Drugstore Makeup Dupes That Are Just As Good As Luxury

Drugstore makeup dupes are everywhere. If you’ve got your pulse on the beauty industry or scrolled any TikTok beauty threads lately, you’ve likely heard makeup lovers rave about cult favorites like Nars Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, or the Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb. And just in case you’re wondering, these makeup products are as good as they say. But stocking up on these high-end holy-grail finds can get expensive.

The good news: There are often drugstore products that do a comparable job at half the price—you just need to know which ones are the hidden gems. 

Foundation

Nars Light Reflecting Foundation gives you a natural finish. Although it’s a splurge, the flawless base layer and full coverage are well worth the price.

L’Oreal Infallible gives you a great matte finish. You might be worried that a foundation that holds this well will be heavy, but we find it to be breathable and lightweight. It goes on smoothly (and once you apply it, it’s there to stay for the long haul). 

Filter

Charlotte Tilbury has become one of the most popular beauty brands over the past few years, and the Flawless Filter is particularly famous on #beautytok. It provides sheer coverage, a beautiful glow, and it’s a great foundation for oily skin. 

According to TikTok’s Mikayla Nogueria (and other makeup influencers), E.L.F’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter is an exact dupe for the CT’s Flawless Filter. She says, “There is pretty much zero difference.” If you’re looking to save money on this step of your makeup routine but still want a glowy, sheer look with adaptable shade coverage, try the E.L.F. option.  

Concealer

Nars’s radiant creamy concealer seems like everyone’s go-to concealer, especially for dark circles. When shopping for a new concealer, my Sephora advisor pointed me into Nars territory. The product lives up to its name and is indeed creamy. It goes on easily and conceals for hours at a time without having to reapply. 

When it comes to drugstore products, Revlon is one of the best drugstore brands. Its Photo Ready Candid concealer is one of the best drugstore concealers because it provides long-lasting and brightening coverage. You can build it up or use it sparingly for light application, and similar to the Nars version, it has a creamy formula.

Blush

If you’re looking for a glowing, bright blush, look no further than Ilia’s multi-stick. It brightens cheeks with beautiful pink and red hues, and the shades can be layered depending on how many colors you’re looking for. The wide range of colors means there are options for many different skin tones. Bonus: You can use it as a lip tint or eyeshadow if you want.

Fan-favorite E.L.F makes a similar multi-stick that makes for a great blush. This blendable stick goes on easily for a shimmery finish, and the product is so creamy that it’s almost indistinguishable from its luxury sister. And, similarly to Ilia, this stick can be used for more than just blush.

Mascara

Lancôme’s Lash-Lifting and Volumizing Mascara helps you achieve that false-lash look with the swoop of a wand; it’s a high-end mascara that will help lift and lengthen your lashes. It stays on long and doesn’t smudge.  

A few months ago, I wandered into Ulta before a wedding, needing a great mascara—but I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. The Ulta advisor immediately brought me the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara and WOW—I was impressed. It’s been my go-to for dramatic, long lashes ever since. My lashes appear 10 times longer, and the formula goes on clump-free. I recently got my makeup done professionally and was delighted to see the makeup artist was using this product too.  

Eyebrows

Anastasia Strong Hold Brow Gel has grown in popularity as folks try to achieve the “clean girl aesthetic.” This brow gel does a great job of wisping brows up and making sure stray hairs stay in place.

When it comes to brow gel, the most important aspect is that eyebrows stay where they need to stay. The E.L.F. Cosmetics Brow Lift won a 2022 Health Beauty Award this year because it helps brows stay put all day long. The gel goes on smooth and clear and stays on all day. 

Eyeliner

Cult-favorite Stila eyeliner is a classic for a reason. This liquid liner stays put all day long and stays on through sweat, tears, rain—you name it. 

Maybelline’s budget-friendly eyeliner gives us a similarly thin tip and lasts for hours. The pen applicator makes it easy to do a super-thin line, or layer it for a thicker, more dramatic look.

Eyeshadow

Tarte’s Tartelette Eyeshadow Palette features both matte and shimmery neutral hues. With colors that look good on pretty much everyone, this palette is highly versatile. Meanwhile, Amazonian clay in the formula makes the shadows smooth without being chalky.

