kat von d vs. sonia kachuk: DUPE?

It's very difficult to find a true dupe in the makeup world, where the color, the formula, the texture and the quality are all equal enough to be considered a dupe. I believe that you mostly get what you pay for, unfortunately, and that means most drugstore items are not going to compare to the higher end alternatives.

Occasionally, I find products in my collection that remind me of others and have my brain shouting "DUPE!!!!". I get extremely excited finding an affordable version of a high end product, even if 99% of the time, there are some compromises. 

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe

This palette is the newest one in my collection, I bought it during the sale that Sephora holds twice a year. I knew I'd love it, and I always have a need for an all matte palette. I have used and loved this palette ever since, but I couldn't help but notice many comparisons to my Sonia Kachuk palette.

- butter smooth texture
- very pigmented
- easy to blend on the eyes
- long wearing and doesn't crease
- gorgeous variety of shades
- quality is consistent among all the shades

- there's quite a bit of fallout
- the palette gets very dirty easily

Swatches go like this: Each picture is a group of the 4 shades, the first swatch is the top shade, followed by the bottom 3 shades from left to right. 

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette swatches and dupes

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette swatches and dupes
kat von d shade and light eye contour palette swatches and dupes
kat von d shade and light eye contour palette swatches and dupes
This is a palette I've had for a couple of years now, but it's one I use all the time. I got this on a whim when Target existed in Canada and I'm lucky I did, because this is not an easy brand to get hold of outside of the USA. So if you don't have access to Sonia Kachuk, just get the Kat Von D palette because this dupe comes with a lot of compromises that I'll go into detail about later, and it might just be worth it because it's not that much more expensive for what you get.

- easy to blend on the eyes
- long wearing and doesn't crease
- gorgeous variety of shades
- no fallout
- the pigmentation is there, but it requires a lot of layering

- some of the shadows feel rough (that doesn't affect how they perform)
- the palette gets dirty easily
- packaging feels cheap and flimsy

Swatches are left to right. First picture is the top 2 rows, bottom picture is the bottom 2 rows.

sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette swatches and dupes

sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette swatches and dupes
sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette swatches and dupes
Let's get on with the actual dupes. The 5 shades I'm showing you here are actual real dupes. The quality is the exact same, the shades are as close as they could get, the pigmentation  is equal. They don't feel the same, the Sonia Kachuk shades as a whole feel rougher then the Kat Von D ones, that means they have no fallout whereas the Kat Von D ones do. I don't prefer one over the other which is how I know they're dupes :)

Swatches for these dupes are all Kat Von D on the left, Sonia Kachuk on the right.

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe
I hardly if ever use a stark white eyeshadow. So this dupe does nothing for me, but it is seriously an amazing dupe. If anything, the Sonia Kachuk shade is more pigmented then the Kat Von D one once you build it up.

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe
The undertone of these two browns are slightly different, and you can easily see the difference in the swatches. Kat Von D (left) has a slight rosy undertone whereas Sonia Kachuk (right) has a very neutral cooler undertone. However, on the eyes, these two shades look exactly the same, especially in the crease where it is just a wash of the shade.

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe
This peachy shade is a beautiful shade to apply in the crease to warm up a look. I prefer MUG peach smoothie to both of these because it's much lighter and more subtle whereas both of these are a bit darker, but still beautiful and I use them both interchangeably.

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe
Similar to the lighter brown shades, the undertones in these dark brown shades is slightly different, but they perform the exact same on the eyes. Both are extremely pigmented in one swipe, but the Sonia Kachuk one gives you no fallout.

kat von d shade and light eye contour palette versus sonia kachuk eye on neutral palette dupe
My favorite black eyeshadow is MUG corrupt, but these two come close. The Kat Von D (left) one is so pigmented that you have to be careful when applying it, the Sonia Kachuk one is more beginner friendly and requires more layering.

There are many other similar shades in these two palettes that I didn't include in this post simply because they don't come close enough to qualify as dupes in my book. Let me know, do you have either of these palettes? What do you think of them?

