ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette | First Impressions

Hey everyone! I’m no longer a Boxycharm subscriber but before I unsubscribed I made sure to redeem Charms for a free ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette. This palette wasn’t at the top of my list from ColourPop but I was more than happy to redeem points for it. I have a full ColourPop Reviews section on my homepage now if you’d like to check them out, otherwise let’s get into my Element of Surprise Eyeshadow Palette First Impressions…

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Palette First Impressions

ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette
First Impressions

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 – ColourPop

The ColourPop Element of Surprise palette is technically called a “pressed powder palette”, not an “eyeshadow palette”. This is because three of the shades contain Red Lake dyes which aren’t approved for use near the immediate eye area and may cause irritation or staining — Thanks to Rossy from AyRGalaxy for bringing this to my attention!

The Element of Surprise eyeshadow palette contains 12 x 0.85g pressed powder pans and retails at Colourpop for $16USD. This works out to $1.57/gram, or $1.33/pan. The packaging is ColourPop’s typical cardboard packaging with a magnetic closure. There is no mirror included.

I find it strange that the description on ColourPop’s product page says that the Element of Surprise Palette contains matte, metallic, satin and duochrome finishes but the individual shade breakdown only lists shades as matte or metallic. There are some shades that err more on the satin side than metallic, like the Purple or the Pearly Pink.

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Palette Review

Shade Warnings?

Aside from my initial alarmed reaction to learning that three shades in the ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette aren’t recommended for use in the immediate eye area (I used them anyways) the shades do look really beautiful in the pan. I was specifically grabbed by Subdue, that icy purple shade. I couldn’t wait to use it all over my eyelids. I’m rather annoyed that the packaging doesn’t actually have the shade warnings on them though, you have to specifically visit ColourPop’s website to find out that Silk Street, Blank Canvas, and Opulent aren’t meant for the eye area.

The Colour Story of this palette is almost a hybrid of the Give It To Me Straight and My Little Pony Palettes. It’s got some rusty mauve tones like the GITMS with the vibrant purples and pinks of the MLP.

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Colour Story

Shade Range & Formula

I was disappointed that a lot of shades in the ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette don’t look the same on the skin as in the pan. Quite a few shades are darker in the pan than they are on the eyes. I feel like I’m decoding a mystery when I try to decide what shades to use. For example, the shade Feels — I expected a pearly white with a slight pink flip. I applied Feels on my eyes in my first impressions video and instantly regretted it paired with Rayon. It came out overly pink! I also found Silk Street was more pink than it looked in the pan and I was expecting gold from Late Night but I instead got an orange.

When I swatch the shades next to each other they all look similar to me… the two shimmers in the top row look almost identical against my skin tone and the matte shades Silk Street and Blank Canvas are also quite similar. The purple shade Subdue was a letdown, it barely swatches even if I use my fingers so I need loads of setting spray to make it pop.

The quality of the mattes are inconsistent. Some are buttery and smooth to the touch while others are dry and dusty.

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Palette | Makeup Looks

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Palette | Makeup Looks

Element Of Surprise Makeup Look

I will have three to four makeup looks in my full review when I’ve had more time to test and play around with the ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette, but for now I’ll leave you with this one which is different from the look in my first impressions video (because that was a disaster).

For this looks I set my primer with a white matte shade from the Too Faced Natural Love Palette. Next I Laid down the peach shade Go With The Flow in the crease, followed by Labyrinth. On the outer corners of my eyes I used the shades Silk Street, a matte purple/fuchsia, and Details, a matte brown. With my finger I packed the shade Subdue all over the lid. On my lower lash line is the shade Labyrinth.

I don’t mind how this look turned out but I’m disappointed that Subdue was so hard to work with. Even pressing it on with my fingers took time to build it up and it wasn’t as bright as I hoped it would be.

ColourPop Element Of Surprise Palette Swatches

Do you have the ColourPop Element of Surprise Palette?

Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned for a whole bunch of ColourPop first impressions and reviews, I’ve added five new palettes to my collection recently! Remember to like & subscribe to stay updated <3



  1. July 31, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    Same, it’s a nice palette but I do agree that most shades don’t look the same in the pan as they do in the eyes. I was more disappointed with the mattes being inconsistent than with the shades that aren’t what they appear to be lol

    • AlwaysCleia
      August 2, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      I do like the looks you created with this palette in your review though! I wish the quality was better 🙁

      • August 3, 2018 / 10:13 am

        Honestly I don’t even remember what kind of looks I created with it, I’ll have to go back and see lmao but thank you! 🙂

  2. July 19, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Oh man, I was not happy to hear that this palette has Red Lake dyes in some of the shades. I created a couple of makeup looks and really liked how they came out. Then later when I heard that, it made me not want to use the palette as much anymore. :/ Sad cause it was a new fav of mine. Next time, I’ll have to look into the ingredients better. I have pretty sensitive eyes, and although I didn’t have a reaction, it’s still a little concerning. I wonder why the package doesn’t have the shade warnings either.

