Have you noticed more and more drugstore brands debuting products that are very similar to best-selling high-end luxury makeup products? Some are so similar that they can be called dupes. These dupes, although not exactly like their high-end counterparts, perform very similarly, whether it is a base makeup product, like foundation or concealer, or a color cosmetic product, like blush or mascara.
The one thing that consistently sets apart drugstore makeup dupes from luxury makeup products is the price. The drugstore makeup products listed in this post are half the price (or more!) than their equivalent luxury makeup products!
When you can buy an excellent primer for $8, why spend $52 for the brand name? Granted, luxury makeup products may also come with luxury packaging, but for me, the less and more basic packaging the better. Please note that these are the current listed makeup prices as of the publication date of this post. Now, onto the drugstore makeup dupes…
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Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer is the true definition of luxury high-end makeup. This primer is formulated with three different types of silk for a velvety smooth application. It supports the skin’s barrier function, helps to prevent clogged pores and breakouts, and protects the skin from environmental aggressors. It sinks into the skin creating a blurred effect, and the result is the perfect canvas for makeup application. The price is steep, though, and is currently priced at $52 for 0.7 oz.
If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to The Silk Canvas, look no further than e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer. Poreless Putty is formulated with squalane to moisturize and grip makeup for a smooth complexion. It minimizes imperfections to create a poreless look. This primer is a balm texture just like The Silk Canvas and comes quite close in performance to The Silk Canvas. If the price is the deciding factor, then e.l.f. Poreless Putty is the way to go. It’s currently priced $8 for 0.74 oz. – a $44 savings over Tatcha.
NOTE: e.l.f. recently introduced two new formulas in their Poreless Putty family of primers: Luminous Putty Primer for a more radiant complexion and Matte Putty Primer for a shine-free matte complexion.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64) vs L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup ($12.95)
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation lands on “best of” beauty lists year after year for good reason. Inspired by charmeuse silk, this is a lightweight foundation that provides a beautiful skin-like finish. Armani’s Micro–fil technology sculpts and brightens the skin, improves texture and blurs imperfections. The foundation comes in 30 shades to match a variety of skin tones.
L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup is formulated with vitamins C and E to improve clarity and skin tone. It contains 40% pure water for all-day hydration and L’Oreal’s Liquid Light Technology to provide a luminous glow. The coverage is buildable and lasts up to 8 hours and comes with an SPF 20. It’s available in 15 warm, neutral, and cool shades.
While Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is in a class of its own, if you want an affordable drugstore alternative, I think True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup is one of the closest dupes that you can find at such a low price. It provides a pretty glow and the lightweight coverage is buildable. You also get SPF 20 sun protection with True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer ($27) vs. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer ($9.99)
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (America’s #1 concealer brand, per Tarte’s website), really does live up to the hype. It provides full coverage for up to 16 hours. It smooths and brightens the skin (especially around the eyes) and its formula is crease-proof and won’t cake on your skin.
Shape Tape is formulated with shea butter for elasticity, mango butter for moisture, and licorice root to brighten the appearance of dark circles and to color correct the skin. It also helps to blur the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The oversized doe applicator makes application a breeze. It comes in a large selection of 30 shades to match all skin tones.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer comes packaged slightly differently, and the packaging is the only drawback in my opinion. It comes with a micro-corrector application sponge (which I remove and apply the concealer to my finger first prior to applying to my eyes). The formula contains goji berry plus Haloxyl to increase blood circulation and improve the look of dark circles. This is a full coverage concealer to erase dark circles, smooth fine lines, and reduce puffiness. This concealer comes in 12 shades.
While there are many other drugstore concealers that are touted to be Shape Tape dupes (such as this one or this one), I think Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer performs better than any of the other dupe contenders. While the packaging may be a little different than Shape Tape, the coverage is highly pigmented, creases minimally, and stays put all day.
Becca Sunlit Bronzer provides a pretty sunkissed glow for all skin tones with its neutral undertones. The shade Capri Coast is a warm golden brown that blends into your skin seamlessly for a natural bronze glow. This bronzer is formulated with Color-True Pigments that provide a creamy, silky application that won’t cake or be drying to your skin.
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer is one of Physician Formula’s best-selling products and feels more expensive than it’s $15.99 price tag. The bronzer shown above in Light Bronze is formulated with murumuru butter, cupuacu butter and tucuma butter from the Amazon to combine the best features of both powder and cream bronzers. It contains essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins to moisturize the skin.
Murumuru Butter Bronzer applies very smoothly and it’s soft-focus pigments really blur the skin. The tropical scent is the icing on the cake. Similar in shade and shape in the pan to Becca Sunlit Bronzer, this bronzer is a high performing dupe. Its formula is rich and its texture is soft and smooth, easily melting into the skin. While the packaging may be a little less elegant, the product performance makes up for it!
NARS Blush was one of the first high-end makeup products that I purchased and it did not disappoint in both performance and product experience. Their best-selling shade Orgasm (peachy pink with shimmer) has received so much press over the years and love from customers and beauty editors alike, it has become one of the brand’s best-selling products.
