A VERY popular question I have run across a lot lately is “If I have this MAC eyeshadow, do I need that MAC eyeshadow?” The answer is, “Probably not!” I thought it might be helpful to put together a post addressing some of the common dupes you can find within MAC’s permanent collection. This post more than likely will be updated well into the future, as I discover more. Some of these are exact dupes of one another, and others are not exact, but close enough to save you some pennies in the long run. But if you just need to have all the pink shades because they’re pink, I completely understand. 😉
Naked Lunch vs. All That Glitters
After putting together the post for Espresso recently, I had used each of these shades simultaneously and it occurred to me how truly dupeable they were with one another. Sure enough, as I was putting together the swatches, they are exactly alike. No real difference in color, pigmentation, finish in my honest opinion. For some reason, I still prefer Naked Lunch over All That Glitters and I can’t figure why that is.
Soft Brown vs. Saddle
Soft Brown and Saddle are very similar in color and are easily interchanged with one another. I do feel Saddle leans slightly more orange than Soft Brown and Soft Brown is a tad lighter, more neutral. However, if you only wanted one of these shades, you’d be just fine!
Kid vs. Malt
Kid is a light tan shade, while Malt is also a light tan shade but tends to lean more pink. Kid is the more neutral of the two. After purchasing these two, one right after the other, I realized I truly did not need them both. The effect you get with each of these is essentially the same. If you’re trying to decide between the two, Malt would be better suited for warm complexions and Kid can go either way (warm or cool). I personally like Kid a lot more.
Handwritten vs. Brown Down
At first glance you can see the subtle difference between these two in the pan. However, when applied to the lid, they are essentially one in the same. I would say Handwritten leans more towards a red base while Brown Down is more of a true, neutral brown. If you’re of a warm complexion, go for Handwritten; cool complexion, Brown Down is your gal!
Brun vs. Mystery
Both dark brown shades, it is hard to tell the difference between these two when you line them up side by side. What is interesting about these two is that they are both Satin finishes, whereas usually with two very similar eyeshadows like this, one would have a different finish. I personally find Mystery much easier to work with and not so garishly dark against my skin. Mystery is softer in my opinion. If you want a darker, more robust shade, Brun may just be the one for you.
Folie vs. Twinks
Both are red based browns which actually both have a purple hue to them, barely detectable in the pan. The only real difference between these two is the finish; Folie will give you more of a matte-leaning finish (not matte though!), while Twinks will give you more of a shimmer finish. These are essentially the same shade color-wise.
Romp vs. Tempting
If you didn’t grab Romp before MAC discontinued it about 8 months ago, you’re in luck! Tempting is its exact dupe, which is probably why MAC decided to discontinue it to begin with. I honestly don’t see a difference between the two except for the finish. Romp is Frost finish and Tempting is a Lustre finish. I personally prefer Tempting over Romp and will actually be swapping Romp away soon.
Expensive Pink vs. Mythology
If ever there were two eyeshadows that could easily be substituted for one another, it’s definitely these two! Expensive Pink has one over on Mythology in that it offers that beautiful duochrome quality not found in Mythology. Mythology is a Lustre finish and I feel is slightly stronger than Expensive Pink. Expensive Pink is the more universal choice among women and that could be attributed to Mythology’s glitter formula. I do find myself reaching for Expensive Pink more, as you can see below.
Sushi Flower vs. Free to Be
Sushi Flower and Free to Be are not EXACT dupes of one another, but they’re close enough that if you’re trying to decide which one to get, you really only need one. Sushi Flower is a true, ‘Barbie’ pink, whereas Free to Be is more of a coral-orangey pink. There are differences again in finish – Sushi Flower is a Satin and Free to Be is a matte. If you’re looking for a STRONG pink that stands out, go for Sushi Flower. If you’re looking for a nice matte pink that’s not too strong but still holds its own, Free to Be is the way to go.
Deep Damson vs. Beauty Marked
These two are very deceiving when you look at them side by side in the pan. I’ll be the first to admit they look like two very different eyeshadows in that regard. However, when used in the same look, both of these look identical and are easily interchangeable with one another. The only small difference I’d say is that Beauty Marked is chocked full of glitter that semi-transfers to the lid while Deep Damson is more of a matte shade. Depending on which formula you prefer, either one is beautiful but you definitely don’t need both.
Vibrant Grape vs. Creme de Violet
When I compared these side by side in the pan, the only difference I could see between the two was Creme de Violet’s hint of gold glitter. When applied in the swatch Creme de Violet does tend to lean slightly more pink than Vibrant Grape. Each of these gives its own unique effect, but they are really interchangeable with one another.
Steamy vs. Shimmermoss
While not completely identical, you can get away with the using either of these in place of one another in a look. Like Romp, Shimmermoss was discontinued about 8 months ago. Compared to Steamy, it leans more green and has more teal hues, but not so much that it makes a difference in the comparison of the two. Steamy is more blue and I feel it’s not as pigmented as Shimmermoss (takes a lot more work to build).
Silver Ring vs. Knight Divine
There may be some who disagree with me on this, but I feel Silver Ring and Knight Divine are interchangeable (or maybe I have too many grays and they all look alike now – ha!). I say that because I used them in a combination side by side recently and they basically blended into one another. Knight Divine is noticeably darker in the pan in the comparison, but in application, it’s not as strong. I am more partial to Knight Divine based on it’s pigmentation.
Nehru vs. Carbon
Nehru and Carbon are basically black shades. Who really needs more than one black shade in their collection? Seriously. The most noticeable difference to me between these two is that I see a slight blue tinge to Nehru not found in Carbon. Carbon is a true, deep black. However, I find Nehru much easier to work with and blend. When it comes right down to it, I prefer it over Carbon.