INDIE BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Coloured Raine Review

My first Coloured Raine purchase was in November 2017. For two years, their eyeshadow formula was in a league of its own at the top. I even preferred it over my expensive Viseart, Natasha Denona, and Pat Mcgrath shadows! This year, I took a deeper dive into other indie brands’ makeup. Although I no longer know which brand can claim the #1 spot in my collection, Coloured Raine is still tied at the top. Their gorgeous forest green shade, Forbidden, is my all-time favorite eyeshadow (not counting duochromes or multichromes). I purchased nearly all their eyeshadows, and I even have a few duplicates, because I love them so much! However, rather than trying to complete my collection, this post motivated me to pull a Marie Kondo on all my single/depotted shadows and just keep the ones I love.

Because the quality of Coloured Raine shadows are so consistent across the board, there isn’t much to say about them except that they’re highly pigmented and blendable with the smoothest creamy texture. This is the case among all types: mattes, shimmers, metallics, etc.

I will make note of any shades that stand out for negative or especially positive reasons. I will also be discussing more than just eyeshadows. This review will include comments on a few blush/highlighter duos, sponges, and empty magnetic palettes.


There was a time when I purchased Coloured Raine shadows to make quads as Christmas gifts. Your Majesty (which I somehow had three backups in my collection) and Malibu from this set of swatches were among them. I should note that I did take Super Star out of my collection since it was so similar to Rosé. I parted with Nightingale as it is too common of a color. Paradise Isle looks like a more sparkly version of Unexpected, yet I couldn’t part with either shade. I was also surprised to discover the Blue Magic shade I’ve purchased for others, I didn’t have in my own collection. I kept seeing Opulence and assumed it was Blue Magic. In the pan, Opulence has a purple tinge that doesn’t translate to the eye, as the purple disappears once it’s rubbed onto the skin. Since I’m just left with bright blue on my skin, I wonder if I’m still missing out by not having the Blue Magic shade. It looks like it might just be a darker version. If I get it in the future, I will update this post as usual.
I also have to comment that Legacy is such a cool shade! It’s whitish-pink in the pan but pinkish purple on the eye, making it a nice topper shade. As with other iridescent shades, I wouldn’t use this on its own, except for the inner corner or as an interesting brow highlight.  

I have enough dark greens, so I removed Grandeur from my collection. Noblewoman won over Passion. And even though Smoke Screen was the only black shade with gold shimmer in my collection, I rarely use any form of black other than matte, so I took that out as well. I would like to reiterate that this had nothing to do with an issue of the formula. I was so tempted to keep them all, but I needed room to add Safari Raine and the upcoming Juicy Boost collection. I could have used another empty magnetic palette (I have so many) but I don’t think I need over 100 eyeshadows from any single brand.

I got rid of all the white shades in this set. I’ve never had use for a white eyeshadow, and I prefer using highlighters to highlight under the brow or to use a cream shade to blend out shadows. Choosing between the dark brown shades was surprisingly difficult, so I only removed Chocolate since it looks like the kind of brown I have the most repeated in my collection.

I got rid of Snitch and Torch for the same reason as Chocolate in the previous round of swatches. I noticed that the palette with the most shades I decided not to keep was from Smoke Show. Prior to getting the Safari Raine palette during the last restock, Smoke Show was the last palette I added to my collection as it had the least appealing color story for me. The shade I wanted most, Showtime, I didn’t keep either as it couldn’t compete with those stunning Vivid green pigments.

Side Note: I’ve always wondered if Coloured Raine is the reason Colourpop had to discontinue selling their Smoke Show palette and rename it Blowing Smoke. Coloured Raine’s palette came first and the name is trademarked. Even though the color story between the palettes is different, I believe one of the stipulations of a trademark breech is if it would cause confusion. Since they both have ‘Colour’ in their names, to have the same palette name on top of that seems like sufficient grounds to me! 

I purchased the shade Chameleon with my Safari Raine order, so I’m including it here as well. It’s a purple iridescent shade that I don’t think looks that nice on its own. When used as just an inner corner highlight, it had an interesting darker purple glow, but it’s not the texture or pigmentation that I’m looking for. The swatches for this shade I intentionally built up to see what’s the maximum pigmentation I could get when certain spots refused to deposit color, and I was still not happy with the results. I would rather reach for an iridescent from other brands over this one. It’s one of the few shades in their entire collection that I wouldn’t recommend. The one application I’ve found to be somewhat useful for this is adding a lighter pearly finish when topped on other shades. I recommend just skipping this one.

