Whilst we gawk over air-brushed inner-beauty campaigns, a genius spinning on an office chair somewhere has just come up with the next gimmick.
In a market where consumers prioritize brands over innovation, it’s easy to correlate quality with a price tag. Whilst it’s usually true that ‘you get what you pay for’, with the hunt for ‘dupes’ becoming increasingly more popular, there’s even more reason to experiment with new affordable brands.
To work out just how superior these glossy brands really are, I’ll compare two products, one big brand and one budget bargain.
Hypothesis? “The more expensive the make-up, the better you’ll look.”
Urban Decay NAKED 2 Eye Shadow Palette – Shade: BUSTED
In terms of presentation, the palette looks beautiful. There’s 12 shades to choose from and they’ve been coordinated so that they can all work together.
The best shade for me was Tease. It has a matte effect which sits really nicely and looks much tidier than the glittery shades. This is the only matte shade in the palette though so it’s worth researching the type of eye shadow the palettes offer before purchasing to make sure it suits your preference.
The shade I’ve used here is BUSTED, and although it’s a little darker than what I’d normally go for, it is a beautiful shade.
The double-sided brush you receive with the palette made it really easy to apply as one end is designed for precision and the other for blending.
However, the tenacity of the palettes shades means that if you’re twitchy when applying it (like me) and suck at blending (guilty), then cleaning up any errors can be hard unless you have time to start from scratch (which you never do).
Whilst the colours are buildable and offer great coverage, the glitter loses its sparkle when blending unless you dab on a little extra at the end.
Whilst the results still look great, it does mean you’ll run out sooner, and with a retail price of £39.50, any downside becomes pretty hard to overlook. Then again, you could argue that even if the golden shade (HALF BAKED) really consisted of gold flakes, you’d still gag at dropping £40 on it.
Natural Collection Eye Shadow – Shade: Crushed Walnut
In its pot, this shade is almost identical to BUSTED from the NAKED 2 palette in colour, although at £1.99, comes at barely a fraction of the price.
Once applied, the colour seemed a lot lighter, although its subtlety instead worked in its favour as this colour turned out to be far nicer than I’d expected.
Even though I’d taken care not to over-apply, it still felt as if I were throwing ash-infused talcum powder onto my face. Seriously, I don’t understand where all of this dust was coming from. My lower eyelids ended up having the same coverage as my upper ones.
With it being so easy to smudge, the colour faded pretty quickly, eventually setting up camp in the creases of my eyelids. I’d guess that a decent primer and a little patience would allow you to overcome most of this, although these are both things I’m yet to acquire.
For those prepared to reapply once or twice during the day, or those with bags that would make a dusty shadow unnoticeable in the first place, this budget-friendly alternative isn’t such a bad choice.
£40 for something that you’ll wash off in 10 hours does seem a little pointless, although the price difference isn’t as drastic as it first seems. Ultimately, Urban Decay are giving you 12 harmonious shades (that equally dazzle on their own) simultaneously . 12 of Natural Collection’s budget eye shadows would still cost you £24, and considering the quality of the palette and the distinctiveness of each shade, I’d argue that extra £16 was worth it.