Splurge vs. Steal: 20 Amazing Drugstore Makeup Dupes


After I started my first part time job, instead of saving my minuscule paychecks like I should have, I chose to spend my earnings on all of the high-end makeup I could get my hands on. It’s true; I filtered through my fair share of Urban Decay, Mac, and Nars products. Now you will only find me in a Sephora to browse the aisles and longingly stare at the overpriced highlighters that adorn the makeup stands. Because, let’s face it, the thought of spending more than $20 (and even that is a stretch) on anything that I’m meant to put on my face and wash off at the end of the day, makes me want to cringe. The fact is that drugstore makeup is getting better and better and deserves a shot in your makeup bag just as much as that Mac lipstick does. Therefore, here is a list of 20 makeup splurges and their drugstore makeup dupes.

1. Lorac Pro Palette vs. Maybelline The Nudes Palette

I have a confession: the Lorac Pro Palette is on my makeup wishlist (and has been since I bought my first high-end eyeshadow palette), but this palette comes in at a whopping $42. While I am all for a makeup splurge, I think I’ll wait until the dough starts rolling in again to grab this, and in the meantime pick up some makeup dupes, like the Nudes palette by Maybelline for only $8.

The Maybelline Nudes Palatte is a great dupe for the Lorac Pro Palette!   The Maybelline Nudes Palatte is a great dupe for the Lorac Pro Palette!

VS.

The Maybelline Nudes Palettes are amazing makeup dupes!   The Maybelline Nudes Palettes are amazing makeup dupes!instagram.com/treschic_beauty and instagram.com/nanceglamouristagirl

2. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette vs. Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette

Ever since I saw the Naked 3 hit makeup stores, I could not stop thinking about it—I knew that I needed those rose gold shimmers in my life. But what college girl has $50+ to fork over for eyeshadow? Definitely not this one, so the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette works just as well for me right now and is under $10.

There are better makeup dupes for the Naked 3 Palette!   There are better makeup dupes for the Naked 3 Palette such as the Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette!

VS.

The Maybelline blushed Nudes Palettes are great makeup dupes!   The Maybelline blushed Nudes Palettes are great makeup dupes! instagram.com/mzvanny

3. Urban Decay Primer Potion Tube vs. Hard Candy Eyes the Limit Eyeshadow Primer

After purchasing my first Naked palette I got a taste of Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer, and let me tell you, I never knew that I needed something like eyeshadow primer until that moment. But honestly, eyeshadow primer has no business being almost $20 and after I ran out of my beloved Urban Decay, I picked up one of my favorite makeup dupes, Hard Candy’s Eyes the Limit Eyeshadow primer, for less than $5 and have never looked back.

There are cheaper makeup dupes for the Urban Decay Primer Potion!   There are cheaper makeup dupes for the Urban Decay Primer Potion!instagram.com/danisetareh and instagram.com/urbandecaycosmetics

VS.

The Hard Candy Eyeshadow Primers are great makeup dupes!   The Hard Candy Eyeshadow Primers are great makeup dupes!katesbeautybook.wordpress.com and itsricki.com

4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner vs. L’Oreal Paris Intense Felt Tip 

Sophomore year of high school I wore liquid eyeliner every single day. I could not tell you now why I did this, but something in my 15 year-old brain told me that it was the right idea. Well, thankfully I went through my fair share of expensive eyeliners and although having a Stila eyeliner on hand would be nice, $22 does not bode well with my wallet. I recently tried the L’Oreal Paris Liner Intense Felt Tip and have fallen in love (especially the price at only $7).

There are better makeup dupes for the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner!  There are better makeup dupes for the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner!instagram.com/insidemakeupbeauty

VS.

The L'Oreal Paris Liner Intense Felt Tip Liners are awesome makeup dupes!

5. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation vs. Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

I am sensing a theme for my second year of high school, and it revolves around overpriced and high end makeup purchases. I have also tried my fair share of quality foundations trying to find the perfect match. While Nars Sheer Glow Foundation seemed to me to be worth the price of $45, it was not realistic on a budget. Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation works nearly as well (with a little lighter coverage) for only $8.

There are better makeup dupes for the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation!   There are better makeup dupes for the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation!instagram.com/cosmetique.my and instagram.com/tarabec

VS.

