July 18, 2011

DuWop Isla Sirena Review, Swatches, Photos

If you’ve been curious about the DuWop Isla Sirena Collection today I have a treat for you. One of my readers, Sarah, took time out of her busy day to review a ton of the pieces from the collection.

Thanks Sarah! We all appreciation it in a major way!

Without further commentary from me here is Sarah’s review of the DuWop Isla Sirena Collection!


The DuWop Isla Sirena Rotating Map Palette ($39), seashell cheek dual in Luz de Luna ($25), and Caribbean OcedTeas (their misspelling, not mine!) in butter rum ($19), were infamously intended for release back in May with Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides…was it worth the wait? I couldn’t resist the pretty packaging myself, and ordered it the moment the Muse tipped us off about its availability in July (three months late… but I for one think Mermaids are always cool).

First up, the Caribbean IcedTea in Butter Rum is a lightly flavored and scented glitter lip balm. As you can see from the picture of it on my lips, the glitter didn’t really translate in application. As the Muse has previously mentioned, this wound up being basically a lip balm. This particular flavor wasn’t pronounced enough for my taste, but those who prefer unscented and unflavored lip products might like this. Still, for the $19 price tag I don’t foresee this being a particularly popular product. You’re better off paying a little more to get a Fresh Sugar lip treatment, in my opinion! Supposedly this also “contains sunscreen to protect product color” but it doesn’t specify what SPF so it seems they aren’t making a strong claim for its sun protective properties at all.

Next up is the seashell cheek dual. I purchased Luz de Luna, but it is available in two other colors. This set has a raspberry-bubblegum cream blush and a champagne cream cheek highlighter. I must mention that I’ve been a fan of DuWop cream cheek highlighters in the past (specifically, the Twilight tie-in Mortal Glow Blushing Creme in Swoon, it’s my cream highlighter HG!). This isn’t going to replace my HG product, but I think it is a good value for the price. The cream blush is pigmented and blends out nicely, as the swatch will show. I was a bit worried that it would be too cool for my warm skin tone (NC25ish), but I think it gives a nice flush. The highlighter is, as I’d hoped, really pretty, glowy, and natural. The box states it can also be used on brow bones and eyelids, so you could probably use this as a base cream shadow under powder eye shadow. Though this shell packaging is really cute, it seems a little cheaper than I’d expected. It is really just a shell top stuck on a regular old black shiny plastic compact. It seem sturdy enough, though, and I think the product is worth the $25.

Lastly, the gorgeous rotating map palette. Honestly, I’d probably buy a movie prop like this even without the makeup inside (hello, Harry Potter Marauder’s Map!). Unfortunately there is a cheap-seeming sheet of clear plastic to protect the lip glosses from the powder products, and the lid from all the products (picture included). Still, it’s nice that they thought of that at all in a palette combining powder and creamy products, but it seems to bring down the elegance a touch. The mini brushes are, as I expected, totally useless. The rotation feature needs some grease or something! It can be rotated, but not only is this kind of pointless, it just doesn’t work smoothly. But this is just a reference to the map this palette is based on and unnecessary, so I can let that slide. Overall, I’d give this packaging an A, seeing as this palette is only $39 and not $60 or $70 as high-end metal palettes usually are. It’s really just so pretty! It is huge, too, so I wouldn’t recommend this for travel (see it next to Tarte’s True Blood palette and Coastal Scents Prism Palette, for reference).

But the makeup is what matters, here! The three lipglosses are:

  • Sailor’s Delight: a sheer raspberry
  • Chalice: a golden peach
  • Devilfish: a coral-pink

I really liked these glosses, to my surprise. Usually in mix palettes like this I find the glosses to be waxy in flavor and texture, but these are rather nice. They have no smell or flavor, and are creamy-textured. You could probably use these as a dewy, sheer cheek color in a pinch because they have nice pigmentation. On my lips, though, I consider them sheer because my lips are quite pigmented. I also like that they named the glosses, which doesn’t always happen with palettes. I am a sucker for marketing, and it’s a lot more fun to use a product with a name, isn’t it?

They don’t last long on lips, which is to be expected of non-sticky lip glosses like these.

Next up the cream liners.

  • Pistol: black
  • Swindler: neutral brown
  • Velvet Sea: turquoise

I felt that Pistol and Swindler were pretty standard in terms of color pigmentation and longevity. Nothing to write home about here, but they aren’t bad. Velvet sea is a pretty color, but I found it sheered out too easily. Even with the muted teal powder shadow from this palette applied over it, it maintained a sheer appearance. If that is the look you are going for, it succeeds, but I prefer my colors opaque. I can’t knock it down too many points for this seeing as it does kind of give a “mermaid” look, which fits the palette’s theme. I am concerned these liners will dry out in the palette quickly, but only time will tell!

Lastly, the nine shadows. They are all equally smooth shimmers, though not as smooth as Too Faced shadows, for example.

“Mermaid Colors”

  • Martinique: shimmery peach
  • Wind & Tide: icy blue shimmer
  • Mermaid Tear: muted teal shimmer

“Pirate Colors”

  • Black Pearl: sooty dark grey
  • Brazen: bronze shimmer
  • Rum: gold-toned champagne shimmer

“Treasure Colors”

  • Ponce de Leon: coppery shimmer with gold glitter
  • Cartegena: muted olive green shimmer
  • Riches: smoky plum

As you can see from the shade descriptions, most of these shadows are shimmers. They aren’t chalky or too frosty at all, but give a nice sheen. I didn’t have a fall-out issue with these, which rarely happens to me! None of the colors were multi-dimensional, which I personally found disappointing because I think it makes them quite dupable. However, they blend together nicely and don’t muddy-up, keeping their distinct colors separate. Especially with smoky colors, I often have the problem of them muddling together, and I didn’t have that problem with these shadows at all. They seem to be at least as high quality as MAC, in my opinion.

