Beauty Gurus' All-Time Favorite Dupes
Clearing our makeup bags to make room for these…
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Katie, says: Both of these have the same finish, however, the Milani has a longer wear time. The Milani is also more lightweight and more full coverage. Overall the Milani is amazing for its price point. The Too Faced did tend to change color throughout the day, while the Milani stayed the same color all day long. Milani is $10 while Born This Way is $39. Buy our pick
*Neither brands is cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty. Makeup Maven, Kayla, says: Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection in ‘Light 7’ is $68 for 1.18 oz while L’Oreal Infalliable Fresh Wear in ‘420’ is $14.99 for 1 oz. PM has 36 shades while L’Oreal has 30 to choose from.
Both products come in a glass pump style component. Pat McGrath does feel much more luxurious with its heavy frosted glass component. Even the box that it comes in looks luxurious. Both foundations are marketed as being lightweightBuy our pick and having a natural finish which I agree with. L’Oreal does have SPF 25.
Both foundations are quite thin in consistency - Pat McGrath didn’t have much of a smell and L’Oreal does have quite a bit of fragrance. I didn’t mind it. L’Oreal is marketed as a medium to full coverage foundation with a buildable formula while Pat McGrath is marketed as a sheer to medium coverage foundation. I totally agree with this. I have combo skin - oily t-zone. Both foundations went over my skin easily & blended out really nicely. I wore each of these foundations 5 days in a row by themselves & then wore one on one side of the face & one on the other. They are extremely hard to tell apart with their natural finishes. L’Oreal does give you more coverage. No matter how much I tried to build up Pat McGrath it was extremely light coverage & I was cringing at how much product I was using trying to get medium coverage. I could not get anything more than light coverage.
Neither foundation looked cakey instead I think both foundations made my skin look very beautiful. After a 12 hour workday I came home to always noticing Pat McGrath settling into my smile lines more than L’Oreal did. But both foundations still looked just as good when I first applied them. Natural oils did creep through on my nose for both brands but for me that is typical. Despite Light 7 & 420 not being a complete shade match when I wore each product on one side of my face, I couldn’t really see much of a difference. No one knew or could tell throughout the day that I was wearing two different foundations let alone 2 different shades. I use L’Oreal on a daily basis & really do enjoy the formula. I didn’t mind Pat McGrath’s formula either because it did remind me so much of Infalliable and like I said I use that daily. For $68 I expected much more with Pat McGrath. I really see no need in spending that much on a foundation when you can get the exact same look for much, much less money. Buy our pick
*Neither brand is cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty. Makeup Maven, Carianne, says: After asking lots of different people over 8 hours whether they could see a difference between the two sides of my face, no one was able to notice that I was wearing two different foundations! These foundations are almost identical! Both Benefit and Maybelline offer a small amount of SPF and medium coverage.
They both blend out beautifully, leaving a natural, satin finish (neither matte nor dewy). I found that Benefit in shade 3 is similar to Maybelline in shade 130, with Benefit oxidizing slightly. Both products can be worn without a powder if you have dryer skin, or with a powder, if you want a more matte look on oily skin. Although both products claim to leave a hydrating feeling on your skin, I would recommend wearing a moisturizer with both, but a primer is not necessary. Finally, neither product caused me to break out. The only difference with the products comes down to the packaging. Benefit has a lovely pump with its packaging, while Maybelline does not. However, at the end of the day, this makes Maybelline slightly more eco-friendly as it is easier to clean out and recycle. Buy our pick
*Both products are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Katie, says: Tarte Shape Tape has a very large shade range and an 8 hour wear time. Makeup Revolution is a very similar product as far as wear time, and even the feel and coverage of the product. Because both products are the same in feel, smell, wear time, and coverage, you might want to look at the shade range and the amount you are getting for the price. Tarte comes with .33 ounces and a large shade range sure to fit most people for $27. Makeup Revolution has .14 ounces, with a super limited shade range for $7. Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty. Makeup Guru, Kayla, says:Tarte is $27 for 0.33 oz & ELF is $5 for 0.2 oz. Tarte does have a larger shade range. Both have large doe foot applicators. Both have a chemical makeup smell. Both are very full coverage. I actually think ELF is easier to blend out and work with. I have very dry under eyes and I do get a bit of creasing when I under eye conceal with Tarte. However, with ELF I get very, very little creasing. ELF did not look cakey at all. I was pleasantly surprised with just how good this ELF concealer really is. Concealing a blemish it also works very well. If you are not a die-hard Shape Tape fan I would definitely give this a try, it did not disappoint. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, Urban Decay is cruelty-free while Maybelline is NOT. Makeup Maven, Kayla, says: Urban Decay is $29 for .21 oz. Maybelline is $10 for .2 oz. Both are marketed to help with dark circles under the eyes & to color correct them. Urban Decay is a bit thicker consistency compared to Maybelline but both brighten & cover my dark circles really well. Both blend out beautifully. I use both products under foundation & concealer. Both products crease but after you put concealer on & use a generous amount of setting powder it goes away.
