Tag Archives: dupe alert

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.

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.

Wet n Wild Spring Forward Eyeshadow Palette Swatches: Nude Awakening & Going In The Wild


Wet n Wild Spring Awakening Palettes

I finally found them! I’m talking about Wet n Wild’s Spring Forward Eyeshadow Palettes, which are limited edition for Spring 2013; first spotted several weeks ago, they’ve been quite elusive in my neck of the woods, and I didn’t find them until today.  I bought a set for myself and another set to give away; the giveaway is in a separate post here.

Since I just bought these palettes, this post is pictures, swatches, and initial thoughts, rather than a full review.

Wet n Wild Nude Awakening

First up: Nude Awakening (Note: Do not search for the name of this palette on Google images with Safe Search turned off, at least not if you want to see eyeshadow!).

I swatched by going top to bottom down the left column, then down the right colum.

Wet n Wild Nude Awakening Swatches

Nude Awakening

Wet n Wild Nude Awakening Swatches-2

Nude Awakening – Left Column

The left brownbone shade is my favorite shade out of both palettes; it doesn’t show up very well on my skin because of the color, but the finish is gorgeous – it’s almost but not quite matte. It’s a very similar finish to Burberry Trench, though the color is a little lighter. I think it is going to be my new favorite highlight shade, and this shade alone is worth the ($5) price of the palette for me.

Wet n Wild Nude Awakening Swatches-3

Nude Awakening – Right Column

Another thing I really love about this palette is that the eyeshadows aren’t overly shimmery; they’re more of a low pearl or satin finish, which I find really flattering. I hate to say it since it’s currently so hard to find, but I think I really love this palette (so far)

Nude Awakening’s color scheme – neutrals plus grey & soft black – is reminiscent of the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  So, I pulled out my Naked Palette to see if there were any actual dupes, and I found some similar shades.

Wet n Wild Nude Awakening - Urban Decay Naked - Dupes

UD Buck vs. WnW Left Crease // UD Gunmetal vs. WnW Right Crease //
Urban Decay Creep vs. WnW Right Definer

Everyone has different ideas about what they consider a dupe, but I personally think Gunmetal and Creep are duped, and the Buck shade is similar, but not quite a dupe.

Wet n Wild Going in the Wild

Wet n Wild Going in the Wild

Moving on, we have Going in the Wild; I found that several of the eyeshadows in this palette were a bit harder than Wet n Wild’s usual Color Icon formula, and had less payoff than typical.

Wet n Wild Going in the Wild Swatches

Going in the Wild

Wet n Wild Going in the Wild Swatches-3

Going in the Wild – Left Column

None of these four shades impressed me very much; the left browbone shade is pretty and sparkly, but not unique.  The matte lavender left crease shade was terrible – very poor payoff (the swatch is heavily layered).

Wet n Wild Going in the Wild Swatches-2

Going in the Wild – Right Column

I was also unimpressed by the yellow/gold right brownbone shade – mostly sparkle, little color.  The standout shade in this palette is definitely the mint green, which is gorgeous and very pigmented.  It’s a bit outside of my comfort zone in terms of color, but it’s so pretty that I might have to push myself to wear it!

Overall, if you manage to find these palettes, I suggest that you snap up Nude Awakening immediately! It’s a fantastic palette at a fantastic price.  Going in the Wild is more of an edge case; if you like the mint green, it’s worth it, but if you don’t, I’d probably skip it.


*As noted in this review, I purchased both featured products. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Quick Swatch: Sally Hanson Mermaid’s Tale

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - 560 Mermaid's Tale

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – 560 Mermaid’s Tale

Sally Hansen has recently revamped the Complete Salon Manicure line, discontinuing some shades and adding some new ones, but keeping the bottle the same. Quite a while ago, I came across a bottle of the shade Mermaid’s Tale in a Walgreens display, but didn’t buy it – and have regretted it since! I finally found it again at Target, and this time I snapped it up.  It’s also available on Target’s website, plus there’s a locator tool you can use to find it in-store near you.