Rum and Martinique seem to disappear into my skin in the swatches, but I found these to be much more shimmery and visible on my eyes.
What I do find to be key is using a primer with these shadows. They blend nicely over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but coverage is difficult without a primer (you can see my swatches with and without primer for reference). It wasn’t any work at all to build up the color once I had the primer on, but that step cannot be skipped.

I hope the picture of my eye shows clearly how these shadows blend well together without becoming indistinct: rum all across lid, ponce de leon in the crease, brazen in the outer v to deepen and over swindler cream liner on the top lashline. Velvet sea on bottom lashline with mermaid tear on top to set. Mascara is benefit They’re Real, if you’re wondering, but it’s flaky and I don’t recommend it.

These colors are generally spring-summer, but the smoky and muted colors could lend this palette to Fall. I find these colors to be quite wearable and neutral, so people who love brights like me might be a little disappointed. This isn’t the most drool-worthy turquoise you are ever going to see, for example. But for color shadow, these should work for most light to medium skin tones. I don’t think this shade selection would show up much on women of color, unfortunately. I think this is a great palette for novices because the colors are so wearable and blendable and look flattering with no effort. Look elsewhere if you’re going for a dramatic look.

The map palette breaks down to about $2.60 per item, which I think is reasonable. I won’t lie, this collecton really excites me because of its packaging! I could use it for a variety of easy-to-wear looks, but if I want to go flashy I’ll have to use something else. I do think it’s nice to find a palette with shimmer colors that could be worn to the office.

I don’t regret this purchase at all, even though I’m all about Harry Potter this week! If I had been able to try it in store, I probably would only have skipped the Caribbean Icedteas in butter rum (I was sure hoping for a butterscotch flavor or visible shimmer). I’m going to enjoy using this palette for more sedate, everyday looks with adorable packaging to brighten my morning!

By the way, guys, remember to thank your favorite beauty bloggers for their in-depth reviews! While they may get some PR freebies or site traffic pay, this is a lot of work and a labor of love I didn’t really appreciate until I tried taking all these swatch photos and writing up this review. Thanks so much, Muse, for your labor-of-love efforts!

THANK you Sarah for your incredible review!

I hope you enjoyed Sarah’s review and appreciate the time and effort she put into this post.

I hope you’ll take some time out today to comment on her post as there is no greater compliment to a blogger than getting comments.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Danielle

    That eyeliner looks great on the last photo! Love the glitter balm also! Must try!

  • Mary

    Oooh, I love the cream blushers. Thanks for the review, I have been wanting to buy a couple of things but wanted to see a few swatches for pigmentation.

    • Sarah S.

      I really love this cheek “dual” the most out of this collection!

  • kiwikiwidragon

    Thanks for the great review Sarah! I love those shell cases! Thanks to your review, I think I will pass on this collection, not because your review was lacking but because it made the lemming for this go away, it just didn’t push all the right buttons for me. i am lemming the new Stila palette and the UD 15 year ES palette when its back in stock. Thanks to Muse for posting your review as well.

    • Sarah S.

      Thanks for your comments! I skipped the Stila palette but the UD 15 year e/s palette is great! Omen is what I had hoped Grifter would be.

  • Fey

    I’d store that map palette on my bookshelf. It’s huge! Thanks for the awesome review! I love those bubblegummy cheek colors.

  • Midge

    hrm, not too excited about this collection. if it hadn’t that frightful price tag I’d so buy the lipbalm, though!

  • gigill

    Saw these in the stores and wondered what they were like…thanks for sharing!

  • Melissa

    Thank you for your in dpeth review. I enjoyed it very much. I’m skipping this whole collection because like many I’m “over it”. I love duwop and own a lot of their products all of which are great quality and don’t irritate my super allergy sensitive skin.

  • Smirking Valet

    Well done, Sarah! Terrific review! Do you have a blog, as well?

    • Sarah S.

      Thank you! I don’t have a blog yet, but I thought it would be interesting to dabble. Isn’t the Muse so nice to let me give it a go on her blog? It was really fun 🙂

      • the Muse

        aww you’re welcome here any time Sarah ;-D your post was fabs!

  • Annabella Freeman

    Thank you Sarah you’ve saved me time and money looking for the DuWop Caribbean Iced Teas. I’ve been waiting so long now that I’d lost the will. And now to read the one I would have bought isn’t all that great makes me feel better that I’m not missing out! xoxo

  • Kaitlin

    I bought this palette the moment it was up on the site. I tried the lip colors (which I loved) and the eyeshadows. I was playing with the eyeshadow colors without any other makeup on, went to bed. Woke up with my eyes so swollen I could not fully open them! I have never had an allergic reaction to eyeshadow prior to this. Had to send it back sadly 🙁 The palette was adorable.
    P.S. Sarah your review was fabulous!

    • Sarah S.

      Thanks so much, Kaitlin! I’m sorry to hear you had an allergic reaction. I didn’t experience any reaction, but I think it’s highly individual what stuff is going to be a problem.