Since I started doing the ‘If You Have This, You Don’t Need That’ series (here and here) on the site, a very popular request that has come across from many of you is a comparison between limited edition shades to the permanent collection.
In my time collecting eyeshadows I have run across a good many dupes and have swooned over limited edition shades I saw online only to find out when they arrived I already had them. Please keep in mind this is not an all-inclusive list as I don’t have even 1/8 of the eyeshadows MAC has put out, more than likely, but these are the dupes I have come across.
I also want to mention that I have swapped away some LE dupes in the past and therefore did not have a few to compare for you through images, but they will be listed below the post. If you have any dupes you’d like to add to this, you’re more than welcome to do so in the comments below! Let’s begin!
LE vs. Permanent Shade (A-Z)
Birds & Berries vs. Tilt
While not identical-looking, these two shades are completely interchangeable with one another. I find both easy to work with but will say Birds & Berries is more of a pigmented, and slightly deeper/vibrant shade compared to Tilt.
Is Birds & Berries worth hunting down? No.
Bold & Brazen vs. Expensive Pink
Immediately after I purchased Bold & Brazen I knew I had made a mistake because Expensive Pink is completely identical to it. There is no real differentiation between the two; both apply beautifully to the lid, have a light level of pigmentation and blend away just as easily.
Is Bold & Brazen worth hunting down? No.
Botanical vs. Mulch
Botanical really is just such a unique shade; it is not an exact dupe for Mulch by any means but it’s about the closest you’ll come in the permanent collection. When I first got it, I thought it was comparable to Satin Taupe, but it leans far more purple which I feel makes it closer to Mulch, only without the red base Mulch has. Using Mulch in a look that uses Botanical will give you very similar results. What I love the most about Botanical is its silver leaning tendency that Mulch does not have. Unfortunately, it does have a small amount of glitter in the formula but it’s not overpowering like some other shades can be.
Is Botanical worth hunting down? Yes, but wait for a repromote.
Carbonized vs. Mulch
Carbonized came out in the MAC Me Over collection and is a more muted, neutral version of Mulch. I feel if you take the red tones out of Mulch, and make it darker, you’d end up with Carbonized. Both shades are easy to work with, apply, blend, etc. When used in looks, I feel Carbonized turns into a gray brown. I will probably swap Carbonized away at some point only because I like the purple and red tones of Mulch better.
Is Carbonized worth hunting down? No.
Fashion Groupie vs. Satellite Dreams
Fashion Groupie is a dead ringer for Satellite Dreams, hands down. The only real difference between these two that I could even possibly see is that Fashion Groupie leans just ever so slightly more red than Satellite Dreams, a true blue-based purple. In my experience I have found Fashion Groupie just a touch easier to work with in the crease as well.
Is Fashion Groupie worth hunting down? No.
Femme Fi vs. Ricepaper
When I discovered Femme Fi I was simply over the moon! I had read so many great things about it online and just couldn’t wait to try it. While similar to Ricepaper, Femme Fi has a buttery soft finish that literally just falls onto the brush from the pan and transfers to the lid just as easily. Compared to Ricepaper, I feel it is more pigmented as well.
Is Femme Fi worth hunting down? Yes.
Glamour Check! vs. Antiqued
There was a phase I went through where I had to have EVERY red brown shade that was out there and Glamour Check! was no exception! However, it is very dupeable to Antiqued. Glamour Check! is MUCH more pigmented and it also leans a little more purple than Antiqued, just slightly. If I had a choice between these two of which to apply all over the lid, I generally go more for Glamour Check! as I feel it’s more toned down than Antiqued.
Is Glamour Check! worth hunting down? No.
Grand Entrance vs. All That Glitters
Both are beautiful champagne gold shades but I personally gravitate more to Grand Entrance over All That Glitters. Grand Entrance is lighter in color and I feel more muted making it much easier to pair with other colors. If you find a look that uses Grand Entrance, All That Glitters is a great dupe to use in its place.
Is Grand Entrance worth hunting down? Yes.
Guacamole vs. Swimming
While not 100% identical to one another, I really feel I did not need to purchase Guacamole having already owned Swimming. Each of these will give you next to near identical results in a look, with Swimming being only slightly stronger in pigmentation. Guacamole is a little hard to get onto the brush and isn’t one I particularly loved or will even keep for that matter. Compared to Swimming’s intense glitter formula, I will say I liked that Guacamole did NOT have any glitter.
Is Guacamole worth hunting down? No.
Illegal Cargo vs. Shale
Illegal Cargo looks almost identical to Shale when you first glance at the two in the pan, and they are easily interchangeable in looks. I find Illegal Cargo to be just a little lighter and more purple than Shale, but with the same cool blue base. Shale is an easy shade to work with but can be a little resistant to blending at first when used in the crease; Illegal Cargo will give you no trouble at all and screams to be blended!
Is Illegal Cargo worth hunting down? Yes.
Jete vs. Jest
I purchased Jete simply because it was another pink shade I just HAD to have. Well, I already had it. Jete is an exact dupe for Jest and the only real difference between the two is that Jete pulls a little more pink compared to the more toned down Jest. Both are easy to work with but either can be used in the other’s place.
Is Jete worth hunting down? No.
