Drugstores Dupes For Luxury Makeup


I was looking through my makeup collection recently.  It’s really amazing how far Drugstore makeup has come.  Compared and swatched next to some of my high-end makeup, the drugstore brands held up in formula, pigmentation and in how long they last.  Today I’m going to share dupes for luxury makeup I own.  I’ve chosen drugstore products that are very close in colour and formulation and compared them to my luxury collection.

When swatching I will place the luxury brand on the right side of the arm and the drugstore version on the left for comparison.

Luminous Primer/ Cream Highlight

L’oreal Paris Lumi Glotion  $19.00

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow $65.00

Both products (below) are a serum like lotion with a golden sheen to them.  The L’oreal might be a slight bit thicker but still glides on skin effortlessly; it also has more of a bronzy glow while the C.T is a gold – you can’t tell the difference once they’re on the skin though and they look beautiful under foundation for that lit-from-within glow.  I love them both;  if you’re looking to save money however, I’d go for Lumi Glotion every time.


Cream Bronzer

NYX Wonder Stick in Medium $ 13.99

Chanel Soleil Tan Bronze $60.00

It’s shocking how perfectly both these product match.  Although the application is different with the Wonder stick being applied straight from the bullet and the Chanel needs a sponge, brush or fingers to apply.  The colour is almost exact and they feel very similar on the skin.  Both are a cream but matt (so no shimmer).  I use them in the hollows of my cheeks,  along the temples and to contour my nose.  You do get more product with the Chanel (being a large pot) but even if you had to buy 2 of the Wonder Sticks, you’d still have saved money.


Translucent Setting Powder

Marcelle Face Powder $14.99

Lancome Translucence $49.00

I realize these do not match in colour, that said, being “translucent”, the idea is that they not deposit much colour on the skin.  These feel exactly the same in formulation and matt-ify and reduce the appearance of pores.  I use these mostly in the winter and stick to dewy un-powdered skin in the summer. The Marcelle brand probably has 3 times the amount of product as the Lancome and I believe it does come in other shades.  The downside of cheaper powders though is that many contain talcum (which the Marcelle one does).


Powder Blush with Highlighter

Annabelle Chocolate Trio Face Palette $6.99 (bought on sale)

Nars Afterglow Overlust Cheek Paletter $78.00

Both of these palettes have a very silky feel. The biggest difference is that the Nars has more pigmentation. In terms of shades, the Annabelle palette is very close and can be built up to look darker.  These swatches really surprised me.  They’re very similar in person with exception of the lightest highlight which is has a lot more glitter in the Nars palette.


Powder Bronzer

Almay Bronzer $14.00

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess $58.00

I’ve owned the Estee Lauder bronzer for longer than the Almay and I keep reaching for the Almay because it has a one line of shimmer through the pan which I love for summer.  The Bronze Goddess one is truly matt and I think I’ll use it more in the fall and winter when the J.Lo gold-goddess look is done.  To save room when travelling, I take one of them and use them for my bronzer, contour and eyeshadow.  Both are very close in warmth and look closely the same when applied.


Powder Blush

Almay Healthy Hue Blush $11.99 (in Nearly Nude)

ELF Blush $6.99 (in Twinkle Pink)

Jouer Blush Bouquet Dual Blush $42.00  (in Cheeky Summer)

I love blush! it’s my favourite thing to buy and I probably have more blush than anything else in my collection.   I recently discovered Jouer Cosmetics and am in love with their range. They are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way.  Looking through my collection I found these two by Almay and ELF. The Almay swatch blew me away; the shade is so similar to the Jouer except the Almay Nearly Nude has no shimmer in it (it’s also very silky in feel, almost creamy).  The ELF in Twinkle Pink is a good dupe in my opinion for the coral-y-gold from the Jouer palette.


Lip Liners

Marcelle Forever Sharp Liner $11.00 (in Warm Nude)

Huda Beauty Lip Contour $25.50 (in Bombshell)

The key to a good lipliner is that it be creamy, not dry out the lips and stay put for a long time; both of these lip pencils do this.  They seem to have the same amount of product in them.  I like to line my lips and fill them in a bit with pencil,  then top with lipstick and gloss.  These look very similar in colour on the lips.



Revlon Glass Shine Moisturizing Lipsticks $12.00  ( in Glassy Pink & Beaming Strawberry)

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine $49.00 (#12 Corail Incandecent &  #8 Pink in Confidence)

I was seriously excited to realize I had dupes for these 2 YSL lipsticks because they are both huge favourites.   When I travel I pack one pinky-nude shade for daytime looks and this gorgeous coral-red shade for night, it’s all I need; but at $49 a pop, it could get expensive to repurchase these for the rest of my life.  $12 however is do-able.  These dupes don’t only match in colour but they’re the exact high shine, which is precisely why I was buying the YSL to begin with.


Liquid Liner Pen

Revlon Colorstay Pen $11.49

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid lining pen $27

There’s something about a simple cat-eye and a red lip that instantly makes one feel like a bombshell.  Funny enough, I’ve been using Revlon’s Colorstay pen for years and just recently discovered the Clinique one by getting a sample of it.  Both are a deep black and don’t smudge throughout the day. The Clinique has a thinner tip which makes it a bit easier to use  but if we’re sticking to a budget then the Revlon is a win win every time.



L’oreal Paris Unlimited Mascara $12.00

Benefit Bad Gal Bang $ 33.00

I gone through so many mascaras in my life but after having a makeup artist use Benefit’s Bad Gal Bang on me at an event, I’ve had a hard time finding anything that lengthens lashes quite like this product.  This mascara makes you look like you have false lashes on and I love that.  I picked up the L’oreal Unlimited based on a review by Angie (Hot and Flashy on Youtube) and I can honestly say, they’ve done a good job recreating the formula. I think in the end it comes down to the brush which is very similar to the Benefit. I still like the Benefit more but the L’oreal is right behind it.


Shimmer Lip Gloss

ISH Cosmetics Hydragloss  $10

Patrick Ta Lip Shine in She’s Expensive – $29

I use a shimmer gloss when I want juicy plump looking lips.  Applied over lipstick along the cupids bow and in the center of the lower lip, shimmer gloss gives dimension to your lips, I use them all the time.  In the swatch you may notice that the ISH is a lot more gold in colour but the final glittery look when using either one is close.  These look like they are very different in size but the ISH vial is completely full while the Patrick Ta is a small vial within a transparent casing which makes it appear larger. For another dupe and if you’re in the USA, check out Kiko Milano shimmers.  I picked them up in Italy. I love them too.



L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche in Rose Nude $10 (bought from the sales bin)

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Uptown Girl $66.00

I think of any products, the most difficult to dupe are eyeshadows.  Not because you can’t find similar shades but because of the consistency and formulation of drugstore vs Luxury.  Charlotte Tilbury shadows are known for their silk-like creamy formulation.  They’re also highly pigmented with little fallout which is hard to find in a cheaper brands  (they’re either low in pigmentation or loosely milled and fall out everywhere).  L’oreal does a good job and although these palettes featured below aren’t exact in colour, you will most likely find shades similar to your fave Charlotte Tilbury shadows from L’oreal, Covergirl and Physicians Formula (the MuruMuru Butter collection is great).


And with this I end my blog here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it and perhaps found some good dupes today.  Drugstore brands are doing an amazing job these days at bringing out very comparable-to-luxury lines.

Until next time.



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