This cult-favorite blush is formulated with superfine micronized powder pigments to impart a beautiful natural-looking glow. I’m not a huge fan of peach on my cheeks but the peachy-pink shade has just the right amount of shimmer for a soft, blendable finish. NARS blush comes in 32 shades.
Milani Baked Blush in the shade Rose D’Oro has been sunbaked on Italian terracotta tiles for a warm glow and natural look. This blush has gold fleck veining for beautiful golden sheen. This blush is highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. For only $7.99, what’s not to love?
Urban Decay Naked3 Palette Eyeshadow Palette ($54) vs CoverGirl Roses TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette ($12.99)
Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palettes are so iconic when it comes to eyeshadow palettes and they are priced for a luxury experience at $54. Urban Decay Naked3 Palette Eyeshadow Palette includes 12 rose-hued neutral eye shadows that range from matte to pearl to metallic shades. The award-winning palette can be used for day to night looks with their richly pigmented shades. The matte shades can be applied all over the eyelid and for contouring and the metallics and shimmers add bold and striking dimension to your eyes. This is a gorgeous yet expensive eyeshadow palette.
CoverGirl Roses TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette doesn’t appear to be hiding the fact that it looks like a dupe since the name itself, TruNaked, is VERY similar to the Naked3 palette name. This is also a neutral palette with rose hues throughout with matte, shimmer, and smoky shades.
There are only 8 shades in the CoverGirl palette but there are quite a few shades that are quite close to the Naked3 palette, from almond to deeper shades. These eyeshadows are baked and are richly pigmented (with a bit of dusty powder kickback). It’s not quite the Naked3 palette but these are beautiful neutral eyeshadow shades that are easy to mix and match for $12.99.
It Cosmetics Brow Power Micro Universal Defining Eyebrow Pencil ($24) vs. Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil ($7.99)
It Cosmetics Brow Power Micro Universal Defining Eyebrow Pencil is the micro-fine oval tip version of It Cosmetic’s best-selling Brow Power Pencil. The micro-fine oval pencil tip provides the look of real hair with a micro bladed effect. The pencil creates natural-looking brows and the formula doesn’t budge. This pencil comes in only one shade, Universal Taupe, which transforms to all hair colors, including gray, depending on how much pressure is used upon application. There is a built-in spoolie brush on one end of the pencil to complete your brow look.
Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil also has a micro-tip to provide hair-like strokes to mimic the look of your natural brows. This pencil has an ultra 1.5mm precision tip and a break-resistant formula for a smooth application. Unlike It Cosmetic Brow Power Micro, this pencil comes in 6 shades from light blonde to black-brown. This pencil also has a spoolie brush on one end to create defined brows to your liking.
I don’t love the one universal shade in the It Cosmetics pencil because depending on how much pressure you apply, your brows may look a slightly different shade from one application to the next. Both provide a similar look, but for well less than half the price of It Cosmetics, Maybelline provides additional color options and creates a natural brow look.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara’s hourglass-shaped brush separates, coats and curls every last lash for volume and definition. This #1 best-selling prestige mascara in America is formulated with film-forming polymers to keep curls in place, Acacia Senegal Tree Extract for volume and peptides for conditioning the lash. Just one coat provides full, voluminous, and longer lashes. Lashes are thicker, lengthened, and lifted for a dramatic effect. This mascara comes in one shade: Carbon Black.
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara bears a striking resemblance to Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara starting with its pale satin pink tube. This mascara has a wavy brush that has 200+ bristles to create a full fringe effect. Lash Paradise creates volumized lengthened lashes with the formula’s black pigments. This mascara comes in 4 shades.
Lash Paradise Mascara is a perennial drugstore favorite. It leaves your lashes very soft and the formula is buildable, so you can create a natural look with a single coat or a dramatic look with multiple coats. Whether or not this was designed to be a dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, it comes very close at less than half the price.
Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is beloved for its gorgeous shine and non-sticky finish. The shade Fenty Glow is a shimmering rose nude that provides a beautiful high-shine natural color. It is formulated with shea butter to condition the skin and has a peach-vanilla scent that is absolutely mouth-watering and addictive. The large application wand makes applying the gloss easy. It is available in 7 shades.
Do you love Rihanna’s Fenty Gloss Bomb but don’t love the price? Try Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Glossy Future. Super Lustrous Lip Gloss is also high shine and non-sticky. It contains agave, moringa oil, and capuacu butter for moisture and hydration. This lip gloss is so shiny and natural-looking and very similar in shade to Fenty Glow. There are 23 additional shades in the line.
Final Thoughts on The Best of Drugstore Makeup Dupes in 2020
There you have it! A selection of some of the best drugstore makeup dupes out there. Why pay top dollar for high-end makeup when you can purchase a very similar product for much less?
There are so many wonderful drugstore makeup products that are just as good and, dollar for dollar, often better than the luxury brands. What are your favorite drugstore makeup dupes? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and until next time…