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Dupe Alert: Serenity VS Birthday Suit

Today I have a dupe post for you! I’ll be comparing Manny MUA x Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘Serenity’ to Sleek Matte Me in ‘Birthday Suit’.

I discovered this dupe by accident but after I ‘Googled’ my findings I realised that many others agree that these two lippies are pretty much the same colour.

I bought Serenity after seeing how gorgeous the colour was and because I wanted to support Manny. I HAD to have it and so I bought it.


A few days ago I was doing a little online shopping and I decided that I should pick up some items from Sleek because everyone raves about the brand. I have never used anything from Sleek since it isn’t available in South Africa (although I think it was very, very briefly available at Foschini). I just bought a blush and a lippie that looked pretty in the pictures. I didn’t read any reviews because I didn’t want my first impression of the brand to be skewed.

My parcel arrived and I knew in an instant that Birthday Suit was similar to Serenity. This made me a little sad because a) I already own this colour, why do I need another one and b) you can’t return makeup in the UK so I was stuck with it.

I decided to test it out anyway and not dwell on the disappointment too long because it is probably one of my favourite and most used colours in my collection.

I’ll take you through each step that I used to compare the two lippies and you can decide for yourself which one you prefer.


Colour Test

Are these two shades the same in day light and on camera?
Here on my arm (taken in day light) you can barely tell the difference but Serenity is slightly lighter.


Smudge Test

Does one formula smudge more than the other after they have set?
Yes, Serenity smudges a little whereas Birthday Suit stays put.

Opacity Test

Which formula is more opaque?
Serenity’s formula is thicker and more pigmented. One application gives you full coverage.
Birthday Suit is a little more sheer but after two layers any patchiness is gone.

Tacky/Sticky Test

Which lippie felt more sticky than the other?
Serenity was by far the stickier one and it stayed sticky for about an hour afterwards.
Birthday Suit dried in three minutes and was not tacky after that.


Kiss Test

Did either of the lipsticks transfer when you pressed your lips onto your hand?
Only Serenity transferred.

Wear Test

Which lippie wore off the most even?
Neither. They both wore off in different ways but neither were good.
Serenity came off in patches after a few minutes. The sticky formula would let whole chunks get ripped off, much like the thick line you see on the ‘kiss test’ image.
Birthday Suit would eventually dry out completely and then flake off but only after a few hours.

Comfort Test

Which lippie was the most comfortable to wear?
Birthday Suit was the most comfortable. After an hour I had forgotten that I even had it on my lips.
I was aware of the side with Serenity on the entire time.

Food Test

Which lippie stayed put during a greasy meal?
Both will need to be reapplied after you eat. It just looks like a patchy mess.

Dehydration Test?

Which lippie dried out your lips the most?
Both left my lips feeling a little dry after removing the product but nothing that some lipbalm couldn’t fix.


Serenity has a classic doe foot applicator that I cannot fault.


Birthday Suit’s applicator is a little too long and flat for my liking but still easy to use.



Birthday suit £5
Serenity £15

Side by side comparison

Placing both on my lips is the only time I could actually tell the difference.
Birthday Suit has a slightly darker, brown under tone in it and the finish is chalkier, but a true matte.
Serenity is a little pinker and the finish is velvety in comparison.


When I first discovered that the two lippies were similar, I thought that Sleek had made the dupe to Serenity because Serenity was so popular. I ‘Googled’ some more and it turns out that Sleek’s Matte Me in Birthday Suit was created almost two years before Serenity came out. I’m not trying to create drama – I was just somehow one hundred percent convinced that Sleek’s came after the fact and I have no reason why. See what happens when you assume things!

Which is my favourite

If I was going somewhere where I knew I could not touch up my lips for a long time I would use Serenity even though it is sticky and heavier. I would rather endure that than have the colour flake off without knowing because Birthday Suit’s formula is so light weight.

On a normal day, say to work, I would rather wear Birthday Suit because it doesn’t transfer, feels like I’m not wearing anything on my lips and my frequent bathroom trips would let me see if my lippie has started flaking and needs to be reapplied.

For a £10 (R200) difference, I would pick Sleek every time.

Side note: I’ve read that Birthday Suit is also a dupe for Candy K but I’m unfortunately not going to buy it to compare because realistically, what must I do with three shades that all look the same?

Which of the two lippies do you prefer? Let me know in the comments section.

Stay Sparkly!

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