If you have nearly identical shades in your stash, do you keep both?

I’d like to think that if I wasn’t a blogger that I would pare down the dupes and only keep the very best/ones I’d use the most, though with some shades that I might LOVE, I might keep a couple variations of or in the instance that perhaps certain types work best with certain brands or different formulas (e.g. a cream vs. powder).

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Explore Temptalia

We're here to help you make better beauty purchases that you'll enjoy and love! We recommend signing up to take advantage of personalized features like tracking products you own, viewing dupes that you already have, and more!

Here are some useful resources for you:

Compare Any Two

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

42 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Yes because chances are, it is a workhorse color for me or at least one that I enjoy using and I always like to have backups or dupes of those.

No, unless they have different finishes. Like one’s matte and the other foiled. Variety is the spice of life. Would love to have as many shades that flatter me as possible.

If I like the product and will use it then yes I keep both. Sometimes the undertone is just enough different that I might use it in certain situations or maybe one product works better for a certain application but the other works for some other application. Does that make sense? Anyway, short answer is that yes I will probably keep both of them. All you have to do is look at my collection of berry shaded lipsticks and you would know that answer!!

That depends. If they are exactly the same in term os formula and finish and I do not love them, I willget rid of one. If they are different, say lip crayon vs lip stick, I usually keep them.

I do! And actually have! Which can get a little bit scary and overwhelming at times, ie: Do I use MAC Satin Taupe in this look? Or MUFE I-544? Or Lorac Pewter?
One of many examples, I’m afraid. ?

Hahaha…of course, if you love the look and decide to recreate it a few days later, then it’s even worse….Which eyeshadow did I use on my outer lid? Was it Satin Taupe? MUFE I544 (how odd that, again, we’ve bot the same shadows) or UD Bust? (this is when I occurs to me that I really should have a little booklet and make notes! and it’s one of the reasons I loved and really miss the “What We’re Wearing” feature that used to be on here).

This is something I’ve been debating – I have Laura Mercier’s Velvet lipstick in Cocoa Pout and NARS Mona, which seem to be identical to me. Which to one to keep?! I can’t decide and so far have kept both.

I sure do keep both. It is one of my weaknesses that I tend to fall for certain colours over and over again so there are many almost identical products in my stash. And most of the time, I can justify buying something with only a slight difference from stuff I have already. It’s something I’m trying to get better about, though, and the Dupe List is a gigantic help in that regard (and it’s why I’m trying not to buy the Chanel Tweed Cherry Blossom blush!)

Yeah, w/ the dupe list, I find I can avoid yet another shade X. But for my true loves, I s.t. find I have five dupes. The older I get, the narrower my preferences. Like Nars dark red or brown red lipsticks. Probably have every one he ever put out, and they stay until their deaths. Overkill is def a problem, so I started a 2 dupe rule. If I have two or more dupes @ 90%, no go. If I get an exact dupe from a set, I am likely to give it away. If you are an aficionado of a shade family, you see minute differences that many (esp the Y chromes) would not detect ever.

Depends on of I’m going through a decluttering stage or not. I’m known to have multiple similar nude lipsticks or pinky peach blush . I don’t really believe in dupes. I never find dupes to be all that similar to the item they are compared and I think the subtle differences warrants keeping both.

Oh definitely keep everything, haha! That’s why I have such an unruly stash. I only get rid of things if they’ve actually gone bad or if I’ve decided I’ll never wear them again. 2 (or 3…?) of a similar shade if no reason to toss it. Besides – if I’m buying dupes, it must be a color really like 🙂

I do tend to gravitate towards certain shades, however the textures or the formulations might be different, so I do keep everything. Companies are fickle and discontinue product, another reason that I keep look a likes.

If it’s because it’s a shade that I use a lot, and I just didn’t recognize the dupe when I bought it, then no because I’ll almost certainly use it. But if it’s a situation where I’m exploring a new color and the first purchase was a test but I found the best version after that, yes I’ll toss those first one since I’m not likely to use it. Or if there’s applicator, transportability or other such problems I’ll toss it; it just goes to whether I’ll use it or not.

I have very few dupes in my stash. They are either inadvertent dupes (i.e. eye palettes that might have a couple of similar shades – there’s nothing to do about them) or “intentional” dupes because I buy them as such (i.e. lip pencils – there’s no point for me in paying $20+ for a lip pencil when I find cheaper dupes of very good quality like the Milani lip pencils; in this case I buy back-ups of certain shades that I use on a daily basis because I go through them quite quickly). The lipsticks – I have no dupes per se, although I do keep some MLBB variations in different finishes (i.e. matte, non-matte). If we’re adding to the discussion the foundations, the BB creams, the concealers – the shades are similar (it’s normal) but the finish/coverage is different. With respect to the setting powders, I keep the one that works best (preferably has no talc) and I buy its pressed version as well as it’s easier to carry around for touch-ups during the day.