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the perfect pair #2

There are some products I always use in the same exact way, whether it's my hands to apply a certain foundation or a brush to apply a specific blush (as it was in my first perfect pair post). I have a few pairs like that, but this one is my most favourite. I am die hard for this combination but I can't take full credit for it, Jaclyn Hill was the one that convinced me to try this liner and brush together and she was absolutely right about both of them, and specifically them together.

If you are someone that struggles with the winged liner, let me tell you, it's 75% the products you use, and 25% practice. 0% skill by the way, because everyone can achieve the look, yes everyone. The biggest tip I could give you, aside from using good products, is to practice every night before washing your face. You'll have it down in a few weeks, guaranteed!

maybelline gel eyeliner, sigma e65 brush

maybelline gel eyeliner, sigma e65 brush

maybelline gel eyeliner, sigma e65 brush

maybelline gel eyeliner, sigma e65 brush

maybelline gel eyeliner, sigma e65 brush


I've been using this eyeliner for about 5 years. I've tried other ones, other amazing ones, and I've always come back to this one. I think this is my fourth pot in that time, and I actually use them up. (No, I don't wear that much eyeliner, but I rarely do a clients makeup without applying this eyeliner.)

What stands out the most for me about this eyeliner is that it is extremely long wearing. It has lasted for 3 days on my clients eyes (I don't recommend that, but that is phenomal lasting power) so it will only come off when you remove it. Even if you sleep on it, even if it's hot and humid outside, it will last. I will note that I always set my eyeliner with powder, so keep that in mind.

This eyeliner doesn't smudge around on the eyes. It can flake off a little, but I prefer that because all I have to do is brush it off and it doesn't leave a black smudged line under your eye. It is also very easy to remove with even the simplest of makeup removers, which is a huge plus for me because I hate having to scrub makeup off my face.

I'll also add that as long as you are conscious of always closing the cap very tightly, this liner will not dry out as fast as other liners. Mine last for about a year, and by then I'm finished it anyway.

To sum it up:
- It is a very dark matte black shade
- It lasts a heck of a long time
- It doesn't smudge
- It is easy to remove


This brush was a game changer for me. Before I bought this, I used the tiny pointed edged tip brushes and they worked, they were fine. A couple of years ago, I was convinced that I needed this brush and I bought it, and I'm so glad I did. This brush makes eyeliner so freaken easy to apply, not to mention it's really fast too. I dip this brush in the pot once and can do my entire eye with that one dip. 

The size of the tip of this eyeliner is very small, which is important for eyeliner. It's also very tight, the hairs of the brush don't splay outwards which can mess up your liner too.


Here's a step by step on how I use these products together.
I open the eyeliner, take the brush and swirl it around. Then I close the eyeliner tightly.
I wipe both sides of the brush on the back of my hand to wipe off the excess eyeliner.
In small even strokes, I apply the eyeliner. I first create the wing, then I fill in the rest of the eye. 
For the second eye, I dip back into the eyeliner left on the back of my hand.

It's fast, it's easy, it's no fail.

To see this combo in action, check out any of my makeup looks with eyeliner in them :)

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what's in my z palette?

what single eyeshadows are in my z palette?

My first high end makeup purchase was the Urban Decay Naked palette, which I bought right when it launched without knowing what it was. I walked into Sephora, chose the first eyeshadow palette that I really liked, didn't even bother swatching it, and the saleslady there told me "You got the last one!". It was years later when I became a makeup artist that I realized how lucky I was to get my hands on the palette right away. And yet, if I could go back, I wouldn't buy it.

Why? Because single eyeshadows.

If I were to break down the amount of eyeshadows I really love from the Naked palette (only about 5 of them, but I use 7 of them pretty often), it means I paid around $10 per shade that I use. Compare that to the single shadows that cost about $6-$10 per shadow, that I can customize in my Z Palette which makes it ideal for traveling and my makeup artist kit.

what single eyeshadows are in my z palette?

