As much as I love beauty products (and I love them with my whole heart and soul), I also like to save money sometimes. Luxury products are nice and all, but there are instances where it doesn’t have to be a “quality over quantity” debate because the quality of the drugstore products is just as good. All beauty lovers love a good beauty dupe — I mean, saving $15 by buying the drugstore version of your favorite brow pencil? Sounds pretty good to us!
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But what about products that aren’t necessarily dupes, but work similarly? They might not have the same formula or the same shades, and they might work a little different (more coverage, less shine, different application, etc.), but they give the same effect for a much lower price. Consider this a beauty version of this or that, except it’s not really “or,” but rather “and.” This article has officially been alternatively titled “Beauty This and That.” Don’t worry, I did all the leg work, you just get to sit back and read about beauty products. Lucky you.
Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
It's no secret we're huge Drunk Elephant fans here. Not only are their products clean, not tested on animals, and made with amazing ingredients, they seriously work. This cleansing balm removes all makeup (we're talking waterproof mascara and those liquid lipsticks that seem to never come off) without irritating your eyes or leaving a greasy, gross residue on the skin.
The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm
Whether the DE isn't in your price range or you're looking for a travel-friendly alternative, this cleansing balm does the trick. It isn't as luxe feeling as the Drunk Elephant, but it does the job it's meant to do without causing foggy vision or leaving any makeup behind.
Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter
These highlighters have a cult following because they're soft and shiny without looking glittery. You can take this highlighter from natural to blinding pretty easily, and it comes in so many shades for all skin tones.
Strobelight Instant Glow Powder
If you love the shiny look of the Becca highlighters, these Milani powders give a similar look. Instead of looking overly metallic and powdery, these give a wet look to the skin. There aren't any glitters, but rather a sheen that catches the light every time you move your face.
Midnight Recovery Concentrate
This oil is a miracle worker. You apply it at bedtime, and it magically transforms your skin while you sleep. We don't know how or why, but we're not going to question its magic.
Now that The Ordinary has launched this oil, our Kiehl's has moved over just a little in our medicine cabinets to make room for this guy. It contains a blend of some of the best oils you can put on your skin (rosehip, squalane, marula, argan, and more) that work together to reduce fine lines, redness, and irritation and hydrate and add suppleness to the skin. If you're interested in the Kiehl's but the pricetag deters you, add this one to your cart ASAP.
Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette
Who doesn't have a Naked palette in their collection? These palettes are quintessential on a makeup lovers vanity. The "Heat" palette has gorgeous warm tones that look good on everyone. These shades are great year-round, but we especially love them in the fall and holiday months.
California Love Eyeshadow Palette
If warm tones are your thing, this palette is a necessity in your collection. I'm obsessed with the Colourpop eyeshadow formula; it's inexpensive, but the shadows perform just as well as any of my high-end palettes. The shimmers and glitters in this palette will shine (pun intended) this holiday season!
Volumizing Hair Spray
Instead of a simple hairspray, this Ouai one actually helps add volume to your style. It basically acts as a hairspray and volumizing spray in one!
Compressed Micro Mist Boost Hold Level 3 Hair Spray
I picked this hairspray up on a whim a few months ago, and I love it for hairstyles that I'm trying to add a little volume. It never gets crunchy, and I find that it holds a style while keeping the body and bounce that sometimes gets lost when you add hairspray.
Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer
This highlighting primer is a staple in a lot of our makeup routines because it adds the perfect amount of radiance to the skin without looking like you dunked your face in a pile of glitter. People refer to this primer as an Instagram filter IRL, and we can't disagree.
Spotlight Illuminating Primer
This is probably the closest dupe on this list. I tried both of these primers on opposite sides of my face once, and I couldn't even tell a difference. This has the same illuminating formula without visible glitters of shimmers, and I love that it doesn't dry down to a metallic finish like some radiant primers. Grab this one if you want to liven up dull, winter skin without a high price tag.
I have lusted after this mask since it released because, well, it smells like a pumpkin spice latte, duh. But the price has scared me away so many times. (I've said it many times, I have a hard time spending my coin on skincare... but somehow have no problems buying a $100 eyeshadow palette IDK what's wrong with me.)
So, I consulted our editor Josie to do the honors: "The overtime mask truly gives me an instant glow. It's both clarifying and brightening, since it's loaded with pumpkin and apricot seed powder to slough off dead skin cells and add a ton of antioxidants. I also love that it's clean, so I know I'm giving my skin only the best. This mask is so good, I save it for the weekends or big events because my skin always looks best after using it."
Pumpkin Powerhouse Resurfacing and Exfoliating Enzyme Face Mask
Welp, if you haven't guessed yet, I decided to pick up the dupe instead. Let me tell you, it's amazing. After reading our Intern Jess's top Target skincare picks , I was very intrigued to get into this brand. This mask left my skin baby's-butt-soft as soon as I rinsed it off, and my skin was glowing for days. If you already have the Overtime Mask and love it, you can't go wrong with the other Bliss masks!
Light Wonder Foundation
We love Charlotte Tilbury at The Everygirl. All of our editors can't be seen a day without one of her products on our faces. Everything she makes is luxe and gorgeous, but the products perform and actually look good on the skin. There's a reason Charlotte uses them on the runway! This foundation formula is unlike a lot of the others on the market. It has a natural, radiant finish that looks like you just slapped on the most luxe moisturizer. It never looks like foundation on the skin, making it one of our favorites.
Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
This foundation is one of the dewiest at the drugstore without looking greasy. It looks so natural on the skin too. If you want to look like you just stepped off the plane from three-week Aruba holiday, this is the foundation for you. It has a little more coverage than the CT one, so it would be great if you love the look of her foundation but want a little more of a flawless base. It's light enough for every day, but it could also easily work as a special occasion foundation.
Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer
Aside from the formula of this concealer, the shade range is impeccable. Leave it to Rihanna to slay the game once again, right? When this launched, everyone I knew was picking it up because Fenty has rarely done us wrong. This is a full-coverage, matte finish concealer that hides all signs of dark circles and hangovers!
I Am Magic Concealer
If we're talking about wide shade ranges, Juvia's Place has us covered too. This concealer has 24 shades ranging in various undertones and depths, so everyone can find their shade. I love that the shades are darkest-lightest too; the thought behind this release was definitely there. I could go on and on about the formula, but I'll leave it at this: say goodbye to expensive, drying concealers forever. Yeah, I said it.
Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask
This is the sheet mask to end all sheet masks. For weddings, graduations, parties, and any other special occasion, this is a great way to prep your skin for optimal makeup application the next day.
"Just Let It Glow'' Healthy Glow Sheet Mask
But what if you want the moisturized skin you get from the Tatcha mask without the high price tag? That's where this one comes in. I swear by Patchology's sheet mask collection because it actually does the job for a price tag I can actually swallow.
Initialiste Advanced Scalp & Hair Serum
Consider this a luxury salon hair treatment in the comfort of your own home. The reviews for this product are insane. Women who have dealt with hair loss for tons of different reasons (chemo, postpartum, Crohn's disease, age, and more) say this scalp treatment has helped stimulate hair growth and improve the health of their hair.
Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
If you want to try the Kerastase but don't need something quite so intense, this hair serum from The Ordinary (yes, they make hair products!) might be the perfect treatment to add to your routine. It's made with three different major ingredients to stimulate hair growth, increase hair density, and increase blood flow to the scalp. As far as reviews go, this product has tons of five-star reviews saying it helped their hair appear thicker and more voluminous immediately.