NYX’s eyeshadow palette features almost identical neutral colors for a fraction of the cost, and the blendable formula allows for easy application. And the 16 colors (Tarte only has 12!) make it easy to use this for everyday wear, a night out, and everything in between. 

Lip Gloss

One of the many gifts that Rihanna has blessed us with is Fenty Beauty, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer helps you achieve Riri’s glossy lip look in a single swipe. 

But I’ll be honest: Lip gloss is one of the places I look to save money in my makeup routine. I am usually reapplying it a few times throughout my day (after meals, after happy hour, you get it). Beauty By Artrice on TikTok let me in on a great secret: Revlon’s Super Lustrous The Gloss is an amazing, affordable version of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb. The shades are great, leave lips shiny, and don’t break the bank.

Lip Balm

Absolutely no other lip balm can touch La Mer The Lip Balm. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but if you have inherently dry skin, it’s so worth it. While you often have to reapply lip balm, this product is so moisturizing that you will find yourself using it sparingly. Its glossy finish is a nice cherry-on-top too. 

That said, Aquaphor lip balm never disappoints. This multipurpose balm is a classic because of its intense hydration powers. At just under $5 and available on Amazon, it’s a must-have for any person looking for softer, more moisturized lips.

Bronzer

While shopping at Sephora once, I asked a beauty advisor if they had a popular bronzer in stock; they did not, but she pointed me in the direction of Rose Inc and said that this would be the next viral product. I immediately bought it, and the purchase did not disappoint. I apply Solar Infuzion Moisturizing Cream Bronzer around the frame of my face and cheekbones, and it gives me the perfect bronzed look. It’s a cream bronzer rather than powder, and its creamy texture makes it easy to add layers or keep it simple. 

But Physicians Formula takes drugstore bronzer to a new level. The ingredient-conscious brand created a bronzer that is lightweight and buttery. Similar to Rose Inc, it’s easy to apply and leaves you looking like you just returned from that yacht trip in Mykonos.

Highlighter

Selena Gomez is one of the many celebrities that have recently come out with makeup lines, but she seems to have done something right: Rare Beauty continues rising in popularity and has become a favorite of makeup connoisseurs. The Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlighter provides a nice glow without being too shiny. Thanks to its applicator stick, it goes on smoothly and is a great finishing touch for any makeup routine.

Made with shimmering pearl pigments, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter offers a similar buildable glow. For a fraction of the price, it helps me shine in all the right places and complements any foundation and blush I pair it with.

Sunscreen

The most important part of any makeup routine? A high-quality sunscreen. Dermatologists and makeup artists agree that SPF is an essential step, and EltaMD’s formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends easily under makeup. (If you want skin care and makeup all in one, they have a tinted sunscreen version as well!)

Aveeno’s face SPF is just as refreshing and lightweight as EltaMD’s solution. This SPF is made with nourishing prebiotic oats to help you feel moisturized and protected under your makeup. It’s non-greasy (goodbye, oily skin!), hydrating, and will help you save a few bucks while protecting your skin.

SELF

The 11 Best Dupes For The Viral Dior Lip Glow Oil

First, TikTok became obsessed with the classic Clinique Black Honey lipstick leading to it selling out everywhere. Now people have their sights set on yet another classic product: The Dior Lip Glow Oil. It’s currently sold out mostly everywhere, but never fear: As a lip gloss connoisseur, I’m here to offer you an option that doesn’t require signing up for waiting lists. As gorgeous as the original Dior Lip Glow Oil is, $35 is a pretty hefty price tag for a high-shine lip moisturizer, so we’ve gathered up some alternatives that are just as gorgeous, shiny, more affordable, and most importantly, in stock.

Whether you’re obsessed with the tint, glossy effects, or built-in hydrating ingredients, there are a ton of products on the market that rival Dior’s version. Some, dare I say it, are better than the original. So if you want to see what the hype is all about, or score a great new product before the youths make it disappear again, here are 11 dupes for the Dior Lip Glow Oil that will tide you ever until a restock happens.

