Does the drugstore square up? By Terry vs. Kiko

Kiko 8hr Shadow Stick; By Terry Ombre Blackstar

Who doesn’t love a lower-cost alternative to a high-end product? If you can find the same (or similar enough) color, texture & quality for less money, why splash the cash? I have to admit I found this particular dupe almost by accident. I’ve owned both of these cream shadow sticks for quite a while without really noticing their similarities, until one day it dawned on me. (If you’d like to read more about my favorite cream shadows, click here.) I swatched them side by side and sure enough the color and texture looked identical to my eye. But was the quality the same? Investigation was needed!

Let’s start talking about the products themselves.

1. The high end product is By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar Colour-Fix Cream Shadow in Misty Rock. You get 1.64 grams of product for $38.00. 

2. The more affordable product is Kiko Cosmetics’ Long Lasting Shadow Stick in 05 Rosy Brown. You get 1.64 grams of product for $9.00. (As a side note, I will be doing a whole post about Kiko in the near future as it’s not as well-known in the U.S. as I think it should be amongst beauty lovers. But for right now, know that you can only order their products online from kikocosmetics.com, unless you live near one of their stand-alone stores in NYC or Florida.)

Both products pull more brown when swatched and photographed (as seen below) but after applied to my eyes, both products appear more purpley/pink when I look straight into a mirror. It’s quite interesting. The silvery sparkle in both products is very pronounced so if you’re adverse to something like that, pass on both.

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Top swatch – By Terry. Bottom swatch – Kiko

Now let’s talk about the wear test. Kiko claims 8-hour wear on their product without smudging, while By Terry claims a general “long-lasting” wear; they also claim their formula to be waterproof.

I wanted to know if the lower-cost Kiko product performed as well as the expensive By Terry, so I applied Kiko on one side and By Terry on the other with no primer underneath. They both applied with a similar level of creaminess and blended out very easily with my finger (I’ve also used brushes with these products and they blend just as well, fyi). I noticed the same amount of silver sparkle contained in the pigment, and the textures seemed almost identical to the touch. The photo below shows the shadows after about 2 1/2 hours of wear. Both sides are still pretty vibrant in terms of color and sparkle, but there was already creasing on both sides at this stage.

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The below photo was taken after about 7 hours of wear. The light here is much different as I had lost the sun and had to turn the camera flash on. Hopefully you can see that both shadows kept their color and intensity from the earlier timestamp. However, the Kiko product did crease a little more than the By Terry at this point, which was more noticeable in real life than in the photo. But all in all, both products wore pretty much the same on me.

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Lastly, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients to see how different or how similar they really are. Disclaimer: I am no expert at all when it comes to formulas, but I do know that order means everything as it has to do with concentration. So even if two products have the same ingredients, they are not the same formula (i.e. not the same product) if said ingredients are listed in a different order because each ingredient has then been used in a different concentration.

*Ingredient list for the By Terry Ombre Blackstar from Cult Beauty’s site.

Cyclopentasiloxane Trimethylsiloxysilicate Mica Polyethylene Lauroyl Lysine Ozokerite Synthetic Fluorphlogopite Octyldodecanol Synthetic Beeswax Calcium Sodium Borosilicate Silica Lecithin Tin Oxide Tocopherol Tourmaline Pearl Powder Ascorbyl Palmitate Citric Acid May Contain (+/-): CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide CI 77499 / Iron Oxides CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake CI 77492 / Iron Oxides CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens CI 77491 / Iron Oxides CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder CI 75470 / Carmine CI77007 / Ultramarines CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide CI 77400 / Bronze Powder

*Ingredient list for the Long-Lasting Shadow Stick from Kiko’ site.

CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE, SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE, MICA, POLYETHYLENE, LAUROYL LYSINE, OZOKERITE, OCTYLDODECANOL, SYNTHETIC BEESWAX, LECITHIN, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, CITRIC ACID, CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES).

You may notice that the first two ingredients are the same, i.e. the ones with the highest concentration, but then after that the order changes. Interestingly, 100% of the ingredients in the Kiko product including the pigments are present in the By Terry (granted they are present in different concentrations). The By Terry product has an additional 15 ingredients which include extra pigments, according to the list I got from Cult Beauty (there was no complete listing on By Terry’s site). So these are definitely not the same product but are quite similar indeed.

Final Thoughts. To me, this is an easy one: yes, the drugstore or affordable side does square up. While the Kiko did crease a bit more in the end, it’s less than a quarter of the price of the By Terry for exactly the same amount of product. Putting some kind of primer underneath would most likely help to stop any creasing in the future, so it’s an easy fix. Overall, the color, texture and wear are very similar for both products. So if you are looking for a dupe for the By Terry sticks, or just don’t want to spend almost $40, I’d say get the Kiko one.

Which eye do you think has the Kiko product? Which eye has the By Terry? List your guesses in the comments below and I’ll reveal the answer in my next post!

Xo, Erica

Author: Erica

Hi! I’m Erica, a makeup enthusiast based outside of NYC. I discovered my love of cosmetics back in 2011 when I started watching simple tutorials on YouTube. It was a revelation to me that with just a simple few swipes of mascara or dabs of blush, you could transform into a more enhanced version of yourself. My obsession has not abated over the years, but instead has grown stronger as the beauty industry has gone from strength to strength. After graduating from business school in 2018, I decided to finally share my thoughts and opinions on all things cosmetics and this is where ‘We are glamerus’ was born. I share my musings on a bi-weekly basis on everything from my holy grail products and preferred application techniques, to the latest trends overtaking the beauty world. I hope you enjoy! xo

One thought on “Does the drugstore square up? By Terry vs. Kiko”

  1. I honestly cannot tell the difference between the two….they are identical in color. I will take a guess that the Kiki is on the right , but it is just that, a guess, because they look the same to me! And who doesn’t want an affordable quality dupe?! 😀 Great post!

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