City Color Shimmer Shadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is supposed to have “intense color payoff” with a “heavy metallic finish” that also has “long-wear.” There are 16 shades in the range, and this post features six of them. The majority of the shades in the formula have a very dense, thick, and cream-like consistency–I have best results using a firmer, flatter and synthetic brush than I do with a really soft, natural hair brush, though natural brushes offer a little more control over how metallic the finish gets and my MAC 239s were just fine with it (and those are natural hair). They are intensely pigmented, and they blend out and apply well to bare skin. The formula wore for around eight to eight and a half hours on me with very slight creasing. A few of the very frosted, metallic shades seemed to emphasize the natural texture of parts of my lid and need a little extra blending to smooth out. These reminded me of Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows (but City Color’s are much denser) as well as Sleek’s more metallic eyeshadows.

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a bright, yellow gold with warm undertones and a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had intense color payoff with a cream-like, dense consistency that applied well to bare skin. It blended out without issue and wore for eight hours. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #5 (PiP, $9.99) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). KVD Beauty Egypt (LE, ) is less shimmery (95% similar). Sydney Grace Deep Desire (P, $6.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). ColourPop Give the Brut (LE, $8.00) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). ColourPop Here We Go Again (LE, $6.00) is less shimmery, cooler (95% similar). Urban Decay That's Dope (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). ColourPop Mrs. Potts (LE, $4.50) is darker, cooler (95% similar). Urban Decay Sinful (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). ColourPop Sleep In (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). NARS Corcovado (P, $24.00) is brighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty TFX14 (LE, $36.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Gucci Beauty Oro (DC, $37.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). ColourPop West Coast (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Not a Basic Peach #10 (PiP, ) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Persona Unique (PiP, ) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). ColourPop Golightly (P, $5.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Dior Devilish #1 (LE, ) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). ColourPop Bold Rush (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). ColourPop Bayshore (PiP, $4.50) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Sydney Grace Hercules (DC, $6.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium-dark copper with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a metallic sheen. It was richly pigmented with a very dense, thick consistency that blended out well but can emphasize the texture of the lid (particularly the inner lid for me). The eyeshadow lasted for eight hours before creasing very slightly on me. Too Faced Friendspiration (LE, $16.00) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). Dominique Cosmetics Drizzle (PiP, ) is lighter (95% similar). Pat McGrath Bronze (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Bellini (LE, $12.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). bareMinerals Louder (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Sephora Copper Rush (291) (P, $9.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). ColourPop Muze (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Wine (P, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Anastasia Adorn (DC, $12.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Fenty Beauty Sunfrost (LE, ) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Natasha Denona Cool Bronze (31M) (PiP, $29.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). LORAC Nude #2 (LE, $19.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). LORAC Cider (LE, $19.00) is darker (90% similar). Huda Beauty Frazzled (PiP, ) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). ColourPop Diva (LE, $4.50) is cooler (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Bejewelled (Happy Glow Prime) (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). LORAC Unleashed (PiP, $19.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). LORAC Burnt Sienna (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Huda Beauty Topaz #2 (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Suspicion #3 (PiP, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a muted, medium coppery-brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had totally opaque color payoff with a smooth, creamy texture that was dense and thick. I feel like the thicker consistency should make it hard to work with, but as long as I treat it more like a cream eyeshadow (so using it with a synthetic brush), everything maneuvers and blends on the skin nicely. This shade wore well for eight hours on me. ColourPop Spill the Tea (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Cause a Fuss (PiP, ) is lighter (95% similar). BH Cosmetics Club Tropicana #16 (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). NABLA Cosmetics Rose Gold (PiP, ) is cooler (95% similar). KVD Beauty Quartz (LE, ) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Pink Haze (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (90% similar). LORAC Unbelievable (PiP, $19.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). ColourPop Constellation (LE, $7.00) is cooler (90% similar). Too Faced Adore (PiP, ) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). MAC Reward Yourself (LE, $16.50) is darker (90% similar). Huda Beauty Ruby #3 (LE, ) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Makeup Geek Elegance (LE, $9.99) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Hocus Pocus (P, $12.00) is darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Night Fever (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Melt Cosmetics Warehouse Party (LE, ) is more shimmery (90% similar). ColourPop Fishnets (LE, $4.50) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Makeup Geek Grandstand (P, $9.99) is warmer (85% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night No. 06 (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). Cover FX Soleil (P, $28.00) is cooler (90% similar). LORAC Aurora (PiP, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium-dark, rosy plum with warm, copper undertones and a frosted finish. It had great pigmentation with a creamy, smooth texture that was one of the shades that seemed to look a little thick on the lid. The color lasted well for eight and a half hours. Danessa Myricks Romance (P, $18.00) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (95% similar). Sephora Rosewood (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). Anastasia Sangria (P, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar). ColourPop Dainty (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Sydney Grace Shine Bright (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Huda Beauty Provocative (PiP, ) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Pink Glow #3 (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Sydney Grace The Ballet (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). MAC Libra (P, $17.