I’m a sucker for metallic lips, so Colourpop’s Ultra Metallics are right up my alley. See my first impressions + comparisons to Milani’s Amore Matte Metallic Liquid Lipsticks here!
So I realize I’m a little bit late to the party on this one, but I showed up, which is more than I can say for most parties I’m invited to.
I’m a sucker for metallic lips, and when Colourpop released their Ultra Metallic Lips the first time, they sold out so fast I couldn’t snag a shade. I actually set a reminder in my calendar on my phone for the release, but completely forgot about it, and an hour later all four of their shades were gone.
More recently, they introduced four more shades to the mix and restocked the old ones, so I decided to pounce. I ended up getting only three shades because I’m ~budget conscious~ (or whatever). Like their other liquid lip formulas, these are $6 each.
I ended up getting the shades Kween, 3-Way, and Maneater, which are three out of the four OGs. I wasn’t too interested in the newer four shades because they seem too light for my skintone, and although I’d enjoy looking like some kind of Psychedelic Fairy Queen from the 90’s, the new shades were giving me Frosted Cupcake Princess vibes instead. Let me just take this opportunity to stress that I am a queen, not a princess.
I hadn’t really read anything about these or watched any swatch videos, but I was expecting them to be the same formula as their Ultra Mattes, which is pretty liquidy and a little on the thin side, although still pigmented. I also own two shades of Milani’s Amore Metallic Lip Creme, which has a super creamy and smooth formula that lasts forever. Naturally, I was expecting similar from these.
My immediate impression on these immediately after taking the wand out of the tube and before swatching: huh?
These have the same doe-foot applicators as the rest of Colourpop’s liquid products, but the formula on this from first glance worried me. It seemed kind of chunky and dry – I could see the glitters bunched together like girls at a 6th grade dance, and I was immediately concerned about whether or not I was about to rub the lipstick manifestation of True Grit on my mouth. These were nothing like the Milani ones I have, but I beat on, a boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, because my 21 years of wisdom tells me the unexpected isn’t necessarily bad.
After swatching them, I still wasn’t impressed. They weren’t very pigmented – as you can see above, they look pretty darn streaky from all the layering I did. They also felt like the Kinetic Sand I always play with in Brookstone because it’s an ~adult sandbox~ and I’m super adult, but I was still determined. Despite this initial blow, I would put these on my lips, damn it.
1. Kween | Link
Oh, Kween, how I wanted to love you because of your name and how pretty you are. Don’t get me wrong – the shade looks good (I love peachy pinks with some gold flecks), it just doesn’t feel good. I think Kween actually had the worst formula out of the three – it went on very sheer and took a few layers and me finagling around to build it up to the opacity I actually wanted. One thing I noticed about all of these is that the “under layers” tend to move around a bit when you try to layer on top of them, meaning that it requires a lot of finesse to build up the opacity without everything looking like a hot mess. They’re a paradox – to even them out they need less coats, yet more coats at the same time. How do you achieve this, you ask?
You must unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into . . . The Twilight Zone.
2. 3-Way | Link
3-Way is darker than Kween and leans more purple. This one also has some gold glitter in it. This was actually my favorite formula out of the bunch because it was more opaque and less patchy, probably only because it’s darker and comes off more pigmented. Still, this had the same drying, gritty consistency Kween had. I’d say color-wise, this is probably my last favorite. I’m not sure why, but something about color reminds me of Cyndi Lauper – not in a good way, either.
3. Man Eater | Link
Man Eater is a really pretty rose gold and, of course, I’m all for the name. This formula wasn’t as good as 3-Way, but it was a lot more forgiving than Kween. Like its predecessors, it was still pretty drying and gritty. Womp womp womp.
Colourpop x Milani Comparisons
As mentioned earlier, I have Milani’s version of a metallic liquid lip, so I decided to compare them because the colors are actually pretty similar. Spoiler alert: I much prefer Milani’s version over the Colourpop ones.
The reason why I actually didn’t get Zebra, which is the fourth of Colourpop’s original Ultra Metallics, is because I actually thought it would be too close to Milani’s Matterialistic. Milani’s website describes Matterialistic as “Rose Gold,” but I disagree. It matches Colourpop’s description of Zebra much more closely: a metallic true bronze. Matterialistic’s formula is super creamy and super pigmented, unlike what I experienced with the Colourpop’s metallics.
Right away, I noticed Colourpop’s Man Eater reminded me of Milani’s Chromatic Addict, and after trying them both, I’d say they’re pretty close. Milani’s description on the website of Chromatic Addict is “beige” (come on, Milani… you really need to up your description game here), but I’d say it more truly matches the “rose gold” description of Man Eater from Colourpop. There are subtle differences in the shade – Chromatic Addict seems to lean more gold than Man Eater, and Man Eater is a tad darker, but they’re extremely close. If only they were close in formula… *sigh*
Another difference between the Colourpop and Milani shades that I have is that Colourpop’ definitely contains glitter (they don’t hide this in the description, so I was expecting this) – you can actually feel the grit of it and see how it makes the formula all bunchy, plus I had glitter all over my face and arm after I wiped the swatches off. Milani’s, however, must contain metallic pigment or at least finer glitter instead – the swatches don’t leave the same kind of glitter residue, plus the formula is so silky that it’s hard to detect if there’s actually any glitter in it or not.
You can even see this in the swatches I have above: notice how the initial “touch point” of the wands on the top show the different formulations? Chromatic Addict is much smoother and the overall swatch is more pigmented and even, whereas Man Eater starts off more flaky and looks dryer and patchier overall.
Other slight differences here would be in the wands and the scent. Milani’s wand is slightly thinner and longer, which I actually like because I feel like it makes for a faster, more precise application. Scent-wise, Milani has a slight vanilla scent, which I actually enjoy, but I know some people really hate scented lip products. Colourpop has a very faint lipstick scent.
Overall First Impression: *fart noise* – I was super disappointed by the formula and color payoff of these Colourpop Ultra Metallics, especially because I own metallic liquid lipstick from another brand that has an amazing formula. Of course, as with any first impression, I can’t speak about the longevity of the Colourpop ones because I haven’t worn them for a long period of time yet, but I have a feeling there’s going to be some glitter fallout.
All in all: $6 isn’t too bad of a hit (even though I guess I’m technically $18 in the hole for these) and I really do like the shades. They’re not impossible to wear and work with, they’re just a little more work than I was expecting and hoping for. The lip swatches on Colourpop’s website makes these look super luscious on the lips… how did they achieve this???
I’m going to wear them to try to get some use out of them because I paid money for them, but at the end of the day, I think I’d rather spend the extra $2.99 to get more Milani ones than Colourpop ones. This makes me feel a little bit guilty because I absolutely love Colourpop and their other products, but this was a no-go for me.
Has anybody else tried these? What do you think of the formula?
*Disclaimer: I purchased all above product(s) with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!