The Celebration palette had the second most eyeshadows I decided not to keep, having decluttered 5 out of 13, which is still a decent amount to have kept. Raise a Glass, Flammable, and Misty Nights were removed. As a purple eyeshadow lover, I would love having a lot more purple shimmers from Coloured Raine. The Power palette definitely satisfied some of my purple eyeshadow needs, but I will always want more, even though I have plenty of purples from other brands. Here is a comparison of CR’s Power Palette to CP’s As You Like It palette.

And here are some eyeshadow looks!


CR had one final restock of this palette, so I have it in my collection now! They’re also selling the shades individually, which is appealing since I planned to depot the shadows anyway. However, at $6.99 each, that would cost $62.91 to get them all when the palette is just $29. I have no issues with Coloured Raine charging them at their standard eyeshadow price. I just made the most cost-effective decision and I’m glad they kept the original Palette price instead of raising it due to the hype that Jackie Aina played a part in restarting.

Although I’ve only had time to use this twice, I would say that the quality is on par with the other shadows. The only shade I had a little trouble getting to show on my skin was Congo Basin (even after trying with the ABH primer which I use to make shadows really stand out). Even to the touch, it felt a little grittier than the others. It reminded me of the texture of the Snitch from the Power palette that I didn’t like. Purples of that shade do tend to have that texture, but I’ve never had a green eyeshadow feel like this. Regardless, I did manage to get it to show a little.

Because the palettes were so sought after, I felt bad about completely getting rid of mine after depotting it. So, I turned it into a magnetic palette. I removed the shadows from the palette, colored the wells with black marker (I didn’t want to wait for black paint to dry) just to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. You can cut around the magnet to fit the size of the wells (keeping the sticker on the back) and place the pan inside to make sure the magnet isn’t too thick. Although I had thinner magnets and magnetic sheets, I wanted to use up my thicker ones, so I used them anyway. It made the pans stick out from the top a little, but the lid still closes, which is most important. I stuck all the magnets in the wells and that’s it! When depotting, I always clean off the glue (this time using Parian spirits) and place a sticker label on the bottom so I can remember the shade name and palette it came from.

The Blush/Highlighter Duos

I have 2 out of the 4 Blush and Highlight Duos from the Power Collection. I didn’t buy the one called Prove My Loyalty because it has an icy white highlighter best suited for pale-light skin tones and a dark red matte best suited for dark-deep skintones. Anyone can wear any makeup they want, but the pairing of those two was…an interesting choice in my opinion. I’m not sure how many people can find use for both of those together. I also didn’t purchase My Day One because both the highlighter and blush looked like they might be too dark for me.

I purchased Damage Control first. Here are some old photos with it.

I like the blush portion. It’s very pigmented, so it requires a light hand or very fluffy brush with it. The highlight shade is beautiful, but too glittery for my taste. I prefer finer shimmer particles in my highlighters.  

The other duo I purchased is named Call The Shots. The blush has a little more warmth to it, which suits me a bit better, although the color difference between this blush and the previous one isn’t that obvious when I use a sheer application. This highlighter has more of that shimmer finish I prefer, but I typically don’t reach for this shade. I love golds. Lately, I have been more interested in blush toppers, which this color is great for, meaning it won’t go to waste. I just know I won’t use it as often as I should.

These duos are fine, but don’t really ‘wow’ me. Although I don’t think $25 is too much considering what you’re getting, if you can snag them for 50% off (as they’ve been on sale multiple times) then I’d be more likely to say they’re worth checking out at that discounted price. 


I don’t know why I keep buying sponges when I’m 90% more likely to use a brush to apply my foundation and concealer. If I don’t use a brush, I use the Blendiful from Tati Beauty because I can get my products on and blended in half the time.

In any case, the only traditional beauty sponges I have used so far are from Beautyblender, Real Techniques, and Coloured Raine. The Real Techniques sponge is nice, but the one from Coloured Raine easily surpasses it. I cannot decide which I like more, though, between BB and CR because they both are better at different things.

