Kevin Murphy Color Bug Review

by Hair Romance on October 18, 2011 · 97 comments

in Hair Products,Hair Style Advice,My Hair

Kevin Murphy Color Bug in Pink

Ombre hair is the trend that won’t quit.

First it was natural balayage colour that became a stronger blonde/brunette ombre trend. Then pastel hair was a runway feature at NYFW and now coloured ombre hair has become a mainstream trend since Lauren Conrad dyed her tips.

Kevin Murphy was ahead of the game when he tinted the beautiful Abbey Lee for this Vogue shoot last year and now he has commercially released his hair pigments. Color Bug is like shadow for your hair, allowing you to get in on the ombre hair trend but without regret.

Color Bug is available in pink, purple and orange and Kevin Murphy shows you how easy it is to use in this video here. So is that easy in real life? I ordered the pink from Adore Beauty (I have always loved pink hair) and couldn’t wait to try it.

Color Bug application – Tip: wear gloves or wash your hands quickly!

I was so keen to try it I didn’t style my hair for this shoot. My hair is a bit dirty and I found this made it easier to apply the product. If your hair is squeaky clean, I would spray some dry shampoo or texture spray onto your hair first to help the colour stick.

Ombre hair for one night only!

You can apply it quite lightly for a washed out colour or keep adding more for a vibrant pink. Gently rub the colour through the ends of your hair for an even finish. I thought it would be harder to apply but it took to my hair really easily. It’s quite opaque so I think it would work in dark hair as easily as it does in Kevin’s how-to video.

I found the packaging a little awkward to hold and easy to drop. It’s pretty sturdy but it finally broke the third time it hit the bathroom floor. It was a pink explosion. Enough stayed in the container though for me to keep using it.

Color Bug does exactly what it says on the box. It’s a bit messy but loads of fun and a great way to dip your hair into the ombre trend without a big spend or damage to your hair. Ombre hair for one night only, no regrets.

Pink ombre hair

Application tips:


  • Second day hair is good for this product. Otherwise try a dry shampoo or texture spray on the ends of your hair.
  • Cover your clothes – wear something old or put a towel over your shoulders.
  • Hold the container carefully. It’s a bit awkward to hold and easy to drop.
  • Layer the product on your hair for a more vibrant colour.
  • Wear gloves, or wash your hands as soon as you finish.
  • Add a little hairspray at the end to help set the colour.
  • Don’t wear white! The colour will come off on your clothes but should wash out.

Kevin Murphy’s Color Bug retails for AUD$24.95 for 5g. I’d guess I’ll get at least 10 wears out of this packet so it’s ombre hair for more than one night!

Would you wear pink hair?

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon October 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I love this idea… save for the wearing off on my clothes.

I've been seriously contemplating purple…


Aurelie D. October 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Wow, what a great way to try out a trend for just one day. I would never dye my hair but would probably give this a try!


Hot Kool Aid October 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS! I'm ordering all three colors. I've always wanted either ombre or color-dyed hair but my mom is afraid of me bleaching my hair, even though it'd be professionally done. This is great because it's temporary and requires no bleach!


Megan October 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

nice! Looks great. You said the color is pretty opaque…do you the think the rubbing-off-on-clothes issue would happen on any clothes? Or just something light?


Tegan McIntosh October 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm

WOW! this looks amazing! I am very intrigued, but I think I would be worried about it getting on my clothes, even though it does wash out. Such a cool concept though, love Kevin Murphy!


Hair Romance October 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm

@Shannon – the purple looks great doesn't it?

@Aurelie D – It really is a fun way to try colour. There's no damage to your hair, it's kind of like putting eye shadow on your hair.

@Hot Kool Aid – You will freak your mum out with this! Then tell her it washes out ;)

@Megan – I noticed colour coming off on my navy tshirt but most of it brushed off with a tissue. I would be cautious especially with delicate fabrics. I sprayed hairspray to set the colour after I noticed this and that seemed to help.


Me, my best and I October 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

Hot out!! Love this!! How did you get it off your hands!! Be very cool for a summer festival alright! PS Hot nail polish to match- what is that?


Angela October 19, 2011 at 12:58 am

Ahhhh I want this!