HAUS LABS PhD Hybrid Lip Oil

Created by powerhouse genius Lady Gaga, this lip oil will leave your lips feeling hydrated and looking glowy, but never sticky. Once the original application fades, you’re left with a subtle tint that lasts all day.

GISOU Honey Infused Lip Oil

Hyaluronic acid both hydrates and plumps dry lips while real honey in the formula attracts moisture to ensure that lips don’t dry out over time.

LYS BEAUTY Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil

A blend of sunflower, carrot, sweet almond, and macadamia nut oils are the powerhouses behind this deeply moisturizing clean lip treatment from a Black-owned brand.

KOSAS Wet Lip Oil Gloss

For intense amounts of shine, this lip gloss from Kosas will leave your lips looking juicy, luxurious, and straight out of an editorial ad.

CLARINS Lip Comfort Oil

Think of this oil as a mood ring for your lips. Five of the eight shades the tint comes in reacts to the pH of your skin and adjusts accordingly, creating a hue that’s all your own. Despite the rich tones in the bottle, the gloss doles out a sheer finish that looks effortlessly done.

TOWER28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss

While this may look like your standard-issue lip gloss, it’s more like a lip balm but with an extra dose of shine and color. This gloss comes in four stunning, neutral shades, and never feels sticky or heavy.

ELF Tinted Lip Oil

Infused with hydrating jojoba oil, vitamin E, and apricot oil, this tinted lip moisturizer will make your mouth look like is your lips but better. Plus, with a $6 price tag, you can grab all five shades guilt-free.

MERIT Shade Slick Vegan Tinted Lip Oil

Merit’s version of this trendy product is so easy, you can apply it without even looking in a mirror. The formula taps rosehip and jojoba oils, and shea butter, to give your lips a dose of hydration as it glistens.

MILANI Fruit Fetish Lip Oil

The delicious scents of Passionfruit Coconut, Strawberry Melon, Raspberry Peach, and Cherry Lime were inspired by the yummiest fruits in the produce section. All four shades are made with natural fruit extracts alongside hydrating vitamin E and jojoba oil. One swipe will leave you with shiny, glowing lips that taste as good as they smell.

ILIA Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil

For the subtlest shine, this clean lip oil leaves just a hint of color, without feeling too made up or glossy. It’s the best product for a “Your lips but better” look.

RODIN Luxury Lip & Cheek Oil

For a double dose of shine, you can use this tinted oil on both your lips and your cheeks. The deep berry shade also doubles as a shinier dupe of the viral Clinique Black Honey lipstick.

ELLE

KVD Shade and Light Eye Contour VS. Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade Eyeshadow Palette

By now it’s no secret that Makeup Revolution jumps on the newest and most popular release (typically from a high-end beauty brand) to recreate their own as an alternative. The biggest issue with this practice is the fact that said “dupe” products come out looking identical in layout and packaging. At this point there isn’t a brand that Makeup Revolution hasn’t copied from.

Here I will discuss the KVD Vegan Beauty (formerly known as Kat Von D Beauty) Shade and Light Eye Contour eyeshadow palette versus Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade eyeshadow palette.

The formula of KVD’s shadows is extremely soft and silky to the touch, very easy to blend, and lasts on the eyes all day long. Makeup Revolution’s formula is just a tad drier, but not by much, making the two products nearly identical but at a competitive price of $46USD vs. $10USD.

Buy KVD Shade and Light Eye Contour eyeshadow palette
Buy Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade eyeshadow palette

12 Best Drugstore Eyeshadows That Start At Just $5

Of all the products in your makeup bag, the one that allows you to show the most creativity is your eyeshadow. The colored powders in those little pans highlight the most expressive part of your face. The looks you dream up can be anything from subtle to glam, and eyeshadows come in every color to match any mood or outfit. However, palettes can get pretty pricey. That’s where drugstores come in. 

Affordable brands like Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, NYX, and more make shadows that stack up to the quality of high-end brands—and sometimes even out-perform them. Although drugstore eyeshadows used to be entry-level products beauty lovers first experimented with in middle school, they’re now staples in the makeup kits of professional artists and beauty influencers alike.