Softest: When it comes to the softest sponge, Beautyblender wins. The Coloured Raine sponge feels a bit dense when dry but softens up after it is damp. It swells to the largest size among the three sponges. The Real Techniques sponge is a lot harder and remains a bit hard even after being wet.  

Precision: The pointy tip of the CR sponge fits perfectly in the crevices around my eyes when applying concealer. It easily wins, followed by the RT flat edge and finally the BB which has no flat edge and the tip is still a bit rounded, which impacts the precision. That being said, I don’t often use a sponge with my concealer, as I want the most coverage under my eyes and a sponge does sheer things a bit. So, this benefit isn’t the most useful in my everyday life. However, when I was on vacation last year and wanted to bring minimal brushes and wanted a backup sponge, I took the CR sponge instead of a BB.

Smoothest Foundation Application: A nice blended look can be achieved with all the sponges, but the BB does it the fastest, followed by the CR one.

Easiest to Clean: The BB and RT sponges take about the same time. They work well with the Beautyblender solid soap. The CR sponge is the hardest to clean and doesn’t work as well with the BB Solid. I have better results when I use my regular makeup removing face wash on it. It’s possible that I perceive it as being more difficult to clean because I’m using the yellow one, which is probably easier to see stains. I won’t know until I start using my orange (or green if I can find that one) CR sponge in the future.

Most Durable: The CR sponge definitely lasts the longest and hasn’t torn on me yet. My RT sponges start to get tears in them after the first 3-5 uses thanks to my long nails when I’m washing them. My BB sponges tear on me between 1-3 uses. I don’t know if there has been any changes to the beautyblender because the first two I ever had years ago had to be thrown out before it ever tore. But now my beautyblenders don’t last as long.

Prices: RT = $5-$6. CR = $6. BB = $20.

Side note: BB sells silicone (or silicone-like) cases to put sponges in to let dry and keep away from dust and other particles. You can find adorable dupes for 50-75% cheaper on sites like Amazon and Ebay. I have the official one along with the dupes and although the official one is thicker/sturdier with more breathable holes, there isn’t that much of a difference. My kitty ones get the job done and they even have ridges on the bottom that lets them stand upright, unlike the official one.


I have the Book of Shades (which holds 72 standard size eyeshadows), four of the 96 pan Power palettes, and one purple 96 pan palette. The collector in me still wants the pink one I don’t have.

On my previous trip, I made use of one large z-palette, but I missed having an even wider variety. That’s why I bought the Book of Shades. I wanted it for times I plan to travel for longer than a week.

The Book of Shades fits comfortably at the bottom of my makeup train case and is a safer way to house my shadows than carrying multiple palettes separately. It’s heavy but that’s the tradeoff for being so sturdy and keeping the eyeshadows secure.

There are 3 pages (each page holding 25 pans) and each page has removable plastic sheets that you can write the shade names on with a dry erase/washable marker. Or perhaps in permanent marker if you don’t intend to swap them out. I’m not sure. I don’t have a need for the sheets since my shadows are all labeled on the bottoms of the pans, but it’s a nice addition. There’s also a mirror on the other side of the cover.

I’ve talked about the 96 pan palettes multiple times on my blog. I can’t take it traveling, but I prefer having these over the book of shades because of the freedom of being able to place any sized eyeshadow pan I want in them, it holds more shadows, and I can see everything at once. It’s harder for me to figure out what shades I want to use when I have to flip back and forth between pages. That’s why I also prefer this over the smaller sized flat empty magnetic palettes. The last photo is what my palette looks like now.

That’s all I have for today’s post! I tried to keep it short after my massive Japanese brush review. Although I enjoy making large comprehensive posts (for ease of keeping everything in one place), it means they end up being incredibly long. That’s why I decided to wait until I could at least include Safari Raine in the review, though not long enough to wait for the Juicy Boost collection. At the time that I’m writing this, we haven’t seen anything yet besides the outer packaging.

Thank you for reading!

– Lili

Empty Magnetic Palette Comparisons

I have a post in this blog about creating DIY custom palettes, but today’s topic is for those trying to find good quality pre-made options at the best prices.

