Deja vu: Marcelle dupes… itself?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

While swatching the nine new Rouge Xpression lipsticks, I had a major case of deja vu. Now, my memory isn’t the best, so at first I thought I had already swatched all nine and simply forgotten where I put the photos – until I opened my lipstick drawer to investigate further!

L-R: Marcelle Rouge Xpression lipsticks in Delightful, Jezebel, Mauve Avant-Garde, and Curious.

What I found out is that Marcelle as essentially reproduced the two lipsticks featured in Trend, this winter’s seasonal collection, and put them into the permanent line. Delightful has become Jezebel, and Curious has morphed into Mauve Avant-Garde. As far as I know, the latter was unintentional (they just happened to put out two very similar shades), but the former was definitely intended!

The initial confusion aside, I’m actually pretty alright with this decision. Read on to find out why!

Found it: a Benefit Posietint dupe by Etude House

Friday, February 11, 2011

While organizing my blushers this past weekend, I found quite a good dupe for Benefit PosieTint, and I thought I’d share it with you ladies this morning. The stain in question is Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, in 02 Pink.

The similarities:

Packaging. Both stains feature similar packaging (PosieTint is smaller in the photos because it’s a mini), with opaque pink bases and lids that screw off. However,  the Etude House product has a doe-foot applicator, while the Benefit has a brush-tip.

Colour. They are a bit different when swatched (it’s more obvious when you look at the stains, below), but they’re pretty similar. Though the Benefit is a bit more vivid and blue-based, the difference when the product is actually used is negligible.

The differences:

Scent. This one’s my big hang-up, because while PosieTint is blissfully scent-free, Etude’s version has this awful, synthetic cherry scent. It’s sort of medicinal and bitter, and smells very much like something that I wouldn’t feed my family dog (that is, if my family had a dog, which we do not.)

Price. The Benefit is $28USD (yes, it’s $28… even more in Canada!) while the Etude House ranges from about $ to about $15. Have fun doing that math.

Freshly applied: Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, Pink (l) / Benefit PosieTint (r)

My choice? Posietint is expensive, for sure, but it’s still the one I’d recommend. I prefer the blue undertones (despite the fact that the two really aren’t that different), but it’s the scent that gets me – I can’t stand the “cherry” odour of the Etude House version. However, if you’re on a budget & you don’t mind the scent, then the Etude House is the way to go, hands down.

Just the stains: Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, Pink (l) / Benefit PosieTint (r)

P.S. Here are a few shops you can find the Etude House tint at. I’m not affiliated with any of these & don’t make a penny if you purchase at them, but I thought I’d do the searching for you ;) Just for reference, these are about 6, 000 won in Korea – about $5 USD.

{$14USD at Makeup Flair} {$13.90SGD at Korea Beauty House} {$8.88 at Miss Hong} {$5-$10 on ebay}

Get a Peach Glow with Natio

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back when we did our end-of-the-year survey, I was asked specifically to review exclusive-to-Australia products. Of course, my reaction to this was pretty  much just “I’m sorry, what?!” because, well… if it’s exclusive to Australia, how was I supposed to get my hands on it in Canada?!

Anyhow. Whoever wrote that comment – this review is for you. Enjoy!

What it is: Natio Peach Glow Blush. Thanks to Suzie for sending it to me (ages and ages ago)!

About the product: Natio is an Australia-only line with a natural focus, though this blusher in particular isn’t all-natural (parabens and mineral oil, lovelies!) Peach Glow is a light peach with a frosty finish, but the shimmer is quite finely milled – in other words, think “hilighter” rather than “disco ball.” It has more red undertones than yellow ones (hence, peach rather than apricot) and is decently pigmented; nothing that wows me but it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Looks like: I had a strange sense of deja vu while swatching this blusher, so I pulled out two products I thought might be similar. They’re not perfect dupes, but they’re close!

Clarins Blush Prodige in Sunset Coral (review here) is my favourite of the three, with a bit more brown/red than peach, the least shimmer, and the longest wear time. Natio Peach Glow is the cheapest (at $12.68AUD), but it’s also the most sheer, and wears off the most easily. Finally, MAC Fresco Cream Color Base is a very pigmented cream finish, and has just a touch more red than the other two. It sheers out well, but can be layered for almost complete opacity.

Clarins Blush Prodige in Sunset Coral / Natio Blush in Peach Glow / MAC Cream Color Base in Fresco

The ingredients: Talc, Zinc Stearate, Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. Plus a bunch of “may contain” colorants (all listed on their site).

The verdict? I’m not hugely in love with Peach Glow, but it’s cute – and I do like it enough that I’d love to try more Natio! For Australians, it’ll be a ton cheaper than the Clarins or MAC alternatives, but just keep in mind that it’s less pigmented, and the finish is quite different. On light skintones, it’s a nice choice for a peach blusher; on darker ones, I bet it would make a fab hilighter.

