Whenever I pop by Target, Walmart or the drugstore, I am instantly drawn to the makeup aisle. Even at ULTA you can find me browsing the Maybelline aisle!
Drugstore makeup brands haven’t always had the best reputation. For years, people thought affordable makeup meant you had to sacrifice quality. While I love a good high end beauty product as much as the next girl, (hellllloooo Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream!) I’m a sucker for a drugstore beauty buy and the best makeup dupes. As YouTube has blown up and beauty bloggers/vloggers have taken over the world, it seems like high end beauty dupes have made a splash as well. I, for one, am here for it. I’m the first one to want to try a drugstore product that promises the same (or comparable!) results to some of our favorite premium beauty products.
Recently, I saw an article pop up on Twitter promising to have found the holy grail of Tarte Shape Tape dupes. I eagerly clicked over and immediately purchased the ELF concealer that promised to be a $5 version of my go-to concealer. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Stories, you already know how the story ends– I AM IN LOVE. The ELF 16-Hr Camo Concealer has definitely been a true dupe for the Shape Tape and I’m in love! I decided to add a Drugstore Beauty Dupe post to my editorial calendar and immediately set out to test some of my fave known and lesser-known dupes for popular products.
Premium Product: Tarte Shape Tape, $29
Drugstore Dupe: ELF 16 Hr Camo Concealer, $5
Drugstore Dupe:Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Contouring Concealer, $7
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Tarte Shape Tape is currently the gold standard for undereye concealers. At $29, it’s a little more of a splurge but totally worth it, in my opinion. In the interest of saving $$, I’ve been open to trying out dupes, hoping for the best.
Initially, people sang the praises of the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Contouring Concealer that rings up for $7. When I tried it out, I liked it, but felt that a) the bottle is tiny and b) the formula was a lot thinner than the Shape Tape. If you’re one of the people who think Shape Tape is too thick, then I think you’d be happy with the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define. I, for one, needed the coverage!
Recently, I heard about the ELF 16 Hr Camo Concealer, which is only $5. It’s a new release so it hasn’t really made the rounds of all the beauty blogs. I got my hands on it basically immediately and was blown away by the results!! TOTAL dupe alert! The formula was just as thick and rich as the Shape Tape and the coverage was bomb. If you’re in the market for a Shape Tape dupe… pick this baby up. IT’S $5!!! A note– the shades are SUPER LIGHT. Like, insanely light. Surely this is because it is a contouring concealer, which is typically 2 shades lighter than your foundation. I read some reviews mentioned the formula oxidized with wear but I personally did not experience that myself. Keep that in mind when you’re checking out the shade range!
The BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector is another HG product if you have dark circles. (Layered under the Tarte Shape Tape, you’ve never looked more awake!) But, it’s $24, so I totally get the urge to find a more affordable version.
Enter the Catrice Camouflage Cream and the NYX Dark Circle Concealer. Both are $6 and promise to neutralize dark circles. Remember that these babies go UNDER your under eye concealer! I’ve used the NYX Dark Circle Concealer and think it works great for the price. It’s a tad on the drier side, which I don’t love. I also didn’t love that I feel like it’s more of a matte texture whereas the BECCA is a more luminous texture. I’d say on this one, go for BECCA, but if you want a more affordable alternative, you have two.
OK, so, obviously we all know about the TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara. I personally think it’s a crime to spend $24 on mascara, but have definitely done it in the past. In the quest to find a dupe, I’ve tried ’em all. The trick to a mascara dupe is not in the formula, or the packaging, but in the wand. Finding a wand that looks like the original is the key. The Better Than Sex wand is an hourglass shape, which is kind of rare.
L’Oreal definitely didn’t hide the fact that they were trying to dupe the cult classic BTS when they designed the Lash Paradise packaging, that’s for sure… but the proof is in the wand. As you can see, they ripped off the hourglass shape wand, but it’s not really 1000% a true dupe. The bristles are packed closer together in the Better Than Sex mascara wand for a denser application. But, it’s a passable dupe and as close as we’ll get.
The Physicans Formula Killer Curves mascara was an under-the-radar dupe, one I didn’t expect to find. When I started to analyze mascara wands, however, I quickly realized it was totally a dupe! Now, I have tried all three mascaras and… to be honest, I don’t 100% love the BTS and don’t love the Killer Curves mascara… but, you can’t deny that the wand is close to the BTS wand… and actually, closer to the BTS wand than the Lash Paradise is, which is considered to be go-to dupe for Better Than Sex.