Both products covered my dark circles well but I do still use concealer just less of it to get my desired coverage. Color correctors are good in the sense that you can use them to use less concealer in the end so you do not look cakey. I do like UD’s packaging more than Maybelline’s. The applicator is large which is sometimes hard to get into the inner corners of your eyes where my darkest parts are. I do like the sense that you do get to use ALL of the product in their packaging because it’s a twist up. UD is a flat doe foot applicator which is easy to use around the eye area for more precise application. Both products work very well and I would definitely repurchase Maybelline over Urban Decay. It works just as well and is much cheaper. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, Laura Mercier would be cruelty-free, but its parent company Shiseido, is not cruelty-free. Maybelline is NOT cruelty-free. Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: Laura Mercier is $39/ ounce and Maybelline is $8. Although Maybelline advertises this as a finishing powder, I think it is more effective as a setting powder and an excellent dupe for Laura Mercier's translucent setting powder. There are some differences, Maybelline is not translucent and comes in 8 shades so it does give off some pigment so you will need to be careful with what shade you use. Laura Mercier comes in 2 shades - original and deep for darker skin tones. But both were highly effective in setting makeup and keeping under concealer from creasing with no flashback. I would recommend trying out Maybelline! Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Our makeup maven, Kim, gave a low similarity score for packaging because she PREFERRED Makeup Revolution's more environmentally friendly packaging. Here's what else she has to say:Urban Decay's packaging encases the product in a box and also includes an unnecessary additional cap on top of the spray cap. In terms of the wear, I felt that Makeup Revolution's wear time lasted longer, however, the mist application was not as fine as Urban Decay. If you can get over less control during the spray process, I think you will like how the less expensive setting spray holds up throughout the day. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, elf is cruelty-free but NARS is NOT* Makeup Maven, Kimberly, says: I think NARS Blush in 'Orgasm' and e.l.f.'s Blush in 'Twinkle Pink' are SO alike. NARS retails for $30 while e.l.f. retails for $4. Each product comes in a sleek black palette that are almost identical in shape. Though e.l.f.'s blush wasn't as soft to the touch as NARS, the color is pretty spot on. Both have the same shimmer finish, and I couldn't tell the difference between the two while they were on my cheeks. The only downside to the e.l.f. blush is that the product wasn't super easy to find - the only location I found it for sale was Amazon. Stock up while you can, and check out the other NARS Blush dupe reviews. Buy our pick
*Milani is certified cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty but NARS is NOT. Makeup Maven, Kayla, says: Orgasm blush by NARS is one the most popular blushes in the beauty community. It's a staple for many but it is quite expensive. $39 for 8 grams. Milani Baked Powder Blush in Dolce Pink is the BEST dupe for it and I actually think it is BETTER than the NARS! You get less product however for the price you can't beat it. $8 for 3.5 grams. I think the Milani being baked is much easier to work with, it's a bit more velvety in texture and more pigmented. Buy our pick
*Neither brand is cruelty-free. Kayla says: Benefit is $30 for 8 grams & Sephora Collection is $17 for 9 grams. Both are matte & the color is extremely similar. It's really hard to tell the difference between the two. I like the Sephora packaging more than Hoola's as it seems to be more sturdy. Hoola is just cardboard. Both are very easy to blend and last all day on the skin. Sephora Los Cabos is a definite dupe to Benefit's Hoola. Cheaper AND you get more product. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty and PETA, Becca and W&W are certified cruelty-free. Makeup Maven, Kayla, says: This is the closest dupe I've found to Champagne Pop and at $4.99 versus Becca at $38, I think it's totally worth it! These are very similar in their color, vibrancy & formula. Champagne Pop is a bit more pigmented while Gold Flower Crown is a bit sheerer but buildable. So you can get it to look as pigmented as Becca with a little bit of work. They are both a bit creamy in texture & blend wonderfully on the skin. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, Becca is cruelty-free, but Maybelline is NOT. Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: Both have an incredible and intense pigmentation with just one swipe. The Becca shade is a more muted gold whereas Maybelline is bright, true gold. Upon application, I could not tell the difference. Becca Highlighters are a cult favorite but carry a steep price tag. These Maybelline highlighters come in 4 shades, whereas Becca has 10+ shades but Maybelline offers a nearly identical highlight. Buy our pick
