Beauty review: Designer-a-likes

I’ve spotted a couple of new beauty products this week that are startlingly similar to designer products that are many times their price. Here are my hot tips for this month’s best dupes.

First up we have a new makeup treat from GOSH cosmetics. It’s their Bronzing Shimmer Brush, which is a loose bronzer powder in a tube with its own brush attached. It’s a good shade for fair-to-medium warm toned skin, and would look especially good over a tan. The shimmer doesn’t feel gritty, but there is a fair amount of finely-milled sparkle in there. It’s best used sparingly on cheekbones, browbones, decolletage and body, and it’s most suited for use in the evening or for the beach. In short, a nice golden-bronze glow/highlighter product, and a bit of a treat for a glam evening out.

After trying it on, I remembered another high end product that works in a similar way, so I stopped off in a department store to track down this: Lancome Tropique Minerals All Over Magic Bronzing Brush, to compare the powders.

The packaging’s similar, but not identical, but they work in the same way, and are almost the same shade and level of shimmer. Oh, and the Lancome version retails at £31.00. There’s also a St Tropez version but that’s less easy to get hold of. GOSH have not attempted to suggest at any point that they’re making a copy of either of these products, it’s just that I’ve noticed they’re all very very similar. The GOSH version is also perfume-free, so that’s good news if you have sensitive skin.

The next surprise was a new Impulse body fragrance, called Very Pink. I tried it on my left wrist in the morning and a few minutes later I thought that the scent was really familiar. A couple of hours later I was in a high street chemist wandering around looking for the Lacoste EDT that was released in 2009, namely Love Of Pink. I sprayed that on my right wrist, waited for a while and was amazed at how similar the fragrances were. They also have similar staying power, which I didn’t expect from a body spray.

The manufacturers’ descriptions for these scents are not like-for-like really, but all I can say is smell it for yourself. The brand has moved on from the ‘tween’ market a fair bit lately. While Impulse fragrances are not direct copies, and are not massively complex scents, some of their products in the last couple of years do seem to have been inspired by different designer ranges and various people have spotted that:

· Impulse London is a lot like Hypnose by Lancome
· Impulse Romantic Spark is a lot like Daisy by Marc Jacobs
· Impulse True Love is a lot like Romance by Ralph Lauren
· Impulse New York is a lot like Be Delicious by DKNY

If you’ve noticed any other scent-a-likes from Impulse then please let me know. Meanwhile, if you like Love of Pink but can’t stretch to designer prices, the Impulse Very Pink spray is very likely to appeal to your tastes.

Have you seen any good new ‘renditions’ recently? Share the good news please…

Full disclosure: The two products for the review were kindly provided by Superdrug. This is not an advertorial, no money has changed hands and I’m not a Superdrug affiliate. The conclusions drawn and views expressed here are completely my own.


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  1. do you send free samples of the new impuise very pink if you do please could you send me one to try thank you

  2. Hi Ruth – sorry, no I don’t have free samples to give away, I was only given one to review. Your local chemist might have some testers that you could try.

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