It’s time to battle these two palettes out! I received the Bad Habit Retro Love palette earlier this year (I hauled it in this video) and I’ve been testing and comparing it against the ABH Subculture palette to see if its a cheaper (and more user-friendly!) dupe! Or is it a dud? Keep reading to find out! 🙂
If you missed any of my other battles in my “Dupe or Dud” series…check them all out here!
ABH Subculture vs Bad Habit Retro Love
Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette | Retail Price: $42 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette is an essential eye shadow collection with 14 shades featuring grungy mattes and bold metallics with an underground edge.
Bad Habit Retro Love Palette | Retail Price: $10 | An ultimate throwback to the 1960’s, this 14-shade eyeshadow palette features 11 velvety mattes in bold, edgy shades, 2 duo-chromes, and a metallic bronze. Cruelty-Free. This edition features the same formula you love with an updated and improved packaging featuring a glossy interior and soft touch exterior.
The Swatch Comparisons
Alright, let’s get into swatches! The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture is swatched on the left, and the Bad Habit Retro Love is swatched next to it on the right. All swatches are with my finger, one swipe, and no primer underneath.
Cube vs Psychedelic || These two look nearly identical, but if you really look at it and shift the colors around, Subculture’s Cube pulls more pinky-red whereas the Retro Love’s Psychedelic is more pinky-purple. That aside, Psychedelic is much easier to build up and look good on it’s own than Cube. Both work and look great as inner corner highlights.
Dawn vs Peach || The colors are identical, but when applied on the skin Dawn adheres to the skin and gives a lot of color (for a beige shade) whereas Peach, when applied, sheers out and just gives a hint of color.
Destiny vs Hippie || These two behave very differently when applied on the eyes. Especially if you try blending it out. Hippie is so powdery and sheer, it looks grey on the skin. Not that Destiny looks straight up green, but it still gives you that hunter green hint if you blend it out.
Adorn vs Revolution || These two are identical in color, the only difference is the intensity of the shimmer. It’s hard to explain, but Adorn gives you a shimmer finish, but it’s very fine and small. Whereas the shimmer aspect to Revolution looks a lot larger, more intense, and almost a foiled finish.
All Star vs Rock n Roll || The shades look spot on, but Retro Love’s shade is so sheer in comparison to the one from Subculture. It’s easier to work with, true, but it never really builds up to the intensity and color that All Star will give you right off the bat.
Mercury vs Pop || I feel like the swatch says it all for this shade — Pop is so lackluster. And that is just one swipe of my finger! If you try to blend it out it becomes even more sheer and faint. Really no comparison to Mercury.
Axis vs Free Love || Free Love is nearly a spot-on dupe for Axis. It can get a bit patchy when you start working with it and blending it, but if you build it up it’ll end up looking very intense and smooth. When use on the eyes (in the outer corner or lower lash line) they looked identical.
Roxy vs Flower Power || Roxy is a much deeper, almost orange-y, peach shade whereas Flower Power is more of a pastel peach. Flower Power can be built up in color so it doesn’t look so sheer, but it never gets to as deep a shade of peach that Roxy does.
Electric vs Icon || Electric is more of an iridescent glittery “transformer” shade, in that it doesn’t give much color or intensity unless your really build it up. It looks best (if you want to use it on your eyelid) if you have a base shade underneath it and then apply it over top. Icon, on the other hand, doesn’t need any help to look intense and pigmented. It’s a very soft shadow, though, so you do have to go in very gently/carefully with Icon.
Fudge vs Youth || It’s hard to see in the swatch picture, but Fudge is a much deeper shade of brown than Youth is. They’re both really nice brown shades, but just a bit different in tone. You can build up the shade from Retro Love to get it nearly identical to Fudge, though.
New Wave vs Fab || These dusty orange shades are really pretty when swatched, but on the eyes Fab sheers out and can easily look patchy if you try to pack it onto the lid. It’s also a much softer color on the eyes than New Wave. You can build Fab up, but the sheer-ness of the shadow never really gets any better.
Untamed vs Mod || Mod has a lot of grey or black at its base so that I feel like, when you try blending it…the green aspect of the shade faded a lot. Untamed, on the other hand, still keeps its color when blended into an eye look. Mod can be built up somewhat, so it can get kinda close to Untamed.
Edge vs Rebel || These two are no comparison! See my eye tutorial below to see it for yourself, but Edge shows up as a pretty mustard yellow on the eyes, Rebel is like a pastel mustard yellow (if that’s actually a color, haha). It also looks very sheer and patchy — even when I would use a concealer or colored base underneath, I felt like I could see right through Rebel and see the base underneath. Even after building it up several times. I found it nearly impossible to build up Rebel.
Rowdy vs Nostalgia || Nostalgia was a decent purple-ish shade, but compared to Rowdy it isn’t as intense. And more often than not it would start to look patchy when I tried building it up and smoothing it out.
