Being a beauty lover is an expensive hobby. Newbies may ask, "How much could eyeliner cost?" or "It's just pink dust. There's no way it could cost more than $5." But one trip to Sephora will confirm that high-end beauty products can easily add up to hundreds of dollars.
So what's a girl to do if you love beauty but you simply can't afford Tom Ford or Clé de Peau? You do your research and find out the best drugstore dupes for your favourite pricey cult products.
1. The cult favourite: Nars Orgasm Blush, $38
Nars Orgasm Blush made its debut in 1999 and is still in high demand. The cult product is beloved for its ability to look great on varying skin tones, which is a rarity when it comes to makeup. Orgasm is everyone's best friend and worth every penny, but at $38, it's just not a sustainable price for everyone.
The dupe: Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink, $7.99
At $7.99, a fair amount of beauty enthusiasts agree that Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink is a solid dupe for Orgasm. The coral shade is definitely similar, with a frosty finish and subtle gold inflections.
2. The cult favourite: Dior Diorshow Mascara, $36
This mascara is revered for transforming flimsy lashes into showstoppers. Those who swear by Diorshow love it for its extra-large wand that effortlessly coats each lash and adds exceptional volume via microfibres. Dior recently launched a new and improved formula, giving us even more reason to love this cult favourite.
The dupe: L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara, $6.97
A $36 mascara is steep, so we're sure glad a drugstore dupe exists for the bare bones price of $7. We're talking about the widely loved L'Oreal Paris Voluminous mascara in its signature grey tube.
3. The cult favourite: Mac Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, $22
It's the kind of red that commands attention. The brand's signature va-va-voom lip colour was released in 1999 and continues to be a bestseller. Ruby Woo's key selling point is that it looks great on everyone and can power through lunch or dinner without rubbing off.
The dupe: Wet n Wild Mega Last Matte Lip Colour in Stoplight Red, $9.26
Your best bet for a Ruby Woo dupe for less than half the price is Wet n Wild's Mega Last Matte Lip Colour in Stoplight Red. Colour-wise, there are few differences, but the texture is allegedly not a perfect match for the Mac fan-favourite.
4. The cult favourite: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $35
Tarte Shape Tape is the baby of cult products. It hasn't been around as long as Nars Orgasm or Ruby Woo, but the beauty community has collectively inducted it into its hall of fame. Tarte rarely puts the concealer on sale and for good reason. Consumers will pay full price at any given time because the full coverage concealer can hide even the darkest of under-eye circles. Plus, it doesn't crease or flake and can last all day without fading.
The dupe: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer, $11.52
There aren't many accurate dupes for Tarte Shape Tape, but the closest appears to be Wet n Wild's very affordable Photo Focus Concealer. The consistency and coverage are fairly similar and the beauty blogging community has praised the concealer for being a solid dupe for Shape Tape.
5. The cult favourite: Beautyblender, $28
When the little egg-shaped sponge was released on the market, it revolutionized how we apply foundation. Brushes and wasteful disposable sponges became a thing of the past. All you have to do is dip your beautyblender in water and dab your foundation on for a magazine-worthy complexion. Understandably, at nearly $30, people started looking for a dupe.
The dupe: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $11.99
There's still much debate about which of the millions of beautyblender copycats is the closest dupe. Many conclusions have pointed to a little orange sponge from Real Techniques that seems to do the job. Some consumers have even made the bold statement that it is, in fact, better than beautyblender. At $12, the little sponge is a low-risk product to try out.
6. The cult favourite: Crème de La Mer Moisturizing Cream, $230
Let's be totally honest: no one but the one per cent can afford La Mer on a regular basis. The closest we can get to this extremely highbrow cream is a miniscule sample at the Holt Renfrew beauty counter. The absurdly expensive cream makes use of kelp and antioxidant-rich limes to turn the clock back. Still, La Mer has a huge following despite its price tag. Stories of its extraordinary ability to make 60-year skin look 30 are still making the rounds.
The dupe: Nivea Moisturizing Crème, $12.97
Believe it or not, this $13 cream is well known for its similarities to its $230 counterpart. Celebrities like Amber Rose have claimed the classic cream is just as great, and if you compare the ingredients, there are some eerie similarities.
7. The cult favourite: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $70
This light-medium coverage foundation has a translucent finish and is beloved amongst celebrities and professional makeup artists. The natural-looking foundation covers without looking cakey or feeling heavy and has earned its place as a cult beauty product.
The dupe: L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation, $16.96
Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation is loved because it walks the walk. It literally feels like silk on your skin and goes on weightless. A more affordable foundation that offers a similar effect is L'Oreal's True Match Foundation. There are some minor differences, including a slightly heavier formula, but with a price tag that's only a fraction of the cost, it's definitely worth a try.
8. The cult favourite: Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, $23
Anastasia Beverly Hills has become renowned for their brow products. Dipbrow Pomade is one of their most popular items that has definitely reached cult status. While most brow products fade after a few hours or melt away in the hot sun, Dipbrow stays put and the actual product lasts a lifetime.