When discussing how many eyeshadows will fit, I am referring to the standard eyeshadow pan size of 26mm. Tax and shipping are not considered in the price listings.


Holds: 96 pans

Materials: Cardboard, Mirror

Price: $45 (bought for $22 during the Christmas sale)

This CR palette is the largest I own and also the thickest of the cardboard palettes. However, I can’t give them bonus points for durability because that extra sturdiness is necessary to bear the weight of all these eyeshadows. The bigger the palette, the stronger it needs to be. At the sale price I paid, this is almost the best deal out of all the palettes I have. The full price is decent but not better than the Juvia’s Place palette. CR added to the production cost by including a mirror, but it’s a useless feature because it isn’t practical to lift a palette of this weight and size up to my face to apply eyeshadow. The top lid can fold back into a tent position very well without sliding. The magnets inside are strong and I could hold this upside down without worrying about pans falling out. Overall, I’m impressed with the quality and recommend it to anyone seeking a huge palette.


Holds: 48-55 pans (depending on the arrangement)

Materials: Cardboard, Mirror

Typical price range: $19-$23

I learned of this brand from BailyB on youtube. At the time, Adept’s marble palettes that she linked from Amazon were flat and not double-sided. When I saw the same thing with “minor flaws” on ebay for at least $5 cheaper, I purchased it from there. The one I received had a bent corner, which I didn’t mind. The problem is that the magnetic sheet looks flat to the eye, but it is raised in certain areas. Because the depth of the palette is extremely shallow, the top cover doesn’t close properly. For this palette to be useable, I have to arrange them around the bubbled portions, but the top layer of the shadows still leave an imprint on the inner lid and mirror. As I mentioned in the CR portion, a mirror in a palette of this size is useless. It’s made of the thinnest cardboard and is the only flimsy palette I own.

As for the legitimate Adept palettes, the cardboard ones come in the traditional and foldable shapes. The ones made of plastic are double-sided. The pricing for the plastic trademarked Adept palette seems reasonable at $34 to house 95 standard shadows inside, but I can’t verify the quality without seeing it in person. I decided to include them on the list because someone like BailyB endorsed them, but I can’t personally recommend them.



Holds: 40 pans

Material: Cardboard

Price: $15*

The retail price was listed at $20 when I originally purchased this, though I did get mine on sale for $10 a year ago. Funny enough, palettes of this size and smaller could benefit from having a mirror but this one does not. It’s made out of sturdy cardboard (much stronger than the Adept knockoff despite being smaller). If you can’t get the CR palette on sale, this is the one I recommend most. If you don’t want to use the link, just know that you have to type in the search bar “magnetic palette” for it to pop up on the site. For some reason, they don’t have a designated tab for it.

*As of January 31st, 2019, Juvia’s Place is having a 40% off sitewide sale! The current sale price of this palette is $7. It gets further reduced to $4.20 if you use the promo code: Valentine. I’ve been unable to find out how long this sale will last. There are no guarantees it will run through Valentine’s day. At a price like this, my guess is that these palettes won’t be restocked once they sell out. Four palettes, plus shipping, came to $23 which is nearly the same as a single Z-palette!

**EDIT: The sale lasted for one week (02/07/19). Juvia’s Place has sales regularly, so I suggest signing up for their emails to be notified when the next one occurs. Also, there is now a “Limited Quantities” sign on the page. One per customer.

For reference, it’s about the same size as the Morphe Jaclyn Hill 35 pan palette. I highly recommend this one!

Z-palette XL

Holds: 35 pans

Material: Cardboard, Acrylic

Price: $28-$32

Z palettes are generally not the most affordable options, but I included it in my list because it is arguably the most popular brand of custom palettes. Every Z palette, regardless of size, has a handy clear acrylic panel. This feature’s usefulness depends on the way it is stored. While the XL holds more shadows, the large standard sized palette is the more cost-effective option.

Large Z palette

Holds: 28 pans

Material: Cardboard, Acrylic

Price: $20

Sephora and Ulta have their branded versions of the Z palette but Ulta has the better deal when buying in bulk. I purchased mine when they had the “Buy 2 get 2 free” deal, which brought the cost down to $8 each when combined with a 20% coupon. The fact remains that one has to spend $32 to get the deal; while a single larger palette might be all the average consumer needs.

