Let’s get this out of the way, right away: people feel all kinds of ways about dupe palettes and the companies that make them. I can understand why people get upset, but I’m generally willing to give them a try. I am a makeup addict, so a lot of times if I buy a dupe palette I either already have the palette and want to do a comparison (this is what happened with the Lime Crime Venus palettes) or didn’t like it enough to pay the full price anyway (what’s cute at $16 isn’t nearly as cute at $50!). If a palette is in the $30-40 range, it kind of feels like a waste to have a dupe, since the original isn’t all that expensive to begin with (though that’s my interpretation, and I definitely have some privilege that affects that!), but for more expensive brands I think it’s a legitimate response to rising cosmetic prices.
Enter Bad Habit Beauty’s Cult Collection.
These are some of the more expensive palettes on the Hush app at $24 each, but they are meant to be dupes of the Pat McGrath Mothership palettes, the darlings of Sephora that clock in at no less than a jaw-dropping $125 each.
Now I’m a hot mess with no financial management skills, but even I haven’t been able to convince myself to pull the trigger on one of the Pat McGrath palettes. I’ve got in on my “treat list” if I get a promotion at work, but at my current income and with my attempts to make some slightly more adult choices, I can’t do it. Not for one 10-pan palette. No ma’am. Sorry “Auntie Pat,” but this is just not happening.
Hush was having a deal where you could get two of the palettes in the Cult line, Mythos and Mystics, for only $44, so I decided to give them a shot. You know my obsession with greens is real, and Mythos is a dupe for Mothership II (Sublime) which has that gorgeous glittery green shade, so that was a definite need, and I also kinda liked Mystics, the other palette in the deal which is a dupe for the OG Mothership palette (Subliminal). They also have Mystere (dupe for Mothership III – Subversive), Mania (dupe for the newest Mothership V – Bronze Seduction), and Mayhem (a dupe for Mothership III, though I can’t find it on Sephora.com so I’m not sure what the name is beyond that).
This is not a comparison post – as I noted earlier, I just ain’t made like that to spend $250 just to compare with some bargain palettes. This is just going to be a straight up review of them, what I think about them, and if they are worth spending $24 a pop. If you have tried the Pat McGrath and the Bad habit and want to sound off in the comments I would love to hear how you think these compare. And if I ever get that promotion and feel myself in a Sephora, I will definitely pick up one of the real deals and do a comparison! But for now, the pics of the Pat McGrath palettes above are as far as we’re going to get into it. This is just about Bad Habit.
First up: Mythos
This palette has 10 shades: 2 mattes, 4 shimmers, and 4 “special shades” which are basically just chunky glitter shades that people often call toppers, though I have a sneaking suspicion that topper is just industry-speak for eyeshadow that isn’t very pigmented. The green shade, Dion, is really pretty, as is the pinky gold duochrome shade below it, Odysseus. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard collection of neutrals with a matte black. Here are the swatches:
Atlas is a pretty basic shade, a slightly shimmery cream color that will work for a standard highlight or to blend out with mattes and the like. This one was a little tricky with the finger swatch and got kind of chunky, but when I finessed it with a brush it evened out for the most part. This one is the most inconsistent of the shimmers, and probably the most inconsistent of the palette along with Dionysis in the whole palette, but it’s definitely usable. Rhea is a nice cool golden shade with an almost metallic finish. Hermes is a reddened brown, and it almost looks like it wants to be a duochrome with a blue undertone, but it’s not. I’m not sure why it catches me that way, but it does. Dion is pretty, but it’s darker than I would like it to be. Or else I want a lighter green to blend it with. These special shades were switched dry, and they performed pretty well, but I think a wet brush would make these really come alive! The only thing helping these are a primer underneath (this time around I used the Too Faced Shadow Insurance). Demeter is a bright coppery gold, not a shade I really love personally, but the performance is really good. Again, would look even better foiled.
