MAC Prim & Proper and dupes

Ahh, this blush. THIS BLUSH. I love it, and I hate it.  Well, I mainly hate the fact that I didn’t buy a back-up of it.  It’s not the blush’s fault. But the love I have for it… yes, I want to marry it.
It was part of MAC Give Me Liberty of London collection from 2010.  MAC’s official shade description is “neutral nude” which really downplays how nuanced the colour is.
It’s a shimmering bronze nudey shade, yet it’s got a plummy-ness to it as well.  It registers as both warm and cool tone on the skin, depending on the rest of my makeup look.

At first I wasn’t as enamoured with this shade as I am now.  It was a love that developed over time.  When I realized how much I loved this blush, it was too late, because of course it was a limited edition shade.

And not having a back-up of it caused me anxiety every time I used it.  In my mind, I would be hitting pan any day and my life would be OVER.  But I exaggerate. I will never hit pan on this, it doesn’t even show a dip in the pan 5 years later!  In 2012, I started to scour blog sales (damn those “U.S. only” sales!) and eBay for a back-up, but to no avail.
So the next best thing was to find a dupe for it.  First I looked in my stash at the time.  I didn’t own nearly as many blushes about 3 years ago, so here are some comparisons from what I owned at the time:
• Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Natural Powder Blush in #1011-20 Fawn (too dark)
• Milani Powder Blush in Temptation (too mauve)
• NYX Powder Blush in Dusty Rose (too pink)

No dupes.  So I searched for information online – maybe someone posted a dupe for this colour.  Googling “MAC Prim & Proper dupe” returned no viable leads.  So I went shopping.

My friends can vouch for me when I say that I went on a hunt for a dupe of this.  I brought the compact into the stores carefully wrapped in tissue – can you even imagine if it shattered while in transport?  The first place I went to was MAC – nope, nothing.  I went to the department store counters one by one.  I went to Sephora.  It was quite an interesting exercise.  Usually the SAs are very helpful and amused by my task at hand.  I had to fend some of them off from trying to swatch the blush with their fingers – oh my!  Don’t touch my makeup, people!
The trick with blushes is that they often apply quite differently compared to how they appear in the pan.  So while something might look similar comparing the pans side by side, once actually swatched, they’re vastly different.  In the end, I managed to find not one, but TWO passable dupes!
• Clinique Fresh Bloom allover colour in #13 Plum Poppy Blend – this is ever so slightly more pink, but when applied on the cheeks, it’s a very similar colour
• Sephora Colorful Blush in #12 Raspberry Sheen – this applies so differently than how it appears in the pan, I almost didn’t swatch it. Compared to Prim & Proper, it’s a bit brighter and more peach, and has a noticeable silver shimmer, but again, once applied to the cheeks, it’s quite similar

In my opinion, the Clinique is the closest match.  As luck would have it, neither the Clinique or Sephora are available any longer!  BUT they are available on Amazon.  So if you’re in the market for a gorgeous bronze nudey plummy blush, they’re available here and here.
While preparing for this post, I also discovered 2 more similar shades in my stash, which I bought without even realizing how similar they were to Prim & Proper:
MAC Pro Longwear in Blush All Day – slightly more mauve
Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in #11 Sensuous Rose – a little more apricot and brighter

Both of these are still readily available!

So there you have it. My journey into finding a comparable dupe for one of my favourite, if not the favourite blush in my stash. 🙂  (Yes, I realize that I now own 5 blushes that are all really similar, but you say that like it’s a bad thing.) Have you ever done something so obsessive regarding makeup?

29 thoughts on “MAC Prim & Proper and dupes

  1. The packaging is so pretty! And the shade looks like something that would be flattering on most people.
    By the way you had a cute little Goldilocks moment there “too pink, too mauve, too dark” lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Damn girl. I see the changes you’re making to your blog with the Continue reading and watermarking! Also, did you change your posting time as well?! I never see posts from you til 8! Either way, I’m glad I get to see it in my reader. Not like yesterday. Blehk.

    I swatched Prim and Proper at a display and thought it was pretty! Very long time ago. If only MAC would bring back our fave LE blushes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had the continue reading for a long time now! I just started the watermarking this week… to be more profesh, ya know? 😋
      Hey maybe you should go on a hunt for your LE Spaced Out blush dupe and post your adventures! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahaha I can totally see you scouring the shelves looking for a dupe! It is a pretty color and I agree that the Clinique is quite close. I’d be pretty devastated if they discontinued a color I love too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate when you fall in love with a product and then discover its limited edition! Curse you makeup companies for doing this to us blush addicts lol. You did a really good job scouring for your dupes. I agree that Clinque was the best dupe for your Mac replacement. Loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the adventure you got there. Often times I keep on reminding myself everytime you open your collection like this …”that’s why it’s called stash, ya knaw?”..
    I could still can’t get hold of how much you’ve owned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I go back and forth often about whether to get rid of a lot of stuff or keep them. My SO asked me once if my makeup will go bad, I told him no, the powders will keep just fine. And he said to me, well why don’t you just store away stuff you don’t need all the time and keep them? Awww, that day I loved him just a little bit more. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww! He’s such a sweetie! Seldom you find a supportive one who’ll truely understand the idea of buying and keeping and buying again and keeping and so on. 🙂 My sister and I always label this kind as True Love! 🙂
        Oh, it just sent me giggles!


  6. Awww that MAC is gorgeous!! I so wanted you to find a dupe by the end of the post – and you know what?! I’ve had the EL on my wishlist for a while, because I bought it for my Mom earlier this year! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have an eBay auto search set to “MAC Prim & Proper” just in case a miracle happens, like that time when I snagged a LeSportSac print that had been discontinued for YEARS and one popped up, brand new with tags! 😀
      Those EL blushes are fabulous! People don’t talk about them much – since I got over my aversion to non-round blush pans, I got a few of them… and I want more!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL I do the same thing with some d/c items on eBay. I’m forever searching for a cobalt blue Rachel Nasvik Patricia or Phoebe bag. There was a yellow Treesje I loved years ago, too, but I have pretty much given up hope on it.

        Oh you finally got into square pans! 😀 Yeah I would like to get that EL blush, for sure. Which other ones do you have/recommend?

        I guess it makes sense, btw, that you found dupey blushes for your MAC from Clinique and EL, since they are all under the EL umbrella! I always forget to think of that stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh good catch there with the EL brands – could be why they were the most similar!
          The other EL blushes I really like are: Lover’s Blush – friggin HATE the name but this colour is gorgeous, a tanned nudey shade that makes the cheeks look super chiseled. The other shade I like is called Wild Sunset which is a bright coral.

          I hope you find those purses one day! 🙂


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