I bought a dupe for Becca Prismatic Amethyst which was Colourpop Hippo. I was in Sephora last weekend and saw the Becca version loved it and bought it too.

I love the cool lavender/pink but usually I wouldn’t.

I tried beauty blogging for a year. Pre-blog and during the course of the blog, I would have kept the dupes because HOARDING. But post-blog, I find I toss out the one that I like the least. I’ve completely re-hauled my vanity and I only want to keep items that I get the most use of.

I would the keep them all-hate getting rid of makeup, I have so many red lipsticks but they each have their own finishes even if the color is very similar.

No, but I really should if only to make room in my collection for new colors. I have so many eyeshadows that are very similar colors with maybe just a slight undertone difference. Colors I really love I keep no matter what (I have a lot of purples and dark reds). I should make some small magnetic palettes for my friends and just give my extras away…

Depends on what it is!!

If it’s a lipstick, i’ll get rid of the worse preforming one, or the cheaper one, because I know I’ll never finish both before they expire!!!

If it’s a matte warm brown eye shadow, a matte cream eye shadow, a shimmery green. I’ll have doubles, even triples of! Simply because I go through those shades the most. I finish at least one of these shades a year.

If it’s a shimmery pink or coral blush, I’ll have multiples of. Because to me, I never find exact dupes of my favourites. So It’s nice to have variety.

I generally don’t have similar shades, unless they’re different finishes. If I found out I did I’d give the one I less prefer away.

Normally I would just keep them around at least for awhile. If I do a annual clean out I may give something away but generally in not a big hurry to get rid of anything.

Most definitely. I stock up on product that I feel looks great in me or I get many compliments on. If it’s a limited edition then I buy extra.

Yes. Nearly identical is not identical so why not keep them? I think the only reason would be when for example two lipsticks are nearly identical and I do not like the formula of one of them.

If they are similar, and i like both, i will keep both. In general, most products have some minor differences, be it shade, tone, or finish. These make all the difference for the makeup lover!
If they are literally identical , e.g. 2 x embark, i will give one away.

It’s tricky because so many brands replicate shades (even within one brand) in different palettes. For example I have olive shades in bareMinerals Soft and Smoky, the Playlist and the Scenic Route; Lorac Pro Metal Palette and Vice 2. So to get rid of the duplicates, I would be turfing out the palette, so the answer to the question is yes – I would keep the shades. As I rotate my eye shadow palette stash, it all gets used.
Also there are some favourite workhorse shades that I use almost daily – so dupes of those are always handy.

If it’s a blush, lipstick or topper then yes I usually keep them because I know I will use them – or I am more apt to use them. : )

I like having dupes or near-dupes as they are often from different brands, so provide something a little different, like texture or depth of shade, or opacity. I my Aveda days using small eyeshadow pans meant having many backups of the same shade. Sometimes, that dupe is in a compact I would take on holidays.

I will because the texture and finish might be different, and to be honest mostly because I don’t like to get rid of something I bought…

I certainly do. If I have two similar items or identical is because I really love it and goes with my skin. Rose bud from WetnWild I bought a second I’m afraid they’ll discontinue this favorite beautiful shade and Cherry Bomb. I have a backup of I’ll have a Cosmo high lighter also. But just those two items although I love to experiment with different brands and colors always seem to be attracted to few of the same same shades family which suit my skin color.

HAH!
I think my entire collection is dupes!
I probably own every purple/violet eye pencil ever made on the planet. Why? Because purple/violet makes my hazel eyes look greener. Only if the performance is utterly crap do I get rid of something.
Other multiple dupes in my stash- matte nude eyeshadows, matte nude blushes, black kohl kajal, and about every dupe for MAC Nylon in existence.

I must have wanted it if I bought it, so sure I keep it. Unless someone has admired it and really likes it. I often give my stuff away, not just makeup, if I think it will make someone happy. I never do this just because I think I have too much though, which I do.

Probably not. I’ve only had a few nearly identical products; one case was (is) light cream colored eyeshadows that work well as an inner eye/tear duct area brightener. Both came as parts of a larger collection (a palette in one case, a set in another), and I kept them both because it’s a very useful color. Having said that, I like the texture of one a lot better and will very likely eventually discard the other.

I once had two lipsticks that were practically identical, and I did get rid of one, but I had never liked the texture of the one I disposed of, so frankly, I would likely have gotten rid of it eventually anyway, dupe or no.

I don’t buy colors that are similar.
I am really good at knowing what I have so any new eye shadow isn’t really dupable EXCEPT golden colors. I like all kinds of gold so I do have colors that are similar in golds.

I am not a big eyeshadow person so my collection is limited to what I WILL USE and not want.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!