When I think about how much money I’ve spent on makeup over the years, a part of me cringes. I always try to justify having so many eyeshadow palettes by saying I “collect” them… Which is partially true. But I am also a makeup hoarder. So how am I supposed to keep up my “collection” and not break the bank when almost every eyeshadow palette starts at $30 and only goes up?
About a year ago, my mom took me down to downtown LA where you can find anything “designer” or “brand name” for a fraction of the cost. Why? Because it’s all fake. All the clothes, shoes, bags, and makeup are knock-offs of the real thing. This can be dangerous if you are buying makeup because they want you to believe what your buying is the real product, so the ingredient facts are almost always wrong. I didn’t buy anything, and my face thanked me.
So when I found an eyeshadow palette on Pinterest with the same names as the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette, I got curious. What intrigued me was that this palette didn’t look like the original one, but the names were the same: they were not marketing it as the original product. So when I was forwarded to the website, I realized the names aren’t actually the same, but were edited for Pinterest to show the similarities. The biggest surprise? This palette is only $15. I was skeptical. There was no way a company could get away with copying a palette and have it be good quality. I figured it was probably made in China (which I’m all for, 90% of my closet is for Chinese wholesale websites), but I was a little reluctant. I’ve heard horror stories of people buying cheap products like these and getting eye infections, irritation, and more. So I thought it was a gimmick, and stayed away.
But this picture kept popping up on Pinterest and I got curious again. I started shopping around on the site and was shocked at some of the blatant copies of products. While some products were obvious copies, they at least changed the names of colors and the packaging and the order the shadows came in. But then I found this palette…
and then this one.
For those of you who don’t know, the first picture is an exact replica of the Lime Crime Venus palette and the second one is a replica of the Matte and Metal palette by Kat Von D. For reference, here are pictures of the actual, original palettes.
As you can see, the packaging is identical. The colors are identical. The names are identical. The order is identical. To be frank, these are 100% knock-offs. I decided to order these 2 palettes because I own both of the originals, and thought it would be interesting to compare the two and see how similar they actually are.
I ordered the Natural Matte Metal Eyeshadow Palette (KVD dupe) for $15.00 and the Fire 8 Color Matte Eyeshadow Palette (Lime Crime dupe) for $14.00. The shipping was free and I got the package within 3 days which I was really surprised about. The palettes shipped from Commerce, California and the brands of both palettes were Okalan.
Kat Von D vs. Okalan
When I opened this palette, I actually laughed out loud. I was absolutely shocked. For the record, I don’t support blatant knock-offs like this. I think copies like this are wrong and take away credit from the original artist. But since this was a limited edition palette, I guess if this is a palette you really want, this is the only option you have besides eBay.
The bottom palette in the photo (yes, the beaten up one) is the original Kat Von D palette that is no longer sold in stores. My palette was $60 (I know, it’s a lot), but Kat Von D is consistently good and one of my absolute favorite brands, so it is justified. Fun fact: Kat actually drew the cover art for this palette… so the fact they ripped it off (top palette) didn’t really sit well with me… but we will carry on.
If my authentic palette wasn’t so beaten up, I’m not sure I’d be able the tell which one was the real one and which one was the fake. If you can’t tell, the top one is the KVD one and the bottom one is the Okalan palette. Some of the colors don’t look exact, but they’re pretty spot on if you ask me. At this point, I had not swatched the Okalan palette so this is 100% off of appearance. So let me ask you this:
Looking at this photo of the Okalan and KVD palette swatched side-by-side, which one do you think is $60? I asked my mom and she said the bottom. I asked my dad (who knows nothing about makeup so he’s neutral) and he said the bottom. If you also answered the bottom, you’re wrong. The top row is the KVD palette, and the bottom is the Okalan palette. At this point, I was a little disappointed. Why did I pay $60 when the $15 is just as good?? But not only that, I wanted the original artist to win. But in the battle of the metallics, it looks like Okalan won. I personally prefer the KVD colors, but as far as texture and pigment, they were both pretty good. The only big color difference is in the colors Volt (violet) and Tinsel (silver/gunmetal).
So let’s play this game again, shall we? Which one is the KVD palette and which one is Okalan?
If you said the top row is KVD and the bottom is Okalan, you are correct. For the mattes, I did notice a significant difference. Although the colors look identical, the Okalan palette was a lot more chalky when finger swatched. You can kind of see what I mean in that cobalt color to the far right. I noticed the chalky-ness mostly in the black, cobalt and grey colors. The KVD palette had a lot less fall out and were a lot smoother. So in the battle of the mattes, I think the original palette won.
But arm swatches don’t really matter, we don’t wear eyeshadow on our arms! So here’s a side by side of the same look with the different palettes.
On one eye I used the Okalan palette and on the other I used the KVD palette. I used the same primer and brushes so make sure it was even. When I asked my mom which one she thought looked better, she said the one on the right (of the picture). The one she picked was actually the KVD palette and the one to the left of the photo is the Okalan palette. She said the KVD one looked more vibrant and looked like it blended better. Again, I did the same exact thing to both sides. For this look, I used the color Suede in the crease as a transition shade, Fringe as an outer lid/corner shade to create a gradient, then I used Stone to deepen the crease. Lastly I used Ignite as an inner lid shade. I then used the matte black shade as a liner.