The Maybelline Fit Me foundations are great makeup dupes!   The Maybelline Fit Me foundations are great makeup dupes!instagram.com/beautybynyasha and instagram.com/namratashruti

6. Mac ProLongwear Foundation vs. Revlon Colorstay Foundation

If I’m being honest, I am not a huge fan of Mac foundations (I may be biased because they react with my skin, but still). I tried Mac Pro Longwear foundation and while it did live up to its name, I felt that it was not worth the $33 it costs. A close second foundation—and one that I used for months—was Revlon’s Colorstay foundation for 1/3 of the cost. This might even be one the makeup dupes that I prefer over the splurge!

There are better makeup dupes for the Mac Pro Longwear foundation!   There are better makeup dupes for the Mac Pro Longwear foundation!

VS.

Revlon Colorstay Foundations are great makeup dupes!instagram.com/msbeautycouture101 and instagram.com/isilinblogu

7. Too Faced Primed and Poreless Pressed Powder vs. Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder

I have heard wonderful things about Too Faced Primed and Poreless pressed powder, but no words will ever make me give up $30 to set my makeup. I’ve been using Rimmel London’s Stay Matte pressed powder for years and at $4, it does not disappoint.

There are better makeup dupes for the Too Faced Primed and Poreless Pressed Powder! VS.  The Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powders are amazing makeup dupes!

8. Mac Fix + vs. NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

I am not a huge fan of setting sprays, but I have tried my fair share of them. While Mac’s Fix + does the job it entails, NYX Matte Finish setting spray is one of those makeup dupes that does that same EXACT job. At $32 for Fix + and only $8 for NYX, I know which I’m picking.

Nyx is a great makeup dupe alternative to Mac Fix + VS. Nyx is a great makeup dupe alternative to Mac Fix +

instagram.com/leslierhs2006 and  instagram.com/lova_lova_lviv

9. Benefit Watt’s Up Cream Highlighter vs. elf All Over Color Stick in Spotlight

Okay, I’ll admit that Benefit’s Watts Up cream highlighter is as dreamy as it sounds, but $30 for a stick of shine? Elf’s All Over Color Stick in Spotlight definitely does the trick and you can’t beat the price of $5.

There are better makeup dupes for the Benefit Watt's Up Cream Highlighter!   There are better makeup dupes for the Benefit Watt's Up Cream Highlighter!benefitcosmetics.com and instagram.com/9amshopper

VS.

The e.l.f. all over color sticks are great makeup dupers for highlighter   The e.l.f. all over color sticks are great makeup dupers for highlighterlaragazzadiplastica.com and instagram.com/passionforproduct

10. Nars Orgasm Blush vs. Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink Breakdown

There was a time when Nars Orgasm blush was all the hype and I’ll admit that I did fall for it and longed for my own pan of the powder; but at about $30 per pop I settled for borrowing my best friend’s. While this blush was beautiful, Milani’s Baked Blush in Dolce Pink Breakdown is almost an exact match for Orgasm, and under $8.

There are better makeup dupes for the Nars Orgasm Blush! VS. There are better makeup dupes for the Nars Orgasm Blush such as the Milani baked blush!

11. Mac “Russian Red” Lipstick vs. Revlon “Really Red” Lipstick

One of my favorite Pinterest past times is looking through lipstick dupes (is that weird?) and I have come across a gem. This has got to be one of my favorite makeup dupes. I’m always looking for a good red lipstick and Mac’s Russian Red, which comes in at $25, has an amazing dupe; Revlon Really Red at only $7. Trust me, just as beautiful, just as red.

Revlon lipsticks are great makeup dupes for the red MAC lipsticks!   Revlon lipsticks are great makeup dupes for the red MAC lipsticks!instagram.com/paulina.blog and nordstrom.com

VS.

Revlon lipsticks are great makeup dupes for the red MAC lipsticks!   Revlon lipsticks are great makeup dupes for the red MAC lipsticks!instagram.com/mrsrosales and themistymom.com

12. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil vs. Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner

I love Urban Decay, but if I’m being honest, their 24/7 Glide On eye pencil was not my favorite product and for about $20 it just wasn’t worth it. I prefer Covergirl’s Perfect Point Plus eyeliner for only $5 and I promise it glides on much better than 24/7.

