NARS Abyssinia vs Smashbox Strike vs LORAC Persuasion: Dupes or Not?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

You know I'm a taupe ho, and a purple ho. But did you know I'm also a beige ho? And not just any beige ho, a specific-type-of-beige ho. In particular, I'm always searching for the perfect all-over lid base colour, for days when I don't want to wear eyeshadow but just want to even out the discolouration on my eyelids, for days when I want to do the no-makeup look for my eyes, and for a base on days when I do indeed want to wear eyeshadow. In other words, I'm searching for the perfect MLBB (My-Lids-But-Better) eyeshadow - the one eyeshadow that looks exactly like your skin colour, to even out any flaws you might have in your eyelid. And it's also my opinion that every girl should have at least one of these - they really do work wonders in making you look wide awake.

But the thing about MLBB lid colours is that they're really personal, because what makes a good all-over lid colour really depends on your own skintone. For some people, this involves years of searching for the right skintone nude - even if you find the right colour, the formula could be crappy. Fortunately for me, being a rather common NC20 in MAC means that I actually have more than one colour that might work. And of course, this means that some of the colours are pretty much dupes of each other. Which means you could potentially save money!

First of all is the much-famed NARS Abyssinia. I know Abyssinia doesn't get hyped up as much as other colours such as Ashes to Ashes, but those who have it like it because of its versatility and it's easy basic-ness. It's a pale neutral beige with slight shimmer.

Secondly we have LORAC Persuasion. LORAC doesn't get much press from other bloggers, but that's really too bad for the bloggers. LORAC eyeshadows are simply one of the best out there, and they are cheap within the US if you buy them from the official Lorac site clearance section. My one great regret was not getting more LORAC eyeshadows before I left the US! All the ones I have apply like a dream, are as smooth as butter, amazingly pigmented, and very blendable. Suffice it to say I haven't met a LORAC eyeshadow I haven't liked yet.

Lastly, we have Smashbox Strike. Now this colour has been foolishly discontinued by Smashbox, but is available online for cheap. Smashbox is also another rather underrated brand, and I really like their single eyeshadows, lipglosses, lipsticks, and soft lights. Strike is a pale nude beige, also with shimmer.

So we have three pale nude beige shadows, all with shimmer. So just how dupey are they?

Here's a view of them in their little pots:

NARS Abyssinia LORAC Persuasion Smashbox Strike

Top Row: Nars Abyssinia. Bottom Row L - R: Lorac Persuasion, Smashbox Strike

They look pretty close, don't they? But as with all things in life, such as dating, guys, and that dress that looked cute on the hanger but not on the body, looks can be deceiving. So here are swatches:

NARS Abyssinia LORAC Persuasion Smashbox Strike

L - R: Smashbox Strike, LORAC Persuasion, NARS Abyssinia.

I know it's hard to see the colours on my skin - after all, these shadows are supposed to match my skintone. But if you squint hard enough, I promise you they're actually swatched on my arm!

From the swatches, you can see very very slight differences between the two. For one, NARS Abyssinia has the worst pigmentation out of the lot. Now I know NARS are famous for eyeshadows that supposedly have pigmentation so great it cannot be used by mere humans, but in real life I've found them to be rather hit-and-miss. Some shades are great, some are not as great. Abyssinia is alright. It's a little sheer, but it works well as a base. LORAC Persuasion and Smashbox Strike are both quite pigmented relative to the NARS.

Also, if you squint hard enough, you can see that Smashbox Strike has a very slight pink tinge to it, as compared to either NARS Abyssinia or LORAC Persuasion. It's just a hair pinker, ever-so-slightly. I don't think my swatches captured it, but I promise you there's a slight difference. Very slight, though.

By now I bet you're wondering why I'm dedicting a post to a bunch of boring beiges, of all things. Well, I'm hoping this helps anyone who is searching for their perfect MLBB lid colour, and since they're pretty similar I thought they'd make a great addition to my "Dupes or Not?" comparison series of posts. I hope this helps someone!


  1. I am looking for a MLLB colour as well! I bought Peach Beige from the Sephora's own brand range, pretty good colour you should check it out! Im a NC20 too.

  2. thanks for following! o(^-^)o

    woooaaah make-up!!(*O*)b

  3. Max Factor earth spirits Pale pebble is very similar to Abyssinia.


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