Hair Romance October 19, 2011 at 3:23 am

@Me, my best and I – The colour does wash off pretty easily with soap. My nails are Glam Nails in Express Yourself x

@Angela – it is heaps of fun! I want to try the orange to see if I can get that Lauren Conrad peachy hair


Celeste @ Becoming Beautiful October 19, 2011 at 3:23 am

Perfect! Need to get my hands on this so I can rock coloured hair without fear of regretting it big time.


Violet LeBeaux October 19, 2011 at 3:25 am

Argh so cute on you! This is such an awesome idea, pink hair for the win!


Anonymous October 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

Be careful with this! I used the pink on bleached blond hair and it did not totally wash out!


Melody October 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I saw color bug somewhere else too, and super-duper want to try it! I should have ordered some for halloween!


Hair Romance October 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@Violet LeBeaux – I was thinking of you with this product! Pink hair all the way!

@Anonymous – good tip, there is mention on the packaging that it can stain bleached or over processed hair, as it is so porous. They recommend using a leave in conditioner underneath before applying the colour.

@Melody – this would be great for Halloween! They need to bring out a green pigment!


Bianca October 20, 2011 at 2:08 am

Hey! Does anyone know where I can buy this?


Kimberley - Dream. Delight. Inspire. October 20, 2011 at 6:56 am

I've been waiting for a blonde to test these out! Looks fantastic and thanks for the tip re dropping it and causing a pink explosion. Will be very careful. :)


alyssa October 20, 2011 at 11:52 am

It looks gorgeous, even if it was a pain in the ass!



S + T October 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

This looks amaxing- I want to try this!! I have brown hair, but the Kevin Murphy youtube tutorials show it on a brunette model so i'm gonna try :)

xx S


Hair Romance October 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

@alyssa – I agree, so worth it!

@S + T – the colour is pretty good. I haven't tested it on darker hair but it worked on my hair exactly as in the video so I think it would look great


Cylas October 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm

where can you order?


Hair Romance October 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

@Cylas – I bought mine from Adore Beauty or check the Kevin Murphy site to find a salon near you


Anonymous October 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I bought this at my salon a few weeks ago. I have blond hair, some of it bleached. I have tried this several times and it definitely stains my hair and I'm not using a lot. I have washed it now three times and still, my hair is stained. Anyone else have this problem? What to do? I have permanent pink hair now it seems!


Hair Romance October 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

@Anonymous – Oh no! My hair is coloured but not completely bleached and came out in one wash. Hope it's not permanent, I would wash your hair again with conditioner and if that doesn't remove it, go back to the salon for advice. Let me know how you go xx


DivaHopeful October 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

C'est une superbe idée !


Esla November 2, 2011 at 6:47 am

will this show up on brunette hair?


Hair Romance November 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

@DivaHopeful – Merci beaucoup!

@Esia – I haven't tried it but it sounds like it won't be as bright. I would spray dry shampoo on the sections you want to colour first, then this powder will stick and show up more


Anonymous November 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

where did you get this??? i have been looking all around for it i want the pink kind… would anyone tell me where to get it? i live in the united states any stores or online sites???


Hair Romance November 7, 2011 at 12:58 am

@Anonymous – I know it's available in the US but may be a bit hard to find, check the Kevin Murphy site for a salon near you or you can buy from and they ship to the US


Dawn S. November 13, 2011 at 4:22 am

Where can you purchase the Color Bug product in the United States? I am interested in the pink.

Thank you,


Hair Romance November 14, 2011 at 6:17 am

Hi Dawn
I know ship to the US or you can search for a local salon on the kevin murphy site too
Christina x


Nakayla January 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Is this color bug available in the USA? I want it to badly!


Hair Romance January 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Yes, I think it is but only from Kevin Murphy salons. Think there is a salon finder on their website


Hair Romance January 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm

or ships to the USA x


Pamela S. November 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I have been considering to buy this but i’m worried that the color of my hair (dark brown) would be too dark to show the color.


Hair Romance November 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Hi Pamela
I think it does work on dark hair, and using dry shampoo before make it brighter
Ask if you can test it at a salon near you before you buy.
Christina x


The Girlie Blogger December 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

Too cool! I want one.


Julie December 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I tried this product for the first time yesterday. The process was a little messy as foretold and I didn’t wear gloves but I used some makeup remover wipes on my hands when I was done and the powder came right off, so if you don’t have gloves I highly suggest that. I have auburn hair and I used the purple color and it came out looking really cute. However, even though I used hairspray the color came out within a few hours which was dissapointing. Maybe I didn’t use enough for it to last so I’m going to try lay it on thick next time, but if this keeps up this product will be very disappointing.


nicola lynde January 5, 2012 at 8:42 am

What a great idea. I saw a year with the most amazing lilac tips today and couldn’t help but think how fun it would be. Love Kevin Murphy.


