High End vs Budget: Highlighter

High End: Becca x Jacyln Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Champagne Pop

  • RRP $60AUD (from Sephora)
  • 8.5 grams

Budget: the BALM’S Mary-Lou Manizer 

  • RRP $29.95 AUD (from Sephora)
  • 8.0 grams

Money Saved: $30.05; Size Difference: .5 grams (Champagne Pop has slightly more product)

(Image from Sephora Online, Left: Champagne Pop, Right: Mary-Lou Manizer)

These are 2 of my favourite go-to highlighters which I use over and over again. I’m slightly biased as I have revealed in an earlier blog that Champagne Pop is my All Time Fav highlighter, however I will try and compare the 2 as fairly as possible!

First things first- the price. Mary-Lou Manizer is half the price of Champagne Pop, and there is a H-U-G-E price difference of $30.05. In terms of packaging, I think Mary-Lou Manizer takes the cake. All of theBALMS packaging is so quirky and fun, which is a nice change from the typically plain packaging adopted by most cosmetic brands. See The Manizer Sisters Collection;

(Original Image by TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts)

Now down to the nitty-gritty, the colour & quality. The most obvious difference between the two highlighters is colour. The undertone of both products is champagne/beige, however Mary-Lou Manizer (pictured left) is more frosty and neutral, whereas Champagne Pop (pictured right) is definitely more golden and warm toned.

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(Original Image by TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts)

Both are extremely high quality, however I find that with Mary-Lou Manizer, the colour pay off isn’t as great as Champagne Pop. The pigmentation of Champagne Pop is what warrants the high price- you only need the tiniest bit of product to create an instant glow. When swatching each product, I had to apply more and more layers of Mary-Lou Manizer to fairly compare the two. Pigmentation is definitely the biggest difference between the 2 products- while they are both very pigmented, Champagne Pop greatly surpasses Mary-Lou Manizer as you only need the tiniest amount of product.

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(Original Image by TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts- top; Mary-Lou Manizer, bottom; Champagne Pop)

Champagne Pop is NOT vegan, however is cruelty free, whereas Mary-Lou Manizer is both vegan AND cruelty free, which is another point-of-difference for the later!

The Verdict

If you are not willing to pay such a high price for a highlighter yet still want a high quality product, then theBALM’S Mary-Lou Manizer is definitely for you! The colour and packaging is amazing, it’s 100% vegan & cruelty free and a very affordable price. However if you are willing to spend double the price for a higher-quality and more pigmeted product, then Becca x Jacyln Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Champagne Pop is for you!

Buy Champagne Pop from Sephora online here.

Buy Mary-Lou Manizer from Sephora online here.

Thanks for reading- TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts x


High End vs Budget: Eyeshadow Palette

Okay so it’s my first ever official product review so be kind! Today I’m going to be comparing a high end eye-shadow pallet with a similar budget/ drugstore pallet. I’ve selected Maybelline New York’s ‘The Nudes’ Palette and Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette. Nearly every-one I know has one of the coveted Urbay Decay pallets and many people think that while it is a great product, it is waaaaaaaay overpriced. Therefore I thought Id share with you guys what I think is a fairly good dupe for Naked 2 (my personal favourite Urban Decay palette).

High End: Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette; RRP: $83.00 from Mecca Maxima

Budget:  Maybelline New York’s The Nudes Palette; RRP $25.95 from Priceline

Each palette consists of 12 shades and I found that 10 were similar. I unfortunately couldn’t find budget dupes for Pistol and Verve in Naked 2 in The Nudes palette.


The eyeshadows in The Nudes do not have names, and so I’ve numbered each from left to right as 1,2,3,4,5 & 6 and the bottom shades from left to right as 7,8,9,10,11 & 12.

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The shades in Naked 2 from left to right are called; Foxy, Half Baked, Booty Call, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted & Blackout:


The Nudes packaging is very lightweight (would be great for travelling), while Naked 2 is very bulky and heavier. I’ll move straight onto swatches so you can all compare the quality yourselves. Naked 2 shades are on the left and The Nude’s shades are on the right.

  1. Foxy vs Shade 3: Foxy clearly wins out here- it is far more pigmented. Shade 3 is buildable however it would take a lot more time and effort to replicate the effortlessly pigmented Foxy.


2) Half Baked vs Shade 9: Wow! These shades are so similar! I think this is a near exact dupe in terms of quality and colour.

Half baked

3) Bootycall vs Shade 1: Neither of these are all that pigmented but it you used these with Mac Fix Plus then you would probably get a better result


4) Chopper vs Shade 4: Shade 4 is darker than chopper but these are both beautiful metallic bronzes with a hint of a shimmer finish.


5) Tease vs Shade 8: These are both really similar in terms of colour and both are true mattes. Shade 8 is slightly less pigmented however.


6) Snakebite vs Shade 10: I love both of these colours so much. Snakebite has a slightly more gold-shimmer finish however both are super pigmented and are great to use with a bronze smokey eye.


7) Suspect vs Shade 2: Again, suspect has more of a gold frost finish but both would be great in a bronze/brown smokey eye.


8) YDK vs Shade 7: The base colour is similar however YDK has a shimmer finish unlike Shade 7. If you really wanted to replicate YDK you could layer any neutral shimmer shade over Shade 7. Here I think YDK is a much nicer and more bold shade.


9) Busted vs Shade 6: Both of these are a-m-a-z-i-n-g browns- the only difference being the Shade 6 is slightly more matte and definitely more pigmented!



10) Blackout vs Shade 12: Yikes, here you clearly see the difference between an $83 product and a $25.95 product. Shade 12 has terrible colour pay-off whereas Blackout is the complete opposite.


So there you have it! Obviously some colours in The Nudes are better than others, e.g. Shade 9, 4 & 8 are amazing whereas Shade 12 and 1 are pretty terrible- you get what you pay for though. I think The Nudes has some really great shades, especially the bronzes, coppers & browns. The less pigmented colours are buildable, and if you wanted to do a brown or black smokey eye using just one pallet then this could easily be achieved with either pallets. Naked 2 is vegan & cruelty free wooohooo! Like most drug-store brands, Maybelline unfortunately does test on animals and is not vegan friendly 😦

The Verdict

All shades (with the exception of Bootycall) in Naked 2 are amazing and I think Maybelline has done a great job (whether intentional or not) in creating an eyeshadow palette which rivals high-end products in terms of quality and colours. At the end of the day, Maybelline ‘The Nudes’ is more than 3 X cheaper than Naked 2 and most of the colours are really similar. I would recommend The Nudes to anyone who is travelling and wants a lightweight and versatile pallet, to anyone who wants a palette to practice eye-looks with and also to anyone who is not willing to pay $83.00 for an eye-shadow palette.

Buy the Maybelline The Nudes Palette Online Here

On the other hand, If you a willing to invest $83.00 into a palette that is consistently high-quality, ultra pigmented and features a beautiful mixture of true mattes and shimmer shades, then I can’t recommend naked 2 highly enough. I various shades from mine nearly everyday and has lasted 9+ months plus it comes with the added bonus of being cruelty-free and vegan!

Buy the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Online Here

Thanks for reading- TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts x

*All images by TriedAndTestedBeautyProducts