Malibu Barbie x Colourpop review: Is summer’s most hyped makeup collection worth it?
Malibu Barbie x Colourpop

As a casual but enthusiastic doll collector who loves makeup, I was practically required to buy myself the full Malibu Barbie x Colourpop collection–at least that’s what I told myself.

The truth is, Colourpop makes some of the best affordable makeup out there, and the packaging combined with the 1960s-meets-tropical color palette was too much to resist. I’ve purchased from the Los Angeles-based company many times over the past few years, and nearly every product has performed well beyond my expectations.

Shadows are creamy and blend easily, lip glosses are perfectly shiny without the gloopiness, and the gel liners are among my favorites for their staying power and ability to withstand several hours in the waterline–a holy grail trait for even the most luxe products.

So the real question: Does this collection continue the Colourpop tradition of great products at affordable prices? Which products stand out?

RELATED: These are some of our favorite eye shadow palettes, including in-depth reviews of some Colourpop options.

To test it out, I ordered the full collection with my own money. No products were gifted or even reimbursed; it was just my paycheck and me making decisions here, so you can trust the review is as unbiased as possible.

Shipping Time and Outer Packaging

It took around five days for Colourpop to notify me that my order had been shipped, then another three for the box to show up on my doorstep. The products arrived packaged together neatly inside a pale pink, branded box, which is a nice touch. Once I opened it, I saw the individual pieces were wrapped in bubble wrap to protect them from shifting around and shattering.

The brighter pink boxes inside are adorable and feature the cheery, nostalgic art seen in the marketing photos. Nicely packaged makeup is always a treat, but when you consider these products are arriving on your doorstep with protective outer layers and the extra effort to look pleasing before you even get to the makeup, all for the cost of the cheaply packaged plastic stuff you’d find at the drugstore? It’s a win, babe.

Rating: 9/10

Inner Packaging

Once out of the box, I found the products themselves came in mixed materials that reflected the mood of the collection well while bringing back memories of playing with mock “grown up” makeup reserved for playtime makeovers with Barbie.

The eye shadow palette, unlike many of Colourpop’s, comes in sturdy cardboard packaging with raised lettering and a huge mirror inside for application. The pans are small and square, easy to dip into, and the magnetized closure keeps it securely shut in your makeup case.

The Super Shock Highlighter lives up to its name by being shockingly large, almost comically so. The pink plastic packaging is a nice aesthetic touch (if not the most environmentally great) for those of us who grew up dying to play with makeup before we were old enough to do so, but the clasp is unwieldy and difficult to pry open. I had to use tweezers the first time, but it seems to have loosened enough to pop open easily now.

The collectible hand mirror is extremely cute, but it’s teensy. When placed next to the Super Shock Highlighter’s enormous internal mirror, the heart-shaped gazing glass is about 70% the size, which makes basically no sense considering it has one function. It’s safe to say this is a tool for collectors only, but it is adorable so I’m giving it a pass!

The lipsticks are my favorite, though, with their ultra-throwback frosted pink plastic packaging and gorgeous Barbie cameo stamp. The twist-up shades do feel a bit cheap compared to luxurious metal or heavier plastic tubes like those you’ll find with pricier options, but the look and feel of these is so close to those cheap dollar store little girl lipsticks I collected in elementary school that I had to smile. All three shades come packaged with a sharpening liner in coordinating color, too, so you get double the wear for your money.

The Doll Lashes comes in a sturdy box, no surprises there, and the lip gloss comes in a tube; there’s nothing particularly special nor wrong with either!

Rating: 7.5/10

The Main Event: The Makeup

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, the eye shadow palette. The color story is fantastic and very reminiscent of the 1960s graphic, blue-soaked looks you’d see in a movie about people dancing on the beach, or more modernly, The Love Witch (which you should watch, if you haven’t).

As a blue eye shadow enthusiast, Malibu Memories was the first shade I tried. It applies smoothly and packs a pigmented punch, but you will want to build it up to avoid it washing out as you blend. Luckily, it build beautifully. Its metallic counterpart Surf’s Up is a beautiful topper for an all-out blue look, or great on its own for a lighter wash.

The corals and oranges make amazing transition or crease shades for creating dynamic looks. By blending Let’s Go Party high up on the crease then dipping a smaller brush into Best Coast and getting right directly in the crease, you can create a gorgeous sunset look and finish it off with your choice of shimmering metallic on the lid–just make sure to use your finger to apply the metallic shades for the best payoff.

The lipsticks are stunning. I have fair skin, so Golden Beach is a great almost-nude that looks like my lips but slightly deeper, and the formula is creamy but long-wearing. Dream House is gorgeous in the package, but it’s my least favorite of the three as it lacks a certain punch that I love wearing.

That’s where Malibu Sunset comes in: This is by far the most gorgeous pink I’ve ever worn. It’s cool-toned, rich, deep, and bright, and it’s one of those pinks that’s so vibrant it glows. It wears similarly to a brilliant red and while some folks are scared of that commitment, the matching liners have just enough waxy grip to keep them in place for hours.

As for the highlighter, it’s definitely reflective (pun intended) of the current trend toward more lit-from-within glow rather than the beaming powders of years past. Using the product with a fluffy brush will give you just a kiss of shimmer, which you can build up and even apply with your fingers for maximum payoff.

And lastly, let’s discuss the lashes. I realize they’re going for a specific doll-eye effect, but I do think these fall short. The short, spikiness is cute for certain looks, but I felt the length was a let down and the plastic feel of them was uncomfortable. The band is clear, though, so that’s a plus. I can’t see rewearing these more than two or three times before they’re worn out, so I honestly wouldn’t recommend buying them solo, only letting them be a bonus if you’re buying the full collection.

The lip gloss is very forgettable and actually slightly underwhelming compared to some other gloss formulas by CP. The shade is satisfyingly doll-like though, and really does resemble Barbie’s mouth. It’s a “like” for me but not something I would buy again.

RELATED: Here are some of our favorite lip glosses for achieving the perfect summer pout.

Rating: 8/10

So, should you buy it?

Overall, I absolutely recommend this for doll lovers who grew up playing with Barbies or anyone looking to step up their color game when it comes to shadows and lipsticks. The quality for the price, especially when buying the full discounted collection, is really great and even out-performs some much more expensive brands. As with the company’s other collections, you’ll find repeats of shades, but that’s why it’s always to be discerning in what you’re buying to avoid too many multiples.

I’ve listed my favorite options below, from the most useful to the collector must-haves, so keep scrolling to live your Malibu Barbie fantasy!

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop Full Collection Set

Go for the whole shebang! You deserve it.

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop

Malibu Barbie Shadow Palette

If you can’t afford everything, the eye shadow palette is the star of the show.

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop

Lux Lipstick Set in Malibu Sunset

This will look incredible on you, I promise. Trust the pink process.

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop

Beach Party Super Shock Highlighter

A subtle, baked and swirled highlight that will trick people into think you spent all day glistening on the beach.

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop

Barbie Hand Mirror

It’s not very big, but it is very cute. Buy to dress up your vanity!

Malibu Barbie™ x Colourpop
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