Rare Beauty got it right the moment it launched in February 2019. With an impressive 48 shades of foundation and concealer, a highlighter to end all highlighters and perhaps one of the most famous liquid blushes ever, the brand is on everyone’s lips. It’s little wonder, then, that others are inspired.
Since Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in particular found TikTok fame, various brands have lifted the lid on similar versions, but nothing has turned my head quite like Aldi Lacura Sweet Blusher Liquid Blush, £3.99. In fact, I did a double take. There’s something about the frosted tube, gold lettering and chunky doe foot applicator that looks remarkably like Rare’s. Immediately intrigued, I swatched one shade, Pink Lace, which occupies a cosy space between Rare’s Lucky (currently sold out at Sephora) and Happy (sold out at Space NK). I was pleasantly surprised. The texture was creamy but so intensely pigmented that it stained my hand. I had to put it through its paces properly.
Before I go any further, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that ‘dupes’ are a controversial topic. On one hand, brands which ‘dupe’ products are seen to profit off of the hard work of bigger, more established companies. That said, inflation has caused beauty products to skyrocket in price, and dupes are now viewed as something of a Robin Hood, making beauty trends and products more accessible. With bills and costs rising, it’s important not to judge those who might buy dupes.
At £3.99, Lacura Sweet Blusher Liquid Blush is a snip of the price of Rare’s, however it contains 2.9ml less product. Happily, it’s just as pigmented. The first time I tried Soft Pinch, I learned the hard way that a single dot of colour is all you need. Having gone in with a generous swipe, I had to take my foundation off and start again as my cheeks were so flushed. This is testament to how packed with colour it is; it’s well worth the money.
I had assumed that Lacura’s blush wouldn’t be as powerful considering the price, but I was proven wrong. I gravitated towards shade Orchid Pink, a muted mauve-rose, and applied three dots to each cheek. The colour was bold to say the least. It looked like I had mixed my blush and bronzer together, which I love, but it was far too much. The next day, I applied a speck and this lent my skin such a pretty, natural flush.
Just like Rare, the Lacura dupes blend beautifully. The texture sits somewhere between a cream and a gel. The staying power is just as good. One day, my blush lasted through a sweaty commute, a full day at the office and a rainstorm on my way home. I learned to apply a little translucent powder over the top to maximise its endurance, but even on its own it keeps flawlessly.
Lacura’s blush sits dewy on my skin, but if you want more shine, you can team it with the matching highlighters: Champagne Stay Illuminated Highlighter and Radiant Rose Stay Illuminated Highlighter, both also £3.99. In the picture above, I’m wearing a pin prick amount of Champagne Stay, which imparts an eye-catching gleam, with Orchid Pink. Below I’m wearing just a dab of Pink Lace.
The main problem with Lacura’s blush and highlighter is that the shade range is not as extensive as the higher end counterparts. Actually, I’ve found this to be the case among most makeup dupes. We’ve long fought for inclusivity, and thanks to brands like Rare, not to mention Fenty Beauty, Pat McGrath Labs, Uoma Beauty and Maybelline, there’s more choice than ever before. But with just two shades, Lacura’s blush offering is meagre compared to Rare’s 13-strong collection. I think they are unlikely to suit everyone perfectly, no matter how punchy the pigment.
Rare Beauty also gets kudos for its easily accessible lid. Beauty enthusiasts who face dexterity challenges have taken to TikTok to explain that the design helps them open and close the products more easily. In a FAQ on the Rare Beauty website, the brand stated that it has “not conducted official testing on the packaging for these claims”, but it is happy to learn that many people find the packaging accommodating.
In terms of performance, the Lacura products I tried were surprisingly good, and at £3.99, they’re affordable enough for a little trial and error. Catch the blush and the matching highlighters in store at Aldi while stocks last. You know they’ll be a sell-out.
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