If you want to get the look for less, here’s my tip: buy a mini tube of the Better Than Sex mascara. (They’re $12.) After 3 months when the formula starts to go bad and it’s time to swap out mascaras, clean the wand really, really well and then buy a cheap mascara at the drugstore, throw out the wand, and replace it with the travel wand for the BTS. There ya go. YOU HAVE A DUPE FOR THE BETTER THAN SEX MASCARA FOR EVEN LESS THAN YOU THOUGHT!
OK, so, foundation is actually the one area where I feel like it is worth it to splurge. But, if you can’t, I get it. There are some well-regarded dupes out there for the best selling Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, which is actually the foundation that I swear by for day-to-day.
The Revlon Colorstay is the option that pops up time and time again. Bloggers swear it’s a dupe. I’ve been trying it out this week… and I’m not sure. At the bottom of my heart, I feel like the Estee Lauder Double Wear is still a superior option, but for $8, the Revlon Colorstay works.
MY personal favorite is the LA Girl Pro Matte. THIS. FOUNDATION. IS. EVERYTHING. First of all, it’s only $7. Second of all, it’s full coverage yet still lightweight and doesn’t feel cakey at all. If you need a dupe, I’d say go for this one.
The Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow is amazing. I AM OBSESSED. My go-to shade is ‘Kitten’ and I love it on the lid and in the corner. But, if you don’t want to splurge, there are a few dupes out there that will work! I like the Shimmer & Glow best for day because it’s more subtle, but there are a lot more dupes for the GLITTER & Glow… which is absolutely gorgeous but definitely more for night! If you’re looking for a Glitter & Glow dupe, I also love the Flower Beauty Warrior Glitter Shadows.
As for the Stila Shimmer & Glow, I love the Pixi Fairy Lights! It has the same metallic pigment and is about $10 cheaper, for more product. Wet ‘n Wild has an option called Liquid Catsuit which I just picked up, but I haven’t tried it out yet, I’ll keep you posted!
This seems to be an odd case where people know more about the dupe than the original. In fact, I’m not even sure how long the Becca Sunlit Bronzer has been around, because I definitely knew about the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer first!
I am a huge, huge fan of the Butter Bronzer. It’s soft, silky, and smells like coconuts. The color payoff is spectacular and it gives you a pretty, tanned look like you just came straight from the beach. BTW– I had never understood what people meant when they described a powder as “silky” until I tried the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer… now I know!! The Butter range has expanded to include blush and highlighter as well… and I am obsessed with both!
Premium Product: Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette, $42
Drugstore Dupe: Wet ‘n Wild Rose in the Air Eyeshadow Palette, $5
Eyeshadows are another place where I feel like the splurge is worth it. Granted, most palettes are way overpriced and you’d be better off purchasing individual shadows… but it’s true, there’s nothing I love more than a beautiful palette. Usually, the quality, longevity, and color payoff are noticeably different between higher/lower priced eyeshadows. But, if you don’t want to drop $50 on a palette, understandable. There are a ton of affordable versions out there that can help you get a similar look for less!
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette has been a huge seller. It was only a matter of time before it was duped and… in walks Wet ‘n Wild with their $5 version. Now, obviously, the Modern Renaissance palette has 4 more shades and is much higher quality. But, for $5? I say give it a shot!
I’m all for spending $6 on a setting powder, especially if it comes in a GIANT TUB. So far, I’ve been a fan of the Coty Airspun Powder! It’s long lasting and does a good job of setting my makeup.
A warning– I’ve read reviews where it is described as smelling “like an old lady” LOL. Yes. It smells like “old lady” talcum powder. BUT, I think the good outweighs the bad! And I don’t mind the smell that much. If you have a very sensitive nose you may want to pass, though. It also comes in a much larger package than the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. Another warning– the Coty Airspun Powder in the translucent shade says that it is obviously translucent… but it does have a slightly pinkish tint to it. I thought it would be weird on me, since I most certainly am not pink, but once you put it on, you don’t notice it at all. Sorta weird, but go with it. Again, for $6, I say do it.
Drugstore dupes are a major market right now. This is by no means an exhaustive list of dupes! (But maybe I’ll turn it into one over time??) For now, these are my favorite, newest, most popular items, duped. Next time you hit Target, Ulta, or the drugstore… make sure you pull this baby up and get to dupin’! I’d love to know– which of these have you tried? Do you like them? What’s YOUR favorite drugstore dupe? Hit the comments and let me know!