*Neither brand is cruelty-free. Nitya says: One of the best drugstore dupes I've ever found! These two products are nearly indistinguishable in color, texture, application and longevity. L'Oreal gives you just as beautiful of a glow as Nars Orgasm Illuminating loose powder. Buy our pick
*Both brands are cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Kaleigh, says: The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit retails for $40 and comes with three bronzing shades, a light powder, banana powder, and a light highlighter. The Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette retails for $10 and contains a total of 8 shades. It has all the same shades as ABH plus an additional 2 highlighter shades in both light and bronze.
Admittedly, I have been a cult follower of ABH for years and this specific palette has been my #1 go-to contour palette for over 5 years. I have found that my biggest complaint about most ABH dupes is the undertone of the colors. ABH does a great job of creating bronzing pigments without the 'orange' harsh undertone. This is especially important for me as I have a very light complexion. With that being said, HOLY COW! I am so mad at myself for not knowing about this MR palette sooner. When tested side by side the colors are identical and the wear time is also just as comparable. Both products also smell the same and contain no added fragrance. Even the packaging is almost identical. However, ABH is a magnetic closing cardboard package and MR is a plastic case with added mirror. Fallout for both palettes was also minimal which is a big selling point for me. Side by side you would not be able to tell a difference. I 110% recommend Makeup Revolution for this match up. With the price point of $10 and the added highlighters and mirror, it is a no brainer! Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty. Makeup Maven, Kayla, says: Too Faced retails for $24 for .27 oz and Cover Girl retails for $7.99 for .30 oz. The wand on the Cover Girl is a bit longer while the bristles are a bit shorter than Too Faced. The wands are very similar in shape; both have an hourglass shape. During the comparison, I used Too Faced on one eye & Cover Girl on the other. I noticed I got more curl with CG and it actually took fewer strokes on the eyelashes to get it. After a 12 hour long day I did get some smudging from the Too Faced side but none of the Cover Girl side. I think this actually is a bit better than BTS! Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, L'Oreal is NOT a cruelty-free brand while Too Faced is a cruelty-free brand.* Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: Better than Sex is $24/tube and L'Oreal is $7/ tube. Both products come in a similar pink tube with an hourglass application wand but the Better Than Sex mascara packaging is heavier and has a more pronounced hourglass shape. Both mascaras created intense volume with excellent black pigmentation. Both grabbed onto the lashes, curled, and had nearly identical looks after application. I would recommend trying this L'Oreal dupe. Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, Anastasia Beverly Hills is cruelty-free and NYX is as well (but their parent company, L'Oreal, is not). ABH is $21 and NYX is $10. Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: NYX's bristles on the brow brush were longer and more firm whereas Anastasia's were softer. I used the darkest shade for both products and the pigmentation was very similar. Both looked nearly identical after application. I would recommend switching to NYX, which is half the price! Buy our pick
*According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, Urban Decay is cruelty-free but Sephora Collection is NOT. Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: Urban Decay was more pigmented after one application. With the Sephora, I had to line my waterline twice but after that, I saw no difference between the two products. After 12hrs of wear both looked identical. Both are pencils that need to be sharpened. I am a die-hard urban decay 24/7 pencil fan so am a little shocked at how similar the Sephora one was. Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Katie, says: Colourpop is $12 and Huda Beauty is $27. Both of these have almost the same colors, and they have the exact same amount of product in them. These are replicas in almost every way! There is just a slight difference in wear time, with Colourpop lasting slightly longer, and the price of course. Buy our pick
*According to Ethical Elephant, Revolution is cruelty-free, but Pat McGrath is NOT. Makeup Maven, dupeboss herself, says: Pat McGrath takes the cake for packaging! The pigmentation for both is similar. Pat McGrath has less fallout and the shimmers are more vibrant. That said, the Revolution palette at $20 is a huge win. The shades are nearly identical, but Pat McGrath has better tilt shifts for the iridescent shades. Buy our pick
*Urban Decay is certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant but Rimmel is NOT. Makeup Maven, Kristin, says: In general, the eyeshadow looks you create with the Naked Heat palette can absolutely be replicated with the much cheaper Rimmel Spice palette.
