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Drugstore "dupes" for high end makeup

    • 832 posts
    June 11, 2014 11:58 AM PDT

    I'm a product junkie and I'll admit that I love my high-end, department store cosmetics. However, a little searching online reveals that there are many drugstore/inexpensive "dupes" for these more expensive items! I've tried many of these myself and they are just as good if not better sometimes! Thought I'd share a list and would love to hear your additions. Many of these are ELF brand which is or at most Target stores. I thought this might be a fun thread for those trying to save money, or perhaps with teen daughters. :)

    I will list them as high end product first, then = dupe item.

    NARS Crystal Setting Powder ($35), Make Up For Ever HD Powder ($35) = ELF Studio HD Powder, $6

    Sephora Moonshadow baked eyeshadow palette ($26) = ELF baked California eyeshadow palette, $10

    Stila waterproof liquid eyeliner pen ($20) = ELF waterproof liner pen, $2

    Make Up For Ever HD blush ($26) = ELF Studio HD blush, $3

    Bare Escentuals loose mineral blushes & eyeshadows ($10-$20) = ELF Mineral eyeshadows & blushes ($3-$6)

    MAC Fix+ Spray ($21) = ELF Mist & Set ($3)

    Benefit High Beam ($30) = ELF Shimmer Whip in Lilac Petal ($1)

    NARS Albatross highlighting blush ($36) = ELF Studio blush in Gotta Glow ($3)

    NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo in Orgasm/Laguna ($35) = ELF Studio blush/bronzer duo in St. Lucia ($3)

    NARS the Multiple stick, various colors ($39) - ELF Essential all over color stick ($1)

    This post was edited by pmburk at June 11, 2014 12:13 PM PDT
    • 832 posts
    June 11, 2014 12:04 PM PDT


    Benefit Coralista blush ($28) = ELF Studio blush in Candid Coral ($3)

    Dior Amber Diamond Highlighter ($45) = ELF Studio Bronzer in Golden ($3)

    MAC Satin Taupe eyeshadow ($15) = Wet n Wild Icon Eyeshadow Single in Nutty ($2) or ELF Studio baked eyeshadow in Bark ($3)

    Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder ($51) = ELF Studio Tone Correcting Powder in cool ($3)

    Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Concealer ($30) = Hard Candy Glamoflouge Concealer ($6)

    Makeup Forever Aqua Creams ($28) or MAC Paint Pots ($22) = Maybelline Color Tattoos ($9)

    MAC Bare Study Paint Pot ($22) = Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($9)

    MAC Pro Longwear Foundation ($37) vs. Revlon Color Stay Foundation ($13)

    MAC Cyber lipstick ($15) = Wet n Wild Megalist lipstick in Vamp it Up ($2)

    Urban Decay Primer Potion eye primer ($20) = Wet n Wild Take on the Day 'Fergie' eye primer ($5)

    MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Lightscapade ($32) = ELF Studio Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls ($3)

    Clinique Chubby Stick lip color balm ($17) = Revlon Kissable Balm sticks ($6) or ELF Essential Jumbo lip gloss stick ($2)

    Lancome Artliner liquid eyeliner pen ($29) = L'Oreal Lineur Intense ($9)

    MAC Lipglass in Purr ($14) = Rimmel Moisture Renew lip gloss in Pink Remedy ($5)

    Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($15) = Cover Girl Lipslick in Edgy ($5)

    Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($28) = N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny ($2-$3)

    This post was edited by pmburk at June 11, 2014 12:19 PM PDT
    • 1476 posts
    June 11, 2014 12:44 PM PDT

    pmburk  my dds and dils would love to go shopping with you think I print these lists and give them to them

    • 196 posts
    June 11, 2014 1:26 PM PDT

    Awesome lists, thank you pmburk! I do like higher-end products but if there is a less expensive but quality substitute, I'll give it a try.

  • June 11, 2014 1:47 PM PDT

    Great list! The only 'high-end' item I use is Clinique's Dramatically Different moisture lotion. I always get it when they've got a gift promo going on, so it's not too bad all things considered, but I've often wondered if there's a cheaper, yet nearly identical alternative.

    • 358 posts
    June 11, 2014 2:17 PM PDT

    I've used all the expensive brands too, but whenever I'm going through a more frugal season, these are the items I come back to.

    One of the best moisturizers I've found is plain drugstore Vitamin E cream in the tub.  I've used Philosophy's Hope in a Jar at $40 a jar, and the $5 vitamin E cream, while slightly greasier, works just as well.  I put it on at night and wake up glowing.

    One of the best lipglosses I've found - and I've used them all - is Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss.  The texture is smooth, not sticky, but has great staying power.  The colors are VERY flattering on just about everyone.  And they are $8 each at full price.  My favorite is a color called Sunbaked.

    I use Makeup Forever HD foundation and my friend swears that the Revlon Colorstay foundation is every bit as good.  $12.

    The eyeliner pencil I consistently come back to is CoverGirl Perfect Blend pencil in Mink (dark brown).  Costs just $5.  I can use the same pencil to fill in my brows.

    Another favorite, although a little harder to find, is Maybelline Great Lash VOLUMIZING mascara in black.  It comes in a solid pink tube with a curved brush.  The curved brush is HUGE - much bigger than the regular straight applicator - and gives me wonderful lashes.  $6.

    I use ELF make up brushes because they are cheap and do the job.  

    Best eye makeup remover - coconut oil!  You probably have some around the kitchen already, so just let it melt down and apply with a cotton pad.

