Since foundation is the base for your entire makeup look, this is one area of your makeup routine that you want to get right. High-end luxury foundations may perform well but can get quite expensive. Luckily, the drugstore offers some fantastic alternatives, or foundation dupes, to high-end foundation favorites.
The following list of foundation dupes may not be exact replacements for high-end foundations, and some of their formulas might even be quite different. But the end look and wear of the drugstore makeup products will give you a strikingly similar appearance to these luxury foundation stand-outs.
One thing for sure is there is a noticeable price difference, as some of the dupes cost less than 1/4 of the high-end prestige foundations. This makes testing and even mixing shades much more affordable and easier on your wallet.
Let’s take a look at some of the best drugstore foundation dupes of 2020:
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High-End Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup VS Drugstore Dupe: Revlon ColorStay Full Cover Makeup
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup is a cult-favorite for good reason. This foundation is the #1 prestige brand foundation in the US thanks to its full-coverage matte finish that DOES NOT BUDGE all day. It sets quickly, so it should be applied with a damp makeup sponge if you want to be able to blend it well.
Double Wear, a long-wear foundation, is waterproof and heat-proof. It comes in a whopping 55 shades to work with a variety of cool, neutral and warm skin tones.
Even though Revlon ColorStay Full Cover Makeup has a thick whipped texture and is not liquid like Estee Lauder Double Wear, this foundation really COVERS and does it with a long-wearing matte finish. A little goes a long way with this foundation. Unlike Double Wear, it’s whipped texture blends easily.
What makes it a drugstore foundation dupe for Double Wear is its excellent lasting coverage that hides flaws, discoloration, and uneven skin texture easily. It also works well to keep oil at bay. The only drawback is the 16 available shades, which is much less than Double Wear.
I personally love this Revlon foundation and it’s one of my go-to full coverage drugstore foundations. This is the ideal full coverage drugstore foundation for oily skin. Great coverage, a good color-match, and an affordable drugstore price!
High-End Foundation: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation VS Drugstore Dupe: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is a highly-pigmented liquid foundation that provides a natural finish and lasts for up to 16 hours. This oil-free foundation has a matte luminous finish that is easily buildable and blends easily.
Flexible polymers and treated pigments move with the skin. Just one drop yields very lightweight yet complete coverage. Tone Correcting Technology neutralizes discoloration, redness, and dullness.
L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation will provide a demi-matte finish and up to 24 hours of wear that comes in a lightweight liquid formula. This foundation will smooth the skin and easily hide uneven skin tone, blemishes, and other imperfections.
This weightless foundation is medium coverage. It comes in 28 shades vs. NARS 20 shades. Like NARS, it is oil-free and will provide up to 24 hours of shine control, plus it is transfer resistant. This foundation is an affordable alternative to NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation that will provide lightweight matte coverage and won’t sink into pores.
High-End Foundation: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ VS Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Flawless Coverage Foundation Makeup, SPF 50
What Is A CC Cream?
What is a CC cream, you ask? CC stands for “color correcting” cream, “color corrector” cream, or “complexion corrector” cream, so a CC cream will provide multiple benefits to your skin. These benefits include higher coverage than a BB “beauty balm” or “blemish balm” cream, but usually less than a full coverage foundation. CC creams often come with anti-aging benefits and sunscreen protection.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ is the #1 CC cream in the US. This CC cream provides full-coverage, hydration and the benefits of an anti-aging serum. Potent active ingredients include hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and vitamins.
The CC+ cream improves the look of dark circles, redness, acne scarring, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Plus it contains physical sunscreen of SPF 50+ that will work for even sensitive skin. The finish is natural and flawless.
Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Flawless Coverage Foundation Makeup, SPF 50 is a lightweight full coverage foundation that contains a broad-spectrum SPF 50 (chemical sunscreen) and antioxidants to protect from damage caused by UV rays, pollution, and other environmental stressors.
Maybelline Dream Urban Cover is not available in as many shades as the best-selling It Cosmetics CC Cream. It is not as full-coverage as It Cosmetics, but it is buildable to medium coverage. The consistency is a little thicker and the coverage is slightly more matte, but the end result is very similar: medium coverage and long wear with sunscreen protection.
It Cosmetics has many more skincare actives, so some of those ingredients may contribute to it’s expensive $39 price tag. I don’t mind keeping my skincare actives in my skincare routine anyway, so if you feel the same, Maybelline Dream Urban Cover may be worth a try.
High-End Foundation: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation VS Drugstore Dupe: L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
Inspired by charmeuse silk, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is luxury makeup at its finest. Luminous Silk is a weightless, buildable, medium coverage foundation. It uses Armani’s Micro–fil technology to provide a gorgeous glow and skin-like finish. This foundation has won countless awards and the price tag is steep!
