A cursory squint on Google revealed that the price of Nude Rose (not the most recent lipstick of that name, which was a "Lip Velvet 405" and more of a definite pink, but rather the original Lip Cover No 25 version) had shot up to £28 since I last bought it, when I am sure it was more like £22, which I know is already quite steep for a lipstick. Yet I was bewitched by the haptic allure of the ruggedised Tartan bullet, and the easy-close magnetic cap, with its satisfying thunk...Anyway, my search also confirmed that the Nude Rose I had owned was discontinued, prompting another flurry of googling to hunt for any remaining stock knocking about in some remote corner of the Internet.
I quickly found an example of the correct Nude Rose for sale on a discount clothing site in the US for $30, which unfortunately necessitated a US address. I approached a friend in Portland - the driver on the West Coast leg of the Monochrome Set tour in 2019 - whom I knew to have plans to travel to Europe as soon as it was practicable. He was very happy to act as shipping address and onward mule once he was able to cross the pond again, should the postage (and/or customs charges) directly to the UK prove punitively expensive, as they may well have done.
As soon as I heard from my friend, I went back on the clothing site, but the lipstick was gone...This news in turn prompted a plummet down the rabbit hole of dupe identification, which swallowed up two entire evenings and drove me just shy of utterly exasperated and stir crazy.
First up, I found a YouTube video, where the reviewer, MrsTheDoll, presented a quintet of alternatives to my beloved Burberry:
L'Oreal Fairest Nude (800) / L'Oreal Balm Nourishing Nude (818) / Maybelline Colour Sensational Nearly Bare (205) / MAC Hug Me / MAC Half 'n' Half
Well, of course this triggered yet more googling to see if I could confirm these comparisons from other reviews, or even acquire "reverse dupe confirmation" eg by putting in "MAC Half 'n' Half dupe" and seeing if Nude Rose popped up in the other direction, as it were.
|MAC Half 'n' Half ~ Source: Asos|
What happened instead was that the "reverse dupe" tactic tended to throw up completely different lipsticks, which I dutifully proceeded to google and attempt to "dupify" in their own right, and so the trail went on and on and on...and on. Many of the lipsticks mentioned proved to be discontinued as well, though it might have taken me several hours of keen pursuit before this dawned on me(!); some of them were too sheen-y or too sheer or too matte or too expensive or too perfume-y (if the reviews were to believed), and thus I continued to shuttle from blog to blog and video to video like a ball bearing in a desperate game of bagatelle trying to align all the requisite attributes in a coherent pattern, including verifying the most important variable of all - colour.
In the end, I impulsively bought L'Oreal Beige a Nu for about six quid including postage - it had the twin advantage of being one of the few nudes I was considering that you could still actually buy anywhere(!), and it was cheap. And looked broadly in the right colourway. Okay, triple, not twin advantage. But it wasn't mentioned as a dupe for Nude Rose! Hmm, though I see it is cited as a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk, which looks very nice, haha. Beige a Nu isn't as creamy and moisturising in feel as the Burberry, not by a long chalk, but it is in the general ballpark, all things considered, and not too much money to waste on a punt - I will certainly wear it.
|L'Oreal Beige a Nu ~ Source: Luxplus|
And then, on a whim, I re-googled Nude Rose on my phone (which uses a different browser and search engine from my net book, with a less American slant), and suddenly I saw a couple of stockists pop up, both purporting to sell the very article I had been hunting for all along! One was another discounted fashion outlet, the other a pharmacy. I bought one immediately (for just £15), then regretted I hadn't gone for two, in the spirit of always having a back up for discontinued items of great importance. So I placed an order with the other store and am still waiting for it to arrive. The pharmacy lipstick has come and is the real deal - you cannot believe how happy I was to be reunited with it. Having used Nude Rose consistently for so many years, and had so many happy times while wearing it - Undina knows how much I am wedded to the brand, as a fellow Burberry owner - it feels like a part of me more than a mere accessory, if that doesn't sound too grandiose. Oh look, I even wrote a post about Burberry's lipsticks back in 2012 before I bought my first one!
Note that I learnt in the course of my research that the term "nude" is a very broad church indeed, and includes my one quid bargain from Poundland (Choca Mocha No 4) for which I also have a back up. ;) So here is my current line up of "core" nude lipsticks, with the Burberry on the left, then the L'Oreal, and the Poundland on the right.
So, having wasted umpteen hours hunting down a substitute - only to end up buying the very thing I really wanted in the first place, in addition to the L'Oreal that I found, which wasn't even listed as a dupe for Nude Rose anywhere, but which just looked "about right" to my exhausted eye, haha - my advice would be to get the one you want when you see it, and don't mess about. For the principle of the "Lipstick Effect" allows for a pricey lipstick purchase in lieu of a much more extravagant outlay. With Louis Vuitton tote bags hovering around the £1000 mark - and arguably being a bit obvious and/or vulgar - a £15 luxury lipstick (or even two of them, hehe) seems like the epitome of self-restraint.
Oh I say, I just spotted another dupe of the Charlotte Tilbury I mentioned in that same link: Rimmel Rose Nude 45. It is "Nude Rose" reversed and only costs about a fiver. Or is it too pink for my warmer toned skin? Hmm, shall I "buy the bullet"....? Or will the next lipstick look exactly like the ones I already own, which as all wearers of lippie know, is the way it goes...
Have you driven yourself round the twist hunting for a much loved beauty item that is discontinued? Whether perfume, makeup or skincare? Did you win?!