Saturday, 5 January 2013

Tiffany D Defining Eyes Palette for Sigma Beauty - Review, Swatches and Dupes

I am so glad that I have finally gotten to this review. First of all, I have to say that I was both impressed and greatly disappointed with this palette. Strange, ambiguous thing to say I know, but I will explain all in a moment.
Before I get to the good, the bad and ugly, I want to be clear about a couple of things. I love watching Tiffany D videos for the most part, especially the makeup tutorials. The ones where she is driving around town, shopping or hanging at the airport don't do it for me, but I digress. I don't know why but it has become an obsession over the last few years for me to watch her videos and follow her blog religiously. Because of her, my minor obsession with makeup turned into a monster. She makes all makeup look awesome when she applies it to herself. Her collection of makeup is to die for. Her makeup organization is something we can all aspire to. I have never met Tiffany D and have no plans to. I am not that obsessed!
Tiffany D has gotten me through some tough times. I had a bad house fire 2 1/2 years ago and the hell that ensued over the next two years in living through that trauma, losing a lot of my stuff (makeup...sob), carrying all of my worldly belongings around from hotel to hotel in a plastic bag for weeks, fighting with contractors and insurance agents to get my house rebuilt was a nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anyone. The one thing I really started looking forward to at the end of my crummy day during that period was a new Tiffany D video. My life has now returned to normal (as much as it can after something like that) and I am back home. So Tiffany D, if you ever read this, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
All of that being said, I give my honest personal opinion when I do a review here, so please take no offence Tiffany D when I call it as I see it. I still think you are amazing!

I debated for weeks whether or not to order this palette. I mean it's great that everything you need to create defined and bright eyes is in one spot, but I already have a million dupes of everything in here. The price is $55 U.S which isn't cheap. I got $6 off with a coupon code. I had to see what Tiffany D came up with though. Also, I wanted the booklet that came with it which gave tutorials on her favourite eye looks for making eyes pop. Had to have that. Some of you might have read my "Show and Tell" blog post on this palette from a couple of weeks ago before I used it. I have the ingredients listed in that post if you are interested:

I contacted Sigma about 6 weeks ago before I ordered this and asked them what the ingredients are. They have never gotten back to me. Sigma is normally pretty good with their customer service so I was a bit surprised to not hear from them.

Okay, where to start? The palette is in a big, old chunky box a la Too Faced palettes. Not travel friendly at all! The kit comes with a dual-ended brush (E30 and E55) which are lower end dupes of the MAC 219 and 239 brushes. Hey, you can always do with more brushes so I am happy to have it.

There are two gel liners - Blackout and Chocolate which are black and brown obviously. I have to say, and sorry Tiffany D, these are by far the worst gel liners that I have ever used. I am kind of speechless about the whole thing. I don't know if I got a "lemon" palette, but these are really bad. I am talking worse than drug store $3 gel liners. Blackout is the worst of the two. The formula is really soft and watery. The colour goes on streaky and I have to repeatedly dip my liner brush in there and do several strokes to get any colour payoff. I have tried this on several different days to see if I was imagining things. Once I get a decent amount on (and it doesn't look great more like I used a cheap, old black eye pencil) the colour fades and hardly any of it is left on within 4 hours time.

My experience with Chocolate is similar but not as bad. Once again, the product is super soft and watery, however it isn't as streaky as Blackout. Chocolate is easier to work with and looks good when you are done applying it. It too disappears on your eye and almost nothing is left within 4 hours time. I have never witnessed any gel liner do that. NEVER.

You have to see this to believe it and I am going to show you. Please see the swatches below. On the far left we have MAC's Blacktrack and I will add that I dipped my brush into the product once only. Pretty black as you can see with no effort. The second from the left is the Defining Eyes Blackout gel liner. It took two good dips into the pot to get that little streaky product out onto the same brush that I used with the MAC Blacktrack. I wiped off the brush first of course.

MAC Blacktrack, Blackout, MAC Dipdown, Chocolate

Third from the left is MAC's Dipdown gel liner. Once again, I only did one dip into the pot. On the far right is the Defining Eyes gel liner in Chocolate and I did two dips. Crazy, no? I don't think I can ever use either of these as liner again. Maybe they work better as thin eyeshadow bases over super duty primer????

Moving on. Okay, the dual ended pencil with the bright blue on one end and the white on the other. The white side is actually pretty good. It is a dupe of MAC's Fascinating Eye Kohl and the blue side is a near dupe of MAC's Prussian Powerpoint Eye Pencil. The blue side is gorgeous but it has some issues in terms of longevity on the eye. The white side of the pencil seems to be better quality and last longer than the blue side.

