Monday, September 8th, 2008

L'Oreal H I P Makeup

L’Oreal HIP is a line that’s been out for awhile, and if you’re an avid MAC fan, you might have heard them being compared to the popular brand. HIP stands for High Intensity Pigments. I have to confirm that the similarities between some of HIP’s products and MAC’s. Pictured above are three new additions to the HIP line: Eyeshadow duos in Sculpted (purples) and Magnetic (blues), as well as Jelly Balm in Luscious.

See swatches, and find out whether HIP is a worthy comparison to MAC…

L'Oreal HIP vs MAC Comparison

The first two swatches are of the Magnetic duo, the next two are of the Sculpted duo, and the last swatch is of Luscious Jelly Balm. Of the three products I tried, Luscious Jelly Balm ($9.00) is my favorite, just because it does feel quite nice on the lips. It reminds me a lot of MAC’s Tendertones. It’s very thick, definitely deserving of the “Jelly” title. Luscious gives a nice tint to the lips, because it’s pretty dark – but don’t let the “in the pot” color scare you, because the color itself is sheerer and much more like a tinted gloss. Β It didn’t feel sticky to me when I tried it either.

The duos didn’t win me over entirely. Magnetic could have been prettier; I was hoping for more blue rather than more silver in the lighter shade. Instead, it is more of a silvery color with a hint of icy blue in it. The darker blue swatches much more like a blackened blue–almost muddied. Sculpted was prettier when swatched, because the lighter color turns out a mauvey rose shade, brighter than a plain mauve. The darker color is very black, but it has noticeable purple shimmer to it, which kicks it up a notch.

HIP Eyeshadow duos are only $7 a pop, and since L’Oreal does go on sale regularly, you might get them for even less (B1G1 free/half off). The pigmentation is decent, though the colors aren’t not always spot-on from what they look like to the naked eye. None of these had over-the-top shimmer, which is something I find common in drugstore brands (and if not too glittery/shimmery, then chalky).

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56 thoughts on “L’Oreal HIP vs. MAC Cosmetics – Can you really compare the two?

  1. Abby

    I have a few HIP eyeshadow from my pre-MAC days, but I wasn’t overly impressed by them. They’ve now found a home in the back of my samples drawer. πŸ˜‰

    And it seems to me the HIP containers often end up in the counterfeit MAC loop…!

    • Interesting! I didn’t know that about the counterfeit MAC loop. For $7, they’re not bad. Granted, I haven’t tried much drugstore makeup in the past year, but for a girl on a budget, not a bad way to go and get some MAC-esque makeup at half the price. (Though, not ALL of the HIP line is as budget-friendly.)

  2. My first makeup love has always been eyeshadow, so when I saw these released I picked up a few. I was so impressed that I continued to pick them up, until I had the full range of 15 duos that are available in Canada. Of those, there is only one that is a dud in terms of pigment, for the life of me the yellow side of Flashy just will not show up – LOL. But I feel like MAC has more than a few shadows that do not have a true transfer from the glorious colour in the pot to the skin.

    I think they’re a really good alternative to MAC, as well as just being decent makeup without the comparison. L’Oreal really hit the mark with this line as far as breaking it’s ‘safe’ colour limits and has really made vibrancy more available to everyone.

  3. The one thing I love from the HIP line more than MAC are the lipsticks. They smell like chocolate and the colors are very sophisticated (darker neutral, rosy-brown kind of colors)!

    • Haven’t tried those! But interesting how the scent is chocolate vs. vanilla πŸ˜‰

      I only make the comparisons to MAC because the packaging is very reminiscent of MAC, but also because many consumers seem to do it!

  4. Elle

    I’ve tried some HIP products, and although L’Oreal is my favorite “drugstore” brand, they didn’t win me over. I was disappointed with their eyeshadows–somehow they just do not look “true” on me at all (they look like one color in the pan but then end up looking completely different on my skin).

    • Hey Elle! So far, with the two I tried, I’ve experienced the same thing. Even though you can always return makeup to most drugstore retailers these days, it sucks to bring home one color and get another. Returning is wasting the product, and I definitely don’t want to waste my money – I still wish I could swatch the color before buying. ‘Cause even if it doesn’t look the same, the color could still swatch fantastic, y’know?

      • Elle

        Exactly! That’s what’s so frustrating. I think I’ve given up on these and will stick to my MAC habit for now. πŸ˜‰

  5. victoria

    i agree as well, the shadows didn’t show up on me as i hoped even with a base but i do love l’oreal’s decrease e/s primer, surprisingly it works for me very well. i heard the cream liners are comparable to fluidline but for the price i would rather get mac. i do love a lot of other drugstore brands like maybelline’s l/s in the red tube and cg lashblast.i’m going to be hooked on them for a long time.