While it’s not exactly the same, it’s pretty close — they’re both very sleek, have a mirror, and all the shades are laid out in two rows. The Subculture palette is a bit shorter, wider, and thicker than the Retro Love. But only by a little. The outside feel of Subculture is very soft and velvet-ish and the Retro Love is smooth and sleek. However, the Retro Love doesn’t have the ability to bend all the way backwards, like the Subculture.
In both palettes they’ve given each of the shadows a name and imprinted it directly below the pan. This makes it very easy to reference as you are doing your eye looks.
Both the Subculture and the Retro Love have 3 shimmers and 11 matte shadows. The only difference is that the Retro Love mixes up the order…but that’s such an inconsequential difference, that’s why I still consider them to be similar. 🙂
There is a difference with the final result and pigmentation you get with these two palettes, but either way I didn’t notice any serious fading with the Retro Love palette. Maybe a tiny bit lighter, but not enough to say for sure. No creasing, either! Subculture I’ve never had an issue with wear time, either.
Ease of Blending
So they both have issues blending…thus I put this in the similarities category. It’s just different types of issues, LOL! So with the Subculture it’s very pigmented and if you go in too heavy hanged…you’ll be blending for days and might end up with racoon eyes. The Retro Love, on the other hand, is very powdery and takes a lot of work to build up and get the pigmentation that you see in the pan. At the same time, though, if you blend too much or try to blend another shadow nearby…you can blend the color away entirely or make it look patchy. It’s a very fine line you have to dance on to get the looks you want with the Retro Love.
Amount of Product
I looked on the back of both palettes to see how much product you get in each palette. The Subculture palette says it contains a net weight of 0.7 grams (I calculated that to be 0.25 ounces) and the Retro Love says it has a net weight of 0.49 ounces. So you get basically double the amount of product in the cheaper alternative.
Powder Kickup / Fall Out
Check out the video below, (I include a live demo) but there is a pretty big difference in the amount of kickup you get in the pan and fall out you see on your face. The Bad Habit Retro Love gives you a decent amount of fall out as you create a look…but when comparing it to the Subculture…there’s little out on the market that beat Subculture on the amount of kickup it leaves in the pan! 😛
The matte shades in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette are the most smooth, soft shadow I’ve ever felt. They almost feel wet, they’re that smooth. The Retro Love, however, feels very dry when you touch it and leaves a lot of powder, both in patchy areas in the swatch and also in the pan. Very weird formula, and turns out (when I use it to create an eye look) it’s not my favorite to work with.
I think there is a big difference between the Retro Love and Subculture swatches. And even moreso when you use these on your eyes. The yellows are very dismal in the Retro Love and the mossy green in that palette just looks like a grey when blended out. On the otherhand all the matte shades in the Subculture pack an intense punch and takes no work to build up.
Looks You Can Create
If I spend enough time working with the Retro Love palette to build it up, I can get them to look fairly close…but I think that the Retro Love side still looks very sheer in comparison. Like I can see my eyelid shade coming through on the eye look. Here are two looks I did, as an example.
Doesn’t the Retro Love side look lackluster and uneven in comparison to the Subculture? Please keep in mind that pictures (especially when taken with my front facing camera) can make it look closer than it actually does in real life. Which is why I am starting a new series on my Youtube channel called “Dupe or Dud, You Be the Judge”. In the video you can watch me create a whole eye look using both palettes so that YOU can best determine if the affordable palette is a dupe or not. Check it out below!
So, Is It A Dupe?
In my eyes…no. The Retro Love is NOT a dupe for the Subculture palette. Sure, the shades are close…but if you want to buy the Bad Habit Retro Love palette and follow tutorials of people using the Subculture palette….the end results will not look anywhere near as intense and vibrant as the tutorial.
With that said, if you aren’t sure if the shades in the Anastasia Beverly Hill Subculture are ones that you’ll enjoy and get a lot of use out of, I think spending $10 to try the Bad Habit Retro Love won’t be a waste of money. As long as you go into it knowing that the looks you get won’t be the same as with the Subculture…and that the deeper shades can look a bit patchy and be difficult to work with.
For me, though, the Bad Habit Retro Love palette was such a disappointment. It doesn’t give me the looks and colors I want when I reach for a palette with this shade range. And there is no way I will be replacing my Subculture palette with this supposed “dupe” palette — in fact, the Retro Love palette is going to be declutter from my collection now that I’ve tested the two out for myself. No need to keep a sub-par palette when I have the real deal!
I want to know what you think! Do you consider these a dupes? Would you (or have you) purchased the Subculture or the Retro Love? I’d love to know!
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This post is not sponsored. Products above were either sent to me as PR or I purchased myself. Some links used are affiliates, meaning I make a small commission if you click or make a purchase through them. Any questions about my disclosure, read HERE. 🙂 Thank you for your support!