Before I started blogging, I was always a little dubious of a dupe.
In my head, dupes of luxury brands were simply look-a-likes: I thought that whilst the colour would look the same in the palette, the consistency would be wrong, or the shade would be different, or the product would generally be a dud. I always rationalized buying more high-end cosmetics on the basis that I would probably buy five different dupes over time anyway, which, in the end, would amount to the cost of that product. (I’m very good at persuading myself. Beauty is a slippery slope, my friends.)
However, as I’ve started blogging, I’ve begun to realize that dupes are actually a fabulous thing – when they’re good. In my quest for cheaper alternatives to pricey products, I’ve discovered a few fab dupes along the way.
MAC VS Natural Collection
Today, I’m bestowing a dupe product with the crown of Friday’s Favourite: Natural Collection’s single eyeshadow in ‘Shell’.
Now, I love MAC. I think it’s a great cosmetics brand and it ticks all of my beauty boxes: doesn’t irritate my skin, lasts a long time, great pigmentation and isn’t hideously expensive (this one is debatable. I’m not the most responsible with money).
I love their single shadows, but they’re pretty pricey – £13 for 1.5g of product is a lot to pay. My current favourite shade from MAC, and one which is a cult buy, is ‘Vanilla’: a creamy off-white in a velvety matte texture. I use it as a base colour for my eyeshadow, a highlighting powder for my browbone, and even on my cupid’s bow as an illuminator.
It’s one of my top picks from MAC – and one of my top beauty picks, period – but the amount of use means ‘Vanilla’ runs out pretty quickly. On a student budget I simply cannot rationalize spending £13 on shadows every month or so – and then I discovered a fabulous alternative.
Everybody knows Natural Collection – Boots’ super cheap own brand where everything is under £2. I’ve never been particularly impressed with anything from this range bar the face powders, and even those aren’t fantastic. However, when having a look to try and replace my ‘Vanilla’ shade, I stumbled across the budget equivalent – a single eyeshadow in ‘Shell’.
‘Vanilla’ VS ‘Shell’
The colours of ‘Shell’ and ‘Vanilla’ are – seriously – practically identical. I’ve swatched them below, and I think that the two are indistinguishable from each other:
In terms of texture, consistency and pigmentation, there’s little difference here. ‘Vanilla’ is slightly stronger in colour – I needed more product on my brush to get a decent swatch of ‘Shell’, but it wasn’t much more. Both powders are a matte texture which builds nicely, neither are chalky and both powders stay put on the skin.
I used MAC on one eye and Natural Collection on the other. (Apologies for my brows – today was not a Cara Delevigne day.):
I did find that Natural Collection wore slightly faster than MAC, but this is to be expected – after all, it’s only £1.99. Honestly. Give a £2 coin and get some change. That, kids, is the dream.
I find this shadow to be extremely well pigmented, durable and easy to use – as much so as the MAC equivalent. The colours are basically identical, and for £11 less you get the exact same amount of product, which is great, as I use this everyday.
I was super impressed with this shadow, and would definitely look at buying more Natural Collection products in the future. For a cheaper alternative to MAC shadows, these are fabulous!