Talking Taupe with Elvira of Pink Sith

Hello Gloss Menagerie Readers.
Elvira here from the Pink Sith blog! Aly has generously asked me to write a post for you all and I’m excited to bring you a post that I would normally do for my blog, but I since it seems like the topic du jour I would post it here and just link my readers to this. Diversify!As some of you may or may not know, I am a total taupe eyeshadow HOOR! I am not the world’s authority on taupe, nor do I claim to own the most taupe eyeshadows, but I do have a passion for taupe eyeshadow so much that by normal standards, it might be considered “unhealthy” or “obsessive”. So I thought I would put my passion to good use and answer a question that is on everyone’s mind…

Is MAC Smoke & Diamonds eyeshadow worth buying if I already have Stila Diamond Lil, MAC Sweet Sienna, or Benefit Where There’s Smoke or any other taupe eye shadow? Before I give you my opinion on that question, let’s take a look shall we? Here are all the shadows in the pan/container.

Now here are all of the shadows swatched on my arm. (I’m a MAC NC 20, but my inner arm is more like ummmm. A sheet of paper, so let’s just assume I’m albino)
AH HA! See? Yes. It’s so obvious isn’t it? Do I really need to spell it out for you? Um yes. Hi Elvira. Aly asked you to write, not take pictures and say “done”! OK. Fine. Fine. Nag. Nag. Let me be a bit more explicit, voice inside my head that is starting to get on my last nerve! Ah hem.
I am glad to tell you that, unless you are as taupe obsessed as I am, you really don’t need MAC Smoke & Diamonds (now to be referred to as S&D) if you have one of the following shadows:
Benefit – Where There’s Smoke
Stila – Diamond Lil
HOWEVER I would like to point out some pretty close runners up that you might have not considered first.
NYX Dune – A more silvery version of S&D. It’s as smooth and metallicky as S&D and lasts just as nicely on the lid (with a primer of course!)
Iman Luxury Eye Defining Powder in Wicked – A loose shadow with a sponge tip applicator. This little gem is hard to find but if you do, you will get a pretty close S&D dupe, but more opaque and with a slightly deeper hue than S&D. However this one does have a tendency to crease, but only after several hours of wear.
MAC Sweet Sienna – One of MAC’s limited edition loose pigments. Sweet Sienna is the blinged out cousin to S&D. Sweet Sienna has it roots in the dirty silvery taupe family but it also has a healthy dose of gold shimmer/glitter that makes it a stellar standout. Depending upon application, the gold shimmer/glitter can be easily buffed out. I love Sweet Sienna for a dramatic smokey eye, paired with Benefit Creaseless Cream shadow in Skinny Jeans, (not pictured) as a base.
So what is an exact dupe for MAC S&D? Well people may argue about texture and say they prefer one brand over another so let’s focus on color first. Benefit Velvet eyeshadow in Where There’s Smoke is such a close color match I bet 9 out of 10 taupe hoors couldn’t tell the difference if they were swatched together. The same goes for Stila Diamond Lil. The color is such a close match that unless you are actually viewing them in person (rather than in a photo) you are going to have a hard time distinguishing them apart.
Color is not the only factor when considering eyeshadow. If that were the case we would all buy the same brand. No. Texture makes a big difference. I feel that Benefit Velvet eyeshadow has the best texture as far as smoothness and “creamy-ness” and little fallout when compared with S&D and Diamond Lil. That means that if you don’t own S&D I recommend Benefit Where There’s Smoke BEFORE I will recommended S&D! I, however, would recommend S&D over Diamond Lil only because I find Stila shadows too powdery, albeit soft, for my liking. I experience more fall out when using Stila Diamond Lil than any other shadow (save for the loose shadows).
Do you need MAC Smoke & Diamonds? YES! With the following conditions:
1) You do not own Stila Diamond lil or the IMAN, NYX or MAC pigment.
2) You already own Benefit Where There’s Smoke, but can’t resist the urge to buy another taupe eyeshadow
3) You are a beauty blogger and collect makeup like one collects spare change And/or
4) You are a taupe hoor like me and must own every single taupe eyeshadow ever!
Clear as mud right? Now, when you see the same question posted on various makeup discussion boards, you can sound like an authority when you answer! (At least I like to think so.)
Special thanks to Elvira from Pink Sith for this awesome guest post! Images provided by and used with permission. If you want to use them, you better get permission too! :)


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