Friday, July 11, 2008

Makeup Showdown: MAC Parrot vs. L'Oreal HIP Showy

Legend has it, there was an eyeshadow that managed to sell out twice and inspired many other makeup companies to create similar or knock off colors. This makeup cult classic is aptly called "Parrot" from the creative house of M.A.C. First came to the scene in May 2004 in the "Salsabelle" LE, it created a frenzy and pretty much sold out in record time. When repromoted in December 2007 in the "Originals" collection, the same frenzy happened again. Every single makeup blog I went, there was a FOTD that featured this color. And to make it worse, I could not get my hands on the Parrot at my local MAC counter.

So what makes this eyeshadow color so special? It's everything: the texture, color, and availability. As Po's father said in Kung-fu Panda, "Something is special when you believe it's special", the Limited Edition factor simply push it up a notch in term of rarity. However, I finally managed to get my slimy hands on a piece of Parrot from online shopping at MAC website. The color has been laying around as one of the "goodbye" items for months!

Colorwise, Parrot is described as an electric teal eyeshadow but depending on the lightning, the color changes. Why? Because it's a frost eyeshadow and frost are known for their holographic effect. On top of that, the texture of this shadow is unreplicable as it is so complex (in my opinion), which makes Parrot one of the most intriguing eyeshadows I've ever used.

L'Oreal HIP is a makeup line from L'Oreal Paris that's dubbed as "the poor girl's MAC" because of its high pigmentation and price. HIP stands for High Intensity Pigmentation btw. After not getting the Parrot from MAC counter, I immediately seeked for its drugstore alternative and Showy eyeshadow from HIP is a close match.

Since I don't own any other colors from L'Oreal HIP and don't have anything to compare between the two makeup lines, Parrot and Showy are the two representatives for me to compare. The criteria are: pigmentation, staying power, crease factor, cost, and availability.

1. Pigmentation:

I used my finger to swipe the colors on my wrist, 2 swipes for Parrot and 3 swipes for Showy to get the same intensity. So it's clearly Parrot is more pigmented than Showy.

Also, Parrot is a tad greener than Showy, which tends to turn blue on me. And Parrot looks more complex on me as well.

2. Staying power:

Since I always use paint pot as a primer, the staying power are the same for both eyeshadows. However, as Showy is less pigmented, I noticed some fading when I used it.

3. Crease factor:

I have oily eye lids so I rely on my paint pot to minimize creasing. When applied Parrot on top of paint pot, it can last from morning until night without any problem. However, Showy gives me around 6 hours of fun which is enough I guess.

4. Cost: without tax

  • MAC eyeshadow: $14.00 USD each
  • L'Oreal HIP eyeshadow: $5.50-$8.00 USD for a duo. Often times you find "buy one get one free" sales (BOGO) at Walgreens, CVS, or Rite-Aid maybe so you can get 4 colors for maximum $8, which means you pay $2/color!

5. Availability:

  • MAC Parrot is a limited collection and when the parrot decides to fly away to a warmer place, it's gone! And who knows when it'll come back in another LE.
  • L'Oreal HIP Showy is always in a drug store near you. I found it in Target, Walgreens, and CVS. My area doesn't have Rite-Aid so I don't know if they carry HIP or not and my local Walmart doesn't carry L'Oreal HIP.
Based on my observations on these 2 colors, I think L'Oreal HIP eyeshadows are good for the beautiful gals in budget, myself included. It's a little bit tougher to blend than MAC eyeshadows, I have to admit but for the price you pay, it's better than most eyeshadows in your drug store. I only buy rare and interesting colors from MAC as those tend to be pigmented and last for a long time. For the basic colors like browns, neutrals, and higlighters, I opt for the drugstore versions as they are very well-made and affordable.

If there's a BOGO event on L'Oreal HIP at your local drugstore, I think you should get some of these eyeshadows and play with them. They are fun and affordable. Also, it's a good way to build up your eyeshadow collection without breaking the bank.

I hope this review helps you. Please feel free to ask questions regarding the topic. I'd love to hear from you.


Your "Parrot" Lover Makeup Blogger


  1. i have never heard of L'oreal Hip. thanks for the post. i'm going to look for it now.

  2. You're welcome. I'm glad this post helps you. If there's a BOGO event then you can get 2 for the price of one and play with them. Have fun!


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