PINK!!!! January 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I loved the pink!!! It looked so cool in my hair, the only thing was it came out all over my top… I need a way to stop that happening!


Hair Romance January 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Isn’t it great? I found hairspray on top of the pink helped to set it in my hair, and the initial colour fallout was bad but afterwards was fine. Wear something dark while putting the colour in and do it an hour or so before you want to go out. Then get changed just before you go and it should be fine x


Caro saß January 15, 2012 at 7:15 am

how long does it stay in your hair? Does it go Away when you washed your hair?


Hair Romance January 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

It stayed in my hair for a couple of days and came out when I washed my hair. It you have bleached hair or are very fair use some hairspray first as it can be harder to remove. Bleached hair is really porous so I’ve heard the colour sticks and it will take a few shampoos to remove it, but it won’t do any damage to your hair.


Kat Skull January 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

Where can I buy this? I don’t see a salon near me – is it available online?


Hair Romance January 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

Hi Kat, you can buy it online at and they ship internationally


ANGRY PERSON WANTS COLOR BUG June 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm



Hair Romance June 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hi Angry Person, Adore Beauty do ship to the US, or find your local Kevin Murphy salon on their website here –


Araya Villari February 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm

What about for brunettes??


Hair Romance February 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hi Araya, I’ve seen this on brunettes and it looks great. If your hair is really dark I would suggest using hairspray or a dry shampoo to prep where you want to apply the product so it holds better and will show up more. At least you won’t have any problems with colour staining!


Melissa Wong February 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I saw this at a salon near me and was wondering if it would show up on black hair? I would really want to buy the pink one!!!


Hair Romance February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hi Melissa, it works well on dark hair. I’d spray a texture spray or hairspray where you want to apply it on your hair to help it stick. It’s a really fun product.


Smileyfacegirl:D March 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Omg, ur blog is so inspiring plus also I’ve always wanted totally pink that weird? :) :….(


Hair Romance March 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Not weird at all x


Benjina March 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Look great!!!! This is the great way to try out a trend for just one day. Look like easy to be a chic. I want this!!!


Olive April 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Kevin Murphy Color Bug is awesome! I have the pink one and it shows up great even in my dark hair but works best if you have product in your hair. I bought my color bug online here


Nancy April 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

You can get the same results by using a high quality chalk, like from an arts & crafts store, and there is a bigger variety of colors to choose from like blues and greens. Plus it is cheaper to buy it this way. Just make sure you buy regular chalk nothing oil or wax based


Hair Romance April 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

great tip Nancy!


iluvsparkles April 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

I have a medium blonde hair. Would it stain that??? My mom won’t let me dip dye it so I want this instead. The website I looked on priced it at $24.95, is there a website that priced it cheaper???


Hair Romance April 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

It should be fine, but use a little leave in conditioner on your ends first to protect them. That’s the price I paid but I know you can use artists pastel chalks to achieve a similar effect (soft pastels – not oil based)


Sandra April 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm

In this blog the girl has translated and copied half of your article :(


Hair Romance April 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for letting me know Sandra x


martha April 27, 2012 at 6:29 am

I’d love to try it some time!


danni May 1, 2012 at 4:49 am

if i put the pink one, on black hair would it work?


Hair Romance May 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Hi Dani, yes, it’s fine on dark hair


Zildy May 16, 2012 at 4:27 am

Hello, can you tell me…when you say apply product, or dry shampoo…what do you mean? Is there a particular product you could direct me to? Also, has anyone found a similar experience to Julie where it only lasted for a few hours? I think this applies mostly to those with dark hair, since I think it is pretty clear that on blonde hair it will last for a lot longer. Please help!


Hair Romance May 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hi Zildy, applying a product first helps the hair powder stick on better. There are lots of dry shampoos on the market – eg Batiste or Klorane are both great – and they are a matte powder spray. Anything matte will add grip to your hair to help the color bug stick. I also like texture sprays such as sea salt sprays – try O&M, David Babaii, KMS – or texture prods like evo Mr Fantastic or KMS makeover spray. I’ve seen great results in dark hair with color bug. Have fun!