  • Maybelline Total Temptation Eyeshadow + Highlight Palette

    Patrick Ta, go-to makeup artist of Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, and Shay Mitchell, thinks that this palette is “the perfect drugstore eyeshadow option.” He loves the blendability of the shades and says you can create both natural and smokey eye looks with it. Plus, the metallic shades double as face highlighters so you can glow all over.
  • ColourPop Give It To Me Straight Palette

    For a bronze smokey eye, Henney says that there is no palette better than this one. She loves that the metallic tones work to give the center of the eye a pop. She also regularly brings it when she is doing makeup for swimwear campaigns because it creates when she calls a “beach babe eye.”
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow 10-Pan Palette

    You can’t really go wrong with a $5 eyeshadow palette, especially when the quality is as good as this one is. It comes in four different shade ranges so you can select the one that best fits your mood, or collect them all—for less than the price of one high-end palette. Makeup artist and YouTuber @RawBeautyKristi says that these palettes are a go-to of hers when she needs something both affordable and quality, and emphasizes that Wet N Wild is an “underrated drugstore brand.”
  • Karity Nudes and Rudes

    Bartlett also reaches for this palette when she needs to create a neutral look. She loves that each of the shadows are highly pigmented and blendable, and it comes with 21 total hues in the palette. It’s versatile enough to create both natural and dramatic looks.
  • Maybelline The Burgundy Bar Eyeshadow Palette Makeup

    Celebrity makeup artist and #DewyDumpling Instagram phenomenon Nam Vo, who works with everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Kylie Jenner, uses this palette to create what she describes a “warm dumpling eye,” because the entire set is subtly metallic and warm-toned.
  • NYX Professional Makeup Prismatic Eyeshadow

    Vo is also partial to this metallic baby pink shadow single. She gently taps it into the center of the lid to give a glossy shock of glitter to any eye look, especially when she wants to give off a sweet, “innocent” vibe.
  • E.l.f. Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette

    Beauty YouTuber and founder of Dominique Cosmetics, Christen Dominique, loves how the shadows in this palette are buildable in coverage and are universally flattering on a variety of skin tones. It also comes in sleek black packaging that will look great both in a makeup flatlay and sitting on your vanity countertop.
  • Milani Bold Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette

    Beauty influencer Foinika Kay—also known as @ExteriorGlam—says this palette is one of the best ones that she owns. Though it falls on the pricier side of drugstore palettes, she loves how pigmented it is, and that the shades are so different that you can create a plethora of fun looks.
  • BH Cosmetics Opalescent 24 Color Shadow Palette

    Kay also really loves this BH palette for its long-lasting power. It has a ton of neutral shades ranging from golds to pinks, and it even has a few purples thrown in, so you can go for a more neutral, soft-glam look.
  • NYX Swear By It Shadow Palette

    Beauty influencer and musician Bri Hall swears by this palette, pun intended. The color diversity, as well as the mix of textures and finishes, makes it an easy go-to for the makeup lover on-the-go. She loves that it has a combination of warm and cool tones, and regularly reaches for this palette whenever she’s in a pinch.

ELLE article

Colourpop’s 9-Pan Eyeshadow Palettes

ColourPop’s 9-pan palettes have taken the makeup world by storm; from monochromatic color stories to complementing colors that make great looks – they’ve got it all. At this point it’s safe to say there are over 20 of this style of palette made by ColourPop, with new releases every week!

Each collection has a cute pun-ny name and usually comes with blushes, highlighters, lip glosses, lipsticks, and even some of their FourthRayBeauty or SOLBody products.

The palettes I own:
MAR (part of SOL + MAR Collection)
Uh-huh Honey
Main Squeeze
– Brown Sugar (not available on the website)
Strawberry Shake

The formula is incredible, and not just for the price. The shadows are pigmented, easily bendable, and last all day long on the eyes with the right eyeshadow primer. More than half of the palettes in this shape come with at least one pressed glitter, which may turn some makeup lovers away from the product.

Overall, these shadows and color stories sometimes resemble their expensive counterparts very precisely (HUDA Beauty), while others have their own unique color story.