    • I think drugstore is hit and miss, just like anywhere else. I’ve definitely had high end beauty products fall flat on their face!

      If there’s a sale on HIP, it’s definitely worth a look and perhaps a purchase or two, but when it’s not, I could never justify the price. (And that goes for all drugstore lines – too many are getting above $10!)

  6. HeavenLeiBlu

    I totally agree with Nepenthe; although I’m not as avid a collector; I think I’m up to 8 colors. I had more, but I’ve given some of the concentrated duos away, and I find that some of them are either chalky or don’t pay off well, but the bright duos are great; especially the Showy duo. I own a few of the lipsticks and glosses, and I enjoy them as well. As for the creme liners, I have all the colors except brown, but I can only compare the Black to MAC’s Blacktrack fluidline, and it’s an awesome replacement. I grabbed every one of my HiP products during BOGO promotions, and by that method, they are SO much more than just “worth it”.

  7. Fatima

    I’ve tried some HIP and I found the best one to be the gold and purple duo. I can’t recall it’s official name but i recall the gold to be AMAZINGLY pigmented!!

  8. Zsofi

    now You did read my mind Christine,i always wanted to compare the two πŸ˜€
    i think L’oreal did a big copy with taking the word 2pigment” as name….

  9. Amanda

    I personally think that HIP isn’t as good as Mac, but if you are going to buy drugstore, it’s the only way to go. I own a few of the eyeshadows and like them. I use them often and they work pretty well. I think their color selection is a lot better than any other drugstore brand.

    Rimmel’s Underground line has some decent stuff, too. One of the glosses that I own is so pretty that when I was getting my makeup done at a MAC counter once, the girl doing my makeup asked what brand it was. I kind of ashamedly admitted it was Rimmel. She started raving about it, even calling another artist over to look, then started saying she was going to pick it up later that day. Occasionally you find a gem!

    • I haven’t done much drugstore makeup shopping… to be honest, I have so much high end makeup that I don’t feel compelled to stock up on drugstore makeup. Even buying more high end makeup isn’t as fun as before, because I loathe figuring out how to store it all, LOL. I can’t weigh in on how HIP compares to other drugstore lines, unfortunately.

      When it comes to color, HIP definitely has that angle covered, which I think is great for anyone who doesn’t want to spend $14 on a yellow eyeshadow that they’re not sure they’ll ever use often.

  10. kat

    I had only swatched HIP products before. I didn’t like them as much as MAC personally. I think that also the limited range of colours factors in. While HIP only has so many colours, MAC has hundreds! Plus you can chose your finishes, etc. I’d rather spend more and get my selection :)

    • I think my favorite part about high end products is that I can talk to artists who know the line (or at least, know something about makeup), swatch things, compare colors together, etc. It’s kind of like Starbucks – sure I can brew my own coffee or make my own smoothie, but I like the experience overall.

  11. slick

    I think HIP is a great alternative to MAC, but MAC wins hands down in terms of quality. Plus, HIP prices are fairly outrageous if you don’t get them during a BOGO sale. For regular retail price you might as well purchase MAC instead! I had a few HIP shadow duos that I really liked (overall I found them to be very hit or miss anyway), but I never reached for them. I do actually like the new Metallic duos – they are much much better than the regular line IMO. The gold color in the Gilded duo is TO DIE FOR. My favorite gold – kicks Gorgeous Gold’s butt! I think the cream eyeliners are great as well, but again, I never reach for them due to my MAC addiction.

    • Hey Slick!

      I agree that HIP is not a bad brand at ALL for drugstore. It gives you colors and a decent range of shades. The pigmentation may be off the mark in terms of what the color in the pot looks like to how it appears on the skin, but there is still pigmentation. I didn’t find them terribly chalky like the drugstore products of yesteryear.

  12. Macaddict

    Swatched them when they first came out. Was excited about trying them because I had read in mags that they were high pigmentation. Was disappointed by so-called “high pigmentation”…:-(
    If I buy a cheap drugstore brand, I would buy NYX(which is closer IMO in pigmentation in color choices to MAC than L’Oreal is). MAC products raise the bar of expectations in people who use them on a regular basis, I guess, and I am very picky now about what I think is great makeup or not.

    • Sandy

      I agree with this, when I buy drugstore, I buy NYX. It’s the only drugstore brand that has high pigmentation IMO.

    • NYX is amazing, I do agree, but their distribution could be better. It’s impossible to find nearby, and I don’t live in the middle of nowhere by any means :(

  13. Lindsay

    Haha…you read my mind!..I just (and I mean just!) got back from the drugstore and they finally had the cream liners there…I bought the blue one because I really want MACs Waveline but I am trying to not go near MAC right now (saving for a car) and I was wondering how they compare…sounds like an ok dupe to me!

