$6.00/0.08 oz. – $75.00 Per Ounce
The reformulated Loose Pigments are supposed to be “high impact, concentrated” pigments that are “best used wet for a supercharged, intense metallic or duochrome finish.” The brand specifically warns against using them dry on a “bare eye” (as in “should never be applied”), which is where the original and reformulation differ, as the originals could be used wet or dry. The brand also stated to “layer over an eyeshadow primer or Super Shock Shadow” for “the best staying power and pigmentation,” so presumably they are not particularly long-wearing “as is.” That’s accurate; they last around seven hours applied wet with water but get to 10 hours when used with an adhesive spray (I tested with MAC Fix+, which I have a lot of prior testing experience with).
They are better than the originals, though they still suffer from a lot of the expected downsides to working with loose pigment, and whether the color and finish outweigh the application pitfalls is a matter of preference, skill, and patience. The formula needed to have a fairly wet brush; not quite sopping-wet but more than slightly damp (which is more in line with the amount of wetness I find necessary to apply 90%+ of products). If my brush was too wet, though, it tended to spread the product out too readily and was more likely to go on unevenly. The more glittery shades worked better with an adhesive spray or tacky base, rather than just wet with water, as they needed more to help the larger sparkles adhere to skin and minimized fallout/excessive spread of the sparkles (beyond where I wanted them) when blended.
Because the formula really does work best with a wet/dampened brush, they aren’t as blendable once they’re dry, so working with two or three shades in the same area is more challenging than working with more traditional, pressed powder eyeshadows. They’re more in the vein of liquid and cream eyeshadows, which are blendable as they’re drying, but once they set, most formulas are locked in place; these are not quite that locked in place but just didn’t want to diffuse readily. They wore between six and eight hours before creasing, fading, and/or having a fair amount of fallout (applied wet with water). I would only recommend purchasing the formula if you intend to use them with an adhesive spray or tacky base. Drier primers, like MAC 24HR or Urban Decay Primer Potion work decently with most shades (fade-resistant but light to moderate fallout otherwise), but I would still opt for a tackier base. The following shades stained, and they stained through eyeshadow primer: The Ram, The Bull, The Water Bearer, The Archer.
The pigmentation was semi-opaque to opaque for most shades, and as it was a loose product, it was often more about how much product was applied, though I tried to apply a consistent amount for swatches (which were all done wet with water). The consistency varied from airy and finely-milled to heavier and more glittery. I noticed more of a “puff” of pigment as I worked with most shades, which seemed to confirm how finely-milled they were. They can also be used on cheeks and lips, and the more sparkly shades worked better as cheek products than the ones with deeper intensity or base colors, as they tended to be a bit harder to apply and diffuse (even using them dry as using them wet on cheeks often translated into stripes of color).
The packaging changed significantly, as the jars are now taller, slimmer, and have no sifter, though there’s a plastic “lid” that sits inside the top of the jar. I’m not a fan of this style of packaging, especially as these are meant to be used wet, then it becomes very challenging to sift out just enough product for a use and mix a wet brush with dry powder elsewhere (instead of sticking one’s brush right in the jar). It is also going to be progressively more difficult to pick up just the right amount of product as product gets used up (and you’re going lower and lower into the jar). The taller jars also are a bit easier to knock over for those prone to clumsiness (like myself).
Browse all of our Colour Pop Zodiac Loose Pigment swatches.
Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Tin Oxide, Dimethiconol, Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).