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty TFX13 (LE, $36.00) is lighter (90% similar). ColourPop Come and Get It (P, $4.50) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Sephora Rose (LE, ) is lighter (85% similar). ColourPop Candygram (PiP, $4.50) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar). Inglot #399 (P, $7.00) is cooler (85% similar). Buxom Wild Nights (P, $12.00) is cooler (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Violet Argente #2 (Eye Color) (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). MAC After Dusk (PiP, $17.00) is lighter (85% similar). Dior Fusion (764) (P, $29.50) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar). Urban Decay Buzz (PiP, $19.00) is lighter (85% similar). Fenty Beauty Sugashock (PiP, ) is less shimmery, cooler (80% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium-dark, berry-red with subtle, warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The consistency was smooth in the pan with a dense, cream-like feel that blended out well without actually losing its intensity. This shade lasted a bit longer than most at eight and a half hours. I didn’t notice any staining. Ciate Fierce (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). Too Faced Sprinkles (Holiday 2016) (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, lighter (95% similar). KVD Beauty Rosary (LE, ) is less shimmery (95% similar). Urban Decay Shade (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). LORAC Sunset (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Anastasia Sangria (P, $12.00) is more muted (90% similar). ColourPop Lit (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). Viseart Bijoux Royal #9 (LE, ) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Urban Decay Alchemy (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Sydney Grace Sweetheart (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, cooler (85% similar). Huda Beauty Amethyst #1 (LE, ) is less shimmery, cooler (85% similar). Viseart Framboise (PiP, ) is lighter (85% similar). Buxom Wild Nights (P, $12.00) is lighter, more muted, cooler (85% similar). Sleek MakeUP Marry in Monte Carlo (LE, $9.99) is cooler (85% similar). ColourPop Porter (LE, $6.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (80% similar). LORAC Merlot (PiP, $19.00) is darker, more muted (80% similar). MAC Plum Dressing (DC, $17.00) is darker (80% similar). Gucci Beauty Azalea (Right) (DC, ) is darker, more muted (80% similar). Stila Next to Notte (LE, $24.00) is more shimmery, darker, more muted (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium-dark plum with warm, orange-brown undertones and a pearly sheen. This was one of the shades that was much thinner and slightly powdery–it felt noticeably different in the pan as well as when applied to the lid compared to the other shades in this review. It felt more like a traditional powder eyeshadow. It had good pigmentation and blended out well but sheered out slightly. This one wore for eight hours. Anastasia Pink Sapphire (LE, $12.00) is darker (95% similar). Makeup Geek Enchanted (P, $12.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Pink Glow #3 (LE, ) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Desdemona (P, $29.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Gucci Beauty Azalea (Right) (DC, ) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Gucci Beauty Autumn Fire #3 (DC, ) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Sleek MakeUP A Vow in Venice (LE, $9.99) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Cle de Peau Les Annees Folles #1 (LE, ) is cooler (90% similar). MAC Plummed (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). KVD Beauty Queen (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Anastasia Sangria (P, $12.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Star Violet (P, $17.00) is lighter, more muted (85% similar). Tarte Plum Away With Me (LE, ) is darker, more muted (85% similar). MAC Heritage Rouge (PiP, $21.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Sydney Grace Forever Enough (P, $6.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Pharaoh

PPermanent. $6.99.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

Cheers to Life

PPermanent. $6.99.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

Homecoming Queen

PPermanent. $6.99.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

Ladylike

PPermanent. $6.99.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

It's a Girl

PPermanent. $6.99.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

Marsala

PPermanent. $6.99.
B+
B+
8.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
88%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow
City Color Pharaoh Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow
City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow
City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow
City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow
City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow

City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow
City Color Homecoming Queen Shimmer Shadow

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow
City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow
City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow
City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow
City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow

City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow
City Color Ladylike Shimmer Shadow

City Color It's a Girl Shimmer Shadow
City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow

City Color It's a Girl Shimmer Shadow
City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow

City Color It's a Girl Shimmer Shadow
City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow

City Color It's a Girl Shimmer Shadow
City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow

City Color It's a Girl Shimmer Shadow
City Color It’s a Girl Shimmer Shadow

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow
City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow
City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow
City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow
City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow

City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow
City Color Marsala Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow
City Color Cheers to Life Shimmer Shadow

46 Comments

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Jenny Cupcakes Avatar

I placed an order using that 50% code that a kind reader posted. They still haven’t sent me a shipping notice, but their confirmation said it could take up to 7 business days (this was on Monday). Hopefully they send them to me soon, I’m eager to try them!