I have many single eyeshadows, all of them from either Mac or Makeup Geek (MUG). Other brands make amazing single shadows too, but I tend to stick with what I know, and these are on the more affordable side. I know it can be extremely overwhelming to decide what eyeshadows to buy, and there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from, but if you go slow and buy them over time, you will fill up your z palette with eyeshadows you love.

The shades in my Z Palette change pretty often, although I have my die hard ones that stay no matter what. Sometimes I include a few colorful shades in here, but mostly, it's filled with neutral shades that I can use to create almost any makeup look, from a super glamorous bridal look to a simple every day look.

Let's break it down, shall we?

what single eyeshadows are in my z palette?

mac blanc type, mug shimma shimma, mug peach smoothie, mug glamorous, mug creme brulee swatches

First row, left to right:

A matte creamy white shade, perfect for the brow bone and inner corner of the eye. It's not too white that it looks wrong on the eye, it's just bright enough to be very flattering. It also works great to set your eyeshadow primer before applying darker shades.

A shimmery champagne shade, perfect to apply all over the lid or inner corner of the eye. It also works amazingly as a cheekbone highlight. You can sheer it out to use for everyday, or press it on the lid with your finger for a very glamorous look.

A matte soft peach shade, perfect to use in the crease to warm up any eye look. It comes off very subtle and is extremely easy to use, even for beginners. I use this in 90% of my makeup looks, it's a must have.

A warm shimmery gold shade, perfect for all over the lid for an easy makeup look. It's my favorite gold shade of all the ones I own, it stands out on the lid and looks gorgeous paired with a red lip. It's not overly shimmery, it's just right.

A matte soft brown shade, perfect for in the crease or all over the lid. It's the easiest eyeshadow to apply in the crease before going in with darker shades, or if you want to define your crease for a quick everyday look.

mac omega, mac woodwinked, mac saddle, mug cocoa bear, mac knight divine swatches

Second row, left to right:

A matte cool toned gray shade, perfect as a crease shade for cool toned makeup looks, for contouring the cheekbones as well as filling in brows. It's one of those how-the-heck-did-I-ever-live-without-this shades. I don't use it on myself that much because of my warm skin tone, but it's a must have for my clients.

A light gold shade with a soft sheen to it, perfect for an easy one eyeshadow makeup look all over the lid. It's a lighter version of Mug glamorous, if I want a softer look I'll choose this shade. Not a must have, but it's certainly beautiful and I use it a lot.

A matte medium warm brown shade, perfect for defining the crease for smokey eye looks. I love this eyeshadow paired with dark eyes, especially a brown smokey eye. It also works well smudged along the lower lash line for some definition.

A matte red toned brown shade, perfect for those of you with green eyes. I love this eyeshadow in the crease, along the lower lash line, or as a single shadows smokey eye. The red tones will compliment green eyes, but looks beautiful on everyone. An absolute must have.

A shimmery silver shade, perfect for silver smokey eyes. It's not too dark where it gets messy too fast, and it gives a stunning silver sheen to the eyelids that catches the light beautifully. It's my favorite silver by far because of how easy it is to use and wear.

mac satin taupe, mug burlesque, mug bitten, mac embark, mug corrupt swatches

Third row, left to right:

A soft shimmery taupe shade, perfect for all over the lid for an easy glamorous makeup look. It's a very unique shade and it goes with everything. It very flattering on the all eye colors, and you can smoke this shade out in the crease and it will give a duo-chrome effect.

A shimmery maroon shade, perfect for a maroon smokey eye. I love to apply this on the eyelid and add some black eyeliner smudged along the upper lash line. It's not too shimmery, it's just enough to catch the light. Gorgeous for green eyes.

A matte maroon shade, perfect for adding a bit of color to a look without over doing it. I like to apply this in the crease of a neutral eye look, as well as smudged along the lower lash line. This is like a matte version of burlesque.

A matte dark brown shade, perfect for when you don't want to use black eyeshadow but want to darken up the eyes. It works beautiful as eyeliner, to smoke out an eye look, along the lower lash line, as well as a smokey eye on it's own. It's my favorite dark brown shadow.

