple quads from them, in addition to three neutral ones. The purples are no where near as pigmented and dont go on anywhere near as well and do turn into an over blended mess. But I love the browns, skin tones, and dark greens a lot though.

  11. I played with the green one in store and the bright green in the group was really good but the pale shade up top was also weak and just more like plain old flaky shimmer bits too

  12. I avoid Maybelline on principle, and not even the animal testing principle, but the fact that their advertising is ridiculously falsified.

    Take, for example, their mascaras. Yes, just about everyone uses false lashes in mascara advertising, but compare say, CoverGirl’s LashBlast line to One By One or The Falsies – while CoverGirl uses fine print that says “Lash inserts were used prior to mascara application for volume.” or whatever, Maybelline’s advertising is so incredibly fake, with the equivalent of 10 pairs of false lashes and maybe an animal pelt on each eye, that you can’t tell what the mascara looks like in any way, shape, or form. Their advertising is so fake that I would think it violates some sort of law.

  13. That’s weird I bought 2 palettes from this Maybelline line; Caffeine Rush and Amethyst Ablazed and I LOVE them! I found them very pigmented and they lasted well for me. I’ll make sure to stay away from Pink Punch though maybe it’s just that palette which is poorly formulated.

  14. I wish a lot of these companies would realize in terms of efficiency and general ease-of-use, it doesn’t hurt to have a large enough area for the shadow pans to be placed in. I hate skinny strips of shadow because I don’t like my brush ruining other colors or picking up other colors. 😦

    In terms of packaging, I don’t like these. I’ll take a classic square any day.