Z-palettes are among the least affordable options, even on sale. For example, Sephora sells Double-Sided Z palettes which hold 56 pans and have been listed “on sale” at $22.50 for at least three years. Again, I can’t account for the quality without handling it myself, but one of the biggest complaints in the product review section is that it has “weak magnets.” That is the last thing you’d want to hear about a palette where half the eyeshadows will be stored upside down. I recommend only getting a Z-palette if it’s heavily marked down.

MAC Pro Palette Large Duo

Holds: 30-36

Material: Plastic

Price: $8 (without inserts) $14 (with two 15 well inserts)

All empty MAC compacts cost $8 and all inserts are $3 each. I chose this particular palette because it holds the most and I like that it is fully encased in hard plastic, unlike the other MAC versions with the clear lid. This also has an acrylic divider in the middle which protects cream products if they are used on one side with powders on the other. It’s also good for preventing powder fallout from getting into other colored pans. Although I love mine, I don’t recommend this palette because of its limitations:

  1. MAC compacts have a metal sheet inside, not magnets. This means that magnetized pans and pans with magnetic stickers will not adhere to the palette because it’s like putting metal on metal. MAC compacts have the reputation of being “solely compatible with MAC products” because they are one of the only brands that attach actual magnets to the base of their pans. In theory, any pan with a magnet should work. MAC’s pro refill products are strong enough to stick to the MAC compacts without inserts, but slide a little in my regular magnetic palettes.
  2. Since I have very few MAC products, it was easier for me to turn my compact into a magnetic palette, rather than attaching magnets to every eyeshadow pan I own. I bought magnetic strips from my local craft store and hot glued them to both sides of the lids. This cost as much money as two inserts would, but this allows me to store 6 additional shadows from any brand (as long as they are magnetized). I did this over a year ago and have had no problems so far.
  3. MAC’s inserts are not limited to just eyeshadows. They also have spaces for standard size blushes, powder foundations, and lipstick wells.


Holds: 24

Material: Cardboard

Price: $10

Colourpop offers this palette free if you select one of their build-your-own bundle deals. It’s a great option if you’re already intending to buy any of their pressed powder products. They also have a pink palette that holds half the eyeshadows for $7, so the larger palette is the better price.

For reference, it’s slightly smaller than the Large Z-palette (as pictured underneath).

The cardboard isn’t as sturdy as the others palettes (though still better than the “adept” one). I made the mistake of folding back the lid too far and now the palette’s natural tendency is to stay slightly open. The two metal pieces on the inside don’t stick as well to the bottom magnetic rim. This issue has no impact on being able to securely hold the pans, which it does well, just that I have to be extra careful to ensure that it snaps shut when I try to close it.


TARTE Tartiest Pro Custom palette – Holds: 30, Material: Cardboard, Price: $17 (on sale for $12 as of 1/31/19). This video here has more information.

MAKE UP FOR EVER XL palette – Holds: 45, Material: Metal, Price: $25.

You’ll find many outdated videos on youtube stating that the price of the MUFE palettes are $14, but this is no longer the case. The true XL palette is only available on the official MUFE website. It is very important to note that the Extra Large palette listed by Sephora for $2 holds six round shadows or three of MUFE’s new rectangular shadow pans and is not the same thing (though it’s nice to keep in a purse or for traveling).

Final thoughts

Juvia’s Place and Coloured Raines’s magnetic palettes are the best deals I’ve found (especially when on sale). I’ve seen other palettes from random unknown brands discussed by Youtubers but often times their links to Etsy, Amazon, and other places don’t work several months later.

So, I recommend sticking to reputable brands from authorized retailers!

❤ Lili

Full Disclosure: This is not a paid review or sponsored post and these are not affiliate links. Any ads shown are from WordPress. I generate no revenue from this blog post.

Reusing Birchboxes (DIY Z-Palette Alternative)

birchtowerIt’s been almost a year since my last post and during that time away from this blog I’ve been searching for ways to utilize and organize the mass of beauty products I’ve accumulated. I began to delve into the world of “upcycling” and although I no longer subscribe to Birchbox, I still have a gigantic collection of their pretty boxes that I don’t want to just throw away (in the recycling bin of course). I’ve always used them as gift boxes but most of the presents I give are too large to fit. I also use them as drawer dividers/organizers but I still have a tower of them left. So below are a few additional ways I’ve put my boxes to use:

Wall Art

birchwallThis one is straightforward. All you need are push-pins and a ruler to evenly space out your boxes along the wall. Although my design is different, credit for the idea goes to Tiffany Johnson on Youtube. I would not have thought of it otherwise.

