* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently came across a small selection of makeup from Pop Beauty in TK Maxx. I'd heard of them, admired their cute design, but not actually tried any products. All they had were a few glitter liner kits, which I decided looked too messy, and cute trios of Glitter Stix. At half price, I splurged and bought all three sets.
Pop Beauty is a UK company geared towards people who love COLOUR! Their products are lots of things - fun, bright, quirky -but what they certainly aren't is boring! They are incredibly bright and fun to look at, although Pop do offer some more everyday shades, particularly in their clever eye cases containing shadows to suit your individual eye colour.
Their creator, Sarah Strand, states on their website that she wishes to de-mysify makeup, and a lot of her products certainly do that.
And like all self-respecting cosmetics companies these days, Pop don't test on animals :)
WHERE TO BUY
Pop isn't exactly widely available. You can buy online from asos.com, directly from Pop (website at the bottom) or from Debenhams (or in store at the Liverpool branch). I'd never seen it in any stores before so I was pretty pleased to be able to physically look at the products outside of a screen before purchasing.
The glitter stix are small and fat, just over three inches long and remind me of the thicker crayons for very small children. The body of the crayon is the colour of the pencil, so you can easily find them in your makeup bag, and they have a plastic lid to stop you doodling all over everything, or damaging the tip. Each crayon is 0.6oz, which I feel is a great balance between the amount you need and still look cute and being compact. Any smaller and it would be difficult to hold after a couple of sharpenings. The product does not smell of anything.
Ingredients include beeswax, so the consistency is not dissimiliar to a regular crayon, yet the castor oil makes it slightly softer, and both of these help to leave your skin lovely and smooth. What's more, the ingredients are hypo-allergenic, so even the most sensitive eyes shouldn't suffer from using these.
Glitter stix are available in 14 shades: azure, choco, fog, freesia, lilac, crystal, moss, navy, nude, peony, gold, sage, silver and soot. I have only seen the trios in three colours, but it's possible there are more. The three I have seen, and own, are the green trio (sage, moss and gold), silver trio (crystal, silver, soot) and nude trio (choco, peony, nude).
Single glitter stix are priced at £5.50 each, so with the RRP of a trio £10, you'd clearly making a saving. And if you're quick and lucky, you might find a trio at your local TK Maxx for £4.99 (I've seen them in two branches). Obviously if you're looking to essentially get one free, trios are the way forward, and they each contain a dark, a light and a bright.
Pop claim the stix are for lining, smudging and blending. So let's see how they do!
PUTTING IT TO THE TEST
For the purposes of this review, I have used the stix in a variety of looks which incorporate their ability to line, smudge and blend.
I found the stix to be very easy to use. I'm pretty bad at upper eyeliner, but because they are thicker I found I was able to get closer to the lashes, and where I messed up I could blend in. Even though the tip is thick and blunt, you don't get a really huge line which I was a little worried about. They are easy to hold and I would say a good size.
You do need to press on pretty hard, but as the tip is blunt this isn't uncomfortable at all. Some colours definitely have better colour pay-off than others. The darker colours (black, fog, choco, etc) make a great line easily. So do some of the brights - peony is probably the easiest of all. Some shades such as silver you will need to go over the same spot and then blend out for best effect.
Just as some colours are more pigmented, some are more glittery. Some of the paler colours make up for having less colour by having more glitter - eg nude. Peony is VERY glittery. The darker colours don't seem quite so glittery, and the metallics more shimmery than glittery. The glitter itself is very bright and sparkly almost like tiny mirrors. The gold especially shows up really well against dark shadows.
I have found the sticks to last a long time, probably due to the fact that they are thicker and creamier than regular shadows due to the beeswax. Even if the colour fades a little, the glitter will definitely hang around.
Creasing was minimal. They claim they don't crease, and they are certainly less prone to it than other product, due to the consistency of the stix. I would still suggest using a primer, though.
My eyes get irritated easily but I had no problems with the stix. Some colours you do need to scrub on pretty hard though which is the only reason I think these could potentially cause you any discomfort.
Due to its fairly crayon-like formula, you would be forgiven for thinking that these could be tricky to remove (anyone who has ever tried to get real crayon off walls, especially!) Not so. I have always been able to wipe the crayons straight off with a facial cleansing wipe without any scrubbing, and there aren't a ton of glittery pieces left either which I for one am not a fan of sporting stuck to my face the day after the night before!
Especially if you choose a versatile colour, such as gold, I would consider these to be great value for money, especially the trios, and especially if you can find them at a bargain price like I did! Most liners tend to go for around £3, so at £5.50 each, you are almost getting a liner and a eye colour in one as they are easy to smudge over a larger area.
While they are short and stubby, they are blunt anyway so you don't really have to sharpen them much - in fact I have never sharpened mine but have no idea where I will find a huge sharpener to do the job!
As my pictures show, there are several ways you can use these crayons. They can be worn alone, as a liner, smudged all over the lid, or blended in as a highlight.
For me, now I've tried the crayons I will definitely turn to them time and time again to add a little extra to a look. They are so easy to apply, versatile and compact they're perfect for bringing with you if you don't want the hassle of taking brushes, as they are easily smudged with your finger. Despite them having a lot of glitter (some shades more than others), they can be used for dramatic or more everyday looks, smokey eyes, bright "look at me eyes"...I'd say a definite staple for a makeup bag!
* Does it do what it says?
Definitely. They claim to be crease and smudge proof. They definitely don't crease. If you have slightly oily lids I would still suggest using a primer such as Urban Decay's Primer Potion. They do smudge..when you want them to. If you want a definite line, it won't smudge over the course of the day.
* How does it compare with other products?
I haven't tried any other Pop Beauty products yet, and I haven't seen any product exactly like this, I can't make direct comparisons. What I will say is that they are just as good quality as other brands I've tried, can do the job of several products in one, and are very gentle on your skin and eyes, which in my book makes them pretty darn good!
Glitter Stix' allow you to change your look for all occassions /