Helena is a gorgeous matte black! I absolutely love this shade, and it blended like a dream. All of the other mattes gave me a little hassle (nothing insurmountable, but they were finicky) but this one went on really smooth. Dionysis is a gorgeous cool-toned brown and it’s also pretty smooth. I love this sort of cool brown shade, and it really pairs well with the other shades in the palette. Apollo is a lighter, brighter copper with some peach tones, and I love it; aside from Dion, it’s my favorite shade in the palette. Odysseus is that white based pinky duochrome that has a slightly yellow gold shift to it. Really pretty, and I was actually surprised how nicely it applied. Again, foil for best results. Iris is a gold duochrome that also looks like it leans a bit pink, and I’m all the way here for it. While the Pat McGrath “special shades” seem to be more of a pressed glitter sort of formula, similar to the Urban Decay Moondust shadows (at least from the times I’ve swatched them in stores), these are more of like that flaky glitter metallic that Stila and some other brands were hitting hard a couple of years ago. Or like the glitter shades in the Too Faced Glitter Bomb palette. So if you hated the Glitter Bomb, you will probably hate these as well! Me, I think they look gorgeous and I think these have more pigmentation without adding liquid than the Too Faced shadows.
And then there’s Mystics
This one is definitely more cool-toned (which I love) and again, except for a pop of bright blue and yellow gold, it’s pretty neutral. I know I was going to try to keep Auntie Pat out of this as much as possible, but I do feel like the Mothership palette did have a more gray-toned color scheme, and the neutrals were even cooler in tone than what it seen here.
Eternal is another creamy champagne shimmer, more yellowy than the one in the other palette, but not different enough to really justify having both (I’d pick this one if I had to choose). Resurrection is a cool medium brown, and though it was a little finicky it mostly settled down when I used a brush. A pretty color, but nothing you don’t have already. Essence looked like it was going to be a gray with maybe a slightly pink shift, but it applied full on mauve! Much prettier than I expected from what I saw in the pan! Trascend is a lovely peach shade with a cool blueish duochrome flash. It’s easily the most unique shade in both palettes, and it’s nice and pigmented, but it’s sort of an odd shade to coordinate with. Absolution is a bright yellow gold glitter metallic, and it’s the perfect kind of gold for me – not too brassy, and very glittery! If you’re going to go gold, go big or go home!
Pagan is a matte black, and it’s totally disappointing. I get that they are trying to mimic the color scheme of the Mothership palettes, and Auntie Pat also loves herself a matte black, but this shade is not only sort of lackluster, it’s so clearly inferior to the black in the other palette. Altered State is a cool taupe metallic and is truly lovely. Vision is a beige matte, slightly less cool-toned than I expected looking at the pan, but not bad. Karma is a bright navy metallic and is so smooth and pigmented. Illuminate is the stunner here – white base with a super blue turquoise flash, and very pigmented. Lovely without wetting and foiling, this would be breathtaking if done wet.
So what’s the skinny? Are these palettes worth it?
I would say absolutely yes, and not just as replacements as the Pat McGrath palettes. Even though I have only swatched a few shades in the store, I can say that these aren’t exactly the same (especially for those 4 “special shades” on the end) but I think you can get similar sort of looks using these. If you can’t (or don’t want to) spend $125 on each palette, these are a great alternative.
But I also think that as $24 palettes, they stand on their own. It’s one thing to look at a palette and say, this is 20% of the price of the one it’s duping, so I’ll just get it. But if it’s junk, you’re still wasting that $24. But these are definitely worth $24. That’s on par with what you pay for a Juvia’s Place, and while they aren’t nearly that good they are still pretty good. Those glitter metallic are very pigmented and put other similar formulas to shame (like the aforementioned Too Faced Glitter Bomb). I’m definitely planning to add the other 3 palettes to my collection – and I still will have paid $5 less than one of the Pat McGrath palettes.
Sorry bout it.
Let us know in the comments – what do you think about these palettes, and about dupes in general? Are you interested in trying these? These are the most expensive palettes that Bad habit offers – do you think they’re worth it? Sound off below!