Another great thing about it is that they can be interchanged as often as I like! I could have a day when I want to hang all the blue birchboxes or all the purple ones or only the geometics, only the flowered ones, etc.

Empty Magnetic Palettes

diybirchZ-palettes are a huge deal in the beauty industry and before their recent (now deleted) Instagram rampage on customers…

worstzpalette…I was already planning a way to create my own. When you really think about it, Z-palettes are just slim cardboard boxes with colored paper around it, magnetic sheets, and a thin acrylic lid. They can be easily duplicated and many cosmetic companies already have their own custom palettes. You can get them in metal or hard plastic instead of cardboard. Some versions have a mirror on the inside instead of a clear lid. You can also find some very inexpensive ones on ebay and amazon. That being said, none have the cute prints that are on Birchboxes and I still wanted to make my own. The only thing I had to actually buy was the magnetic sheet from Michael’s which cost me $2.99 without a coupon.needbirchdiyITEMS USED:

  • 1 Birchbox or any sturdy box
  • 1 cutting tool (scissors and/or x-acto knife or even a regular knife)
  • Tape (preferably clear and durable) or glue
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 magnetic sheet (strong enough to hold the weight of the eyeshadows)


  • 1 ruler (I didn’t end up using it but it helps to create an even square on the lid)
  • glue (any strong bond type of glue will work)
  • 1 foam sheet (to add an additional layer of padding to the palette)
  • 1 piece of cardboard (for the additional layer of padding)
  • 1 sheet of plastic (doesn’t have to be acrylic but it should be thick, unwrinkled, and easy to clean/not stain)

*The foam I’ve had from multiple subscription boxes and mailed packages. The sheet of plastic I used came from hosiery packaging but additional household sources can be the plastic around products like my hot glue gun, markers, insoles, the plastic cover on bakery boxes, etc. It took me only a few minutes to find supplies around the house.

plasticsPart 1 (skip this step if you don’t want the added protective layer)birchbotsMake sure the piece of foam fits the dimensions of the box. Then use it to trace around the cardboard and magnetic sheet and cut those so they all are the same size. Then glue the foam to the bottom of the birchbox, making sure to spread an even layer (paying extra attention to the four corners).

zgluePeel off the backing of the magnet and attach the magnet sticky-side down to the cardboard. Use a little glue if necessary for extra adhesion power. Then apply glue to the other side of the brown cardboard in order to attach it to the foam layer already inside the birchbox. Now your custom palette has extra protection!

zstandPart 2

If you skipped part 1, cut the magnetic sheet to fit the dimensions of the bottom of the birchbox. Remove the paper backing and attach it to the bottom, adding extra glue if needed.

Now we’re moving onto the lid. In my example, I followed the pattern of the print but you can use a ruler and pencil to trace a rectangle underneath the lid and then cut it out to form a hole in the cover.

birchtopsCut the sheet of plastic to fit on the underside of the Birchbox lid. It should be large enough to cover the hole with a little extra room. When you tape or glue the edges of the plastic to the box, you don’t want tape lines to be visible once the lid is flipped over.

birchxAnd that’s it! I like how sturdy this feels (it can even be stored upward but give the glue a day to dry before use). If you find this to be too bulky you can always cut the edges of the lid and base by half and then line it all with colorful tape to hide any jagged edges. In fact, next time I will line the edges around the lid hole with solid colored washi tape before I tape the clear plastic underneath. birchzfinzstandsideThis has room for a minimum of 24 MAC sized eyeshadow pans.

24shadI have SO many Birchboxes left that I should start gifting these to my eyeshadow loving friends. And with all the different Birchbox tops just imagine the number of unique magnetic palettes you could create too!otherbirch

But really this could be done with any cardboard box, magnetic sheets, plus cutting and pasting tools. An ordinary box can be easily spruced up with printed paper or washi tape. 🙂