First Impressions + Wear Test Of KathleenLights x ColourPop's The Zodiac Loose Pigments

17 Feb 2019

I'll be the first to say it, I'm a total nightmare. A horror. A weak makeup hoarder. If you read my New Year's post, you'll know that I said I want to cut back on buying makeup this year and use what I've already got. So far, I'm kind of failing at that. As you can see by the title of this post, I may or may not have accidentally treated myself to KathleenLights and ColourPop's newest addition to The Zodiac range, the loose pigments. Now, I know I don't need to justify myself to you guys because I'm sure you can completely understand why I couldn't resist these little pots of joy, but let me just explain a little...

I love KathleenLights - her YouTube channel, her personality, her creativity - so supporting her and her projects is something that I have no problem doing. Granted, sometimes I can't because they're not available in the UK (KL Polish, I'm looking at you), but her ColourPop collabs have been some of my favourites. I purchased the first instalment of The Zodiac collection last summer (you can read all about that here), and loved everything it included, so when these pigments launched, I just knew they were going to be great.

They also launched at a really convenient time in my life. I had literally just found out that I'd bagged my first grad job, so I was on cloud 9 and felt like I deserved a little present from me, to me. Plus, I had Alex the enabler telling me that I should go for it, so I did! I sat on the ColourPop website, waiting for the full set to go live, and I had the thing ordered as quickly as my thumbs would allow. Just a week later, this beautiful box of goodies landed on my doorstep and I was instantly so pleased that I decided to go for it.
Now, I did toy with the idea of buying some of the pigment shades individually, such as The Ram and The Lion. I didn't look at every shade and think "I would wear that," (that was until I researched into ways to use loose pigments) so it might have made more sense for me to stick to individual pots. However, it was the packaging of the set that did it for me. I really am a sucker when it comes to a well-designed box or packaging concept, so this set was right up my street.

As you can see from these photos, each of the 12 pigments (12 pigments for 12 zodiac signs) is set into its own little slot in the box and they form a whole zodiac wheel, which is designed to match the official order of the signs. So you get the name of the shade underneath the pot, followed by the symbol, the ruling planets, the number of the house and the element symbol. It really is fascinating to look at and has inspired me to look further into astrology!

Much like the original Zodiac products, the box is also covered in stunning illustrations of each sign. These are printed in metallic gold, which looks absolutely gorgeous set against the deep turquoise. This is a completely different shade of blue from the one that was used on the original products, but I think I much prefer it!
So what exactly is a loose pigment and how in the heck do you use them? Well, to start with, they're one of the main ingredients in eyeshadow products. They're basically pure colour in powder form and when other ingredients are added, it tends to dull them a little, so if you want full colour payoff, pigments are the way to go. I'll admit, they aren't something I've dabbled in too much because I've always been a bit confused about how to use them, but after researching for this blog post, I'm so looking forward to using every single one of these shades.

Of course, the "traditional" way of using loose pigments is as eyeshadows. You'll see a couple of swatches later in this post, but I find that the best way of using them on the eyes is by applying them with a wet brush. Just use a bit of water or a spritz of your favourite setting spray, dip into the pot and be ready for the ultimate colour and opacity! It is recommended that you use them over an eye primer to prevent any staining - these are pure colours, so a bit of staining could be possible, but will fade pretty quickly. However, there are several other ways to use loose pigments.
  • Use them dry on the cheeks as a highlight or blush
  • Use a wet detailer brush or mixing medium to turn them into coloured liners
  • Apply them on top of lipsticks or liquid lips for a pop of sparkly colour
  • Dip your nails in while tacky for added sparkle to your manicure
Because they're so multi-functional, I really didn't feel terrible about parting with my money. Plus, a little goes such a long way with them that I know they're going to last me a long time, so really, buying the set was an investment!