There are better makeup dupes than the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eyeliner ! VS. The Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Liners are great makeup dupes for the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eyeliners!

13. YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Nude Beige vs. Maybelline ColorSensational Lipcolor in Totally Toffee

I will be caught dead before I am caught spending over $40 on a tube of lipstick—even if that tube is labeled with YSL.  Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolor in Totally Toffee is one of the most perfect makeup dupes for about $5.

Maybelline ColorSensational lip colors are great makeup dupes for the YSL rouge Volupt Shine lipsticks! VS. Maybelline ColorSensational lip colors are great makeup dupes for the YSL rouge Volupt Shine lipsticks!

14. Sigma Large Powder F20 Brush vs. Real Techniques Powder Brush

I don’t mind splurging on a makeup brush or two, but once I was introduced to Real Techniques brushes, this was no longer necessary. While the popular brand Sigma’s Large Powder F20 retails for about $30, Real Technique’s Powder Brush is only $8 (and between us, it has better reviews!)

The Real Techniques Brushes are great makeup dupes for the Sigma Brushes! VS. The Real Techniques Brushes are great makeup dupes for the Sigma Brushes!

15. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer vs. NYX Studio Perfect Primer

Although I am not a huge primer user, it’s nice to have one handy when a long day ensues. While Smashbox Photo Finish Primer has rave reviews, it is a whopping $36 and its dupe NYX Studio Perfect Primer is under $10.

The NYX Studio Perfect Primers are great makeup dupes for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primers! VS. The NYX Studio Perfect Primers are great makeup dupes for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primers!

16. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit vs. NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

If you plan to invest in a contour kit, plan to drop a few dimes for it! The $40 Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit looks heavenly, but so does the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette at only $25.

The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palettes are great makeup dupes for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palettes!   The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palettes are great makeup dupes for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palettes!instagram.com/lipsfordays_ and thehappysloths.com

VS.

The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palettes are great makeup dupes for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palettes!

Here’s a more detailed comparison on the two:

17. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer vs. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

I use concealer religiously and am always on the hunt for a concealer that does it all. I considered finding the $30 among purse change for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, but instead picked up the Maybelline Fit Me concealer for under $6, and let me tell you, it is a dream.

The Maybelline Fit Me Concealers are great makeup dupes for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers! VS. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealers are great makeup dupes for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers!

instagram.com/marialaubsteim and instagram.com/lovelifesydney

Watch makeup dupes queen Trina Duhra put them to the test:

18. Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer vs. NYX Matte Bronzer

I have just recently found the joy in a nice matte bronzer and rather than picking up the popular Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer for $30, I grabbed the NYX Matte Bronzer for only $10, and it does the trick.

The NYX matte bronzers are great makeup dupes for the Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzers! VS. The NYX matte bronzers are great makeup dupes for the Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzers!

runningwithspoons.com and instagram.com/naturallytiss

19. Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner vs. Rimmel London Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner

You won’t often find lip liner on my makeup wish list, but when you do it’ll be Smash Box’s Always Sharp lip liner. At $20 though you can see why it won’t be making its way into my makeup bag anytime soon, so instead I’ll grab Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Stay On lip liner for only $4.

Rimmel London lip liners are great makeup dupes for the Smashbox Always Sharp Lip liners! VS. Rimmel London lip liners are great makeup dupes for the Smashbox Always Sharp Lip liners!

instagram.com/KelliClifton and bamblingsofnaffy.blogspot.com

20. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation vs. Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation has incredible reviews…but so does Revlon’s Colorstay, and this foundation has made its ways back on this list. That is a $38 bottle of skin liquid versus a $10 one, what are you going to pick?

The Revlon Colorstay foundations are great makeup dupes for the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundations! VS.  The Revlon Colorstay foundations are great makeup dupes for the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundations!

instagram.com/justyna.cz and instagram.com/thisgirlisobsessed
The Revlon Colorstay foundations are great makeup dupes for the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundations!livflorence.blogspot.com
Featured image source: icovetthee.com


Jordan Hicks

Jordan is a student at Arizona State University, studying Psychology at Barrett Honors College. She is a self proclaimed makeup junkie, Pinterest lover, and movie re-watcher. She hopes that one day she can make a difference in the lives of others and change how people view their world and themselves.

Comments, Ideas & Rants