A matte dark black shade, perfect for smoking out eye looks. This black is intense, so use it carefully. I like to use this to set my liquid or gel eyeliner and to add some drama to a makeup look. I use this shade on 95% of my makeup looks, it's an absolute must have.

What are some of your favorite single eyeshadows?

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lifestyle post #1: moving (my experience and tips), blogging schedule (or lack thereof)

I've never done a post solely for the purpose of updating you guys on my life, and I have no idea if this is interesting in any way, so I decided to include a MOTD as well, because you all know how much I love stuffing my posts with loads of pictures :) 

My family and I recently moved into our first home! This was a long time coming and we are so excited. We've been living in a small 2 bedroom apartment for the past 6 years, and with 2 very energetic boys who love to run around, we were in desperate need of more space. 
We looked at the house and basically signed a deal on it that same night. If you've ever bought a home, you know how frustrating the process can be, so I am very happy to be past that. I immediately started packing up boxes because we had a lot of family visiting during that time and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with them. I also prepared a ton of posts for this blog so I could take about 2 weeks off for family. Safe to say I was super busy. 
Once my family left, I was mostly packed up and moving day arrived. My husband decided to save some money and do all the moving himself with the help of some family. Coming from a small apartment, we didn't have that many large furniture pieces, so it all worked out. 
I was extremely organized with all the packing, I made sure to label absolutely everything and I threw away so many bags of stuff we didn't need which made unpacking such a breeze. We were completely settled in within a couple days, and my kids love all the space they have. 

In an ideal world, I'd post 5 days a week, Mon-Fri. That is my goal, that is what I would love to do one day. I have tried posting 4 times a week and succeeded at it for a couple of months. I went to 3 times a week while I was moving, and most of those posts were pre scheduled, so that worked out fine. Now that we are moved and settled in, I have attempted a few posts and failed miserably. 
First of all, the lighting is completely different. I used to use all artificial light because we didn't have large windows in our apartment, and I had it all figured out. Now that I have all this natural light spilling in, the settings on my camera aren't compatible and I need to play around with it a lot more. The photos in this post were taken with natural light and flash, and I had a hard time getting them. Hopefully I figure this out quickly!
Secondly, I have not been wearing any face makeup at all. No foundation, no concealer, no BB cream. Nothing on my face. In the photos in this post, I applied bronzer and highlight, but my skin is 100% bare (I'm rockin' the dark-under-eye-circles look). The reason for this is that I always prefer to keep my face bare, it's more comfortable for me (check out my post: what makeup means to me) not to mention when I do wear face makeup, I break out, no matter what I use. So I normally do my makeup, take the pictures, then immediately wash it off, which makes me sad. So I decided to try and do my full makeup faces without face products, and see how it turns out.
In addition to those two main reasons, it's also wedding season which means I'm busier with makeup clients, and they always take priority over my blog. 
So what does the future hold for RachelShuchatMakeup.com? Well, my goal is still to post 5 times a week, even if that won't realistically happen until my kids go back to school next year. But until then, I will be posting as frequently as I can while juggling the rest of my life, and I hope you stay with me.

100% bare skin. Notice the redness between my eyebrows, around my nose, as well as the darkness under my eyes. I know my skin looks beautiful, but I want you guys to realize that photos make my skin look a lot smoother then in real life. Just sayin' :)

Products Used:
Kat Von D shade and light eye palette
Mac eyeshadow in knight divine
L'Oreal sillkissime eyeliner in black
Maybelline lash sensational mascara
The Balm bahama mama bronzer
Physicians Formula the nudes highlight
Maybelline lipstick in blushing beige

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skin prep for makeup simplified.

Skincare is a tricky son of a skill to figure out. You try different routines, you use cheap products, you splurge on expensive products, you have no idea if anything is working. After some time, something starts to click and you start to swear by your skincare routine, which is when your skin changes overnight and nothing works once again. 
Skincare is very personal. Everyone's skin differs greatly and reacts differently to products, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm not a skincare expert, I only know what works for me, and what my clients tell me worked for them. 
Here is my biggest piece of advice: LESS IS MORE. Use less products and only do the steps that are absolutely essential for your skin type. If you are doing something just because you think you have to, stop doing it.