With first impressions posts, I usually do swatches of every single shade, but with loose pigments, that's a little bit trickier. You can't just dip your finger in and swipe because that isn't how you get the most out of them, and I don't have enough brushes to swatch every single one in one sitting. So massive apologies, but it's going to have to be descriptions of each colour for this post!
  • The Ram (Aries) - a super bright orange coral shade with a gold duochrome. This is the shade of my sign, so I automatically love it, but I think this could make a stunning, summer blush shade!
  • The Bull (Taurus) - a glittering emerald green. I'm so excited to try this out on my nails or as a pop of colour underneath my lower lashes.
  • The Twins (Gemini) - an intense pink with a copper duochrome. Like "the twins", this shade has two sides to it, and I think it would be a stunning shade for over the whole lid.
  • The Crab (Cancer) - a soft lavender shade with a periwinkle blue duochrome. I think this will be a shade that I don't get much use out of, but it really is beautiful! It could be another shade that's great on the nails.
  • The Lion (Leo) - this is another shade that I automatically love because it's Alex's sign, but it's a gorgeous, true yellow gold. I can see this all over my lids, nails and as a liner!
  • The Maiden (Virgo) - this is a brilliant white with a gold sheen and flecks of pink, blue and green microglitters. It's a truly unique shade and I haven't quite decided how to use it yet, but I imagine it would be a gorgeous highlight on very fair skin.
  • The Scales (Libra) - a cool, rosy pink with an icy blue sheen. This is a brilliant shade for popping over the whole lid or as a unique blush.
  • The Scorpion (Scorpio) - a sparkling warm burgundy with tiny flecks of purple microglitters. I am so excited to use this over my whole lid and as a liner!
  • The Archer (Sagittarius) - a warm plum purple with a turquoise duochrome. This is another super unique shade and it's just jaw-droppingly beautiful. It's another shade that would be amazing across the whole lid, as a liner or on the nails.
  • The Goat (Capricorn) - a deep, true bronze. For me, this is probably the most wearable out of all the shades and is something that I would gravitate to every time. In fact, it's the shade I used for the wear test portion of this post!
  • The Waterbearer (Aquarius) - a super rich cobalt blue. I don't have anything in my collection that looks like this, so I'm beyond excited to start playing with it. Imagine it as a winged liner!
  • The Fish (Pisces) - a seafoam green with a gold duochrome. Again, this is another unique shade and not something that I feel like I'll wear too often on my face, but this is begging to be applied to my nails.
You get an amazing mix of colours and Kathleen said that she tried her best to match the shades to the sign characteristics as much as possible. As an Aries, I am more than happy with that amazing coral shade and I haven't seen anyone else complaining about theirs either (unlike with the Zodiac palette - the Libras and Virgos were not happy!). But let me show you just a couple of swatches so you can get an idea of how they apply.

Above, you can see swatches of The Waterbearer and The Scorpion. Stunning aren't they? But the left swatches show how they apply dry, which isn't how they're meant to be used. You get some colour payoff, but not as much as you should, so don't use these pigments dry. Instead, apply them with a wet brush to get impact like the swatches on the right. I dipped into the pots only once to get amazing colour and coverage, so that just shows how long these pigments will last.

They applied like an absolute dream. It honestly felt like I was using butter! There was no crumbling or flaking - just smooth coverage. And even when I thought the brush wasn't holding anymore pigment, the colour just kept coming! I also found that once these swatches were dry, they weren't budging. I rubbed my finger over and they were still as punchy as when I first applied them. They truly are unbelievable and I'm so glad that I bought them. Of course, I haven't had a go of every single shade yet, but the few that I've tried have really impressed me and I'll be sure to post any photos of me trying the other shades on my Instagram!

For now though, keep reading to find out how one shade, The Goat, held up in a particularly tough wear test!
As I mentioned in my breakdown of each shade, The Goat was one that I knew I would reach for time and time again. I love wearing bronze shades on my eyes, so it was the perfect one for me to put to the test. Alex and I had been invited to go along to My Bloody Valentine at Scream Factory, which is a horror walking tour with a Valentine's theme. I had been along to one of their Halloween tours before and remembered how hot is was, so I knew that this would be the perfect time to test the staying power of a pigment.

Above, you can see my finished makeup (apologies for the awful lighting. I was taking photos against the bedroom light and my camera battery kept dying). I just did a simple brown smoky eye with MAC's Painterly paint pot as a primer, then swiped The Goat on top and blended the edges out a little. I was obsessed with the look, so I had everything crossed that it would stay put! Now, I will admit the makeup wasn't on for a very long time. It will have been around 4 hours or so, which isn't the longest amount of time to test a product out, but like I said, I knew I was going to get hot and sweaty. And I was right! The event turned my face into an oil slick with all the running and screaming I was doing (there was also a particular bit of the tour that made me extremely hot, but I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who's thinking about going on Halloween!).

With all of that going on, I really thought that the pigment wasn't going to hold up and that it was either going to slide about on my lid or lose all its sparkle. Well, I was completely shocked when we got home and I saw this...
The pigment had stayed pretty much completely in place (again, sorry for the awful lighting. This was very late at night). Those black flecks that you can see on my face were from my mascara flaking off because I'd gone pretty heavy with the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast. A few bits of glitter fell on to my cheek too, but a lot of the shine you can see on here is just my highlight! As you can see, my eye makeup still looked pretty much exactly the same, despite the oiliness of my face. I was so so pleased!

I'd read some reviews where people had said that their pigment had flaked and gone into their eyes, but I didn't experience anything like that. Maybe I did a much thinner coat of colour in comparison to them, but honestly, this product was a total dream to work with and lasted amazingly well through sweaty circumstances.
If you had been considering picking up the KathleenLights x ColourPop's The Zodiac loose pigments, I definitely recommend them. I've never known colour payoff like it and the application is incredibly easy. There's a great range of colours, they can be used in all sorts of ways and a little bit goes a long way, so they'll last ages.

The whole set costs $70, but that works out at less than $6 per pot of pigment, which is insanely good. However, if you didn't fancy paying for all of them, take a look through the range and consider buying individual colours that you like. There are so many to choose from that there must be something that takes your fancy!

I can see these making an appearance in many of my future makeup looks, so keep your eyes peeled!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. They’re so pretty! I love the Goat shade too.

  2. Kathleen is my favourite YouTuber and I have all of her other collabs so I definitely need these in my life, they look so beautiful and the packaging is amazing xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️