Inside the Mind of Suz

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Is Maybelline’s Coral Burst a dupe for NARS’ Taj Mahal?

Is Maybelline's Coral Burst a dupe for NARS' Taj Mahal? You be the judge!

I’ve been browsing some of my favorite beauty blogs and saw posts about Maybelline’s new Color Goes Electric Collection (Limited Edition for Fashion Week Spring 2013!) for Spring 2013. Having recently been obsessed with the Color Sensational Vivids lipsticks, I was surprised to see that the line includes a baked blush that I actually would buy/wear. A drugstore blush! I’m a NARS girl when it comes to blush. I need vibrant and super pigmented shades. Everything else I’ve tried has either not shown up or requires the patience of Job in order to build up enough color. I’m not about that life. Even my Bare Minerals blushes don’t really show up.

So, needless to say, when I see a bright orange blush at a drugstore, I take notice. I had to go a few places in order to track it down, but I eventually found it at Meijer.

I had done some searches on Twitter and someone wondered if Coral Burst could be a dupe for NARS’ Taj Mahal. I happen to have that blush. As a matter of fact, it was the first blush I ever bought and it is my holy grail. It’s close, but I’m not an expert on dupes, so I’ll let y’all decide.

I haven’t worn Coral Burst yet, so I can’t speak to its application of my face, but I swatched it on my fingers and the back of my hand. It takes more product to get the same amount of color as one swipe from NARS. That doesn’t surprise, because NARS pigment is serious, but it was still a much better color payoff than any other blush I had tried.

Take a look for yourself to see if you’d characterize Coral Burst as a dupe for Taj Mahal.

So, what do you think? Dupe or not?

It’s close, to me, the Maybelline blush is more red-orange, while Taj Mahal is golden-brown. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I see it. I don’t think my pictures really show that as I used my iPhone. They look way more similar in these pics than with my own eyes. Maybe I’ll bust out my DSLR and take some more pics this weekend, along with actually applying and wearing Coral Burst. And perhaps others, who are more used to scoping out dupes can take over or give their opinions. I’m all for it!

ETA: Ok, I went ahead and applied the two blushes and while there is a subtle difference, on my skin (WOC), they give the same effect. A pinch of color is not pinkish on brown skin. Like if someone actually pinched my cheeks, they wouldn’t be rosy. They probably wouldn’t change at all, but the natural flush that many get from NARS’ Orgasm is what I get from Taj Mahal. And I also get that effect from Coral Burst. Yes, I have to apply more product to get the same vibrancy on my face, but it gives the same effect because it’s in the same color family.

Again, I’m no expect in makeup dupes. What percentage of similarity does a product need to be in order to be classified a dupe? Just close, or exact? This isn’t exact, but I do think it’s close. It’s funny how to my untrained eye they didn’t look that similar on my fingers or hand, but actually on my cheeks? I really do see a similarity. In any case, I love it! I can’t speak for any other skin tones (but would love to hear if others agree with me, and to what degree), but if you are a woman of color, and can’t really justify paying the $29 for Taj Mahal, you need this in your life! Heck, even if you have Taj Mahal, I would recommend this! Just go get it, now! Remember, it’s limited edition, y’all!

I really was hoping Maybelline would have done a really bright pink blush like Revlon’s Photo Ready cream blush, in Flushed. (I have that, but haven’t tried it. Not expecting much because I’m oily and prefer powder blushes) The two other blush shades are Golden Fuse and Wild Blossom, which don’t exactly match the “Color Goes Electric” theme. Oh well. You win some and you lose some.

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  • Faida

    I just got Coral Burst and I like it better than Taj Mahal. I had TJ but took it back. It wore off too dayum fast to be so expensive! I’m loving CB though. I feel like TJ had more glitter but CB is perfect. Not matte but not too glittery.

  • suzdawg

    It’s funny you mention wearing off because I had the opposite experience in that Coral Burst wore off faster for me. I don’t wear blush all that often, but I use Taj Mahal as a sort of bronzer/face brightener. CB seems to have more orange, so it’s more of a “real blush” to me, if that makes any sense! But I really do like it. So much so that I went and bought a backup. It’s Limited Edition. Not taking any chances. Otherwise I’d have to depend on eBay!