At $12USD, 10/10 recommend!

Have you tried these palettes? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments below!

Too Faced Natural Nudes VS. Maybelline Nudes of New York

When Too Faced released their (yet another) version of a nude eyeshadow palette called Natural Nudes in January 2020, so did Maybelline with a drugstore dupe that released in the same month. Since makeup products take at least 6-8 months to create, formulate, and begin production, it’s highly suspicious that such similar palettes released in the same month. Who knows who was snooping on who!

Interesting to note, both brands describe their palette as “made for universal shades and complexions“. Both have 16 shades with a good range of mattes and shimmers.

The Too Faced palette is said to be infused with coconut water, alpine rose & hualuronic acid, which gives it a slight sweet scent and softer blendability. Whereas the Maybelline palette is a tad drier, with key ingridients being Talc, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride & Zinc Stearate.

Well, I tested them both out for myself and I can say that they’re VERY similar in pigmentation and wearability. Of course, use a good eyeshadow primer to prolong the wear of any eyeshadow. Shimmer shades can be amplified by spraying the brush with the product with a setting spray (MAC’s Fix Plus is the best for this step) before applying onto the eye.

Purchase Maybelline Nudes Of New York eyeshadow palette
Purchase Too Faced Natural Nudes eyeshadow palette

Have you tried either of these palettes? What do you think of the fact that they released during the same month with an identical concept? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

Drugstore Dupes for Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

  • Covergirl Trublend Undercover Concealer – Conceal, shape and brighten with this new full coverage concealer. The large, fluffy doe applicator ensures an easy, even application and the velvety, smooth formula leaves behind a matte finish that lasts all day. With 30 shades that match 99% of skin tones, it’s easy to find your perfect hue.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Concealer – This soft-matte concealer has a slightly creamier texture compared to Shape Tape’s drier formula, so naturally, it’s a winner for concealing undereye discoloration without settling into fine lines or looking dry. But this budge-proof and shine-controlling concealer still lives up to its long-wearing promises. Once it sets down, this product stays in place the majority of the day and it won’t smear or fade—even through a sweaty spin class.
  • L’Oreal Infallible Full Wear Concealer – This drugstore drop is another almost-identical dupe, from its extra-large doe to the formula. Like most of their complexion products in the Infallible line, this matte concealer-contour cream hybrid also lives up to its long-wearing claims. However, because we don’t sleep in our makeup (a beauty no-no), we can’t attest to a 24 hour wear time. It does, however, hold beautifully for a solid 10-12 hours.
  • ELF 16 Hour Camo Concealer – This full-coverage concealer is probably the closest dupe to the Shape Tape and it’s only $5. It only launched last year and has already achieved an impressive fan following. It’s formulated with a similarly lightweight matte formula and pigment-rich full coverage finish that doesn’t look heavy under the eyes.
  • Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer (not shown but used up!) – This beauty guru-approved concealer was one of the first products touting a nearly identical formula to Shape Tape’s, going viral in the beauty sphere after its initial launch. Similar to the Shape Tape, Revolution’s concealer is highly pigmented and matte so you can attain full coverage without having to build up a ton of product and avoid the dreaded cakey effect from multiple layers.

Do you use any of these concealers? What are your other favourites? Let me know in the comments below!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palettes Dupes

With Urban Decay expanding their Naked eyeshadow palette line at an increasingly high speed, the collectors mentality comes to a halt for many beauty lovers. With the release of Naked Cherry and Naked Heat, drugstore brands Makeup Revolution and Rimmel London lost no time in making affordable quality dupes for those palettes. I’m still waiting for them to dupe the Naked Honey!

Here is the Naked Cherry and Makeup Revolution & Rimmel London dupes:

Here is the Naked Heat and Makeup Revolution & Rimmel London dupes:

Formula comparison: Makeup Revolution eyeshadows are slightly more pigmented and blendable, but do have quite a bit of fallout so tap off the excess from the brush before applying and do your eye makeup first. The Rimmel London eyeshadow formula is less pigmented, but allows for color buildup with less fallout.

Have you tried these palettes? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!