Category Archives: Dupes

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge vs. the BeautyBlender

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beauty blender vs real techniques sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // beautyblender (both dry). They’re both clean, but stained.

I have been a big fan of the beautyblender for a couple years now.  I don’t use it every day – fingers are just faster and easier – but I always pull it out when I want the best finish possible, especially with thicker foundations. The one big downside of the Beauty Blender is the price – $20 for just one sponge! You can also buy two for $29, that’s still quite pricey for sponge. So, I was intrigued to hear that the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is as good as the beautyblender – it’s $6, and frequently on sale. In fact, just for today (Thursday), all Real Technique brushes & tools are 25% off at Ulta.com – which makes the Real Techniques sponge a real bargain at $4.50.

So, how do they compare?

Obviously, they’re shaped differently – both are egg-like with a pointed end and a rounded egg, but the RT sponge has a flat section as well. I don’t find that this makes any practical difference – I don’t generally use the flat section, but it doesn’t detract from the sponge either.

beauty blender vs real techniques sponge-2

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // Beautyblender (both damp)

Both are smallish and relatively dense when dry, and just about double in size when damp. The texture is a bit different when they’re damp – the Real Techniques sponge is denser than the beautyblender. You can see the texture difference in the macro shots below.

Real Techniques sponge vs Beautyblender - macro

Texture differences – RT on the left, BB on the right.

However, practically speaking, I don’t notice any difference when I use the sponges. Both are much softer and “bouncier” than your standard latex wedge sponge. Both soak up a little foundation, but not too much, and both give a flawless, streak-free finish. Given the price difference, I know which one I’ll be repurchasing!

Have you tried either or both of these sponges, or any of the other supposed beautyblender dupes? I’d love to hear what you think of the various sponges available!

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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Dupe Alert! Essie Naughty Nautical and NYC Short Shorts

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Essie Naughty Nautical NYC Short Shorts Comparison

A little while ago, I promised a comparison of Essie Naughty Nautical (from Essie’s summer collection) and NYC Short Shorts, from NYC’s limited edition Rooftop Party collection.  And, I have good news for those seeking a cheaper alternative to the Essie – the NYC polish is extremely similar!

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Sinful Colors Shine with Gel Tech: Review & Swatches

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Sinful Colors Shine with Gel Tech Manhunt // Blue Suede Shoes // My Kryptonite

Manhunt // Blue Suede Shoes // My Kryptonite

Sinful Colors recently released a new line of permanent products, the Sinful Shine polishes with Gel Tech – supposedly five times glossier than the regular line of Sinful Colors polishes (many of which I find quite glossy, actually).  Per the display, these can be found exclusively at Walgreens.

Sinful Colors Shine Display

click to enlarge

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Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm Review & Swatches

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Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm Unique Pink

Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm

I’ve always been intrigued by Dior’s Lip Glow, but unwilling to spend $31 on what is essentially a sheer pink lip balm.  While browsing in Sephora the other day, I came across Sephora’s house brand Color Reveal Lip Balm which appears to be a dupe; both are marketed as moisturizing balms, and both self-adjust from clear (when initially applied) to some shade of pink based on the pH of your skin/ lips. I should have swatched both side by side in store but didn’t think to.  I have swatched Dior Lip Glow on my hand several times and I know it turns a similar color on my hand as the Sephora brand product.

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Dupe Alert: Sinful Colors Endless Blue & Nails, Inc. Baker St.

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Dupes - Swatches - Baker St - Endless Blue

Baker St. on the left, Endless Blue on the right

I think you can tell where I’m going with this post based on the photo.

So, I bought Sinful Colors Endless Blue from the new Sinful Colors Buff to Bright Collection (more information on that collection here). I bought it partly because I am loving blues right now, and partly because I was curious to see if it was a good dupe for Nails, Inc. Baker St. Note that Baker St. is also duped by Essie Butler Please and quite similar to Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, but the Sinful Colors is the least expensive of all.

Here’s another close up comparison, this time with flash:

Sinful Colors Endless Blue Nails Inc Baker Street Swatch Dupes

Baker St // Endless Blue

In my opinion, they are excellent dupes; the only different I notice is that Nail, Inc. Baker St. dries to a satin / low-gloss finish and Sinful Colors Endless Blue dries to a high-gloss finish (both swatches are completely dry in the photo). Both have good formulas; I did find the Sinful Colors just a touch thicker than I prefer, so I thinned it just a little bit. It is useable as bought.

And finally, a quick swatch of Endless Blue on the nail:

Sinful Colors Endless Blue Swatch

Endless Blue

Overall, I would definitely recommend Endless Blue – both as a lovely polish in it’s own right, and as a $2 dupe for the more expensive Nails, Inc. Baker St.

*I purchased both products featured in this post.  Please see my disclosure policy for more information.