The Best Money-Saving Beauty Dupes

There are two types of people in the world: those who appreciate and admire high-end beauty products and those who don’t see the point in shelling out all that cash on something as “trivial” as beauty. While I fall on the former end of the spectrum, I absolutely understand both sides. I was once someone who would never spend over $15 on a facial cleanser, and truth be told, I still wince at the cash register every time I purchase my favorite high-end shampoo and conditioner.

Luckily, we don’t necessarily have to adhere to either side anymore. The beauty industry is booming (yes!! *happy dance*) with new product launches every single day and more brands than we can even imagine. On top of that, more people are becoming interested in the beauty industry, whether they’re viewing makeup and hair as an art, they’ve finally been able to find products that work for them (thank you, Fenty Beauty!), or they’re starting to see that it doesn’t have to be a daily chore.

Obviously, I’m pretty beauty-obsessed, which has led me to spend my free time researching products and spending basically anything I have left over from my bills on testing things for myself. Through my extensive research (the Sephora and Ulta websites are basically engraved into my keyboard), I’ve found that these are the closest dupes out there for some of the best products in the game. So, whether you’re keen on investing in your high-end staples or prefer to spend your coin elsewhere (or just like to try new products without breaking the bank — we get it!), these are my top recommendations.

 

Primer

SPLURGE

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

This smoothing primer took the beauty world by storm when it released last year. Tatcha has been a favorite skincare brand for many (their Dewy Skin Mist was popularized by Kim KW herself!), and their first makeup product doesn't disappoint. This primer makes your pores basically undetectable and makes your foundation look like its FaceTuned (in a good way!).

BUDGET

ELF Cosmetics Poreless Putty Primer

ELF is known for their low prices, but their products deliver just as well as high-end options out there. It glides onto the skin easily, filling in every pore in the process.

 

 

Face Oil

SPLURGE

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

This facial oil is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness, and wrinkles, making it a staple in the skincare collections of so many people. I love this product because it contains zero essential oils (which can be irritating when applied topically), silicones, or fragrances. It's simply pure, high-quality Marula oil.

BUDGET

The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

The Ordinary never disappoints, and this facial oil is no exception. When I first started using the Lactic Acid from TO, my skin was not handling the dryness well. I picked this up to help add a layer of moisture, and it made my skin look as good as new after one use.

 

 

Highlighter

SPLURGE

Dior Diorskin Nude Luminizer Shimmering Glow Powder

These Dior highlighters are no joke. First of all, imagine this sitting on your vanity. It's that little piece of luxury some of us just crave. The product inside is the real star of the show, though. These highlighters give the skin an insane amount of radiance without ever looking unnatural or cakey. They glide onto the skin and contain no glitter or heavy shimmers. It's just a blinding sheen that blends seamlessly into any foundation or other powder products you have underneath it.

BUDGET

Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder

I've discussed my love for this highlighter a few times, but I'll take any chance I have to talk about it again. They have a bunch of colors for all skin tones, the price is amazing, and the formula never looks powdery or chalky on the face. It looks like you're a glowing goddess from above, and I'm in love. If you're intrigued by the Dior highlighters but aren't sure if you can handle the price tag, these have similar shades (I love Precious Petals!) and almost the exact same texture. I find the Dior is just a little more glowy, but the difference is honestly minimal.

 

 

Lip Liner

SPLURGE

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk

The Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lip liner is basically an A-list celebrity on its own. The cult following around this lip liner is outrageous, but if you've tried it, you'll understand why. It's somehow the most perfect beige-pink shade that looks good on almost every skin tone. You can wear this liner under gloss or lipstick or as a lip color on its own, and it always looks good.

BUDGET

NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Peek-A-Boo Natural

I'll be honest, this isn't technically a formula dupe. The CT liner has a creamy formula that glides onto the lips like buttah. However, this color is basically spot-on, and if you're not picky about liners, the formula is still great for wearing under gloss or other lip products! I own a bunch of shades of these liners, and they're awesome for the price.

 

 

Liquid Blush

SPLURGE

Glossier Cloud Paint

I'm known as a Glossier Girl™️ by many of my friends because I'm a sucker for their entire brand. I buy practically every product they come out with like it's a disease. One of my absolute favorites has always been the Cloud Paint. This unique cream/liquid blush formula never looks cakey on my skin, and I love that it doesn't emphasize any of the texture on my cheeks.

BUDGET

Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops

Flower Beauty has recently become my favorite brand at the drugstore because they're coming up with innovative and unique formulas. These cream blushes have a very similar shade range to the Glossier ones, but they have an even lighter, gel-like texture and look even more glowy on the skin.

 

 

Beauty Sponge

SPLURGE

beautyblender The Original Sponge

The OG beauty blender sponge is honestly a part of makeup history. This product reimagined the sponges used by makeup artists and ultimately transformed the way everyday women apply their makeup. (I'm a makeup nerd, I'm so sorry.) Use for foundation, concealer, baking, cream blush and bronzer, contour — the possibilities are pretty much endless for this product.