I have one similar polish – Milani Teal, from the Jewel FX line.  Milani Teal has a clear base with small blue glitters, plus large silver, blue, and green hex glitters. Sally Hansen Mermaid’s Tale has a blue jelly base with the same small blue glitters and the same blue and green hex glitters, but it does not appear to have any silver hex glitters.

Comparison Sally Hanson Mermaid's Tale Milani Teal

SH Mermaid’s Tale – one coat // SH Mermaid’s Tale – three coats // Milani Teal – one coat

Of course, one reason that a lot of people are excited about the Sally Hansen is that it seems to be a dupe for Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe. I don’t own Across the Universe to compare myself, but this post by Vampy Varnish has an excellent close up shot. It appears that Across the Universe also has small blue glitters plus the light blue and green hex glitters.  Across the Universe may be in a slightly deeper blue jelly, or it may just be the lighting; it’s hard to say.  If they’re not perfect dupes – and they may be perfect dupes – they’re definitely close enough that you need a side by side comparison to tell the difference!

Overall, I am really happy with my Mermaid’s Tale purchase.  I probably could have frankened something similar with Milani Teal and a blue jelly, but the Sally Hansen is great quality – it’s not streaky even at one coat, and the glitter is nicely distributed.  If you’re looking for an Across the Universe dupe – or just a pretty polish – I’d recommend this one.

(Also: sorry about the lack of on-the-nail swatches; I am loving my current manicure too much to take it off!)

Sephora X Polish Overview & First Impressions

Sephora X Chaotic Swatch

Sephora X Chaotic // Sephora X Chaotic swatched over Nails, Inc. Baker St.

Sephora has quietly released a new house brand of nail polishes out, called the Sephora X polishes.  They don’t seem to be getting very much press yet, so I thought I’d put together a post on them.  The polishes have a fairly limited in-store distribution thus far, but a Sephora store near me has them in stock, so yesterday I headed over to check them out, swatch, and play! I neglected to take a photo of the display, but there’s a good one here.

If my math is correct, there are 65 polishes (plus a base & top coat), which are divided in to several categories:

The Illusionists / Toppers category has four of the most interesting polishes: a blue / purple duochrome topcoat (Shifty), a matte black & white glitter (Chaotic), a holo glitter (Airhead),  and a flakie (Psycho).

I swatched all four of these, and purchased Chaotic.   I managed to get a decent photograph of Shifty, which is gorgeous and now on my wishlist! It reminds me of photographs I’ve seen of Cult Nails Deceptions (which I do not own).

Sephora X Shifty

Sephora X Shifty

I am really loving Chaotic, which is very similar to Lynderella Connect the Dots. The PolishAholic has an excellent comparison of the two here, as well as swatches of some other Sephora X shades.

Here’s Chaotic again:

Sephora X Chaotic

click to enlarge

I didn’t get good photographs of Airhead or Psycho, but Airhead is a lovely scattered holo, and Psycho is the type of chunky flakie found in the Revlon Moon Candy duos (swatched here), rather than the smooth type of flakie found in Nubar 2010 or Essie Shine of the Times.

The Cosmics category has four glitters (red, blue, silver, and gold).  I did not swatch any of these!

The Sparklers category has some interesting shades; most notably, Ice Princess looks to me to be a dupe of A-England’s She Walks in Beauty.  Lauren at Dizzy Nails swatched Ice Princess here; Ommorphia swatched She Walks in Beauty here.  I don’t own either polish, so I can’t compare them directly!

Here’s an in-store bottle shot of Ice Princess (sorry about the poor quality)

Sephora X Ice Princess

Sephora X Ice Princess

Explosive is another interesting shade – a black jelly with small and large glitters.

The Prismatics are unique and interesting shades – it’s worth taking a look at them.  You can see a swatch of one of the prismatics, Deranged, at Dizzy Nails.

