Sleeper Hits, Vol 2: MAC Bougie Babe, Dare to Diva, and Hollywood Heroine Eyeshadows (with alternatives)

MAC Bougie Babe, Dare To Diva, and Hollywood Heroine Eyeshadows Dupes Swatches
MAC Bougie Babe (matte brown), Dare To Diva (reddish-burgundy), and Hollywood Heroine (warm purple)

There are just some products that don’t wow you and you end up not reaching for them. Sleeper hits are the products that once got pushed aside, but for whatever reason are now used quite often. If you like this kind of content, I have another version that you can check out by clicking this link: Sleeper Hits: MAC Next to Nothing Bronzer and MAC x Selena La Layenda Highlight. I also have a couple of products that I plan to cover in the future, so stay tuned for those as well.

This is basically a spin on shopping my stash. My hope is that it helps you think of ways to take inspiration from what you see other people using and find a way to recreate that with what you own. Today I’m going to be talking about some limited edition eyeshadows from MAC. Bougie Babe was released with the 2020 Loud and Clear collection, while Dare to Diva and Hollywood Heroine were released with the 2019 MAC in Monochrome Collection.

Since everything that I am sharing was limited edition, I’ll be offering you some alternatives from my own stash as well as some products I found by using Temptalia’s swatch catalog (love her website!).

First, let’s take a look at the swatches of my limited edition shades next to the alternatives I found in my own stash.

Continue reading “Sleeper Hits, Vol 2: MAC Bougie Babe, Dare to Diva, and Hollywood Heroine Eyeshadows (with alternatives)”

When Dupes Aren’t Dupes For You

I know how hard it can be when you are interested in a product that everyone is raving about but for whatever reason, you can not get the product.  That feeling is likely part of the reason why dupes are popular. I just feel like sometimes they narrow in on price and sometimes leave people out.  I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish with this post, but I do wonder if there is a better way to approach dupes.

I’m not going to mention any specific examples of videos are blog posts because I’m not aiming to shame anyone for creating dupe content or anyone for wanting dupes.  I definitely think that presenting alternatives can be helpful.  There are times when you can save some money and other times when you don’t want to or can’t purchase certain items.  I have even written some dupe-like content with my Buy High/Buy Low posts.  So again, I do see that there is value in this type of content.

elf ultimate blending brush vs smashbox blurring foundation brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Foundation Buffing Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Sheer Blush Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush

Dupes can be especially disappointing when the options presented save money, but end up excluding skin tones.  I do realize that we can only speak to our own personal experiences and that all content creators are doing their best to provide helpful content for their audience. I can also appreciate that as content creators, we can see what content people are enjoying the most and some can even see the demographics of our audience. So some of these issues may purely relate to the demographics the creator is seeing represented.

Despite that, I still find it hard to understand the oversight that often happens with dupes when it comes to availability. I’m not just talking about dark skin tones either, sometimes there isn’t enough variety for most people. For example, in the past, there was a hyped foundation dupe but it only had 4 shades, but the product it was supposed to dupe had 40 shades. Then there is the inevitable comment of “I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this.” The limited shade range means limited access for a lot of people. I feel like the same thing often happens with highlighter and bronzer dupes. Shade ranges have come a long way, so I do think there is always some sort of alternative. But maybe we could all do better to at least consider if a dupe is actually widely accessible before making the suggestion.

Another issue that I’m not really sure how to unpack is that dupes can often disparage drugstore products. There are plenty of great products at the drugstore and I think they don’t always need to stack up against something that is higher end. I know that I compare product formulas quite often and it seems necessary to give you a point of reference in order to create context. But I hope I’ve been able to compare items without making it seem that a drugstore/affordable item isn’t as good simply because it happens to cost less. I also hope I haven’t made it seem like a product it better simply because it costs more.

What Can You Do?

So let’s say you find yourself in that situation. You’ve learned about a dupe and wanted to buy it, but as it turns out there isn’t a good shade for you, you can’t use an ingredient in the formula, or you don’t want to support that company. What can you do?

Continue reading “When Dupes Aren’t Dupes For You”

Product Updates (Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, MAC Love Me Liquid Lip Color, and Coloured Raine Bronzer)

Coloured Raine Cinna-Bae Bronzer, MAC Love Me Liquid Lip Color E for Effortless, and Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows
Top to bottom: Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, MAC Love Me Liquid Lip Color, Coloured Raine Bronzer

Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, $8.49

UPDATE (March 4, 2022): Unfortunately, the Makeup Geek brand is going out of business and will close in April 2022. The website is currently 40% off.

I have continued to play around with the Makeup Geek foiled shadows to see if I could fix the creasing issue I was having. I have the most success with the Covergirl Trublend Lid Lock up eyeshadow primer, but I do still get creasing with these shadows. I tried the Covergirl over my go to Too Faced Shadow Insurance because it has a tacky finish. So I was hoping the extra tackiness would grab on to the pigment and keep them from creasing through the day. On the upside, the Covergirl Trublend Lid Lock up did prevent the fallout issue I was having.

The colors are beautiful and they give a really nice metallic shine that doesn’t initially accentuate texture. But after about 4 or 5 hours, I start to see the creasing, and then you can really see every line on my eyes. I’m disappointed that these don’t work well for me, but they are really beautiful shadows that hopefully don’t crease on everyone. To get more details and see swatches of the shades, you can check out my original review post here.

Continue reading “Product Updates (Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, MAC Love Me Liquid Lip Color, and Coloured Raine Bronzer)”

Makeup Geek Blush (Covet)

UPDATE (March 4, 2022): Unfortunately, the Makeup Geek brand is going out of business and will close in April 2022. The website is currently 40% off.

I told you about my bronzer problem in the past and did a comparison post of my bronzers last summer, but my blush problem is worse 🤫. So although my last two posts were about blush, I’ve got another one for you.

I have a love-hate relationship with this formula. I love this color, it is very flattering on me. The satin finish looks healthy on my dry skin and it doesn’t accentuate any of the texture on my cheeks. The formula is easy to blend and can be applied sheer or built up for more pigmentation.

Makeup Geek Covet, $14.00 (compact) or $9.99 (refill pan)

Makeup Geek Blush Covet swatch on medium dark skin
Makeup Geek Blush – Covet
Makeup Geek Blush Covet swatch on medium dark skin
Makeup Geek Blush Covet

Now for the hate part of the relationship. It kicks up extra powder in the pan. If you read my reviews, then you already know I don’t like powdery formulas. I’ve tried a fluffy brush and a dense brush and they both make a bit of a mess. I just personally don’t like using powdery formulas, but I keep coming back to this one for the shade and finish. It is beautiful. So if you don’t mind the powder, it is worth checking out.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sticking around and checking out more of my content. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • Shop My Stash:  Join me as I share swatches of my products and occasionally search for alternatives to new releases. 

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products  featured with my own money.  This site participates in the WordAds program, receiving a minimal commission from displayed ads.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.