ColourPop Element of Surprise Pressed Powder Shadow Palette Review + 4 Looks

Happy Tuesday!

I feel like I don’t have enough time for my blog anymore. Like I do and I don’t. And therefore my posts are coming out much later than they’re meant to.. I’m going to try to work hard this entire week to write up some content for two full weeks in July because my mom will be coming and I want to take a break too. But I also don’t want to leave you guys with no content, so we’ll see..

Anyway, I’m finally doing a review of this palette, which many of you have been waiting for. I just lacked creativeness so I didn’t play much with the palette until recently, but I now have an idea of how this palette performs and I want to share my thoughts with you. πŸ™‚


Product Description from Colourpop:

Get a load of this bold beauty. The perfect mix of edgy dramatic with a girly twist and bold pops of colour, this baby has you covered for the season. Our first palette with all four finishes: matte, metallic, satin, and duochrome, make it so easy to shake up the scene.

Net WeightΒ 12 x 0.85g (0.03oz) / Price: $16


*feel free to skip if you don’t care*

(MY) FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not mean to bash the brand with this or to alarm you. This is just to make you aware because I think that it’s important since not a lot of us are used to checking the ingredients prior to making a purchase.

Before I begin with my review, I do want to give this a mention so you guys are also aware and you can decide whether you want this palette in your collection or not. I want to mention this because it seems that practically no one really talks about it, or perhaps they do not know.

In their site, Colourpop has given a disclosure on certain shades, and I also talked about this in my unboxing video. Those shades are: Silk Street, Opulent, and Blank Canvas. If you look at the ingredients for each shade, it gives a short disclosure: *Not intended for use in the immediate eye area.

So I think the question has to be asked: Are they safe or not??


I did some research and based on my findings I found out a few facts you guys might be interested in, regarding one the ingredients in these shades. That being, Red 7 Lake.


  • Lakes are the water insoluble form of the dye.
  • Used in the formulation of makeup products, as well as cleansing products, and skin care products.
  • The FDA reviewed and approved these ingredients “for coloring cosmetics and personal care products” β€” so long as these ingredients conform to FDA specifications.
  • Not permitted for use in products intended for use on area around the eye.
  • FDA requires that each batch of color produced can only be used if it is certified by the agency to meet the established specifications
  • The lakes, salts and pigments are also permitted in Europe.


I kept reading other articles to see what else people were saying and one thing that I came across frequently is that red eyeshadows, or shades that use red lakes and dyes might cause irritation. Other people mentioned that it might stain the skin.

So I tested these shades out on my forearm and I found this to be true. I don’t have sensitive skin and so for me personally, I didn’t experience any irritation, but I did find that they do stain the skin, and they’re not water-soluble.


While I couldn’t find if this specific ingredient (or all other red dyes and lakes for that matter) was carcinogenic, I do still think that it’s important to be aware of this because our skin is our largest organ and our skin will absorb more of what we put on it.

In conclusion, if you have sensitive skin, and your eyelids have ever gotten itchy or irritated when using shadows with red lakes or dyes, maybe it’s time to start looking at the ingredients. Keep in mind that products with these ingredients may also stain.


The packaging is lovely! I love the pattern of purple, pinks and green and the foiled letters of the name of the palette. I also love that the names of the shades are in the back. I’ve read that this reduces cost, but it would be nice to have them right below the shades themselves.


The palette has a magnetic closure which is also nice and it’s small enough for travel in my opinion. Though it sucks that it doesn’t have a mirror, and if it did it’d be more expensive, I still appreciate their consideration for palette size.

Formula & Application

I’m loving that this palette includes four formulas: matte, metallic, satin, and duochrome. They’re all very pigmented, even the lightest shades.


And if I may point out, I think this palette has a fantastic amount of matte shades, especially transition shades. When a palette has mostly shimmers, that usually ruins it for me because I don’t want to reach for other palettes just to find a transition shade. Thank you, Colourpop!


Anyway, these shades do have a LOT of kick back and the metallic and duochrome shades have some fallout as well. However, they apply beautifully and they blend so so well. I’ve blended all the mattes together and even tried blending the metallics/duochromes and it went really well.


I don’t usually show swatches until the very end, but I feel like it’s better to see them all since I’ll be doing a shade breakdown down below.


Shade Breakdown

I’m going to break down the palette by the finishes:



Feels is a metallic soft opalescent pink and it feels so silky smooth.

Opulent is a metallic bright true fuchsia and it’s the silkiest metallic shade I have ever come across. I think that this one one of the most pigmented shades in the palette and it’s so bright and pretty. And compared to the other metallic and duochrome shades, this one is not as reflective or shimmery.

Peace of Mind is a metallic bright burgundy and this is another shade I feel is more pigmented than the rest. I love how this shade looks and it’s also very silky.


Though these have the “metallic” finish in their description, they are duochrome. But I guess you can’t have duochrome without metallics? Idk..


Late Night is a metallic copper with gold duochrome and while it looks chunky in the pan, it’s not. It will even feel a bit chunky in your fingers but once you blend it into the skin, it applies nicely. I think this one is my least favorite but that’s only because I already own so many gold shades.

