L'oreal Hip Electrified Duo vs Bobbi Brown Heather Mauve: Dupes or Not?

Friday, March 12, 2010

I never need more taupe eyeshadow. But I can't help it, I'm just drawn to taupes..Everytime I see one, I just HAVE to have it. So of course, I end up with dupes, or near-dupes of my various taupes. The good thing, of course, is that dupes save you money! And as is the case for today's post, the cheaper dupe is actually superior to the more expensive pretender! That happens, but not that often, so everytime it happens, it's a huge WOW for me.

So what mystery product is this? And what is it a dupe for? I'm talking about the L'oreal Hip Metallic Shadow Duo in Electrified. I bought it all the way back in June last year, when I was still in the US. I saw it at Walgreens, and my first reaction was, "OMG TAUPE TAUPE TAUPE TAUPE!" And then my next reaction was, "But I have a gazillion taupes!" So "TAUPE TAUPE TAUPE" and "But I have a gazillion" battled in my head for a grand total of 15mins (it doesn't sound like a lot, but if you actually stood in front of a display looking deep in thought for 15 mins, you're going to look like a weirdo!), and in the end "I have a gazillion" won, so I went home empty handed.

And then, as I always do, I went on MUA. And lo and behold, EVERYONE was talking about Electrified. And how it was gorgeous. Beautifully pigmented. Awesome in colour. And then my brain started screaming "TAUPE TAUPE TAUPE" again, and I headed back to Walgreens to get it.

I know. I'm such a loser with no taupe self-control.

Anyway, did the L'oreal Hip Electrified duo really live up to it's reputation? You bet it did. The duo itself is a pairing of two colours, a shimmery metallic light-to-medium taupe colour (TAUPE TAUPE TAUPE) and a more boring deep matte purple-brown. The metallic taupe in particular is beautiful, and a cut above other taupes. It's taupe, sure, but it's a complex taupe. It has hints of brown, tan, silver (thanks to the frost) but at the same time it has just the slightest bit of purple. And it's a straight up neutral, neither too warm or too cool - well, maybe leaning just ever so slightly to the cool side, but this looks neutral enough to me, as far as taupes go. And it has this lovely metallic finish, almost frosty, that makes it look silvery in some lights, and gold in others. I think this is because the 'base' color for the taupe in Electrified is brownish, but the frost gives it a slivery tone, thus producing a color that transcends the cool-warm divide. (Am I getting off my rockers here?) The brown side is a lovely brown with purple thrown into the mix, and is a good cool-leaning-neutral basic type of color. Nothing too exciting, but certainly a basic well done, and a great complement to the taupe shade, bringing out it's complexity with the purple tinge of the brown.

I wore the duo out for one entire day, and I found both colours to be awesomely pigmented, have no creasing problems, and stay vibrant all day. No fallout from both shade either, so the texture is divine. The only thing is that my eyes got a little irritated by the dark purply-brown colour...At the end of the day, the skin on my eyes started itching where I had put the dark purple-brown colour. Although in all fairness it could have been a mix of my own pesperation that interacted with the colour and caused this reaction, because it was a really hot and sweaty day. (And yes, I have uber sensitive skin.) But other people seem to have used the duo with no problems whatsoever, so it could just be me. Strangely enough though, the beautiful metallic taupe didn't have any reaction on my eyelids.

But because this is a dupe post, and not a full-out review post, I will now tell you what the beauteous metallic taupe is a near-dupe for. And I know you're not going to believe me, so I have pictures! It's a dupe for Bobbi Brown's Heather Mauve eyeshadow!

I have a small tiny version of Heather Mauve (awww, it's a baby!) that came as a sample for spending too much money on Bobbi Brown stuff, so here is a photo of both them in their pans:

Okay, they look similar enough. Now for swatches. These are indoors, in natural light, as always.

Bobbi Brown Heather Mauve is on top, while the L'Oreal Electrified HIP Duo taupe is on the bottom.

Now it's evident the colours are really very similar, but they're not 100% dupes. Of course not. L'Oreal Electrified has just totally kicked Bobbi Brown's little rear! Sorry Bobbi, but I really do prefer Electrified to Heather Mauve. First of all, the taupe from Electrified is so much more pigmented - it took a few swipes to get the taupe from Electrified to show up, but as you can see, even with extensive built-up swatching over and over, Heather Mauve still looks kind of sheer and wimpy in the swatches. Secondly, the L'oreal taupe is a lot more frosty than the Bobbi Brown version. I know some girls will prefer the Bobbi Brown version because of that, and if you're a sheer eyeshadow girl who hates frost, you might just like Heather Mauve better, but I really like Electrified better. I also think that the taupe in L'oreal Electrified just looks more frosty simply because it's better pigmented, so the frost and the colour show up more.

Other than the big differences in pigmentation and frostiness, I do believe that the colours are very, very similar, if not near-identical. For one, the base colours are the same. They both have a taupey-brown base, silver shimmer, and a hint of purple. But I somehow feel that L'Oreal Electrified is a little more complex, because it als has hints of gold from certain angles, which you don't get with Heather Mauve - I feel like Heather Mauve is a little more 'flat' and not as multi-dimensional as Electrified.

So which one should you get? Well, Bobbi Brown's Heather Mauve is more than double the price of L'Oreal's HIP Electrified duo. If you're cheap like me, it's enough to make up your mind. But if you really want a sheer eyeshadow with no frost, you might try Heather Mauve over Electrified. I do believe there are girls out there who would prefer Heather Mauve. But for the rest of us, and for girls who want a more complex colour with better pigmentation, I think the L'Oreal Electrified duo is a better choice.


  1. I used to have a bunch of HIP duos and in the end the only one I kept was Showy for that fantastic teal. I haven't tried this one though, and it's a long time since I've wanted a HIP duo... but ... I might just have to get this lol. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I have one duo: Wicked and it is great, I might do some comparisons! Poor Bobbi Brown got annihilated in a showdown with a drug store product. I love it!

    Would it be possible for you to swatch the other side of the duo? I love purples and if the purple is equally wonderful I will have to pick Electrified up.

  3. i love taupes, too! most of the shadows i own feel like a derivative of taupe. i have one hip duo (devious). i don't use it a lot because it tends to get into my contacts :(

  4. Both are super pretty! I love that colour =)

  5. That's a very well-written review. For me, frugality wins every time. But your swatches and review show that, in this case, the dupe version is not only the frugal choice, it's also the wiser and more beautiful one. Way to go!

  6. I think I definitely have to buy the HIP duo now. I've been really impressed with their shadows so far!

  7. @Jasmine: I will try to swatch the HIP duo for you! It might take awhile though! I'll let you know when it's up OK? :)

  8. great post! i agree with you. before reading which was which i thought the hip shadow was way prettier. :)


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