Sara November 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

They have a similar product that’s 10$$ at Sally’s beauty stores!


Hair Romance November 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks Sara!


nikki July 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

do they sell color bug at the usa?


Hair Romance July 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Hi Nikki, they’re available from Kevin Murphy salons – check their website to find one near you –


Greta July 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

My hair is a medium blonde and I was wondering if applying the powder to wet hair would make the colour stay for a few days rather than just one night? I’m not ready to go for a full blown dip dye yet but wanted to trial it for a few days. Would doing this work or would it just stain and completely ruin my hair?


Hair Romance July 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

Hi Greta, as it’s a powder it will clump it wet hair and won’t apply evenly. It would also cause knots as your hair dries. Apply it only in dry hair. I would then sleep on a towel and use dry shampoo and reapply the colorbug the next day to keep the colour going. It’s quick to do and you only need to do a full reapplication when you wash your hair. The pot is big enough for several wears.


Linda July 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I think it’s absolutely amazing and can’t wait to try it. After seeing your review I’m going to :)
Linda recently posted..New in: booties van Young SpiritMy Profile


Hair Romance July 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Linda, it’s such a fun product


Alissa July 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

I use soft chalk that you get from a craft store or even walmart. It’s cheaper and you get a variety of colors. It’s also easier to hold. I think it’s better all around.


Hair Romance July 30, 2012 at 9:01 am

Great tips Alissa! I’m going to have to try it x


mariana August 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

and how long does it stay in your hair?


Hair Romance August 23, 2012 at 12:10 am

Hi Mariana, it stays in for a day or so, or until you next was your hair


Natsima August 18, 2012 at 5:05 am

So.. what did you do with the broken color bug?

I dropped one of mine and the powder came off of the package.. it was totally destroyed :x

I really dont wanna throw it away



Hair Romance August 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hi Natsima, mine was still mostly in the case. You can add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol and press it back into shape. It’s the same as re-potting an eyeshadow. Check youtube for soem how to videos x


Kahlei October 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

i was looking foward to getting my colour bug then oncei got it it went everywere , stuffed my blonde hair and since my hair was died blonde it stained my haira pale red. and went all chalky wtin 2 days of getting it and dusty so now its gone. Strongly unrecommended.


Hair Romance October 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Oh no, that doesn’t sound like a great experience Kahlei


anoymous December 31, 2012 at 7:28 am

hey hair romance , i really want to have my hair dip dyed but i am to young so i think this would be good !! how long does it stay in ? and does it stain your clothes ? :)


anoymous December 31, 2012 at 7:33 am

please reply soon as i really want some :) :) when i said how long does it stay in i meant how long does it stay in your hair as im not gonna be allowed to wear it for school as im in year 8 :)


Hair Romance December 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hello! It stays in your hair for a day until you wash it out. Be careful if your hair is naturally blonde as the colour can stain and may stay in for longer. You will be able to wash it out with shampoo. It can stain your clothes so wear something dark (or the same colour as your Color Bug ;) )


anoymous January 1, 2013 at 1:28 am

oh no im naturally really really blonde !! if it does stain would that take long to come out ? x


Hair Romance January 2, 2013 at 7:43 am

You could try a little test section in an inconspicuous piece of hair to see how long it lasts in your hair. Everyone is different and you may need several shampoos to remove the colour.


anoymous January 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

thankyou :) xx

Livy December 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’m going to try this out because my dad said I can but a few months ago I dyed the bottom if my hair blonde and I’m worried it will stain my hair and I’m in yer 8 so most likely I will get in loads if trouble if it stains. Xx


Hair Romance January 2, 2013 at 8:23 am

Try a small test patch first to see if it will stain your hair. Good luck!


Amanda - Pretty in Pink March 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Have literally just applied this to my hair!
Hoping for it to last a few days. My hair is atm a light gingery brown and its looks awesome! Definitely going to try some hairspray because it definitely rubs off onto stuff! Much safer way than actual dye!


Hair Romance March 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

Yay! Have fun with your hair! Hairspray helps and put a towel over your pillow tonight x


Samantha August 16, 2013 at 7:52 am

OKAY.. I have bleached blonde hair and used the color bug and now it wont come out? It’s been a couple washes now. Is there anything I can use to take out the color bug?


Hair Romance August 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

Try baby shampoo Samantha, and give it another shampoo or two. Good luck!


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