    Best lip balm, time and time again, is Blistex Lip Medex in the blue tube.  Can't beat it for $2.

    And something my grandma taught me: The best skin mattifier is the pith inside a citrus peel!  I've used the inside of an orange peel before and it totally works!  Plus you smell great.

    • 3785 posts
    June 13, 2014 12:01 PM PDT

    Avon has really good makeup too. get most of mine there.   I like getting the freebie packs of revlon or lancome or estee lauder.  buy one great product and get lots of freebies.   don't wear a lot of makeup but like nice stuff.   a homestay student parent gave me a dior lipstick..that is so nice but out so alway think of getting another one....


    mostly moisturizers of reg brands st ives, jergens etc all over  and lipsticks.

    • 832 posts
    June 14, 2014 8:25 PM PDT

    You're welcome, ladies! Also thanks to all of you who posted your own input! I love hearing new ideas & product suggestions! I typically purchase higher-end cosmetics, but I love finding that bargain that really truly works. One of my all-time favorite "I will never give this up" products is Coty Airspun loose powder, $7 at Walgreens. I even prefer it to Clinique and Estee Lauder.

    For oily skin or miserable summers (like we have here in Texas) my standby powder is Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder. I find it mattifies even better than any of the high-end products I have ever tried. 

    My current favorite facial moisturizer is the Trader Joe's "Enrich" lotion in the Olay-style bottle, $3.99. 

    I also do sometimes use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup. Typically I use Walgreen's store brand cold cream. 

    I also use ELF makeup brushes for a lot of my makeup! The $3 black Studio brushes are honestly very comparable to MAC brushes. They also frequently do 50% off sales on their site so you can score them for $1.50 each.


    Here are a few more "drugstore dupes" for yall:

    MAC Lingering brow pencil (medium brown) $18 = Wet n Wild Color Icon eye/brow pencil in Taupe ($1) - I have used both & can honestly say they're identical, I now only buy the Wet n Wild version

    Ben Nye Banana Powder ($26) = ELF Studio HD Powder in Correcting Yellow ($6)

    Stila Lip Glazes ($22) = ELF Essential Hyper Shine Gloss ($1-$2)

    MAC Lipstick in Russian Red ($15) = Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red ($6)

    NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30) = NYX Powder Blush in Pinched ($5) or Milani Luminoso ($7)

    Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat Concealer ($42) = Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer ($8)

    MAC Angel lipstick ($15) - ELF lipstick in Classy ($3)

    MAC Craving lipstick ($15) = Maybelline Color Sensational Party Pink ($6)

    MAC Creme Cup lipstick ($15) = Wet n Wild Think Pink 901B ($2)

    MAC Crosswires lipstick ($15) = NYX Berry ($5) or Cover Girl Fairytale ($5)

    Urban Decay 24/7 liner pencil ($19) = Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner ($5)

    MoroccanOil Hair Treatment ($40) = One 'n Only Argan Oil ($10 Sally Beauty)

    Wen Cleansing Conditioner ($25-$30) = Salon Grafix Cleansing Conditioner in Citrus Creme ($8 at Ulta or Walgreens) or Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle conditioner ($4)

    This post was edited by pmburk at August 4, 2014 10:52 AM PDT
    • 832 posts
    August 4, 2014 10:58 AM PDT

    A few new ones to add:

    Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation ($45) = Cover Girl NatureLuxe liquid silk foundation ($7) - I own & use both of these and can honestly say they are nearly identical products. The Cover Girl has been discontinued, but I can still find it in some of my stores.

    Pureology Nanoworks shampoo & conditioner ($50-$75 each) = Kirkland Signature (Costco house brand) Professional Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner ($8 each) - this is another I've used both personally, and they are identical, right down to the scent. I believe the Kirkland is made by Pureology

    MAC Ruby Woo lipstick ($15) = Wet n Wild Stoplight Red ($1.99)

    MAC Diva lipstick ($15) = Revlon Raisin Rage ($7)

    MAC Snob lipstick ($15) = Revlon Pink Pout ($7)

    Dior Forever Foundation ($47) = Boots Stay Perfect ($9)

    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eyeshadow Pencil in Sin ($20) = Milani 12 hr Eyeshadow Pencil in Champagne Toast ($7)

    • 832 posts
    August 14, 2014 7:20 AM PDT

    One more to add:

    Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow in Constant Copper = Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in RSVP


    • 144 posts
    October 5, 2014 5:55 PM PDT

    I am hooked on lancome black mascara...anyone know of some other product that works as good as this one?

    It's expensive....however, works so wonderfully.

    • 832 posts
    October 6, 2014 8:05 AM PDT

    I use L'Oreal Voluminous carbon black. My lashes are naturally dark & fairly long, so I'm not too choosy about mascara. I have heard a lot of good reviews on Maybelline Great Lash (in the pink & green tube) but have never used it myself.


    • 832 posts
    June 8, 2015 2:56 PM PDT

    Few more to add:

    Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow ($20) = NYX Eyebrow Gel ($7)

    MAC Studio Fix Powder ($27) = NYX Stay Matte but not Flat Powder Foundation ($7)

    Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($36) = NYX Studio Perfect Primer ($13)

    Benefit PoreFessional ($31) - NYX Pore Filler ($14)

    Anastasia DipBrow Pomade ($18) = NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade ($7)

    This post was edited by pmburk at June 8, 2015 2:57 PM PDT
    • 1476 posts
    July 10, 2017 8:44 AM PDT

    thank you print this all but the spam and gave to the girls they said a very much thank you