Drugstore makeup dupes that won’t break the bank
We all love to feel our best, but if you’re spending $50 on a palette of eyeshadow or $40 on highlighter, feeling your best also comes with the feeling of guilt.
But, lucky for you, our favorite Instagram makeup artists have tried and tested copious amounts of drugstore makeup products in order to find the best duplicates (or, ‘dupes’) for a fraction of the price. Find your favorite or suggest a new one in the comments below!
Budget Buster: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial $80
Do you love face peels but can’t always afford to get them done professionally? Well, luckily for you, at home peels are now available, and they work wonders.
Active ingredients include 25% AHA blend to exfoliate, 2% BHA to smooth texture, antioxidant complex to clean pores, niacinamide to fight redness, hyaluronic acid, and chickpea flour to brighten skin.
Drugstore Dupe: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution $7.20
For a fraction of the price, The Ordinary has a slightly stronger solution that works wonders on all face types but could agitate more sensitive skin types due to the lack of plant ‘extras.’
Active ingredients include 30% AHA, 2% BHA, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B5, and Tasmanian Pepperberry to reduce irritation.
Budget Buster: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment $59
Everyone knows charcoal is the new miracle treatment for yellow teeth and dry skin, but did you know that it could fix a host of facial imperfections, too?
Active ingredients include potent mud to balance natural oils, a blend of six acids to minimize pores, and activated-X charcoal to lift dirt and grime from pores.
Drugstore Dupe: Lacura Charcoal Clearing Mudmask $8
This mask acts as a pore strip, lifting the dirt from the pore with its sticky properties. The best part about this dupe is how remarkably similar these two products are. The only difference? Buy Lacura in Aldi, your local grocery store.
Budget Buster: SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence Mist $179
This facial essence is meant to be used after toner and before serums and moisturizers to prepare your skin and make it brighter. As a holy grail staple of Asian skincare, how can you say no?
Oh, wait, price tag.
Drugstore Dupe: Missha Time Revolution The Frist Treatment Essence Intensive $24
Essence is a Korean beauty term that describes the first moisturizer that goes on your face to replenish the natural pH and pick up any other dirt particles that a cleanser and toner would have missed. Worth it? I think, yes.
Budget Buster: La Mer Crème De La Mer $170
La Mer Creme has long been touted in the market as the best moisturizer anyone could ever have. But, is it true, or is it just the branding illusion? Keep reading!
Drugstore Dupe: Weleda Skin Food $10
Weleda Skin Food, on the other hand, is a $10 miracle. According to Perrie Samotin, digital deputy editor of Glamour.com, “This stuff has been around for 90 years, and I like to refer to it as ‘the $10 La Mer.’ It’s a super-dense miracle cream that intensely hydrates, restores, and protects skin with nourishing plant oils and extracts, and it absorbs within seconds.”
Budget Buster: Farsali Rose Gold Elixir $54
So, turns out gold is an incredibly beneficial mineral to put on your face to reduce inflammation, redness, and acne scars. But, so is rosehip seed oil and botanicals (which this also has). So, is the gold a large enough ingredient for it to be helpful, or is all the help coming from the rosehip oil?
Drugstore Dupe: Pixi SkinTreats Rose Oil Blend $24
For half the price, you don’t even need to answer that question. Pixi’s rose oil blend has all the best oils for your face’s health, glow, and youth. With a consistent 5 star review across the board, how can you say no?
Budget Buster: Too Faced Shadow Insurance $20
A shadow primer that “does it all” is a shadow primer that’s apparently worth $20. For big events? Yes, I’m sure shadow primer is a huge deal to ensure your look stays put the whole day through, but for everyday use, I’m sure any other primer will be just fine.
Drugstore Dupe: Jesse’s Girl Eyeshadow Primer $5.99
…like this one by Jesse’s Girl. This cruelty-free brand saves animals and your bank account with these ridiculous (in a good way!) prices and even more ridiculous products. This is a certified dupe that you won’t regret.
Budget Buster: Huda Beauty Foundation $40
#FauxFilter? Is it that good? According to the reviews, it may or may not be, depending on your skin type. And for $40, I don’t think this is the kind of beauty product you buy to “just try because why not.” Instead, try this dupe!
Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Foundation $12
Many users say they bought 3 different shades of this $12 dupe to ensure they get the right coverage, and all for the same cost of one $40 foundation. This Maybelline foundation has the potential to be everything you want and need, or just not the right fit. But for $12, who cares? Might as well buy it in 4 different shades, while you’re at it.