  14. Carrie

    I have Bustling and Lively, and while they’re not as nice as MAC, I do like them a lot. I think they’re a good deal and the colors seem nicely paired.

  15. sara

    have you tried the HIP cream liners? they’re thicker than fluidlines, but by golly the black one works absolute wonders on the waterline. it’s ridiculous how long it stays on there for me. you should definitely try it!

  16. pia

    I love hip cream liners! i have midnight blue, eggplant which is so much better than nice vice, and teal. They glide easily, stay put and have lots of product in a jar.

  17. I haven’t tried HIP yet but some of their stuff looks kind of cool.

  18. Melissa

    i love the hip cream liner… it’s the only hip product i own… but on eyeshadows i love MAC,Faces and Pureluxe!! I have so many little samples of MAC and Pureluxe pigments… And the pan eyeshadows MAC and Faces are the best but I like MAC more since they are cheaper.

  19. Tekoa

    I have one HIP eyeshadow pot called Riotous. The bright green side looks like Bitter from mere observation. Though it wins points in the blending and product pick-up catagories, I find the durability to be lacking. I find Riotous prone to fading. In short, a respectable contender but MAC wins the fight.

  20. claudine

    ive never been impressed with Loreal make up
    the hip line is not out here yet but i hate their other stuff
    like their mascara is more expensive than a mac one

  21. Jennie

    @@In regards to eye shadows@@

    Let’s face the reality: not every one can afford to pay $15 per eye shadow at MAC. Loreal HIP line is highly pigmented, beautifully packaged, and especially affordable when you buy it when it’s buy one get one free and use a coupon at the same time at CVS, Walgreen’s, etc. CVS has the best return policy, so even if you didn’t like the eye shadow you could totally take home and test if it’s truly worth the money that you earned hard for.

    In addition, I would never put testers on my face at MAC. No matter how much they clean or sanitize they’re filled with dust mites and God knows what else lands on their makeup stations and products. Even powdery products, such as eye shadow, will accumulate a great deal of bacteria due to the fact that people touch it ALL the time with their unwashed pathogen filled fingers!!! I’m a nurse and I know for fact that germs can grow in wet surface. Sweat, water or food grease from fingertips can be transported to the eye shadow at any time and that anytime might now be the time that your eyes will catch.

    MAC almost never has sale or offer coupon. MAC’s recycling program is great and I wish Loreal and other cosmetic companies would offer the same or similar deal, yet every time I bring in the recycles for a free item most MAC employees are definitely far from being thrilled about it. They also seem to have a terrible attitudes toward returns and exchanges, So why bother?

    If you are happy with MAC by no means you should stop buying their eye shadows, but give the HIP line from Loreal or other makeup brand a chance as they are getting better and better.

    • Hi Jennie,

      It’s definitely worth looking into the HIP line if you’re a gal on a budget or it’s on sale. The trouble I find for myself is that I always seem to go to the drugstore when they’re not on sale! This is why I rarely cover drugstore lines, because I’m not paying $10 for mascara or an eyeshadow or a lipgloss from a drugstore.

      I don’t use testers on my face, but I love being able to swatch everything on my hand. It’s one thing about counters and dedicated cosmetics stores have over drugstores. I know there have been talks amongst drugstore chains about trying to change this aspect.

      If you encounter attitude at a MAC store, you should write to corporate about it. I’ve never had any attitude about the B2M policy! In fact, they always laugh and talk about how much money I save by turning in all those empties.

  22. Yeah Jennie I agree.

  23. Joy

    okay maybe its just me… but i LOVE the whole HIP line! the eyeliner crayons arte the bizness! they are VERY long-wearing, almost permanent and the color is true the the packaging! as far as the duos, most of them are really great and some suck…. for example, the flamboyant (gold/purple) duo is one of the ones that is wierd, b/c the gold shows, but the purple doesn’t. I tried the packing it on technique and that didn’t work either! the showy duo is so pretty on! but my favorites right now so far are brazen, riotuous, & flashy (for the highlight). Pigment wise, they are VERY pigmented. like MAC’s just not as big! they are .point something and mac is 2.5 i believe! and they are half the price, but not even half the size. as far as lips…yes lawd! those are just great! lipsticks arte very VERY pigmented and creamy, and the glosses are quite similar to lipglasses in texture, just not very sticky. the jelly balms are the bizness too! I haven’t tried the foundation or the black/blue mascara yet, so i’ll have to let you know about that!

  24. carriespooner


  25. ladyvee

    the color pay off is NOT the same for me with HIP as with MAC I love my MAC but if I had to get a drugstore brand it WOULD NOT be HIP I’m more partial to Milani I get great color payoff with that