Looking at the picture, I can tell that this is the low-end side because the colors look patchy, the colors don’t look like they blended well, and the liner faded extremely fast or it was not pure black at all to begin with. The liner looks very sheer and messy, almost like there was a lot of fall out after the fact. I’m not claiming to be great at makeup, but I was using tape for the liner so it should be sharper than it is. I’m also pretty disappointed with the metallic shade because it swatched beautifully, but sort of blended out to nothing.
Compared to the high-end side, the colors look a lot more blended and the metallic shows up a lot better. The metallic looks a lot more opaque and the colors don’t look muddy like I think the other eye does.
My final thoughts? I think the KVD palette is better. However, the Okalan palette is way better than I thought it would be. For $15 you do get a lot of shades and the metallics are fantastics. I honestly think the palette would be worth to get just for the metallics. The mattes weren’t great and I probably won’t use them again, especially because the original has the exact colors with better mattes. I don’t think the Okalan palette is bad by any means. If you’re willing to put in a little extra time to blend the colors, then you can
probably make this palette work. Unfortunately, the KVD palette was a holiday exclusive a few years back, but there is a smaller version of it with the matte shades Bone, Feather, Suede, Oak, and Velvet from the large palette. It also has the metallic shades Flash and Synergy along with others from her permanent collection.
While I don’t really support knock-offs, I think this one can be justified for the pure fact that the original palette was limited edition.
You can find the Natural Matte Metal Eyeshadow Palette here for $15.
Lime Crime vs. Okalan
Next up we have a classic and favorite of mine: the Lime Crime Venus palette. I talked a lot about this palette in my 2017 favorites so if you’re interested in my thoughts, be sure to check that out!
At least with this palette, they didn’t completely copy the packaging. The cover is a lot different and the logo isn’t identical. The logo is a little confusing because when you open the palette, you see that it is not entirely a matte palette with a few shimmer shades as well. So if you’re looking for all mattes, don’t let the label fool you.
Just like the KVD palette, the names and order and the exact same with the same sized mirror (not pictured) and same type of box/packaging.
When you open the Okalan palette (top) and compare it to the original palette (bottom) , the colors look similar but also not dupes for each other. The color Venus in the Okalan palette is more of a terra-cotta/orange color, the color Shell in the Okalan palette is more orange, the color Rebirth is more orange than coral like the OG, and the color Icon is a softer brown than in the original. So based off of appearance in the pan, the colors aren’t similar.
So let’s play which-one-is-more-expensive again! Based on these swatches, which row do you think is the original palette ($34) and which one is the replica ($14)?
This one is probably easier because the color’s tone looks similar to what is in the pan. If you guessed the top one is the Lime Crime palette, give yourself a pat on the back. Looking at these swatches, the colors do look pretty different. The colors that look the most identical are Aura (champagne shimmer color), Icon (matte dark brown), and Divine (matte mauve-taupe). The color Muse (matte burgundy, first on the left) is a lot more opaque in the Lime Crime palette, but oddly enough the color Creation (matte orangey brown) is more opaque in the Okalan palette.
But again, finger-arm swatches aren’t what matter. So let’s try this on the eyes!
Again, for this look, I used the same exactly tools and did the same exact thing on both sides so we can compare. For this look, I used Creation as a transition shade, Venus as the crease shade, Muse all over the lid, Shell in the inner corner, Icon as a diffused liner, and Aura as the brow bone highlight.
So based on this photo, which side is high end and which is low end? Personally, I think these look pretty similar. Of course, once you really look, there’s some differences that I will point out to you now.
So if you guessed that the left side of the photo is the Okalan brand, you would be correct. When you zoom in and really focus on one eye at a time, you can see the difference I think. This side looks more muddy. It sort of looks like I just put one shade on and blended it up to make it look like I had other colors in there. The brow bone highlight is almost invisible which some people like, but for this look and for testing purposes I was looking for a more blinding effect. The inner corner shade is invisible and the diffused liner isn’t really there either. You can kind of see a shadow of what is supposed to be a rich brown at the upper lash line, but it sort of looks like it could be a mistake.
Now when I look at the other eye, I can see more colors there and it doesn’t look quite as
messy. I can see more of a gradient effect that the transition shade gave and can see more colors in there. The colors look more rich and don’t blend into one shade of brown. I can see that diffused liner better and it doesn’t look like a mistake I tried to blend out. The colors seem to pop more and are more shimmery where the shimmer is supposed to be. The inner corner shade blended in seamlessly (I know you can’t see it, so take my word for it!) and the brow bone highlight seems to brighten the eye area.
So what are my final thoughts? I definitely prefer the original Lime Crime version. Of course this palette was a favorite of mine to begin with, so I had high expectations… if you’re gonna copy a classic and a favorite, I better be blown away. So while this original is more expensive, I defiantly think it is worth it. The quality of the Lime Crime version is definitely there. In the swatches, some of the shades don’t look pigmented, but on the eyes it is very in-your-face which is what I want from a palette. They are so easy to blend and do so flawlessly and you really can’t beat it.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and found it helpful! If you want more of these posts or a Real vs. Steal series, let me know in the comments below!