The quality of the shadows is high in both palettes, the wear time was basically the same as well, however, there are some differences in the individual shades to be aware of. The lightest color in the Naked Heat palette ('Ounce') is a satin cream color, while the corresponding color in the Rimmel palette is a much brighter white. The darkest matte shades are also different - a dark chocolate brown in the Naked Heat ('Ashes') while the Rimmel palette has a dark, dusty purple shade, which I also think is the weakest color in the palette (it requires some building up and can be patchy). Rimmel has also included one more shimmer shade, a brown/gold, in place of 'Sauced' in the Naked Heat. The other 9 shades in the palette are VERY close and are laid out in the same order within each palette. Even with the shade differences, I was able to wear these palettes side by side and be very happy with the looks I created. The price difference here is almost $50 - save your money, buy the Rimmel and enjoy it! Buy our pick
*Both brands are cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Stacie, says: The Glossier Clear and the e.l.f. Clear Lacquer are almost identical. Both have a light pleasant scent and a high gloss shine. The packaging is nearly identical but the e.l.f. is slightly longer. I found the e.l.f. to be slightly stickier, while the Glossier is all shine without being sticky. The Glossier lasted a little longer but for the money, I would choose the e.l.f. gloss. Buy our pick
*Too Faced is certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant but Soap & Glory is NOT. Makeup Maven, MK, says: So here is the deal with this prestige vs mass product. First off, the price of the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme is $29 for .14oz whereas the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL is $14 for .33oz. That right there was the first thing that blew my mind. Let's move on to the application. The Too Faced comes with a lip gloss wand where the Soap and Glory comes in a tube. Personally, because both are clear I think the tube is a better method because I mixed this with another lip color which stained the wand where the tube was easy to wipe off the color transfer from my lip color I was wearing.
I do want to be very honest and say that I was more impressed with the smell of the Soap and Glory than the Too Faced, which smelled a lot like chemicals to me. The Soap and Glory smelled like vanilla or maybe a little coca. Finally, there is a saying that beauty hurts and the Too Faced one actually burned my lips to the point that I had to wipe it off. This is something I have heard from many others but never fully believed them. Did I also mention that I do not have sensitive skin? Also, the plumping was not worth the pain because there was little to none. Now, the Soap and Glory one surprised me because people at work actually noticed that my bottom lip was fuller and they said it didn't look overly done like the scene from First Wives Club where her lips overtook her face. So, in all honesty, you get more bang for your buck with the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Xl. As someone in the industry, I have observed the hype over the Too Faced product and I honestly believe it's not cracked up to be worthy of the price or the hype. Soap and Glory is a slept on brand that people forget about and I highly suggest you check it out and get the look for less. Buy our pick
*Marc Jacobs is certified cruelty-free according to PETA but L'Oreal is NOT. Makeup Reviewer, Kristin, says: These products are different - the Marc Jacobs is a liquid lipstick and the L'Oreal is a sheer traditional lipstick. But, I was shocked to find that when applied, these products look VERY similar in both the color and the glossy, opaque finish. However, the L'oreal simply doesn't have the lasting power and needs to be reapplied much more frequently. The splurge is worth it here for the smooth feel & the longevity. Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Makeup Maven, Kristin, says: There is a lot of hype behind the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, and frankly, I'm not sure why. While the lipstick went on smoothly, was creamy to wear and was generally very fancy feeling, it did not perform well. It is not a long-lasting formula, still has a bit of a sheen even though it is advertised as a matte formula, and sank into any sort of line or dry patch on my lips (even if I exfoliated beforehand). The Flower lipstick performed the same, if not better, in all areas and it was a bit more comfortable to wear, having a thicker, more glossy finish. These two products are also very close in shade, with the Flower Beauty being just a hair darker. In this comparison, there is no reason to splurge - I wholeheartedly recommend the Flower Beauty lipstick. Buy our pick