I did get the Intense Shine eye palette on Amazon for a song and it’s fantastic. If that’s the same formula as their single Shimmer Shadows, I’m going to be a very happy lady.

Christine Avatar

Good to hear that the palette you tried was nice, though! I was surprised at the overall performance – they were pretty easy to use (I think that the denser texture requires a slightly different technique vs. traditional powder, but it’s not a steep learning curve at all!) and wore a good length of time. I thought with oil as a higher-up ingredient they might be prone to creasing quickly!

Katherine T. Avatar

YAYYYYY!!! So glad these reviewed well 🙂 🙂 I have It’s A Girl, and it’s so gorgeous! I think this formula is very interesting–very dense and creamy powder, almost like they melted a cream shadow stick and turned into a cream-powder hybrid, but unlike Colour Pop, it doesn’t have to be kept in airtight container to prevent it from drying out. The pigment is much more intense and dense than a traditional powder, and you get the rich, smoothness of a cream shadow. Someone mentioned a 50% off code (IPSY50) that might still work. If you sign up for their emails, you get 10% off first order, and they have lots of sales –25-30% off sitewide, BOGO, value bundles (4 shadows for $20), etc.. I’ve ordered 2x and have been very impressed –they ship super fast, stuff is at my doorstep within 2-4 days, but I do live in CA, where they are located, so might take longer if you live further. The makeup was carefully packed, and well-protected. And they threw in a FREE, FULL SIZE product each time, I didn’t even ask for it. Once I got a free lipstick, then a small 3 trio shadow kit. I do caution that their other shadow formulas (mattes, regular singles, and kits) are very different, and I haven’t tried those yet, only the Shimmer Shadows, which is what they are known for.

Katherine T. Avatar

When I find a budget or lesser-known product that performs well, I like to share with readers, plus I don’t want it to be discontinued because nobody knows about it, so thanks for reviewing these Christine! These smaller companies can get a lot of new customers if the product scores well on Temptalia. And with increased sales, they might be able to come out with more colors for us

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh Christine, just noticed that when I hit “view dupes side by side” the scores for Pharoah and It’s A Girl don’t show up, but the others do.

Tiffany Avatar

I couldn’t resist these after seeing your sneak peeks last week and seeing the 50% off code (ipsy50). I ordered ladylike, pharaoh, cheers to life, new year new me, hint of mint, beach cottage, all eyes on me, and oh so naughty. They just came today, and I can’t wait to use them. Homecoming Queen and it’s a girl are already on my list to get in my next order!

Julia Avatar

Great eye look with these, Christine! I am very interested in trying this brand now, the price is right and the quality sounds awesome. I do wish they would offer pans, though – I hate single compacts. Has anyone out there depotted these? They look like they might be similar to a UD depotting… i.e. a huge pain!

Abir Avatar

They’re beautiful but I can clearly see that they do emphasize texture on the lid. And you have very smooth kids so these are probably only good for very young girls.

Reka Avatar

Is there any way to find out if these are made in China? It usually says on the back, but not in this case. (I’ve been trying, and mostly failing, not to buy things from China for environmental/global warning type reasons.)

Thanks you, these are beautiful!

Christine Avatar

Hey Reka,

Lucky for us I did snap one photo of a label before I realized the ingredients were underneath (the label on the back lifts up and comes away revealing the ingredient list, and I took all those off when shooting) — and that says it was made in PRC, which is China.

Ginny D Avatar

Wow these are gorgeous and so affordable. I’d seen them get a lot of hype and was kinda wary but they swatch so beautifully. City Color does not disappoint!

Clidre Avatar

My favorite is Marsala. I found it very similar to my Tom Ford wet and dry formula. I compared it to Honeymoon and it doesn’t seem so cheaper, while the other shades are thicker and in my opinion “drugstore-like”. Anyway I picked 7 shades

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