The Dupe List + Swatch Gallery Updates for May 2016

The Dupe List + Swatch Gallery Updates for May 2016
The Swatch Gallery

You might have caught my mention of working on a project (which I have now determined may be never-ending!) last week, and it was all about breaking down every single swatch in the Swatch Gallery into additional characteristics: how light or dark the shade is, how cool or warm the shade is, and how much shimmer the shade has. The driving force behind this project is just the sheer number of swatches we have in the gallery and rather than continue to add colors (e.g. light brown, medium brown, not just brown), why not really drill it down into a range so that it’s never an issue again?

I’ve combed through over 30,000 swatches in the last two weeks to assign these characteristics to them, and I’ve gone through them twice more. My goal is to try to be as consistent as possible with how I categorize everything, and I know I’ve changed quite a few shades from one color category to another as well as switched some undertones since this project gave me the opportunity to really see all swatches and go through them (so if you see review text that doesn’t quite line-up, that would likely be why).

I still have more tweaking to do over the next couple of weeks to really get the shades in the best order I possibly can.  The process has been truly overwhelming (which I should have anticipated, as we’ll celebrate our ten-year anniversary in the fall!), from trying to better understand exactly what is warmer, what is warm (in the case of brighter purples), how to categorize desaturated shades that don’t look right alongside much brighter shades, even though they seem like they’re both medium in lightness/darkness, and the like.

The Dupe List + Swatch Gallery Updates for May 2016
The Swatch Gallery

It is also designed to help me help you faster by making it a little easier to narrow down dupes or easily grab a bunch–say for a medium to medium-dark, copper eyeshadow, which there are numerous ones–or I can easily bypass light blues when I know I’m only interested in navy blues. I know I’m looking forward to being able to refine brown eyeshadows or pink lipsticks better (those colors, by the way, were the most numerous in number of swatches)!  You can also do neat things like sort by editor’s highest rated and see what the highest rated medium, very cool-toned fuchsia lipstick is.

The Dupe List + Swatch Gallery Updates for May 2016
The Swatch Gallery

So while this allows for even further refinement should you be browsing swatches, it also enables us to provide much more accurate “possible dupes.” I hope this helps readers in three ways: 1) when I’ve uploaded a swatch but have not reviewed yet, you’ll now be able to see possible dupes in a meaningful way; 2) for older shades that may have less dupes, a better list of possibilities will be there; and 3) to catch any similar shades that I might have missed (I think I will miss less now, though!). (Here’s an example: MAC Invite Intrigue has not yet been reviewed, so you can see possible dupes and how very close are! I’m on the way to eliminating myself out of a job! Haha!)

We have configured the possible dupes section to be slightly broader than what would generate near-perfect dupes so that slightly lighter or darker possibilities might show as some colors have lots of dupes and others might have only a handful that are much lighter/darker so we didn’t want to go so narrow that there’d be no results too often!

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Oh my goodness, my head is spinning just thinking of all the work you are going through on this project, 30,000 swatches and growing by the day!! But from the pictures above, the dupe swatches look so much better–much better matches, and even exact matches. For makeup junkies like me, this is a godsend, no need to accidentally buy 10 of the same colors, I can focus on more unique colors to add to the collection. A few months ago, I did a similar project on my makeup collection. I swatched all my lipsticks as well as shadows by color (brown, green, blue, purples, etc) and roughly grouped them into color categories and cool/warm tones, and made a list, so I could see what I had too much of and what I don’t have enough of. That took me many weekends, and my stash is nowhere the size of yours! But thanks so much for all your hard work and dedication to your blog and readers! You’re the BEST!!!!

Thank you so much, Katherine! I mean, I knew approximately how many swatches we had, but man, categorizing? I underestimated the breadth of the task by a lot, lol!

can i just say that your passion for makeup, and the work and effort you put into this blog, is so amazing and appreciated by makeup lovers! I know I am not alone. Your site just keeps getting better and better, and it is an indispensable tool for me before i make any purchase. THANK YOU!

What an overwhelming task! Thank you so much for all the work you put into this, Christine! I spend a fortune on makeup, however, I won’t purchase anything without reading your review first and I consult the dupe list at least two-three times per week.

It really was! I’m not usually overwhelmed by my to-do list, but it has been daunting (still is, knowing I need to fine-tune everything more).

Thank you, Kelly!