BUDGET

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

There's the OG Beauty Blender, and then there's the OG dupe Beauty Blender! This Real Techniques sponge has the most similar texture and bounciness to the Beauty Blender, and it's less than half the price. I stock up on these every time they go on sale!

 

 

Hydrating Mask

SPLURGE

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

The Jet Lag Mask took over our Instagram feeds last summer, but the product inside is just as good as the packaging. Our entire team is obsessed with this product, whether as a hydrating wash-off mask, a sleeping mask, or as a really thick moisturizer.

BUDGET

Lano Face Base Aussie Flyer Mask

This newly-released Lano mask has a similar texture for half the price of the Summer Fridays mask. While I can't deny the Summer Fridays is a pretty one to have in your skincare collection, this one definitely does the trick on a budget.

 

 

Exfoliating Mask

SPLURGE

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial Mask

This is another TEG favorite product. Both our editors and readers can't get enough of Drunk Elephant, and this is the perfect exfoliating mask. Use this once a week and your skin will look and feel better by morning.

BUDGET

No7 Laboratories Resurfacing Skin Paste Mask

While this isn't an exact ingredient dupe for the Babyfacial, it has the same exfoliating and softening effect on the skin. This mask is filled with AHAs and PHAs to exfoliate, and glycerin and jojoba oil to hydrate and soften the skin. Use this mask once or twice a week to help with acne, scarring, texture, fine lines, and more.

 

 

Setting Powder

SPLURGE

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow

I'm a skeptic when it comes to setting powders. I have quite dry, textured skin, so I've never come across a powder that doesn't make me look like the Sahara desert. Well, until I tried this one. It has gold-tinted shimmers throughout that blend onto the skin, giving it a glow that never looks dry.

BUDGET

Flower Beauty Miracle Glow Satin Finishing Powder

This is the same principle: it's a glowy setting powder that doesn't look dry or matte on the skin. I honestly prefer the budget product in this instance because the shimmer is less noticeable on the skin and blends in even easier. If you have dry under eyes, this is the perfect setting powder.

 

 

Dry Shampoo

SPLURGE

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Finding a good dry shampoo can be a challenge sometimes, so when you find one that works, you usually stick with it. This one is a best-seller for a reason. It makes the scalp actually feel clean rather than just masking all the oil.

BUDGET

Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo

Because I use dry shampoo every other day, it's hard to justify a high price tag because I'm constantly repurchasing it. This is just as good as any high-end dry shampoo I've ever tried. It leaves my hair feeling fresh and clean, allowing me to go days between washes!

 

 

Brow Pencil

SPLURGE

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil

I went nuts when this product first launched and swore off buying anything else for my brows for a while. I prefer a teardrop shape to fill in my sparse brows quickly, and this was just about the only one on the market that had both the perfect shade and formula for my eyebrows. If you've been using a regular eyebrow pencil forever and want to try something new, this product practically revived my brows from the dead when I first tried it.

BUDGET

Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil

Because brow products are another one of those that gets repurchased a lot, it's not a bad idea to have a drugstore option you love. This has the same teardrop shape and a very similar formula to the Benefit at a much lower price tag. The color selection isn't as vast as Benefit (who just expanded their shade range even more!), but I would definitely recommend if you can find a shade for you.

 

 

Concealer

SPLURGE

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

This is another cult classic makeup product. It's the perfect creamy, radiant (as the name would suggest!) concealer for covering up under eye circles, bags, or blemishes. It never gets cakey or dry, so it's a dependable choice for day-to-day wear and special occasions.

BUDGET

NYX Professional Makeup Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand

If you're looking for a concealer that is creamy, medium coverage, and budget-friendly, this is a great drugstore option. It has the same radiant, natural finish of the NARS and blends just as easily into the skin or into any foundations or BB creams you're wearing underneath.

 

 

Scalp Scrub

SPLURGE

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo

Product build-up could be the reason your hair looks flat and weighed down. This scalp scrub removes all of that! It has peppermint, which is cooling and refreshing on the scalp; charcoal to remove build-up and oil from the scalp, as well as coconut oil to moisturize the hair.

BUDGET

Kyn. Scalp Scrub Charcoal + Coconut

This new scalp scrub has all those same ingredients we love in the Briogeo at a much affordable cost. It detoxifies and exfoliates the scalp while leaving the rest of the hair moisturized and soft. This product is also vegan and cruelty-free!

 

 

Mascara

SPLURGE

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

You can't go wrong with Better Than Sex mascara. No flakes, no smudges, no clumps — just a great mascara for every day wear!

BUDGET

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

This L'Oreal mascara is almost an exact dupe for the Too Faced. It gives the same fluttery looks to the lashes without any of the stuff we hate about mascara. I have started keeping one of these in my purse for touch-ups because the price is affordable enough to replace if it gets lost!

 

 

  • I really would like to try the NYX concealer, I heard good stuff about it!!

    Miki | http://littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.com/