Peach Glow in slightly different lighting

P.S. Want more Autralian product reviews? Let me know in the comments!

Clinique Chubby Stick dupes

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alright, so these aren’t really dupes – they’re just other pencils that are wider than normal. Because I happen to think they’re cute. Now, I’ll admit that most of them aren’t quite as cute as the Clinique version, but just in case you were looking for something a little different (maybe a little cheaper, or maybe a little more pigmented?), here’s a bunch.

For a little less $$:

For a little more $$:

Good customer service isn’t dead: an Opulent Alchemy review

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

About the seller

Nicholette, the blending brains behind this whole op (har har, Opulent… sorry. I’ll stop.) is such a wonderful seller — the customer service is great, she’s really accommodating, and the samples all look divine! You can really tell that everything’s been filled, labelled, and packed with care; my samples came super-full and carefully labelled. Plus, they arrived bundled safety in four or five perfectly-wrapped pieces of tissue and a bubble mailer. No cracks, leaks, or other packaging mishaps here!

Unlike a lot of sellers who promise “carefully chosen” extra samples “if available,” Nicholette actually pays attention to her customers. I had asked her to switch out L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two for a sample of Annick Goutal Petite Cherie at the last moment, and was disappointed when I opened up the package to find Tea For Two… until I saw that she had included both! My other surprise sample was a dupe of Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, and I’m guessing it’s because (even I had to sort through old emails to figure this one out,) I had mentioned my budding vanilla addiction when I first asked about samples.

Now that, my dears, is dedication.

About the dupes

This section is long. I know, and I’m sorry. The really important stuff’s bolded, though, so you could always just read those bits!

Coco (Chanel) smells absolutely nothing like Coco, if you ask me! This was the first dupe I tried on, and I was horrified — it’s not sophisticated, and it’s not spicy. Which is not to say that some people wouldn’t like it, but on my skin, at least, it just smelled like a mess of soapy essential oils! It was far enough off the mark that I almost burst into tears. What can I say: I had my hopes up, and I was having a really awful day!

Chinatown (Bond No. 9). Everyone describes Chinatown as one of the most entrancing things they’ve ever tried; something that never gets boring. Now, I haven’t smelled the Bond No. 9, but this was pretty much what I was expecting. It opens as a very sweet, very bold “big white flor(ient)al,” and while it is definitely not a scent for the timid, it’s quite well-blended. The first few minutes are a bit overwhelming for me, but would be heaven for a lover of white florals and warm, sweet scents! As the top notes evaporate, Chinatown’s peach blossom accords, smooth, woody notes, and light spiciness are revealed. However, as to the claim that it is one of the most complex, fascinating scents around? For this dupe, at least: it isn’t, in my opinion.

(Also, it makes me think of an Anthropologie shop. I think it might be the bergamot-sandalwood blend, which is common in a lot of the candles and body lotions throughout the store. *shrugs* I don’t know. It kinda smells like a really pretty room spray or something, rather than a perfume.)

Un Bois Vanille (Serge Lutens) was a sample I didn’t end up ordering, because I thought I’d hate it! (Hint:  I did not.) I’ve sampled the actual Serge UBV before, and it has a very specific note that I don’t care for — “animalic” would be the proper term to use, but honestly, it’s just icky and body-odour-ish. (Most people don’t find a lot of b.o. in UBV, but even the smallest amounts of it drive my sensitive nose nuts.) Opulent Alchemy’s dupe, however, has much less of an animalic note, delivering instead a very smooth, carmelized vanilla — incredibly sweet, yes, but if you’re a lover of sweet vanillas (and especially if you love Serge’s Un Bois Vanille,) this is a great one!


Dupe alert: Smashbox In Bloom Soft Focus Eye Liners

Friday, December 17, 2010

While writing up a post on Annabelle’s new Mineral Powder Eyeliners, I ran into a sense of deja vu — about Smashbox’s In Bloom Eye Liners, that is. First it was just the packaging, which happens to be the same shape…

And then it was the shades…

And now? I’ve noticed the formulas! Check this out:

Smashbox In Bloom: Boron Nitride, Silica, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Pentylene Glycol, Pumice, Kaolin, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carnauba Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Annabelle Mineral Powder: Boron Nitride, Silica, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Pentylene Glycol, Pumice, Kaolin, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Carnauba Wax.

Yep — the ingredients lists are the exact same! The last few ingredients are in a slightly different order, but (as I’m sure you all know), ingredients lists are written up in order of concentration. That is to say: these formulas are probably 80% the first three ingredients, and contain just minuscule amounts of the last ones. So, switching them up? Not going to make a huge difference in your product.

The big difference:

I’m not sure who thought up these liners first, but enjoy your dupes, Canucks ;) And make sure to grab ’em fast; they’re limited edition!

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