Oh my goodness! Christine, you are ridiculously amazing! The amount of work required…

Again, this is why you’re the Khaleesi of beauty writing. Your devotion and dedication to clarity, knowledge, and thoroughness is such a service to your readers. Congratulations!!

This is a wonderful example of how your phenomenal analytic skills and executive functions set you apart from the hordes of makeup bloggers. Your systems and brain are amazing. You get to the abstractions of how and why. You are highly appreciated.

Holy *&^%#%^ !!!! My exact words are scarcely fit for print.

I’m constantly astonished and amazed at the depth of information available from

? A big thank you from all of us who genuinely recognize and appreciate your dedication to detail and your immense commitment to your readership. ?

I just wanted to tell you how much I love your site. It’s the most innovative, user friendly, and unique makeup blog on the internet, and also provides the most thorough reviews in my opinion. I always check your site before purchasing any color makeup product, and am able to find the information I need 98% of the time. The new updates you are making here are awesome and I fully expect to spend many hours playing with the sliders on the swatch gallery when you’re done. ? Keep up the good work!

You are working on wonderful changes, thank you so much Christine! The part about being able to browse by highest rating through certain shade and type is great! Just what I’ve always dreamed of for the swatch gallery!

Good heavens — so this is what a PhD in knowledge management looks like! This is amazing. I can’t wait to get into it — it’s going to be so helpful.

This is quite possibly the coolest tool you have introduced on the blog. I could see myself spending hours here just looking for dupes and colors I want to find. I wish something like this had been around when I first really got into makeup, it would have eliminated so many extraneous purchases. Thank you for all your time and effort!!

I use the dupe list all the time and think it is amazing. With all the refinements it will be even more amazing. Thank-you so much for the time and effort!

WOW!! 30,000 swatches???? In 2weeks???? Impressive! And funny you should mention the purples… Because of your classifications, I also read up on color theory, thinking, what the heck? How is that warm? And the answer is…there’s no definitive answer. It all depends on where you choose to divide warm and cool, based on your perception of warmest or coolest color. And purples and greens, apparently, are the hardest to classify. I personally consider purples cool, unless they are muted with brown/yellow, but others classify red-leaning as warm…or both…or neither. So thank you for leading me down a new, nerdy path!

For anyone else interested, I found the website handprint to be the most helpful in explaining warm vs. cool, although I’m sure there’s others that might be better! Looking forward to playing around with the new updates!

For purples, when I thought and looked at it as a spectrum and looked at a very blue-based purple, I could really see just how wildly different a red-toned purple was — I think more red-tone purples often look more magenta than true purple (like a violet), that helped me a lot. But at the very least, I just wanted to PICK a direction and be consistent (I mostly categorized red-tone purples as warm before, but some were listed as cool-toned for sure). I also struggled with trying to consistently determine what was the warmest out of golden bronze, bronze, and copper bronze (my reading yielded that generally, orange is the warmest color). I literally woke up one day at 5AM going, “Swatch gallery, golden bronze is 8… copper bronze is 10!”

The more I read, the more fascinating it is! Then I started reading about the impact of color saturation, combinations vs. contrast…the time of day and the impact of the color of natural light…WHO KNEW THIS STUFF WAS SO COMPLICATED! So kudos to you for your hard work!!

When I read more about saturation, I was like, “Maybe I should have done that too… oops!”

I know all about how ambient light will affect perception of color, though! I got those Philips Hue lights for my office, because I can set the white better – but even so, things will appear more magenta in the morning, greener at night on my computer screen. It’s frustrating to say the least! Should edit in the dark 24/7, lol! (Which is actually how some do it!)

Christine, that’s very interesting because when I swatched and catalogued my stash, I did the same thing. I also grouped the purple shadows under different tones (red, blue, pink) as they look SO different next to each other! Then I had to further subdivide between warm and cool purples. And I also jotted down good color combos for eye looks (ie blue shadows with blue- toned purples), because before, I would haphazardly grab shadows in the morning based on pan color, and end up with weird looks that were hard for me pull off or not quite work-friendly (cool blue- toned shadows with warm red purples). Ditto with the bronze shades – I had different categories for yellow, orange, and brown undertones.