This is the most expensive foundation I’ve ever purchased. It’s hard to rationalize spending $64 for an ounce of foundation, but it is unlike any other foundation I’ve tried. (If you want to give it a try without spending $64, you can purchase the mini size of 0.6 oz for $42. Still expensive, but almost $20 less than full price.) It leaves such a beautiful air-brush like finish and wears extremely well. But is there a dupe?
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup is also a medium coverage foundation that provides a radiant luminous finish. It contains vitamins C and E, which are powerful antioxidants that improve clarity and skin tone. Liquid Light Technology provides an instant glow. Unlike, Armani Luminous Silk, this foundation has SPF 20 in the form of 3% octinoxate.
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup is the closest foundation to Luminous Silk that I’ve tried. While the formula is different and there are only 15 available shades vs Luminous Silk’s 40 shades, this foundation provides a similar finish and coverage to Luminous Silk. Although not an exact dupe, it’s lightweight and has a natural finish. With a $12.99 price tag, it is an attractive alternative to the high-end Luminous Silk from Armani.
High-End Foundation: Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 VS Drugstore Dupe: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation
Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 is a lightweight mousse foundation that provides a natural matte finish and controls oil without drying out your skin. It is formulated with Amazonian clay for longer wear, and vitamin E, an emollient and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Mineral pigments soften the skin.
This foundation is beloved for its flawless finish and its ability to keep oil at bay, all while smoothing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It easily camouflages dark spots, redness, and other imperfections for an even-looking complexion without creasing or caking. It’s SPF 15 coverage comes in the form of 6% titanium dioxide and 3% zinc oxide.
Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation is also a mousse foundation that has a lightweight texture and is formulated to control shine while leaving a matte finish on the skin. This full-coverage foundation also softens your skin while magnifying your complexion.
The Rimmel foundation comes in 24 shades as opposed to Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation’s 40 shades, but the Rimmel foundation offers a nice selection of shades for cool, neutral, and warm skin tones. Also, there is no sunscreen protection in this Rimmel formula. But the coverage and oil control give Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation a run for its money. The Rimmel foundation is so cheap, so for just a few dollars, you can give it a try without it breaking the bank.
High-End Foundation: Dermablend Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation VS Drugstore Dupe: NYX Total Control Drop Foundation
Dermablend Flawless Creator Liquid Foundation Drops is a highly pigmented foundation that is water-free and oil-free. It provides full coverage and a natural finish with only 10 ingredients. It’s a favorite for its lightweight feel and is buildable without getting cakey. The formula’s 33% concentrated pigments provide customizable coverage for all skin types. Plus it’s non-comedogenic.
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, a best-selling vegan formula, is a velvet matte dropper foundation. Like Dermablend, this liquid foundation allows you to customize coverage by choosing how many drops you apply to your skin. Also, like Dermablend, it’s lightweight and a little goes a long way. (That’s probably why the bottle is so small.). At less than half the price of Dermablend, this liquid dropper foundation is worth checking out.
Related Post: Full Coverage Drugstore Foundations for Oily Skin
High-End Foundation: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint VS Drugstore Dupe: The Ordinary Coverage Foundation
Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint provides a wash of color from it’s ultra-thin and breathable formulation. Diamond powder provides a brightening, soft-focus effect and reduces the look of pores. Glycerin moisturizes and provides a smooth, dewy finish.
This foundation comes in 12 shades. It won’t cake on your skin and also won’t hide freckles, so it is the epitome of a light coverage foundation.
The Ordinary Coverage Foundation is one of the few makeup products from the popular budget skincare brand The Ordinary. Like Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, The Ordinary Foundation is extremely lightweight. Pigments are suspended in a spreadability system providing a natural look without any caking or creasing.
Both of these foundations are ideal for light-weight coverage on skin that may be showing the signs of aging. Since these formulas are so lightweight, they won’t settle into fine lines and pores. The Ordinary comes in 21 shades vs. Glossier’s 12 shades. Plus, The Ordinary provides better coverage than Glossier, for only, are you ready for this…$6.90!!!
Related Post: The Ordinary Anti-Aging Skincare Review
Final Thoughts on the Best Drugstore Foundation Dupes
These drugstore foundation dupes have such impressive formulas and their prices are right. They are priced so that you can test more than one for less than the price of one high-end foundation. Why pay more for an expensive foundation when you can get very similar results with these drugstore makeup dupes?
I love finding budget-friendly makeup and skincare products that outperform high-end products. What are your favorite drugstore foundation dupes? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and until next time…