MAC's Fascinating, Defining Eyes White Liner, MAC's Prussian and Defining Eyes Blue Liner
As you can see, the MAC pencils are more pigmented and I would rather have the MAC pencils hands down.
Okay, the 8 eyeshadows. Strangely enough, the quality of the shadows is in descending order from left to right horizontally for the most part and appear to be linked vertically. Say what? I don't know if what I just said makes sense but it will in a moment. The two colours farthest to the left are In the Dark (black) and Brunette (dark brown). Both are nicely pigmented, matte, blend well and are the longest wearing of the eyeshadows. These are very nice colours but there are a million dupes out there.
Midnight (sparkly blue) is gorgeous, blends well, and is somewhat long wearing. It could be better though. For some reason, on the lower lash line it fades easily. Chestnut was a surprise for me. I didn't think I would like it based on looks alone in the palette. It is stunning and is the surprise of the palette. Looks amazing in the crease. Very long wearing I have found and blends like magic. Both are shimmers.


Fog (dirty blue grey) and Smoke (grey brown) are nice colours and look like satins. When applied, they look matte. I found them difficult to apply and blend because they are not overly pigmented. They are pretty on though if you are willing to put in a bit of effort. They are not long wearing at all and fade quickly. These two are the disappointments of the eyeshadows here. Halo and Beam are so similar when worn, I think Tiffany D should have mixed the two and called it one colour and called it a day. Beam is the lighter of the two and is more matte and chalky, but when you apply both, you can't easily tell which is which. These two are extremely long wearing and are pigmented like mad but are as chalky as all hell. I did not like the way they looked and I am fair skinned. These would look crazy on someone with medium or dark toned skin. They are too "white" and look too matte on. I will stick to using them as a brow highlight only when well blended out. Use a delicate hand when using these. Halo is the better and more shimmery of the two. Please see swatches below which are in order of the palette, left to right by column. Fog and Smoke are not very pigmented as you can see.
In the Dark, Brunette, Midnight, Chestnut, Fog, Smoke, Halo and Beam
Dupes. In the Dark is a near dupe of MAC's Carbon. Please see swatch below. I couldn't find a bang on swatch of Brunette in my stash. That being said, I don't own MAC's Swiss Chocolate or Brown Down etc. so one of them might be close.
  MAC Carbon, In the Dark, Brunette, MAC Mystery, Kat Von D Leather
A dupe of Chestnut was not easily found. It's a bit reddish. A shimmery cousin of MAC's Folie. Please see swatches below for reference points.

MAC Satin Taupe, Chestnut, MAC Bronze, Urban Decay Smog
Midnight took some testing but I found the dupe and I didn't have to look as far as I did. The dupe is MAC's Contrast. Fog was a little tricky, the closest dupe I have would be Tarte's Stake from the True Blood palette. Smoke is closest to MAC's Satin Taupe but it is the weaker, less pigmented cousin of Satin Taupe. I would take MAC's Satin Taupe and Tarte's Stake any day over the Defining Eyes colours. Finally, I would say Halo's closest dupe would be NARS's Albatross (Albatross is nicer) and Beam's would be a dirty, more cream coloured version of MAC's Gesso.

Urban Decay Evidence, Midnight, MUG's Nautica and MAC Contrast

Fog, Tarte's Stake

MAC Woodwinked, Smoke, Urban Decay Toasted, MAC Satin Taupe

I think this was my longest blog ever! Sorry for being so long winded but I wanted to put out the most thorough review of the Tiffany D Defining Eyes Palette for Sigma Beauty that is out there! Hopefully, you liked it and found it useful.

Overall Rating: 5/10 (sorry Tiffany)

You all probably have better like products at home, use them instead and save the $55. 


  1. Great info! I love TiffanyD too but I HATE the packaging, so bulky and yeah there are too many similar colours out there that I already have.

  2. Thank you! I do not have any "palettes" and was ready to invest in this one. I am 41 and on a budget, so $65 (incl. shipping to Cda) was steep but I was willing until I read your review (there are many "this is great" reviews). I'm a newbie to reading makeup blogs and am hooked already. Thank you!

    1. You are very welcome Mia! I know it's hard to get an honest review sometimes.

  3. Nice to read an honest review, I am doing a bit of research to decide if I should buy this because I love Tiffany D too. I was sure that there would be dupes in there! Thank you for sharing...

    1. You are most welcome! Glad I could help!

  4. Great honest review. Thanks! Also, the swatches were very helpful.

    1. Hi BoatPink! Thank you for your comments!

  5. I was worried this would be a pricey flop. I love her take and her blog/videos but this palette is not on my buy list. Too bad you can't return it. Thanks for the honest review.

  6. Appreciated this review. I think it was fair and I liked the honesty.