In the beauty world, it’s often thought that you get what you pay for.
After all, the products that reign supreme are usually on the higher end. They cost more because they really work, right?
Well, yes. These more expensive luxury brands usually do exactly what they claim. Who can argue against Diorshow Mascara’s ability to turn out fabulous lashes? MAC Studio Fix is a fixture in the makeup world for a reason.
However, we’re starting to see many more affordable choices that turn out great results, too. Drugstore brands are making better and better products these days. And while no two products will ever be exactly the same, there are a lot of fabulous drugstore dupes out there that are giving the expensive brands a run for their money.
These are my favorite drugstore dupes — the ones that made me a believer that price isn’t always an indication of better quality. They will give you big results on a not-so-big budget.
Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer Dupe: The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer
Photo Finish is the original primer from Smashbox, and it does exactly what it sounds like it should. You don’t need that Insta filter when you’ve got a primer that blurs away imperfections. I’ve always liked the primer’s soft, velvety texture, and it’s super lightweight.
Even still, I discovered that budget-friendly The Ordinary has the perfect dupe. Their High Adherence Silicone Primer gives me all the benefits of Smashbox’s Photo Finish, without the higher price tag.
Price comparison: Smashbox Photo Finish, $38; The Ordinary Primer, $4.90
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Dupe: e.l.f. Cosmetics 16 Hour Camo Concealer
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer gets a lot of hype, and it deserves it. This full-coverage concealer smooths and brightens, and promises not to cake or settle for 16 hours of wear. It’s also infused with shea butter to help improve skin’s elasticity over time. If you want to see if Shape Tape really does give your skin a firm, lifted effect, you’ll have to shell out a pretty penny.
The best drugstore dupe for Shape Tape is considerably cheaper. Don’t let the price difference fool you, though. This inexpensive concealer from e.l.f. Cosmetics definitely does its job. It’s full-coverage, with a lightweight matte formula that compares to Tarte’s Shape Tape. It’s not infused with shea butter, but it does boast avocado oil!
Price comparison: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $29; e.l.f. 16 Hour Camo Concealer, $6
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation Dupe: Maybelline Fit Me Matte
MAC has been a mainstay in the makeup world for decades now, and Studio Fix Fluid is one of the brand’s most-loved products. It provides a high coverage, airbrushed matte finish, like a real-life filter for your face. Plus, it comes in tons of shades (63, to be exact), so it’s easy to find the perfect match.
If you don’t feel like splurging on a bottle of Studio Fix, though, you can find a comparable product at the drugstore. Check out Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation. While it doesn’t come in quite as many shades (40 versus 63), it is similarly long-lasting with a matte finish. It also comes in at a fraction of the price!
Price comparison: MAC Studio Fix Fluid, $30; Maybelline Fit Me Matte, $8
Dior Diorshow Mascara Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline The Falsies
Diorshow is a best-selling mascara for a reason. It is famous for buildable volume; full, flawless lashes; and that marvelous XXL brush. If you want to splurge on Diorshow to get those runway-ready lashes, I can’t blame you. However, I dare you to try this drugstore dupe.
I used Diorshow for years, but Maybelline’s Falsies mascara convinced me to make the switch. Not only does it offer lengthening and lifting, it also has that big brush that helps you get every last lash. It’ll give you that full look without the Dior price tag — which is good, considering how often you’re supposed to toss that tube of mascara.
Price comparison: Diorshow, $30; Maybelline The Falsies, $7
NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo Dupe: e.l.f. Cosmetics Aqua Beauty Blush and Bronzer
This convenient cheek duo in Orgasm/Laguna from NARS gives you that healthy, brilliant glow. NARS blush is iconic for being lightweight and buildable, and this peachy pink color manages to look good on just about everyone. In this duo, it comes paired with their award-winning bronzer, to give you a shimmery glow.
Although this duo from NARS is a cult-classic status among beauty enthusiasts, you can find a pretty great dupe in the Aqua Beauty Blush and Bronzer from e.l.f. Cosmetics. It’ll still give you that healthy glow, without emptying your wallet. Some have complained that the e.l.f. duo is smaller, but it’s a difference of .06 oz. For a $36 price difference, I can deal with it.
Price comparison: NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo, $42; e.l.f. Blush and Bronzer, $6