*Beauty Blender is certified cruelty-free by Cruelty-Free Kitty. Real Techniques claims to be cruelty-free. Makeup Maven, Nitya, says: The Beauty Blender is softer and less dense than the Real Techniques and is an egg shape with a smaller point which was better for accessing the under eye area. Real techniques is egg shaped at the top but has a flat bottom and is slightly larger. The flat bottom helped blend the foundation faster on the bulk of the face but the egg point is larger than BB so it was slightly more difficult to blend under the eyes. Both did an identical job of blending foundation on skin. The beauty blender was slightly softer on the skin but was barely noticeable. Both double in size when placed under water. Switch? YES, especially given the price difference of the BB $20 and RT purchased on sale for $3.50. Buy our pick
*Beautyblender is certified cruelty-free according to Cruelty-Free Kitty and Shop Miss A is certified according to PETA. Kayla says: The Original Beauty Blender is $20 & The Shop Miss A blender is $1.55. Both are pink in color and are tear dropped shape. There aren't many differences between these two sponges. The only difference is Shop Miss A gets a bit bigger than BB when wet. I didn't find it to be harder to work with because of the size, I actually felt like I blended foundation much quicker using the Shop Miss A blender. Foundation blended out with either on the face look very beautiful. Beauty Blender is also a bit more firm than Shop Miss A so due to this I think it may soak up a little more product than BB but it wasn't really noticeable and for the price, it's something I can deal with. Beauty Blender's color has actually come off on my hands a little bit in the past while using it but Shop Miss A has never done that to me. Both clean up well. If you're looking for a good dupe for the Beauty Blender - Shop Miss A has it! Buy our pick
*Neither brand is cruelty-free. Makeup Maven, Kristin, says: No need to spend more money here - the Sephora brand is basically the exact same product. Both of these products removed makeup well, without pulling or tugging on my skin, even down to my eyeliner. Great dupe! Buy our pick
*Both brands are certified cruelty-free according to Ethical Elephant. Katie's opinion is: ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING! Something everyone should have in their skincare routine is a good lactic acid. Smooth flawless skin is what everyone deserves. No more do we have to pay $105 for a small portion of Sunday Rileys Good Genes!!! For just $7 ( with tax) I believe you can get the same smooth skin from The Ordinary. I thought The Ordinary not only worked as fast and as well as any high-end lactic acid, but it also has hyaluronic acid in it as well, your exfoliant and moisturizer all in one, for a drug store price. I would highly suggest this for anyone who is sick of paying those high prices! Also when you use these acids remember your sunscreen as well! Buy our pick
*Neither brand is cruelty-free. Makeup Maven, Kimberly, says: St. Moriz Tanning Mousse is a pretty solid dupe for St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse! For the application, you will need a tanning mitt to make sure the product goes on evenly and to protect your hands. St. Tropez retails for $42 for 8 fl oz and St. Moriz retails for $12.99 for close to 7 fl oz. St. Tropez's shelf life is 12 months while St. Moriz's shelf life is 6 months. St. Tropez has a much more pleasant smell than St. Moriz, but only has one shade to choose from. St. Tropez's only shade is the same color as St. Moriz's shade in Dark, so if you want to go lighter or try tanning for the first time, St. Moriz is the way to go. Both mousses had an initial rinse off of the bronzer in the shower, which is typical of most sunless tanners, but I felt St. Moriz's color lasted longer. In my opinion, save your money on this one! Buy our pick