The Pearlescents look interesting online, but I did not play with them in store, so I have less to say about them.  There are five shades, though my screenshot only captured four.

The Electrics consist of twelve neon shades. I swatched one (a blue), and it was slightly sheer, and dried quickly and semi-matte; all characteristics of most neon polishes.

The New Classics consists of 10 polishes. I believe these are all cremes. I love cremes, but I was so taken with all the interesting finishes in this display that I didn’t pay attention to these!

The New Neutrals consists of twelve shades of various finishes in neutral colors.

The Minimalists/ Sheers are sheer polishes – I love a good sheer, but didn’t swatch any of these either.

The Industrialists category consists of five grey polishes of various finishes, and a black creme (Bad Ass). I swatched the black polish, and it’s excellent – perfect coverage in one coat.

A base coat & top coat round out the line.

Overall, this seems like a really nice line of polishes! The prices are a bit over my personal comfort zone for basic polishes, but reasonable for special polishes without easy to find dupes.  I’m always happy to see new nail polish lines popping up!

L’oreal Shine Caresse Gloss Stain Swatches, Review, Photos

All of the L'oreal Shine Caresse shades

All of the L’oreal Shine Caresse shades

This is Part Two of my review of the USA L’oreal Shine Caresse / Color Caresse gloss stains. For Part One (an overview of the product and a comparison to the YSL Glossy Stains), please click here.  This post has swatches of all twelve currently available shades.

I’m very confused about the name for these – Target is calling them  L’oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Lip Lacquer, and Drugstore.com is calling them L’Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain. The good news is that if you can’t find them locally – you can currently buy them online at Target.com  for $7.99 each, or at Drugstore.com (which has a lower free ship minimum) for $9.99!

I photographed the swatches both with flash and in natural light. Then, I wiped off the gloss with a damp tissue, to see the stain it left behind, and photographed the stain in natural light.  You will see that the darker shades leave a significant stain, and the lighter shades do not – this is true on the lips as well as the skin.  You can click to enlarge the swatch photos.

L'oreal 183 Pink Perseverance shine caresse swatch

183 Pink Perseverance
natural light, with flash, stain in natural light

183 Pink Perseverance shine caresse lip swatch

182 Pink Perseverance

Pink Perseverance is a pale baby pink with microshimmer. Applied on the lips, it is basically clear. It does not leave a stain.  I do not recommend this one unless you really love the texture of these and want one to use as a clear gloss.

183 Pink Resistance shine caresse swatch

183 Pink Resistance
natural light, with flash, stain in natural light

183 Pink Resistance shine caresse lip swatch

183 Pink Resistance

Pink Resistance is a soft pink-coral with microshimmer. This is a good everyday shade – it’s quite subtle on my pigmented lips, but would be more noticeable on others.  It is much softer in color than YSL Glossy Stain 12 Corail Fauve, which is brigher.

184 Rose On and On shine caresse swatch

184 Rose On and On
with flash, natural light, stain in natural light

184 Rose On and On shine caresse lip swatch

184 Rose On and On

Rose On and On has microshimmer. I am not familiar with any of the pink YSL Glossy Stains, so I’m not sure how this compares – but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar shade. I’m not much of a pink lip person or a shimmer lip person, but this is surprisingly lovely.

185 Lilac Ever After shine caresse swatch

185 Lilac Ever After
natural light, with flash, stain in natural light

185 Lilac Ever After shine caresse lip swatch

185 Lilac Ever After

Lilac Ever After looks more pink to me than lilac, but I don’t mind – it’s lovely, very natural. It has microshimmer which is easily visible when swatched, but seems to disappear on the lips.  I would definitely recommend this one as a great everyday my lips but better shade!