    Your makeup look did come out really pretty, though <3 I love palettes with pink shades in them. Are there any new ColourPop palettes you'd recommend, Cleia? 🙂

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      I’m kind of the same way. Like I didn’t have a reaction to the shades or anything but just knowing that it’s not approved bothers me.

      I wish that they marked their palettes better, they only put the shade warnings in the individual shade ingredient breakdowns at the bottom and it’s fine print.

      I really like the new Sol palette that just came out, but once again it has shade warnings for three of them 🙁 I haven’t tried the Perception Palette yet but I’ve only heard good things about it, and there aren’t any warnings on that one!

      Thanks for reading Nunzia! x

      • July 20, 2018 / 7:55 pm

        Oooh, I just looked up the Perception Palette and it’s so pretty. I might have to order it!! x

        • AlwaysCleia
          July 20, 2018 / 11:02 pm

          I hope you love it if you do!

  3. Makeup by Erin
    July 18, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I heard from Jenluvsreviews that the reason those shades aren’t supposed to be used in the immediate eye area is because the FDA hasnt approved the chemical or something? It’s what makes it that red tone. Apparently the UK allows it or something? All I know is I’ve used them and I didn’t have any reaction. I think testing them out before application is 100% a great idea incase you have a sensitivity.

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      Hmmm I think I remember something about that from one of her videos. I didn’t know it was approved in the UK :S
      I used the shades anyway and was fine too, I only noticed that I needed a bit more makeup remover to get those red shades off my eyelids. Hopefully no one has reactions to the pigments!

      • Makeup by Erin
        July 20, 2018 / 8:08 pm

        I’m pretty sure that’s what the video said at least!
        I hope no one gets irritated by it, it would be awful to have an eye palette affect you like that!

  4. July 18, 2018 / 10:30 am

    This was such a beautiful palette! the looks you created with it is so pretty! One question I have to ask is why you unsubscribed from your boxycharm box? I’ve been comparing all the subscription boxes and it seems to have the best items? Anyways, great post ! xx

    Melina |

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 18, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      Thanks Melina! I unsubscribed just because I have too much makeup right now 😆 As much as I love the value and the products I was receiving getting full sizes every month was cluttering my shelves. I will probably resub in the future but for now there were a few specific products I wanted to spend my makeup budget on instead of getting a giant Boxycharm surprise 😄

      • July 19, 2018 / 4:34 pm

        Okay! I’m glad you liked the boxes, but just had too many things! xx

  5. Rebecca Allatt
    July 18, 2018 / 5:48 am

    This palette is so pretty if you like warmer shades 😍 love the eye look you created x

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      Thanks Rebecca! xx

  6. July 18, 2018 / 5:01 am

    I’m actually surprised they got away with putting powder in a palette meant for the eyes, without warning that some shades can be dangerous or should be avoided. I really love the design and colourful look of the palette, but it’s a shame that colours are looking different when applied. I like the makeup look you created.

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      I’m so baffled that the warning isn’t on the packaging! The only place it’s mentioned is in the shade ingredient breakdown at the bottom of the product page for the palette :S

      Thanks Laura! I will continue to play with it, maybe I can find a way to make it work better for me. x

  7. July 18, 2018 / 4:05 am

    I never looked into the ingredients from the makeup products I used, it’s something I should pay more attention! This palette looks beautiful but it’s such a shame that the formula isn’t consistent. I do love the shades but I don’t think I’m going to buy this palette.

    I’ve never tried any eyeshadow palettes by colourpop, I’ve only tried their lippies and I absolutely love them! Great post as always x

    New Lune |

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      I’ve been trying to be a little bit more conscious of it, though I still did use all of these shades on my eyes. Luckily I didn’t experience any irritation!

      Yes they have great lipsticks! Thanks for reading! x

  8. July 18, 2018 / 3:24 am

    I have this palette! I got it in my BoxyCharm! I wasnt very excited about the shades in this palette except for a few.

    • AlwaysCleia
      July 19, 2018 / 4:25 pm

      There are a few shades that are unique and pretty, I do really love the pink. But overall I wasn’t in love…

  9. July 17, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    WHAT? Why would they make an eyeshadow palette with ingredients you shouldn’t put around your eye? 🤔 I know it’s “pressed powder” but come on, it’s an eyeshadow palette!
    Loooove the look you came up with! 💕

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