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Beauty Investigation: Is There a Dupe for Chanel Riviera?

June 9, 2010
I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers asking if I knew of a dupe for Chanel Riviera. She had decided to wait a bit to think about purchasing it and by the time she decided to purchase it, the color was sold out everywhere online and at all the stores and counters near her. Knowing that “oh no it’s sold out” feeling all too well, I was more than happy to help. I called & visited a number of local stores (about a dozen) but I too was unable to locate the nail polish – so began my quest to find the perfect dupe.
I narrowed down my search to brands that had testers available thus eliminating brands without testers such as Zoya, China Glaze, Essie and all drugstore brands. I swatched about a dozen hot pinks in my notebook and then went back to each counter/store to swatch the four closest matches on my fingers. I have to admit I was a bit nervous swatching so many shades in my notebook – but the Chanel reps were so sweet at each store. They even chimed in with their input about which ones they thought looked the most similar to the Riviera shade.

For some reason the fuschia undertones of some of the shades were throwing off my camera flash, so it was hard to get an accurate picture. Here are two views (to the best of my ability).

  • Thumb: Sephora by OPI It’s All About Me – about 2 shades darker and brighter and a smidge cooler toned

  • Index: NARS Schiap – same intensity, one shade bluer, looks more magenta

  • Middle: MAC Steamy – closest dupe in my opinion, just a bit more intense/sharper looking

  • Ring: Chanel Riviera

  • Pinkie: OPI Strawberry Margarita – second closest dupe, slightly lighter (only a touch)

So, which are the closest dupes? The verdict: MAC Steamy and OPI Strawberry Margarita. From an arms distance glance – you can barely tell the difference. Here they are photographed next to Chanel Riviera. Note that while they look slightly different in the bottles, on the fingers the difference is not noticeable. Are the exact dupes? No.

I was also asked how it compared to Lancome’s Miss Perfectly Pink and Illamasqua Collide – Lancome’s is significantly cooler toned and Illamasqua is a hot electric neon pink. So if you missed out on Chanel Riviera, not to worry – no need to shell out extra money for the shade on ebay. You can definitely find a similar shade! Not an exact dupe, but yes, similar. (Here’s one more shot with the Lancome – can’t swatch it b/c it’s a present.)

In terms of pigment, I actually found all the dupes to be pretty smooth and nicely pigmented. The Chanel did apply the best IMHO, but after 2 coats, you get the same result.

Note that this is by no means the most comprehensive list – just the ones I found 🙂 I hope this helps some! All work is copyrighted. Please do not republish these photos.


MAC Dupes: Can You ID These MAC Colors Or Tell the Difference?

December 31, 2009

I don’t write much about MAC because I find that since there are so many MAC experts out there, I don’t feel like I would be contributing much by writing about the line. But I actually do like MAC products quite a bit. To me, they are definitely the most fashion-forward with trends and I love that they have such a wide range of colors, textures and finishes for all their products. Because there are so many colors, I think that just about anyone can find something they like.

One of the things I’m not crazy about though is their frequent discontinuation of colors to make room for new ones, but if your favorite product has been discontinued, there are chances it may be re-promoted with a new collection or that a very similar color will be released under a different product name.

All the products above are different colors, and while they aren’t 100% the same, they are so close that once you apply them on the skin, you can barely tell the difference. Can you ID these or tell the difference?

  1. Pink Swoon Sheertone Blush
  2. Pink Glow Matte Blush (discontinued around 2007)
  3. Dark Edge Satin Eyeshadow (LE with N Collection, January 2008)
  4. Rummy Satin Eyeshadow (LE with D’Bohemia, May 2005)
  5. Bendel Girl Lipglass (Henri Bendel exclusive in September 2007)
  6. Light That Fire Lipglass (LE with Warm & Cozy 2009 Collection)
  7. Sugarshot Lustre Eyeshadow (LE with Sugarsweet, March 2009)
  8. Light Ray Lustre Eyeshadow (LE with Turquatic, July 2006)
  9. Cherry Blossom Lipglass (LE with Cult of Cherry, August 2008)
  10. Cultureclash Lipglass (LE with Electroflash, July 2008, will be re-promoted in Feb 2010)
  11. Trifle Lipglass (LE with Antiquitease, October 2007)
  12. Tongue-in-chic Lacquer (discontinued, unsure of date)
  13. Flash of Flesh Lipglass (LE with D’Bohemia, May 2005)
  14. Bare Necessity Dazzleglass
  15. Camel Eyeshadow (discontinued in 2000?)
  16. Modelette Eyeshadow (released with MAC Warm & Cozy 2009)

My New Years Resolution is to use up more and buy less (we’ll see how well that actually goes). All of these from my stash are still good, I normally don’t throw out things according to the standard expiration dates.

That being said, it still doesn’t stop me from wanting MAC to repromote Maroon pigment, Brass Pigment, Coco Pigment, Pleasureflush MSF, Shrimplette Lipstick, Sharp Beige Lipstick, Fringe Eyeshadow, Heavenly Bliss Eyeshadow, Camel Eyeshadow, those cute Diana Ross pink makeup brushes and a bunch of their original blushes that they discontinued. The closest thing I’ve found to MAC Camel is the new Modelette Eyeshadow, but it’s still a tad bit different. Close enough for me to be happy right now though.

I wish MAC would do an “Originals” collection every year and repromote discontinued products from the past as a collection.

Have you found any MAC dupes?