186 Berry Persistent shine caresse swatch

186 Berry Persistent
with flash; natural light; stain in natural light

186 Berry Persistent shine caresse lip swatch

186 Berry Persistent

Berry Persistent is a purple / berry shade. It reminds me of Wet n Wild D-Vinely Chilled and MAC Rebel.  It’s brighter than YSL Glossy Stain 1 Violet Edition (swatched here). This one is my favorite!

187 Infinite Fuchsia shine caresse swatch

187 Infinite Fuchsia
with flash, natural light, stain in natural light

187 Infinite Fuchsia shine caresse lip swatch

187 Infinite Fuchsia

Infinite Fuchsia is a gorgeous deep pink that leaves a vibrant, very long lasting stain.  I don’t own a similar Glossy Stain, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one existed.

188 Coral Tattoo shine caresse swatch

188 Coral Tattoo
with flash, natural light; stain in natural light

188 Coral Tattoo shine caresse lip swatch

188 Coral Tattoo

Coral Tattoo is very bright, and very orange – it isn’t coral on me, just straight up orange.  I bet it’s similar to YSL Glossy Stain 8 Orange de Chine (reviewed here on Delicate Hummingbird), which I don’t own, though the YSL may be redder.

189 Pink Rebellion shine caresse swatch

189 Pink Rebellion
natural light, flash, stain in natural light

shine caresse lip swatch

189 Pink Rebellion

Pink Rebellion is a blue based pink – not usually my type of color, but this is bright and pretty. It has no shimmer, and leaves a lingering stain.  I think it might be similar to YSL Glossy Stain 15 Rose Vinyl, but I’m not sure (I used to own that one, but no longer do).

190 Endless Red shine caresse swatch

190 Endless Red
with flash, natural light, stain in natural light

190 Endless Red shine caresse lip swatch

190 Endless Red

Endless Red is a true ruby red, similar to many red lipsticks.  I don’t own any of the red YSL Glossy Stains, but I think it’s similar to 9 Rouge Laque (swatched here on Karla Sugar).

191 Stubborn Plum shine caresse swatch

191 Stubborn Plum
with flash, natural light, stain in natural light

191 Stubborn Plum shine caresse lip swatch

191 Stubborn Plum

Next up, Stubborn Plum. Any visible shimmer is because I swatched this after On and On rose – this has no shimmer. It’s cooler, more purple, and lighter than On and On Rose in swatches, but they do look similar on the lips.  I thought it might be similar to YSL Glossy Stain 4, but it is much pinker and lighter.

192 Everlasting Caramel swatch

192 Everlasting Caramel
natural light, with flash, stain

192 Everlasting Caramel shine caresse lip swatch

192 Everlasting Caramel

Everlasting Caramel is a red based brown. It is definitely quite brown, and not a shade I ever wear.  It might be more suitable for someone of a different skintone than I am. I’ve also heard that brown lipsticks are making a comeback! It also layers very well with the other Shine Caresse glosses – here, I’ve layered it with Endless Red to make a warm reddish brown which is very wearable:

everlasting caramel / both layered / endless red

And finally:

193 Eternally Nude shine caresse swatch

193 Eternally Nude
with flash, natural light, stain in natural light

193 Eternally Nude shine caresse lip swatch

193 Eternally Nude

Eternally Nude is a sort of orangey nude – I don’t think I like this one.  I don’t think any of the YSL Glossy Stains are similar.

And, here are all twelve gloss stains (or Aqua Lip Laquers perhaps) together – the swatches are in the correct numbered order.

L'oreal Shine Caresse Stain Gloss Swatches - All Shades

L’oreal Shine Caresse Swatches – click to enlarge

If you are planning to swatch these , beware of staining – the staining on my arms took several rounds oil then scrubbing to remove!  The most vibrant and long lasting stains are from Berry Persistant, Endless Red, and Infinite Fuchsia.

Again, I absolutely recommend these both as a dupe to the YSL Glossy Stains and as a fantastic product in their own right! My favorites are Berry Persistent, Endless Red, and Infinite Fuchsia – but really, they’re all lovely.


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