Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is it a dupe? Benefit Watt's Up vs. Becca SSP Opal

Today's "is it a dupe?" explores two popular highlighters - Benefit's Watt's Up and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (liquid) in Opal. I bought both of mine at Sephora in mini kits - the Becca Spotlights trio and the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot palette, respectively. Unlike most dupe hunts, these are priced pretty similarly. Benefit Watt's Up retails for $30 ($90.90 per ounce) and Becca's liquid Shimmering Skin Perfectors retail for $41 ($24.12 per ounce). While they are a similar up front cost, it is clear that Becca is clearly a better value for your money.

Writing "is it a dupe?" posts are some of my favorites - I see tons of casual dupe assertions in YouTube videos and in blogs, and it feels like some unproven pairings enter the zeitgeist as easily as salt and pepper. Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a Miss Trunchbull style stickler for dupes. For me, a dupe needs to be a true duplicate - the same color, finish, texture, opacity, longevity, and functionality.
Color: Both Opal and Watt's Up are warm toned champagne shades. I find Opal to be a hair deeper, but in order to tell on your face you would really have to pile it on. Overall, they are very similar in color. On my fair cool toned skin, both shades blend in and look natural. Tie.

Finish: Opal and Watt's Up are both a far cry from my scented roll on glitter days in middle school - subtle shimmer that translates to a sheen on the cheekbones when used sparingly. I do find Opal to be more subtle than Watt's Up, which I prefer. I prefer Opal.

Left: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, Right: Benefit Watt's Up!

Texture: Texture is the big differentiator here - Opal is a creamy, viscous liquid, while Watt's Up is a firm, dry cream solid. It is odd to describe a cream as dry (same with wine - WTF is with dry liquid?), but Watt's Up is a unique texture in my collection. I appreciate that it is a dry, solid cream - not too much comes off on your finger or brush at first pass, allowing you to have more control over application. Opal is a liquid, but is more viscous than a typical foundation and feels like a creamy gel. The creamy gel of Opal really makes the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors a cult product - it just melts into the skin. I prefer Opal. 

Opacity: Opacity is a tricky thing with highlighters and totally comes down to personal preference. Some highlighters are opaque and metallic, while others are sheer and luminous. I think the opacity of both of these is soft and sheer, but can be built up. If you want a more opaque highlight, I suggest the Balm's Mary Lou Manizer. Tie.

Longevity: I admit, I'm an easy one here. On my dry skin, I rarely have longevity problems with cheek products and I get a solid all day wear from each product. Tie.

Functionality: I use a subtle cheekbone highlight every day and choose a liquid or cream about two thirds of the time. Particularly in the winter with my dry skin, the extra luminosity from liquids and creams help make my skin look more healthy. I think that Opal blends into my skin faster and more seamlessly than Watt's Up, but not by much. I prefer Opal.


Left: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, Right: Benefit Watt's Up

As always with swatches, I did not use a primer. Even in the swatch, I feel like the Becca is melding in with my skin better than the Benefit is.

Overall, not a dupe but they are so similar you don't need both. This is a battle of the good (Watt's Up) and the great (Opal), and I can't recommend Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors more highly.

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