The dupe: e.l.f. Lock on Liner and Brow Cream, $11.92
Brows frame your face so you don't want to skip them in your daily makeup routine. Purchasing Dipbrow on a regular basis can be pricey, but lucky for you, e.l.f. has got you covered with their Dipbrow dupe called Lock on Liner and Brow Cream that retails for a mere $12.
9. The cult favourite: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $25
Have you ever come home after a long day to realize your perfectly applied cat eye has dispersed into some form of inkblot image? Most of us have and that's why Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner needed to put a stop to this makeup tragedy. The brand's Tattoo Liner is a bestseller and doesn't dare move even when you're sweating bullets in the summer.
The dupe: Nyx Epic Ink Liner, $12
Like Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner, Nyx Epic Ink Liner offers a similar satin finish. They're both applied via brush tip and legend has it, this much cheaper version lasts all day without a sad, smudgy ending. Bonus points are given to Nyx for offering more product in their Epic Ink Liner.
10. The cult favourite: YSL Touche Éclat Radiance Perfecting Pen, $51
This signature gold pen can be found in every beauty enthusiast's makeup bag. It's the gold standard in highlighting and illuminating without using shimmer. Launched in 1992, Touche Éclat has endured and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The only problem with this OG cult product is that it retails for a whopping $51.
The dupe: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, $12.99
Illuminating and highlighting is a recent trend, so we're not surprised that an onslaught of products have popped up to challenge the original. One of those challengers is Maybelline's Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. Both products come in a similar pen format, using light reflecting particles to instantly brighten up your features.
11. The cult favourite: Urban Decay Naked Palette, $66
The Urban Decay Naked Palette became an instant hit when it originally launched. People raved about the neutral shades and how beautifully they worked together. Reviews also make note of how blendable and pigmented the shadows are. Despite all the new coveted palettes coming out from rival brands, Urban Decay's Naked Palette still reigns supreme.
The dupe: Maybelline New York The Nudes Palette, $13.96
It's hard to find an exact dupe for eyeshadow palettes because numerous shades are included and rarely match up exactly with the product you're trying to mimic. However, the Naked Palette is so revered by the entire makeup community that others (naturally) have attempted to copy it. Maybelline New York's The Nudes Palette is one such example. The shades are almost identical, but reviewers have noted that it's not quite as pigmented as the original.
12. The cult favourite: Clarisonic Face Brush, $169+
The Clarisonic Supersonic Face Brush became the holy grail of skincare devices and inspired numerous knock-offs. The oscillating brush that cleans out your pores and leaves you with radiant skin is what helped it stand out from other exfoliating brushes. It's been around for some time, but like fellow cult products, it hasn't lost any steam.
The dupe: Conair True Glow Brush, $89.99
There are quite a few dupes for the Clarisonic, but one that keeps popping up is the Conair True Glow. Both brushes utilize oscillating technology. The only major difference is the Conair iteration has three speeds as opposed to the Clarisonic's two.
13. The cult favourite: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $46
If you love to splurge on hair products, you've probably spent many a dollar on the pricey but worth-it texturizing spray from Oribe. Consumers swear by the product's ability to give hair instant volume and of course, texture. The dilemma? It costs nearly $50 per can.
The dupe: Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray, $18
It's not super cheap, but Rusk's dupe for Oribe's texture spray is less than half the price. Much like Oribe's version, this wallet-friendly product does roughly the same thing, adding volume, shape and texture without turning your hair crispy.
14. The cult favourite: Anastasia Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit, $123
The search was on for the best highlighter on the market — the one that made your cheekbones as high as Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent." The winner and newly minted cult product is arguably the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit. The six metallic shimmery powders offer a level of luminosity reserved for Disney princesses and a price point to match.
The dupe (sort of): Colour Pop Gimme More Highlighter Palette, $22
Admittedly, there's not a lot out there that can match the pigment and luminosity of ABH's Glow Kits. It's truly a unique product that has earned its place in highlight history. The only product that comes close is Colour Pop's Gimme More Highlighter Palette. While the shades are not exactly the same, they offer a similar effect. We can only hope and pray that e.l.f or Nyx has something up their sleeve for 2018.
15. The cult favourite: Essie Ballet Slipper, $10
Essie is sold in drugstores, but it's on the higher end as nail polishes go. At $10 a bottle, you can certainly find something cheaper. The brand's popular shade, Ballet Slipper, has become a cult product for an interesting reason — it's famous for being neutral. As far as natural colours are concerned, Essie's Ballet Slipper is a runaway favourite.
The dupe: L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche in How Romantic, $4.99
Let's just say you won't be able to tell the difference unless you do a side-by-side comparison of these two polishes. L'Oreal Paris' How Romantic polish even looks similar in the bottle and is nearly half the price of Essie's Ballet Slipper.
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