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!

Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille: a dupe

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Note: a fragrance “dupe” is another scent that smells the same (or, at least, is supposed to smell the same) as the product it is a dupe for. They can be other mass-market products (like how Soap and Glory’s The Righteous Butter is said to be a dupe for Miss Dior Cherie,) or “knockoffs” from small independent retailers (which this one is.)

After I was sent a small vial of Skindecent’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille dupe from a lovely friend (no, not by the company,) I had to compare the two for you (of course!) With the price of the original topping $200 US, I’d do pretty much anything to find a fragrance that if not identical, is at least very similar… minus the price tag. 


Here’s the thing: the Skindecent dupe is… decent. I mean, it’s nice, it really is — I’d go so far as to say that it’s very nice. It has the “mature vanilla” vibe that the Guerlain has, with a similar woodsy, deep base, and diffuses a bit farther from the skin than the original does (which I like — the Guerlain seems to play it a bit too close to the skin, at times, for me.) But there’s a catch. It’s missing the same booziness and fizziness. It has hints of both, I suppose, but it in no way sparkles the way real SDV sparkles. 

 Stock photo from the Skindecent site, edited slightly for colour and coherence.



What I’d do:

  • If you haven’t smelled Spiritueuse Double Vanille and don’t want to be tempted, this is still a wonderful vanilla that I think would be great to have in your collection, both to wear alone and to layer (which it does do, and beautifully at that.)
  • If you haven’t smelled Spiritueuse Double Vanille and are silly enough that you still want to (oh, your poor wallet!) this just won’t do. Order a sample of the Guerlain!
  • If you have smelled Spiritueuse Double Vanille and are looking for an exact dupe, this isn’t it. So, perhaps you’d be better off skipping it.
  • If you have smelled Spiritueuse Double Vanille and are looking for something fairly similar, but much, much cheaper, try this — the difference in cost is $77 per ounce (or, in other words, $192.50 per 2.5oz bottle of SDV.)

My verdict? Personally, I’m in the last category. This is by no means a perfect dupe (or even a replacement) for the real thing, but I know I’ll be using this reguarily and saving the Guerlain for special occasions. It is a gorgeous vanilla in its own right!

This doesn’t mean that I’ll stop looking, though — I hear that the CBD dupe is lovely, and I’ve found a few others online as well!

Availability: this dupe is sold through Skindecent — I have the 100% perfume oil 2ml sample, but it is also available in many other forms, from EdP sprays and roll-ons to scented body powder.

Going greige… and finding two identical polishes!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What they are: Rimmel‘s Lasting Finish Pro in Steel Grey and Sally Hansen‘s Complete Salon Manicure in Commander in Chic.

The catch: Because these are often said to be (a) “likely similar,” and (b) possibly as close as the drugstore will get to “greige,” I wanted to get these and compare them for you; pick a favourite so you didn’t have to. What I didn’t expect was finding that the two are completely identical!

The colour: Okay, so I guess there’s one tiny silver lining to this? If they’re the same, I only need to describe the shade once! I personally wouldn’t call it a greige, as far as greiges go… it’s too violet if you ask me, and much too dark. However, as for the shade aside from that? I think it’s very love-it-or-hate-it, and I can’t decide which side I’m on. Depending on the lighting (as you’ll see in the swatches,) its undertones seem to vary quite a bit. 


Sometimes I absolutely love it, especially in indirect sunlight (where it’s a lovely deep grey-violet,) but I hate it in dim tungsten lighting (where it’s a muddy, indiscriminate brown.)

both in indirect sunlight, taken simply at different times during the day.

The stats:
The formula and wear time seem the same, just like eveything else. They don’t feel like they’re going on thinly, and don’t streak, but it takes about three coats to make it to opacity for the pair of them. I always worry about wear time when something goes on like this, but these seem to be okay. After about a week on my toes, they’re all still in tip-top shape, save for a dent on one toe!


(But that was my fault because I opened a door on it.)


(Which hurt, for the record.)


(Thanks for asking.)

Additionally, both polishes feature the same applicator tip, a fairly thick but not too wide brush with rounded edges. Personally, my favourite brush head is OPI’s Pro Wide (which a lot of people hate,) but I found this one easy to work with as well! The LFP and CSM heads are optimal for fingernails, but they’ll work just fine on toenails, too.

Random sidenote: The Rimmel is also known as a dupe for Sephora by OPI’s Metro Chic. From what I’ve seen, I’d say the three of them are the same — perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that the folks at Sally chose the name “Commander in Chic!” $5 on Sephora polish? Saved!


The verdict? If you were hoping these would be greige, take your hands away from your wallet and back away slowly. However, if you were looking for a strange but likeable brown-grey-violet, these would be a pretty good place to start! The shade is very much in the moment right now in terms of trendiness, so if this is your colour, buy one and wear it STAT – before it gets overdone and goes out of style. As to the lines themselves, I think these are both very solid fomulas, which I’d buy again should I come across other pretty shades!


Personally, I’d go with the Sally Hansen if they were the same price, simply because the packaging is lovely. However, with the Sally at $8 and the Rimmel at $5 (I told you we get charged more in Canada for everything!) I’d choose the latter, as there’s no loss in polish quality.

NYC Pink Cheek Glow: a failed Orgasm dupe

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wow, it feels like we haven’t done product reviews for ages!


What it is: NYC’s Pink Cheek Glow, a supposed NARS Orgasm dupe

On the colour: Yah, I’m really not getting Orgasm out of this. It’s much more pink, if you ask me, and the shimmer is more fine. (Which, in my books, is a good thing!) I’m assuming it gets recognized as an O dupe because of a) its sheerness, and b) its neutrality — I can see thisapricot-pink working on most ladies who are lighter than about NW30, though there is of course some degree of layering to be expected.

On the formula: Sometimes you find a great drugstore Holy Grail… but others, you get what you pay for. Though the colour of this is fairly inoffensive, the product itself is on the chalky side, and the pigmentation is quite low. The wear time is exactly what you thought it would be: nothing to be ashamed of for the price, but it won’t last you through the day. Unfortunately, thecumbersome packaging is too large and too loose to go with you during the day, unless you want powder all over your bag.

On the ingredients:

The verdict? Though this would be a good starter blush for a preteen (it’s hard to mess up when you have this little pigment!) I’m going to tell you to pass on it. Yes, it’s cheap, and kind of cute, but it’s also a waste of time if you ask me — unless you like reapplying every fifteen minutes?

Possible NARS dupe?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I saw a swatch of the new NARS single – Tropic - on Temptalia and had the strangest feeling.

Haven’t I seen that before?

So I went running upstairs and swatched my Fyrinnae Ripped Jeans. Like Tropic, it’s a dark, teal-ish blue matte shade with silver glitter. From what I can tell from photos, the two are very similar (I haven’t yet seen it in person.) However, I’d hazard to say that Fyrinnae will be more wearable for most people. Why? The glitter is finer, meaning it’ll be less “disco” and stay on with much more ease.

Photos from Temptalia (I claim NO rights to these!!!) of NARS Tropic:

My photos of Fyrinnae Ripped Jeans:(wet/dry. Holy cripes, what a difference!)


The verdict? These shades are very similar, and both have their pros and cons (Ripped Jeans stains the skin when used wet, see below, but Tropic has chunky glitter.) But honestly? Tropic is $22 from the summer collection, and Fyrinnae pigments are like $5. Go with the Fyrinnae!

Ripped Jeans, post-washing and post-makeup remover.
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