Budget Buster: Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick $46
Buyers beware: The official description of this product is so well written that I started to open my bank info to see if I could spare the change for this pricey purchase (spoiler alert — I was $3 short).
Drugstore Dupe: Revlon PhotoReady Insta Fix Foundation Stick $11.19
Although this magic stick is an all-around go-to for many, the Revlon equivalent is the go-to for most. But, besides the price, what’s the big difference? Well, Revlon put some solid SPF in their stick to make it quite a bit more competitive than Bobbi’s. Well done, Revlon.
Budget Buster: Beauty Blender Pure $20
If you’re looking at this post, you most likely know what a beauty blender is, and how it disrupted much of the makeup brush industry. What you may not know is that there are many different types of sponges that do the same thing — or, in other words, all these sponges are the same kind of sponge in different shapes.
Drugstore Dupe: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge $4.19
What more do I need to say? $20 for a brand name makeup item or $4.19 for the same sponge in a different color and a different shape? And, honestly, who thought it was a good idea to have a white blender for foundation?
Bold Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture $42
Anastasia is a staple in every makeup artists’ bag, but for them, it makes sense to have top of the line products. For those of us who just like to look decent on any given day, this dupe makes a lot more sense (financially, that is).
Drugstore Dupe: Makeup Revolution Iconic Division $7
This skin test shows just how similar these palettes are, and just how quickly you can save that $35. I mean, come on, $35 can buy you an entire outfit at some stores, or a really nice shirt at others. It’s a notable difference to us.
Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette $54
Ok, so Naked palettes are my FAVORITE. But the price? It is just one of those things that you ask for on your birthday or Christmas, and hope it lasts you until the next holiday. And if it doesn’t? Well, be prepared to spend quite a bit of money replacing it.
Drugstore Dupe: Revolution Re-Loaded Palette ‘Iconic Fever’ $7
I like the Revolution Re-Loaded way more than the Naked palette. The colors stay on longer, they’re more vibrant, and there’s more eyeshadow in the cheaper one, which makes it last even longer.
Purple Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Kylie Cosmetics The Purple Palette $42
Are Kylie Cosmetics even relevant anymore? Ever since they came out, dupes have been popping up everywhere, especially since they are so easy to duplicate. They don’t have any crazy ingredients, they don’t do any unique mixing, and the only reason they’re this pricey is due to the Kardashian name.
Drugstore Dupe: Face Candy Vice Palette $12
Don’t like the Kardashians? Meet their competitors, Face Candy, who make almost identical versions of the Kylie eyeshadow palettes. And, even better, they have been completely cruelty-free since the very beginning (unlike many Kardashian products).
Warm Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Modern Renaissance’ Palette $42
Why do they call this one the Modern Renaissance palette? Well, it makes you feel like a renaissance beauty. But the ‘Modern’ is the unfortunate price to pay to be a renaissance beauty nowadays.
Drugstore Dupe: Wet n Wild Beauty ‘Rose in the Air’ $4.99
On the contrary, who doesn’t want to be a flying rose? Wet N Wild’s palette is comparably just as good as Anastasia’s, if not just for the price. And, with the money you save on this palette, you can buy at least 3 other products listed in this article!
Smoky Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Huda Beauty ‘Smokey Obsessions’ Palette $27
I miss the days when the smokey eye was all the rage. I mean, the hardest part was putting on makeup right before bed, and praying that you wake up with an effortless smokey eye. And if it wasn’t perfect when you woke up, you felt so guilty for wasting the equivalent of $3 of this eyeshadow palette.
Drugstore Dupe: Bad Habit Beauty ‘After Party’ $10
Although the Huda version isn’t that inexpensive, it’s still $17 whole dollars cheaper than Bad Habit’s version. And the best part is that the colors are so identical, I’d personally give $10 to anyone who could tell the difference in a side-by-side.
Bronze Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Kylie Cosmetics ‘The Bronze Palette’ $42
Again, with the Kylie Cosmetics (sigh). You’re just paying for her name to be on this, so she may as well rename it, “Kylie Costmetics.” If you didn’t chuckle at that glorious wordplay, you can leave now (just kidding, don’t leave — the best deals are still yet to come!)
Drugstore Dupe: BH Cosmetics ‘Shaaanxo’ $7.25
Can you tell the difference between these palettes? Yah, me either. In fact, this one is so cheap and so versatile that I couldn’t resist buying it myself. Truth be told, I like this BH one better because it’s just a tad bit more sparkly, vibrant, and, obviously, cheaper.
Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palettes
Budget Buster: Morphe Jaclyn Hill eyeshadow palette $38
Raise your hand if you can fit this giant hunk of makeup in your everyday makeup bag. Anyone? Anyone at all? I didn’t think so. But, this doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy investment to keep on your counter for those few nights a year when you just need those purple and green eyelids.
Drugstore Dupe: Beauty Glazed ‘Impressed You’ $25
We’re all for your decorative eyelids, but $38 is a lot. Although this dupe isn’t exorbitantly cheaper than the budget buster, it’s so similar to the original that you’d feel disappointed in yourself if you paid the extra $13.
Budget Buster: Too Faced Better Than Sex $23
Everyone’s dubbed this mascara as the holy grail of lash blasters, but if you haven’t heard of this mascara, you might be wondering, “Is it really better?” Well, I’ll let you decide for yourself, but I’ll still give you my slightly professional opinion.
Drugstore Dupe: L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise $9.99
Yes, it is — which is why I was dubious of this L’Oreal version. Although it’s not quite better than ‘Better Than Sex,’ it’s a close second (or third, depending on your desires). The volume is, however much better than almost every other mascara I’ve tried, and the blacker-than-black color makes your eyes pop (especially when used with the Naked HEAT dupe!)
Budget Buster: DiorShow ‘New Look’ $27.50
Although I’ve never tried the Diorshow, many have — and many have raved about it. I mean, after all, it’s Dior, and only a true maniac would think Dior makes any product less than perfect.
Drugstore Dupe: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous ‘Carbon Black’ $5.89
L’Oreal makes quite a good mascara though, and dare I say, it may even be my favorite. Truth be told, I use this L’Oreal in combination with the “Better Than Sex’ dupe to get those “Are those lashes real?” comments on the daily. If you’re thinking you don’t need those compliments every day, you’re just lying to yourself. Go on, grab this L’Oreal stick of magic and see how it changes your life.
Budget Buster: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade $18
Eyebrows can make or break a look, and thank God the days of the one-line brows are over because brow pomade is in and it’s not going anywhere. Let your thick, luscious brows be your daily statement piece of every outfit.
Drugstore Dupe: NYX Tame and Frame Brow Pomade $6.99
NYX makes both a brow pomade and a pomade/powder mix for creating your signature brow look. As someone born with naturally invisible eyebrows, these NYX sets are lifesavers. I’ve been using NYX for the past 7 years, and it has never failed me. In fact, I never leave the house without it (except for that one time… *shudder*).
Budget Buster: Kylie Cosmetics ‘Kristen’ $29
Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Kathryn’ $20
Yes, these two lip colors are different, but are they? Some would say the ‘Kathryn’ is a dupe for the ‘Kristen,’ but I would argue against the price of both considering ColourPop exists. But, whatever your budget is, any of these colors would add a little oomf to your style.
Drugstore Dupe: ColourPop ‘Bumble’ $6
ColourPop consistently receives 4.5-5 star reviews across the board and their color legit stays on all day. Can’t choose between ‘Kathryn’ or ‘Kristen?’ Choose both with ‘Bumble’ for a fraction of the price. You can thank me later.
Matte Lip Color
Budget Buster: Jeffree Star Collection ‘Celebrity Skin’ $18
So, if you’re one to buy products that help others, go to good causes, or support a good-hearted celebrity, the JSC line probably isn’t for you. If you don’t care either way and you just want good lipstick, then continue to stay away from JSC.
Drugstore Dupe: Milani ‘Loved’ $7.99
Milani on the other hand? A-1 brand. A-1 lipstick. A-1 price.
Personally, I don’t spend much money on lipsticks. The farthest I’ll go is tinted lip balm, but all my makeup savvy friends obsess over this lip color dupe. Apparently, it goes on velvety smooth, goes well with any skin tone, and doesn’t rub off easily compared to many other lip colors.
Budget Buster: Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer $29
Although I don’t use bronzer, I feel like $30 for a tiny cube of a slightly darker shade of your skin color is slightly outrageous. But that’s my opinion, so if you have other views, comment below!
Drugstore Dupe: Wet N Wild Contouring Palette ‘Dulce De Leche’ $5
I think anyone can get behind $5. And from this skin sample, it looks to me like this Wet N Wild bronzer covers imperfections and wrinkles just a tad bit better than Benefit.
UPDATE: I must admit, I bought almost everything on this list that I didn’t already have, and this one has to be my favorite makeup upgrade. It goes on smoothly, it looks natural, blends better than my foundation, and adds some dimension to my otherwise round face.
