Beauty on a Budget: Drugstore Dupes for High End Makeup

Dec 19 2017, 9:23 am

To kick-start my new ‘Beauty on a Budget’ series I’m going to fill you in on a few of my favourite drugstore versions of high end/luxe products! Sometimes the drugstore will make it easy for you and package their version of a high end product similarly – you’ll notice a couple of the examples below just so happen to have the same package shape, colour and detailing. I’m a sucker for Sephora, MAC, and especially the ever-so-enticing counters at The Bay and Holt Renfrew. In an effort to save cash, I spent the last few months slowly trying out and testing drugstore products that would be able to take the place of the pricey items I always seem have my eye on.

1. Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Concealer ($30) vs. Hard Candy Glamoflouge Concealer ($6)

Okay lovelies, this is probably one of the best dupes I’ve ever come across! I wouldn’t suggest either for use under your eyes but they conceal blemishes like no other – and without creasing or smudging on you. The key with any concealer is to use powder to ensure it doesn’t shift. The Glamoflouge is also thick enough to conceal tattoos, just like Kat Von D’s version. (I had to try it for myself!)

2. Makeup Forever Aqua Creams ($28) vs. Maybelline Color Tattoos ($9 but on sale at London Drugs for $7)

Now, the Maybelline version isn’t waterproof like the Aqua Cream but it’s essentially the same concept: a cream shadow to use alone to prevent creasing or for use as a base for powder eye shadows to give them more staying power as well as intensifying colors. Another high end product that is similar to these is the MAC Paintpot. (Barely Branded by Maybelline is almost an exact dupe for Bare Study by MAC!)

No. 7 Beauty on a Budget DS Dupes 2

3. MAC Pro Longwear Foundation ($37) vs. Revlon Color Stay Foundation ($19)

With these two foundations, it’s almost a given that Revlon won’t have the same staying power as MAC. With that said, I find that the Revlon Color Stay blends much easier and doesn’t dry as fast as the Pro Longwear. Overall, I would say that with the right setting powder you can achieve the same look as if you had used a MAC foundation. The powder I suggest is the Loose Mineral Powder by Maybelline.

4. Tarte EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener ($23) vs. Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude ($5)

Even the names of these two products are similar! Personally, I find the Rimmel version to be more creamy and pigmented. Despite the price difference between the two products, I would pay more for the Rimmel liner over Tarte’s any day. I’m pretty sure I annoy everyone with the amount I talk about this product, bottom line is: it’s amazing, like really amazing.

5. MAC Lipstick in Candy Yum Yum ($18) vs. Maybelline Vivids Lipstick in Fuschia Flash ($11 but on sale at London Drugs for $7)

Ahhh…the ever so popular Candy Yum Yum! I am so glad to have come across a lipstick that matches its colour almost perfectly. Candy Yum Yum has a matte finish whereas Fuschia Flash has more of a satin/sheen finish. The formulation is, of course, slightly different but I don’t mind having to re-apply throughout the day when it’s $10 cheaper! The Maybelline Vivid line is just that, VIVID. I own all eight of the colours in this line and I am absolutely in love with them. (Unnecessary, I know) These lippys pack a crazy amount of color for a drugstore brand.

6. Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in No.7 in Corail Aquatique ($36) vs. L’oreal Wet Shine in Pink Resistance ($12)

You have to build up the colour of the L’oreal Wet Shine gloss a bit to get the same color pay off as one stroke of the YSL version but keeping the $20 price difference in mind, I’m more than okay with that. They both have similar packaging (although YSL’s is more substantial in weight/detail) as well as similar tapered applicators.

Fun Fact: YSL partnered with L’oreal in 2008 so keep an eye out for other dupes, such as the illuminating foundations and the ever so popular Touche Éclat highlighting pen ($50) in the hidden treasure chest that is L’oreal!


I hope I helped shed some light on how drugstore products are not far behind the high end, luxury brands when it comes to product pigment and formulation. Stay tuned for more drugstore dupes, I pretty much live for them! Now for the grand total:

Total amount for all high end products: $172

Total amount for all drugstore products: $56 (Current sale prices)


It IS possible to look great for less. If you know of any other drugstore dupes comment below or tweet me @NavanArtisty! Until next time, your thrifty, neighborhood beauty addict!


DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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