Is it really a dupe? Mac Candy Yum Yum vs Maybelline Colorsensational Fuchsia Flash

One of the most satisfying discoveries for a make up fan is a dupe; a product from a budget friendly line that is almost an exact replica of your favourite high end/luxury make up item. With that in mind, I have decided to start a series here on the blog called “Is it really a dupe?” I can’t pretend to have discovered many (if any) dupes myself – all my knowledge on this subject comes from taking advice from other blogs, YouTube channels, magazines and friends! So in this series I will be testing and comparing two products widely hailed as a luxury product and it’s more purse-friendly dupe. This time; Mac matte lipstick in ‘Candy Yum Yum’ vs Maybelline Colorsensational lipstick in ‘Fuchsia Flash’.

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The Packaging

Candy Yum Yum from Mac comes in the well recognisable and classic ‘little black bullet’ packaging. Well designed, easy to use and perfect for ‘flinging’ in your handbag. The only downside for me is that because most Mac lipsticks come in the same packaging you can’t identify which colour it is unless you look at the base, which can be a little irritating if you have a large collection. The packaging of Fuchsia Flash from Maybelline is completely different so clearly not designed to replicate the Mac packaging. I think you can tell it is a less expensive brand from the appearance but nevertheless I love the shape, colour and feel of the packaging. It also has a very satisfying ‘click’ on closure which means its nice and secure so that you don’t have to worry about it causing a mess when it finds it’s way to the bottom of your handbag!

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The Product

In the bullet the colour of these two products is definitely a close match. If a bright and bold neon fuchsia colour on the lips is what you are after then you will love either product. Once swatched onto the back of the hand the main difference between the two products becomes apparent; the finish. The Mac lipstick (on the right in the photo) is completely matte whereas the Maybelline is more glossy. The colour still looks almost identical but can you really call this a dupe when the finish is so different? Once on the lips the difference in finish becomes even more obvious in my opinion (Mac is applied to the top lip in the photo) but again the colour is so similar. In terms of wear, the Mac formula doesn’t budge for hours even when eating and drinking. The Maybelline formula doesn’t hold up too badly, but definitely needs reapplying after a sip on a drink or a few mouthfuls of food. However, because it’s more glossy the formula feels more nourishing compared to the slightly drying feel of the matte Mac formula. Most people have a definite preference for either a matte or ‘non-matte’ formula and I think this difference in finish might be a deal breaker for those looking for a true Candy Yum Yum dupe.

The Price

I bought the Maybelline lipstick in Asda for just £5 during a special offer. I’ve seen it in Boots selling for £6.99, but you don’t have to wait long for Maybelline to be in a 3 for 2 promotion. The Mac lipstick sells for their standard price of £15.50 (unless you risk it on eBay) so clearly there is a big jump in price between the two products. I personally think both lipsticks are worth paying their respective prices for. Fuchsia Flash may not be an exact dupe due to the difference in finish, but I’m glad to have it in my collection as a glossier alternative to Candy Yum Yum. When worn together they also look fab!

The Verdict

Is it a dupe? Kind of.

If you have any requests for products you’d like me yo try out and compare, do comment and let me know…

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The Matte Blush from Makeup Revolution

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Makeup Revolution London stormed onto the budget beauty scene not much more a year ago, and the brand has gradually infiltrated my make up collection ever since. An innocent scroll through my Instagram feed a week ago turned into an impromptu online shopping spree on the Makeup Revolution website as I saw they had released a brand new range of matte blushers. As much as I love a good shimmer on the cheeks, a matte blush can be a lot more flattering, especially if signs of fine lines and (dare I say) wrinkles are starting to appear! I would call ‘The Matte Blush’ collection a capsule one as there are just 6 colours available for now (so of course I had to buy them all!)

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Even though the collection is ‘petite’ in size the colour range is fab. I’d say there is something to suit every skin tone and taste. Three of the colours are on the bolder side and three of them more neutral. I’m sure you can see why I had difficulty choosing between them and therefore ended up with all shades in my online basket! However, at only £3 a pop these (like all Makeup Revolution products) are an absolute bargain. Especially when you consider the size of these blushers. The pans were much bigger than I expected and on closer inspection the weight of the product is 8.9 g. The geek in me needed to know how this compares with other blushers and a quick rummage through my existing blush collection revealed weights between 2.5 g and 6 g and that includes high end brands. The packaging does leave a lot to be desired compared to more luxury products but you can’t complain especially when the quality of the actual blusher is so good…

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The more neutral shades are ‘Nude’, ‘Fusion’ and ‘Beloved’ (shown above from left to right). At first glance they might look really similar but once on the skin they are definitely unique from each other. Nude is exactly as the name suggests – a true nude. Fusion has a slight pink tone and Beloved is more on the peach side. All three are very pigmented when applied to the cheeks (even more so than the finger swatches shown below suggest) so need a really light touch with your brush. You could even use nude as a contour colour, depending on your own skin tone.

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The more bold shades are equally as pigmented as the others. In fact, there is definitely a consistency in formula across the whole range, which is a huge positive for me as that is not always the case. It’s a make up lover’s nightmare when you try out one shade in a particular range and love it so much that you buy more only to find out the formula is different! As well as the colour pay off being great, the texture is lovely and soft. The only down side to the formula is there is a lot fall out so my dressing table has been pretty messy after using any of these. Shown from left to right above are ‘New Rules’, ‘Dare’ and ‘Divine’. New Rules is my favourite as I own nothing like this. It’s probably not the best suited to my skin tone but I get away with it using a light touch. It would look great on deeper skin tones in my opinion. The cool toned Divine is a great pick for porcelain skin.