This post is for those of you that have very sensitive skin. Your skin is on the drier side, ranging from super dry to combination but you don't have a problem getting too oily. This is my exact skin type so I know this post won't apply to all of you, but maybe some of you will find this helpful.

skin prep for makeup simplified


Apply a heavy night time moisturizer before bed. This is the first most important tip I can give you. My skin looks very different in the morning if I don't do this. I alternate between these two products:

ORIGINS DRINK UP INTENSIVE OVERNIGHT MASK: Although this product is meant as a mask only to be used 1-2 times a week, my skin is dry enough that it benefits from me using it every night. I apply a pea sized amount all over my face, a little goes a very long way. Don't be fooled, you will feel this on your face, after all it is a mask. However, this moisturizes the skin so greatly and in the morning, my skin feels so soft and moisturized.

COCONUT OIL: Slather this all over your face, neck and eye area. This acts as an amazing hydrating cream with anti aging benefits too. If you apply the amount I like to, which is a generous amount, your face will be greasy for a couple of hours. If you don't like the sound of that, rub the coconut oil onto your clean hands and press it onto your skin. That way, the oil will sink in within minutes. This doesn't hydrate my skin as much as the Origins mask, so I use this when my skin isn't feeling as dry.

skin prep for makeup simplified


I know, I know. The skincare experts say to cleanse your face morning and night. However, that does not work on my dry, sensitive skin, so if you have issues with your skin, try skipping the morning cleanse completely and see what happens. It seems my skin benefits from the dirt built up overnight, and I used to break out a lot more when I washed my face in the morning.
Instead of cleansing your skin in the morning, it is much more important to exfoliate dry skin a couple times a week. This will get rid of flaky dead skin on your face so makeup sits more flawlessly on it. You can DIY you're own exfoliater, I've done that before with great results. But I find it easier to have something I can grab and use quickly. I like the ST. IVES SMOOTH & NOURISHED OATMEAL SCRUB AND MASK. I apply it and leave it on for about ten minutes, then I wash it off. It gently exfoliates my skin without stripping every drop of moisture from my skin.

skin prep for makeup simplified


If I'm not going to be wearing makeup, I don't cleanse my face, or moisturize it. I wake up and leave it completely bare. (I meant it when I said less is more!) But for makeup, your skin will benefit from added moisture no matter what your skin type. Not only will it add some hydration to your skin, it will act as a barrier between your skin and foundation, which us sensitive gals need.
My favorite morning moisturizer is the OLE HENRIKSEN SHEER TRANSFORMATION. It is a thin comfortable cream that smooths out texture on the skin. It is a beautiful, magical product and makeup sits flawlessly on top of it.

skin prep for makeup simplified


The last step is to prime your skin. Honestly, if you follow the above steps, this won't be necessary, unless you specifically want to smooth out your pores, or add to the longevity of your makeup. I tend not to prime, instead I use something like the MAC FIX+ which is super hydrating or MARIO BADESCU FACIAL SPRAY which I just discovered and love. This adds that last bit of hydration before your makeup, and you can apply both of these sprays after application too. 
If you want a long lasting primer, I recommend trying the NIVEA MEN COOLING AFTER SHAVE BALM. My skin didn't break out from this, which was the first surprise, and the second was that this product actually adds a few hours of wear to your makeup which is really impressive.

skin prep for makeup simplified


I don't suffer from acne, but I have combination skin so I do break out here and there. When that happens, I like to spot treat with these two products:
MARIO BADESCU DRYING LOTION: This is for the very extreme pimples that we all absolutely detest. The way this works is you dip a Q-tip into the pink stuff and dot it onto your pimple and it dramatically reduces them. I sometimes feel like this is too much, which is when I use the
ORIGINS CLEAR IMPROVEMENT CHARCOAL MASK: I use this is the same way, I dot it on any spots I have and I leave it there overnight. It works very well and is less harsh.

What is your number one skincare tip for others?

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