Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely seen how expensive makeup palettes have gotten.
Average price for a gorgeous palette used to be around $25, but those days are ancient. Brands like Anastasia, Urban Decay, and Huda Beauty are now cranking them out at $40 and up.
As beauty fans wonder why palettes are getting so expensive, their eyes are justifiably wandering to places making dupes that look eerily similar to big name brands — at a much sweeter price.
Like most beauty lovers, Aina was immediately smitten by a $10 price tag — and she could see why people would be quick to buy.
"This is ten DAWLAZ though," she said.
"That, in my opinion, is extremely tempting because, I mean, $10, even if it's popping or not. I would just buy it because it's pretty. I'm that person."
But just from looking at both palettes together, she already had an idea about how the $10 would pay off in the end.
"I can already tell some of these darker matte colors are not going to be as dark and as rich as the Subculture palette from ABH," she said after looking closely at Retro Love.
"Personally, that's what's going to make or break. I just feel like sometimes the budget-friendly palettes just don't have enough opacity. They swatch great, but when it comes down to the blend situation, that's when you really see who's in your corner and who's not."
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So what exactly *is* the blending situation? Check out Jackie's use of the Hippie shade from Retro Love and Subculture's Destiny.
Jackie Aina was squealing over the Anastasia Beverly Hills pigmentation — but ultimately loved the color of Retro Love's Hippie shade better.
"It's a little bit warmer. It's not as pigmented as the ABH color but it's also not as dusty as I thought it was gonna be. I'm pretty impressed."
But there's a problem with Retro Love's shades — one that Jackie Aina had an inconvenient remedy for:
The pretty color doesn't show up unless you DO THE MOST.
"To get it to show, you have to really dig and dig and dig and dig," she said about the Retro Love shade. "You're wasting product."
Check out how dusty the Retro Love pan looks after only Jackie's first time using the palette.
This is Jackie's final look — with a matte tear duct added.
Jackie noted that adding the matte shade from the Retro Love palette to her right eye was a more difficult blending process than the Anastasia shade on her left.
You can also see that while both eyes look pretty — the Anastasia side is a touch more bold.
Jackie also admitted that both palettes had some fallout when applying the shadows, but she preferred the Subculture palette's final look because of the bold color.
Jackie Aina also had another reason for choosing Subculture: Dupes are "weird" to her and seem a little unfair to creative makeup brands.
"It really bugs me, these brands who make knock-offs of other companies," she said.
"I know the first thing people are going to say is 'well, not everybody can afford it,' and I absolutely agree. But look at what e.l.f. is doing. Look at what NYX is doing. Their stuff is affordable. Their stuff is pretty good.They're not duping products. They're just making their own dope stuff that other companies could dupe themselves."
"There's just something annoying about a knock-off," she continued. "It's a little cheesy to me. It's a little weird."
To Jackie Aina's point — Anastasia Beverly Hill's president Claudia Soare has opened up about how annoying and hurtful duped products can be.
Soare was hurt and beyond pissed when she found out pictures of Anastasia Beverly Hills' new Soft Glam palette was leaked on the internet.
Not only was the palette a tribute to her mother Anastastia Soare and her love for neutral, bridal makeup — but the leaked images made the brand vulnerable to *more* dupes.
"I don’t think I shared a big reason as to why we don’t leak products far in advance. It gives counterfeiters a running start," Claudia wrote on Twitter.
It must really suck to spend time creating something that is a tribute to your mother as well as an exciting release for fans — just to have your creation leaked, copied, and potentially sold.
Jackie Aina also has another point: If you have to dig to the bottom of your pan on the first use of the palette, the product is going to be used up in record time. So...
You may have to buy the $10 Retro Love palette a couple of times before you have to replace Anastasia Beverly Hill's Subculture palette once.
Watch Jackie Aina's full review of Shop Hush's Subculture dupe down below.
Moral of the story: Buy (and blend) makeup wisely!