Hey Brown Girl Squad!
We can both agree that quality is supreme when it comes to makeup. However, us girls have bills and obligations so saving coin is never a bad thing. I am going to share the $12 Huda Beauty Dessert Dusk Dupe that literally has us SHOOK!
Don't worry though, a dupe is not a Replica. Replicas are known for their dangerous ingredients and mass production. A dupe, on the other hand, is made by real brands and offers a similar color range to an existing mainstream palette. Dupes are so similar its often hard to tell the colors apart from the originals.
The Huda Beauty desert dusk palette had us all shook with its stunning range of metallic and matte shades. The Athena Palette by Bad Habit Beauty offers similar colors, but they have a different assortment in the palette layout than the Desert Dusk. Both palettes come with a nice size mirror and beautiful packaging. The Desert Dusk retails for $65 on the Huda Beauty website and Sephora. The Athena palette from Bad Habit Beauty, available on the Shop Hush app, is a beauty lover approved price of $12! Yasss! Think of how far that same $65 can go with such cheap pricing. First thought is quality will differ right? Well lets see!
The overall color range is so close its honestly amazing. The palettes both swatch beautifully, and show up on melanin! Thank you Lord! We have something we can work with here, so lets go ahead and break it down shade by shade. I will share how these colors perform when placed on the eyelid and what I noticed about the appearance of each color in the Athena palette in comparison to the Desert Dusk.
The first shade in the Desert Dusk palette is "Dessert Sand" (top swatch) , which is duped in the Athena palette as "Purity" (bottom swatch). When applying both shades, they both have a powdery feel. They are essentially identical in color, and apply the same. Dessert Sand does melt into place easier than Purity and blends out a little easier, but its not a noticeable difference.
"Musk" (top swatch) from the Desert Dusk palette and "Truth" (bottom swatch) are very similar in color and in application. Both shades must be built up to color. Musk is easier to control with a brush than Truth. I found the Athena palette needs more controlled application to not look messy since there is a little more kickback and fallout.
These two colors differ quite a bit! "Eden" (top swatch) from the Desert has more of a peachy look and "Valour" (bottom swatch) is more on the pink side. This isn't that great of a dupe in my opinion, but its not a deal breaker. Honestly, I didn't buy the Desert Dusk palette for this shade so... no loss here.
"Amber" (top swatch) is duped perfectly in the Athena palette as "Heroic" (bottom swatch). In all honesty, Heroic is more pigmented than Amber, but there is significantly more fallout and kickback.
On point! Yass! The Athena palette duped the "Blood Moon" (top swatch) shade perfectly with the color "Divine" (bottom swatch). It is spot on. Both shades apply similarly to the eye. Its an on point dupe.
Okay, Oud (top swatch) from the Desert Dusk is a necessary shade. The Athena palette duped this color spot on with the shade "Clever" (bottom swatch), but the application is not as smooth as the Desert Dusk. Clever is pigmented and can achieve the same look as Oud, but it's easy to achieve a muddy look with this shade if not applied with precision and patience.
Cunning (bottom swatch) is a spot on dupe for "Celestial" (top swatch) from the Desert Dusk Palette. Both colors apply similarly and reflect the same color scheme in the light.
Nefertiti (top swatch) was duped spot on with the Athena shadow "Fierce" (bottom swatch). Fierce does appear to have more glitter than Nefertiti, but it can undoubtedly provide the same color as Nefertiti.
This was disappointing. So first look makes you excited right? Twilight (top swatch) appears to be duped SPOT ON in the Athena palette with the shade "Epic" (bottom swatch). BUT... once you apply it to the eyes girrrrl its a whole different story. Epic slightly changes in color once it sets. It also fades away when used as a topper, whereas Twilight shows up beautifully as a topper. My recommendation is to use a glitter glue with Epic and apply with your finger. Both colors apply significantly better with your finger rather than a brush, but twilight out does Epic 100%. Epic still can give you a little shimmer and pop, but its not an exact dupe. I purchased the desert dusk primarily for Twilight because I love how gorgeous it is, so for me... Epic was not hitting it.
Amethyst (top swatch) is duped really well in the Athena Palette with the shade "Justice" (bottom swatch). Both colors appear identical when swatched and applied with a brush. Justice has a softer feel to touch than Amethyst. Its a bomb dupe.
Spot on! "Wisdom" (top swatch) is a super bomb dupe for "Royal" (bottom swatch) in the Desert Dusk palette. Both colors apply the same and look amazing. I love this color!
Okay, so here we have yet another spot on dupe BUT the application differs tremendously. Retrograde (top swatch) is duped in the Athena Palette as "Gleam" (bottom swatch). Retrograde is neater in application than Gleam. It seems as though Gleam doesn't stick to eyeshadows well. This is yet another shade that may need concealer or glitter glue applied in prior to application.
"Cashmere" (top swatch) in the Desert Dusk palette is duped b "Triumph" (bottom swatch). These two colors are pretty much identiclal and both apply beautifully.
At first glance, "Angelic" (top swatch) and "Medusa" (bottom swatch) appear to be different. However, once swatched, Medusa is a spot on dupe for Angelic in the Desert Dusk palette. I had no complaints with Medusa. It performed well.
"Cosmo" (top swatch) is duped spot on in the Athena palette in the shade "Daring" (bottom swatch). Honestly, the formula in the Athena palette seems a little better to me because the glitter stays in the pan. I find Cosmo in the Desert Dusk gets all over the place. It arrived cracked, but was easily pressed back together. However, Cosmo is still messy.
"Turkish Delight" (top swatch) is duped in the Athena palette as "Prize" (bottom swatch). These colors are virtually identical and apply similarly. I didn't notice any major differences.
"Saffron" (top swatch) from the Desert Dusk Palette is duped in the Athena palette as "Power" (bottom swatch). These colors are virtually identical, but Saffron is slightly more pigmented, but Power can be built up to color.
"Blazing" (top swatch) is perfectly duped by "Lore" (bottom swatch) in the Athena palette. These shadows apply similarly, but Lore is a softer textured shade. Lore is more of a creamy mate, and is a pretty good dupe.
Overall, the Athena palette is a pretty solid dupe. At only $12, you can't beat it. The cons with this palette are the fallout, kickback, and annoying performance of the topper shades: Gleam and Epic. Overall, I give it a 7.5 out of 10 and think its an excellent option for the price. The colors mattes are softer than most mattes in the Dessert Dusk palette, but they are slightly harder to blend out (i.e. to apply evenly and not patchy) but nothing too noticeable. Its a spot on dupe for the most part, and you can easily create the same looks achieved in the Desert Dusk Palette. However, if you can afford the Desert Dusk, then go for it because girl it is honestly a beauty.
To be clear, my Desert Dusk palette does have fallout, but the colors are very easy to blend out. My only annoyance with this palette is Cosmo. I hate how messy it is in the palette. It always leaves some sort of fog on the mirror as well. That scares me to be honest. Overall, its a must have, but no lie, Athena is a well worth it dupe!