Nude, Fusion, Beloved, New Rules, Dare, Divine (L-R)

Nude, Fusion, Beloved, New Rules, Dare, Divine (L-R)

Trying out this collection has further confirmed my love for the brand. I doubt it will be long before I make another purchase, especially as new releases are so frequent. I’m on the mailing list too so am always being tempted by special offers! You can join the mailing list via their website linked here.

Bubba Gump Shrimp London

I love food! I also love films, and Forrest Gump is definitely in my ‘top 10 movies of all time list’ (but that’s a post for another time!) So, when I heard the Forrest Gump themed ‘Bubba Gump Shrimp’ restaurant was opening it’s first UK branch in London I knew I had to visit. I finally got around to going last month and wasn’t disappointed…

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Convenient for tourists and locals alike

Being within easy walking distance from several stations (including Leicester Square tube and Charing Cross main line) the restaurant has obviously been located to lure in the tourists. Especially when you consider the M&M shop, Nickelodeon store and The Prince of Wales Theatre are all literally on the doorstep. If you are familiar with London, it occupies the building in which you used to be able to find Planet Hollywood.

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Themed Perfection

You feel totally emerged in the film as soon as you enter the front door. The small ground floor houses a gift shop and the waiting area has plenty of nods to the film. We arrived at what I’d consider to be an off-peak time (5 pm on a weekday) so the waiting area was almost empty, but being very small I imagine it gets quite cramped during busy periods. The restaurant is up the stairs and I loved the decor. It’s as you would expect for a themed restaurant including props and memorabilia plus quotes and stills from the film but in my opinion executed to perfection. I loved that the drinks menu was printed between a table tennis bat and that the many televisions throughout the restaurant were either playing the full film, or American sports games.

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Not quite something for everyone, but plenty for seafood lovers!

Clearly, the menu is very ‘fish heavy’ and this is definitely not a restaurant I would recommend for vegetarians! As a seafood lover I was spoilt for choice. Many of the dishes are either fried or contain a lot of cheese, but there are some grilled dishes served without chips (or fries) for those watching their cholesterol levels! I loved that many of the dishes were those mentioned by the Bubba character in the film when he lists all the ways to serve shrimp (love that scene!) and there are also dishes named after other characters (including my favourite Lieutenant Dan). Drinks wise, in addition to the standard selection of soft drinks the cocktails selection is decent. They have the usual themed restaurant trick of getting you to spend more on drinks by offering standard cocktails at around £10 or the option of the drink plus a souveneer glass to take home for a couple of pounds extra. Main meals cost anything between £10 to £25 so as you’d expect for a central London tourist hotspot, but I thought the quality of food matched the price, as discussed later! A gluten free menu is available and to be honest I didn’t pay it much attention, but noticed there were only a few dishes. Their menu is available online here.

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All-American Service

Right from arrival it was obvious the restaurant brought their American service with them to the UK. And I mean that as a compliment! A host greeted us enthusiastically. He (and as we later found out most of the staff) wore a headset to communicate with each other and it meant the service was both personal and extremely efficient; when it was our turn to be seated the host let the greeter at the top of the stairs know we were on our way and also told him our names so we were greeted with a personal touch. Our waiter was great; explaining the menu, chatting film trivia and making personal recommendations. All theme restaurants have their gimmicks but the Bubba Gump one is actually pretty useful. Every table has two signs and as the customer you chose which one to display ‘Run Forrest Run’ or ‘Stop Forrest Stop’. If you display the first you will be left alone to enjoy your food, drink and conversation. Display the second and a waiter or waitress stops at your table the next time one walks past. In theory, this means no waiting around for your order to be taken or to ask for the bill, but you are also not disturbed half way through a mouthful of food to be asked “is everything OK?”. I appreciated this! And it worked in practice when we dined, but I’d be interested to see if it is as effective at busier periods. All wait staff also wore t-shirts (merchandise from the shop obvs!) printed with the best Forrest quotes such as ‘Life is like a box of chocolates’.

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Seafood Heaven

I had a tough time making a decision and almost went for the coconut shrimp seeing as it was a fusion of two of my favourite flavours. In the end I decided bigger was better and ordered ‘Forrest’s Seafood Feast’ – 3 types of breaded fish served with chips and dips. All of the fish was melt in the mouth more-ish, my favourite being the shrimp (of course!). At £15.50 it is one of their mid-priced dishes but actually great value; I had no trouble finishing off the fish but barely ate half of the chips so in reality you could split this dish between two, and then still have room for dessert (which we didn’t!) My husband had the surf and turf; a great option for those who want a taster of the fish but are red-meat lovers at heart. Of course I had to try some for research purposes! The shrimp was perfectly seasoned and the ribs exactly as they should be – drenched in barbecue sauce and tender enough to be pulled apart with your fingers!

So in summary? Clearly if you are a fan of neither seafood or Forrest Gump this won’t be the place for you. But if you are a fan of both, it shouldn’t be missed! You can follow Bubba Gump Shrimp London on twitter @bubbagumpuk1