Yes, like you, I didn’t realize how much work it was going to be, until I started! But so glad I did it, but now I have to keep it updated every so often with new purchases. I typed out the color combos on a cheat sheet, so when I’m rushing in the morning, I can take a peek, and just grab the right shadows for quick, colorful eye looks that I know will look great and be work-friendly. On the weekends, when I have more time, I usually ignore the cheat sheet and just experiment/ play with different colors, and if something works, I add to the cheat sheet.

Wow!!! This is quite the major undertaking! And it looks like an awesome refinement of what was *already* the gold standard of a site being able to let its readers ascertain dupes. Thank you for all of your hard work with your blog, this is why it’s still unsurpassed in quality!

I too have a hard time finding things on the site. Why is there no search feature? It makes the site so difficult to use, and there’s such a wealth of information here. Just a thought.

There is a search feature – a magnifying glass right in the navigation! There is also a full search box in the footer of every page as well.

OMG Christine! You’re the best seriously…This is AMAZING! Congratulations for the HARD WORK! Everything in this website is usefull. Thank you again.
Keep up the good work! ?
From a big Montreal’s fan ???

This is so awesome, Christine! You are a makeup saint. I think this is going to be such a useful addition to the site, and I’m so very excited for it. Your devotion is admirable. It seems like you have been working non-stop on this blog since its creation (ten years!?!)–I mean, has there ever been a day without a post?

One day you have to do a day-in-the-life post, and walk us through how this whole process works for you from the start of your day and how you test a product (with pictures!). You know, when you’re not under-taking a huge project that requires cataloging tens of thousands of swatches. Haha. I think that would be so awesome to see.

I don’t think I did it daily initially, but whenever I established the daily schedule, it’s been pretty consistent. I had the swine flu a few years ago, and I think there as a day when there was just one post (Temptalia Asks You, which I do a week or two in advance). That’s the only time I can personally recall!

This is like the perfect example of a left and right brain project. So much data! And pretty colors ;D

Thanks for all your hard work over the years Christine. I’ve been visiting your site for almost the entire time it has been in existence. Crazy!

I am blown away by what you are doing, Christine! This is going to be so incredibly valuable!!
I so appreciate all of the time, work and effort you put into your reviews. I rarely (if ever) make a makeup purchase without first consulting Temptalia.

Thank you for all that you do!!

I don’t have anything new to say from anyone else but this is the kind of project that demands an individual thank you =o

Seriously, not only is this amazing but I’m sure you have the database to rival anything L’oreal, or the like, could even come up with. Hell, I’m sure they have one backend and they wish it was as amazing as this!

Sometimes I forget how long the site has been going on, so I just space on how much is in the database. We do daily backups of everything, and we have to have a separate drive just to store a couple days of data, lol.

Wow, you guys have been working hard. This on top of swatching and reviewing all the Vice lipsticks. Do you even sleep? This is a great improvement, thank you!

Thanks, Rachel! 🙂 I’m behind on comments, that’s where things gave way for me. I’m hoping to get back on track over the weekend!

It’s always astonishing to see behind the scenes of the blog and realize how much you work! Mad respect, really. <3

You’re site is such a valuable resource for me and sincerely appreciate the massive amounts of time you put into constantly improving it. Thank you ?

Wow this is fantastic. This is why I visit here most before planning to make any purchase. Thank you for the hard work! This is truly a life saver for any make-up consumer!


As I was applying ABH Pink Champagne this a.m., I was wondering if there was a way to search for more eyeshadows with this specific texture/consistency.

This will make is so easy to find dupes, and comparable items.

Woohoo!! 🙂 The starter for the project was really having to pull dupes for copper eyeshadows – there are SO many, and they are SO similar, followed by any time I tried to go through brown eyeshadows, which are ridiculously numerous. It’s like “I’m looking for a black brown! I don’t need all this other stuff right now!”

Christine, this is awesome! I am sure it was (is) an overwhelming project to compile but all of us will appreciate your efforts. Thank you very much! Temptalia is always the first beauty blog I visit and the only one I re-visit several times before I purchase a product. It helps of course that you and I are share the same skin tone as well, thus I know if products work for you, they will work for me.
The Temptalia team with you as the leader is the best! I will love using this new feature. Thanks for your dedication to your readers!

Girl you need a vacation after this!! Lol. It would be well desereved. Thank you so much for all your hard work!! I know me and countless other readers truly appreciate it 🙂

Thanks so much for all you’re hard work. We really appreciate you’re refinement of the swatches and dedication to excellent makeup assessment!

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