Rayon is a metallic dark coral with blue-green duochrome and this is one feels more chunky on your fingers. BUT, like the other shades, it feels smooth when applied on the skin. And the green duochrome flecks are so subtle and yet pretty that when they catch the light just right, you will see a fantastic mixture of blue and green flecks.

Subdue is a metallic lavender with blue-green duochrome and it’s by far the prettiest shade I have ever seen! I love that it also has blue-green flecks and I think maybe that’s what makes this shade stand out so much to me. It’s so pretty and reflective!

Satins & Mattes:

I’m putting these together because according to the Colourpop website, none of the shades are “satins”, they’re all “mattes”, but I will differentiate what shades I believe to be satins and mattes.


Silk Street is a matte purple-fuchsia and the name is a little misleading. Maybe it was just me expecting a shade that felt silky, or satin, but this is one is pretty dry and therefore more of a true matte shade.

Go With the Flow is a matte true peach, and while I agree that it’s a true peach, I don’t think it’s matte. This shade feels so buttery smooth that it leans more towards a satin. It blends seamlessly and it’s such a great transition shade.

Labyrinth is a matte dusty pink and it’s gorgeous! This one is also satin and it’s one of my favorite shades in this palette. I’ve used this shade in practically every look I’ve created and I feel like this one let’s the metallic and duochromes shine and it brings out their true pigments.

Blank Canvas is matte deep maroon and it’s another that I feel like is a bit dry, so it’s more of a true matte for me. It’s really pigmented and dark, and I don’t own a shade like this one.

Sea Stars is a matte medium yellow brown and this one doesn’t feel too dry nor buttery smooth. To me this one is more of a satin. It’s a nice shade that I also don’t own yet and it goes well with the other peachy/coral shades.

Details is matte smoky burgundy sprinkled with hot pink glitter and I don’t know why they called it a matte shade if it has glitter? Well, rest assured, it IS a matte shade. It’s dry and it’s the least pigmented matte shade in the entire palette and it also applies a little patchy.


For a while I couldn’t stop doing the same look, but after so much research I decided to try a few more looks using different shades.


I probably could have done a few more color combos but as I mentioned again and again, I haven’t been as inspired but I’m starting to get a bit more creative again.



  • Very pigmented
  • Blends easily
  • Four different formulas β€” satin, matte, metallic, duochrome
  • Good amount of transition shades
  • Small enough for travel
  • Affordable!
  • Cruelty-free!


  • Lots of kick back
  • Some fall out β€” metallic and duochrome shades
  • No mirror
  • Some shades contain Red 7 Lake as ingredient which may irritate or stain the skin


I think this palette is very good. Considering that some shades do have a warning label, please keep in mind to use it at your own discretion. Otherwise, I think the formula of this entire palette is an A+. All the shades blend so nicely into each other and you can make a look as bold or subtle/simple as you want. πŸ™‚

Who has this palette? And what are your thoughts on it?


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Disclosure: this review is a personal opinion and is honest. I do not receive compensation for my reviews. Product(s) was/were purchased by me, unless noted otherwise.


26 thoughts on “ColourPop Element of Surprise Pressed Powder Shadow Palette Review + 4 Looks

    1. the red 7 lake, is used on red eyeshadows and pigments specifically. As far as I know reds are the ones who should not be in the immediate eye area, but I could be wrong, I just haven’t done much research about the rest.
      And thank you! I was unfortunately on a creative rut, so I was unable to create better looks lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Usually on red shadows or ones that contain that dye to create a certain red shade. I wonder if maybe that’s why we don’t see red eyeshadows often..
      And thank you so much!


  1. I loved this! Your look was dazzling and also you put so much thought in research in your reviews. You lay out all of the information for us and I love that you shared about the Red 7 Lake. You work very hard and it shows. Great post, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ I try to be as thorough as possible because I know not everything works the same for two people and I try to cover all the bases. πŸ™‚


  2. I’m so glad you posted this review, I just ordered this palette with my boxycharm points!
    That’s concerning about the disclosure, I wonder if any of my other CP palettes have this issue… The new Manu MUA palette also couldn’t be marketed as an “eyeshadow” palette for this same reason. Did you go ahead and use those three shades on the eyes anyways?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently so many palettes including UD palettes have the same disclosure. I bet even some from BH cosmetics have the same disclosure. But it would generally be with red shades or any shade that needs a red pigment.
      And I did use them for the last two looks just so people can see them on the eyes. They’re beautiful shades but I unfortunately don’t think I will be using them that often and if I do I’m gonna be damn careful lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never heard of this issue before about the Red 7 Lake. I am so glad I read this review and learned about this issue. Thanks for much for your research and letting us all know! The looks you created are beautiful! The colors are stunning and so pigmented. For a small palette you get so many amazing colors!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I freaked when I heard that some of the shades couldn’t be used on the immediate eye area, but I used them anyway! πŸ˜‚ I totally bought this palette solely for the bright pink, it’s my favorite shade in the entire palette! All your looks look amazing too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used them too, but I do want to be more careful when I do use them, simply because they FDA still doesn’t deem them safe. The bright pink shade is probably the shade they wanted to stand out the most, but for me was the lavender one πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not too worried about them. The UK deems them safe. I feel like the FDA just doesn’t want to do it because the US is all about being different than everyone else. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

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