Highlighter + Bronzer
Budget Buster: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder $45
This Hourglass lighting powder is a staple, a must-have, a classic– which makes it pretty easy to duplicate. But, is it a highlighting powder or a bronzer? Apparently, it’s both, but don’t ask me how.
Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Master Hi-Light Studio Bronzer $6.75
This bronzer/lightener duo seemingly covers quite a bit from the blush, skin, sparkle, and setting tones that are weaved together. Most reviews say it adds the dreamiest dimension to your face that you could ever imagine, and with different lighting comes different shades to ensure a natural, “makeup free” look. I’d choose this one based on the colors alone. Would you?
Budget Buster: Anastasia Amrezy $28
Although this isn’t my favorite highlighter out of this group (that one comes last), it’s still quite eye-catching. Have you ever been told that certain parts of your face glow? Usually, that’s not necessarily a compliment, but if you use this gem, it certainly will be. Imagine looking at the sunset with your boo, and your face is brighter than the setting sun.
Drugstore Dupe: Looxie Beauty Bombshell $7.50
To be honest, I’d spend $30 to look better than a sunset, but I’d rather spend $7.50. And anyway, I’d rather my face glow on purpose than on accident because I forgot to use my oil absorbing papers (oops).
Budget Buster: Nars Blush ‘Orgasm’ $29
Yes, blush is life, but for someone like me with naturally red cheeks, I’d do anything to cover up those two red blotches. For those of you who need a little extra color, I’m sure this ‘Orgasm’ is your go-to. Although there are many dupes out there, this one is the best for those not willing to sacrifice quality ingredients.
Drugstore Dupe: Pixi Glow-y Powder ‘Rome Rose’ $16
The best option for me and my red face is a sparkly blush, and this Pixi one is the bomb. I don’t want to say it solves all my problems, but it comes close. In fact, this ‘Rome Rose’ offers more sparkle than color against my red blotches, which makes them look a little less terrible.
Budget Buster: Becca ‘Champagne Pop’ Highlighter $38
Honestly, some of these prices really mystify me. I find myself daydreaming about the budgets of these people who can afford the budget busters of this list. The magic of this highlighter comes from the buttery texture that melts onto your skin and essentially becomes a part of you.
Drugstore Dupe: ELF ‘Enchanted’ $3
But ELF makes a silky version that glides on your skin. It’s up to you whether you prefer economical silk or pricey butter.
And, how can you say anything negative about something that costs $3? That’s right, you can’t.
Budget Buster: Fenty Beauty ‘Trophy Wife’ $34
And now for my favorite highlighter of all: ‘Trophy Wife.’ The ultimate statement, the best glow, and the most alluring of highlighters. This gem looks like you literally smeared gold on your face, and if that’s not the most bougie thing you have ever seen, I don’t know what is.
Drugstore Dupe: Revolution ‘Gold Ingot’ $4
But let’s just take a look at how similar these two are in color, and how dissimilar they are in price. Fenty may be worth it, but do you have to tell people your Revolution isn’t Fenty? Whoever died from a little white lie?
Budget Buster: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder $35
As someone who has skin that is constantly battling itself, I always need a good setting powder. However, it admittedly took me eons to find one that I liked, that worked, and that stood up to the bipolar seasons of my face.
Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Master Fix Setting + Perfecting Powder $7.99
Once I found the $35 powder, I looked for the dupe. I mean, who can afford $35 per month for a little jar of special dust? Not me, that’s for sure. It also helps that Maybelline is such a tried-and-true brand, but that may just be my brand loyalty speaking.
Budget Buster: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray $30
We like to think that this new rose water trend is a suitable replacement for the facial equivalent of hairspray, but honestly, we’re just lying to ourselves. Although rose water is a wonderfully hydrating and healthy substance to spray on your face, it really only helps with your personal glow from, well, the hydration.
Drugstore Dupe: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Setting Spray $13.78
Urban Decay is the Dior of makeup setting spray, but Infallible is virtually the same product with a different label. I like it better (probably just for the price, but who cares, right?).
Budget Buster: La Mer Crème De La Mer $170
Again with the La Mer Creme; it just isn’t worth it unless you just have that much disposable income. But, then again, even celebrities like Bella Hadid would rather save $150 using these dupes.
Drugstore Dupe: Mario Badescu Skin Care Seaweed Night Cream $22
Mario Badescu has received quite the attention as of late, but it’s not just for nothing. This seaweed night cream works miracles for all skin types, and all ages. I also end up waking up refreshed, less swollen, and less droopy which means no more comments about my sleep habits from concerned co-workers.