Review of the Hidden Gems Collection - from guest blogger Megan Harper

Review of the Hidden Gems Collection - from guest blogger Megan Harper

Hello everyone and welcome back to another  blog! I hope you’re enjoying summer and stretching your creative muscles. Today I’m reviewing the Hidden Gems collection and using an unusual swatching method, black paper!

    I was fortunate enough to purchase every colorway from this magical collection– it sold out FAST! These paints take glitter and pigment to the extreme, lending them to be excellent to use on black paper. The dark background raises the intensity of the pigments and shine of the glitter. Hidden Gems has a variety of textures and pigment intensities ranging from vibrant to semi transparent, glitter textures from chunky to fine pearlescent. There are a few of these pans left on the Smiling Hippo site so get them while you can!

Here is a swatch of these glorious colors on black paper– notice the shine and how some are iridescent- the Opal pans have the best colorshift elements pink and gold to a green color. Very unique!!

On to the full review! 

Quartzite, Breccia and Basalt come in the CUTEST little moon pans. Basalt and Quartzite are silky smooth metallic paints with a small amount of tiny glitter flecks, perfect for highlighting and making vivid sections of color. Breccia is what I would call small glitter, but a soft brush handles this one just fine! The pigment is outstanding and the texture is silky smooth- great for soft and small brushes. Even though the pans seem small, a little goes a long way!


Strictly metallic colorways in this collection are Opal (Gold), Azurite, and Amber. These three colors are stunning with their intensity. Opal has an almost green sheen when dried. The electric blue of Azurite is second to none in with an icy feel when dry and Amber makes for a wonderful shadow color, it’s bright but not so bright as to over power with the coppery tone it carries!

The small size glitter flake pans are Sunstone, Jade, Rhyolite, Tigereye, Topaz, Opal (pink), Calcite, Aquamarine, Jasper. Pink Opal and Rhyolite have a unique color shift. Opal is pink to a gold/green (I’m a little bit color blind with yellows and greens!) And Rhyolite is pink to purple–very stunning! The glitter in these pans comes out better with a coarse brush but a softer one will manage. I was pretty rough when dipping into these pans and my brushes were fine! The small glitter flakes capture the light and shine brightly, as you can see on the black paper swatch. Sometimes the pigment clings to the glitter chunks, so you may need to apply another lighter coat to get a complete cover!

Next we have what I’ll call medium glitter, these colorways are a mix of the fine glitter with larger accent pieces like stars and circles: Amethyst, Agate, and Limestone. These pans would need a different brush than the one I used to efficiently gather the larger glitter pieces, the pigments come up beautifully and the glitter is easy to manipulate into place! And look at that cute little hippo pan!

    Last but most certainly not least, here are the  heavy glitter pans – Fruity Pebble and Ore . Now for these I recommend soaking them for a minute or so to really get the glitter loosened up. My preferred way to get the glitter off is to flick it! Once you get the pigment off and painted onto your canvas take a sweeping motion to get the glitter out! Now, you don’t have to do this ( it’s just my silly preference) but it adds some fun and unpredictability to the art! 

    Usually this is where Kid Corner goes, this week my little artist was spending time with her grandparents! To make up for the lack of little activity this week, the next blog will be entirely Kid Corner! All about how to entertain your little ones and beat the heat with some cool art
As always, thank you for tuning in! Be sure to check out the Smiling Hippo shop for these colors and many, many more! Have a great week :)

Back to blog

Leave a comment