Mancatcher vs. Beautiful Iris
Mancatcher is a lovely light lilac color that leans slightly more red whereas Beautiful Iris is just a tad more blue based. True, these are not 100% identical of one another, but like so many other shades you could substitute one in a look for the other and no one would be the wiser. I just love Mancatcher and almost didn’t get it after reading how similar these were, but I will say I’m very glad I did.
Is Mancatcher worth hunting down? Yes.
Moth Brown vs. Knight Divine + Satin Taupe
I’m adding Moth Brown into the mix here because while it is a beautiful shade, there is a way you can duplicate its coloring if you already own Knight Divine and Satin Taupe. When I first used Moth Brown, it reminded me so much of Knight Divine but it was missing that brown tinge. Adding Satin Taupe over it was precisely the mixture needed for a dupe of Moth Brown. If you don’t want to mix eyeshadows, Urban Decay has an exact dupe for Moth Brown in Mushroom. I love this color and especially enjoy pairing it with Crystal eyeshadow; it is a must have if you don’t already own Knight Divine, Satin Taupe or UD’s Mushroom.
Is Moth Brown worth hunting down? Yes.
Peppier vs. Paradisco
Peppier was one I lusted after for a while simply because it was another coral pink, and seeing how limited MAC is with their coral pinks in the permanent collection, I just couldn’t help myself! The difference you’ll find between these two is in Peppier’s darker and more pigmented shade compared to Paradisco. Paradisco is one of those eyeshadows that requires a really great paint pot or base to get it to show nicely on the lid; with Peppier you need not worry about that!
Is Peppier worth hunting down? Yes.
Prepped for Glamour vs. Satin Taupe
I used Prepped for Glamour for the first time not too long ago and right after applying it, I thought, “Wow, that looks a lot like Satin Taupe.” Turns out I was right. These two are completely identical to one another and I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two, in the swatches or in looks.
Is Prepped For Glamour worth hunting down? No.
Rose (PRO) vs. Da Bling
Rose is not a limited edition shade, rather a PRO shade, but I wanted to include it with this post as I get a lot of questions about dupes for it when it’s used in looks. Da Bling and Rose are so doggone similar to one another and really, if you have one you don’t need the other. I did because I like pinks. Ha! The only real difference between these two is Rose is a lot softer than Da Bling, much easier to work with and more pigmented. If you don’t already own Da Bling, it is worth every penny.
Is Rose worth hunting down? Yes.
Saffron vs. Red Brick
Saffron was a MUST HAVE for me when I saw it in the store. Unfortunately, when I got it home I was less impressed with it. Not only is it a dupe for Red Brick, but it leaves much to be desired. The pigmentation is off and the transfer to the lid isn’t as easy as you find in Red Brick. I like Red Brick for its intense pigmentation that can be used lightly or heavily; I didn’t find that with Saffron.
Is Saffron worth hunting down? No.
Sorcery vs. Sketch
Sorcery was a purchase I made early on in my collecting and I soon discovered it was next to near identical to Sketch. Both are essentially the same color and have the same amount of pigmentation. I personally find Sorcery much easier to work with in terms of blending, but I really could take it or leave it compared to Sketch.
Is Sorcery worth hunting down? No.
Star By Night vs. Deep Truth
Star By Night was in MAC’s ever popular Starflash collection and that was one of reasons I bought it. However, I was very disappointed with it, not only because it is a dupe for Deep Truth, but also because Deep Truth is MUCH better! Star By Night is lacking in pigmentation and isn’t as rich a color as you’ll find in Deep Truth.
Is Star By Night worth hunting down? No.
Sweet Chestnut vs. Cranberry
I was able to swap for Sweet Chestnut shortly after I saw it used in a look; needless to say I was ecstatic. It is quite dupeable in Cranberry, but you’ll find a slightly deeper, more rich burgundy red not found in MAC’s current collection. The pigmentation is rich and it transfers to the lid nicely as well. Sweet Chestnut is incredibly difficult to find so I wouldn’t recommend stressing yourself over finding it, but if MAC ever does repromote it (and you’re a fan of shades like Cranberry) definitely grab a couple!
Is Sweet Chestnut worth hunting down? Yes, but wait for a repromote.
Tissueweight vs. Jest
Tissueweight is a pale pink shade with an incredibly soft texture that is very pigmented and applies just as nicely. It is VERY similar to Jest, only lighter in color and lacks that sheen Jest has. If you’re looking for more of a matte leaning shade of Jest, Tissueweight is a great alternative.
Is Tissueweight worth hunting down? No.
Waternymph vs. Steamy
Waternymph was another one of my first purchases and I spent a lot more than I should have for it, because I heard so many wonderful things about it. Turns out it’s a dupe for Steamy (and Shimmermoss). The only difference between these three shades is the pigmentation level. Steamy is well known for being a bear to get to show on the lid, Shimmermoss is much easier, but Waternymph is by far the easiest. However, color-wise there really is no difference between all three of these.
Is Waternymph worth hunting down? No.
These eyeshadows were ones I owned at one point but have since been swapped away due to the dupe factor.
Early Bird = Free to Be
Moleskin = Kid
Poste Haste = Passionate
Romping = Passionate
Stately Black = Black Tied
Too Dolly = Aquadisiac