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10 money-saving makeup dupes

By Gabrielle Hester

If you are a makeup addict like me and have left Sephora spending upwards of $100 on high-end makeup, then listen up.  I totally understand the obsession with the high-end brands who have the gleaming highlighters and the illuminating elixirs, but sometimes you have to face the facts. Just because a product is high end, does not mean it’s better.

It took me awhile to grasp the concept that a product from Walgreens potentially has the same quality (if not better) then a fancy brand at Sephora. Due to being in college and living the not-so-glamorous life, I had to find a cheaper way to fulfill my makeup addiction.

Here is where dupes come into play. If you didn’t already know, a dupe is a cheaper and strikingly similar version of your favorite makeup products. To help save you time searching for dupes, I have conveniently created a list of them ranging from foundation to matte lipsticks that have saved me tons of money.

Dupe #1:  Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

This sponge is a dupe for the classic Beauty Blender. It applies makeup smoothly and effortlessly with that airbrush finish we all love. The Miracle Complexion Sponge, retailing for $5.99, even has a more precise angle than the Beauty Blender, so you can apply foundation in those hard-to-reach places.

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Dupe #2: E.l.f. Primers

Primer is a crucial step in your makeup routine. Unfortunately, good primers, such as Smashbox primers, retail for around $20; luckily, E.l.f. has a line of primers that works just as well as Smashbox – they even have the same types.

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E.l.f. primers focus on hydration, a matte finish and look of illumination. For just $6 you get that velvety, Smashbox texture.

Dupe #3: E.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist

Setting sprays have become a popular trend. This setting mist is an exact dupe for the MACFix+ setting spray. For the same quality and results as the MAC spray, which costs $24, you only spend $3. You literally can save $21. Talk about savings!

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Dupe #4: E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit

When it comes to eyebrows, Benefit Cosmetics takes the win. They have a variety of products that are specific to every eyebrow type. Despite the amazing quality, their products are not easy on the wallet. No need to fear because E.l.f has us covered. Their eyebrow kit truly provides the same results as Benefit’s Brow Zings, which costs $32. E.l.f’s kit only costs a whopping $3.

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Dupe #5: NYX Blush in Terracotta

Anyone infatuated with makeup knows that MAC has some of the best blushes in the industry. They have a variety of shades with incredible pigment. With that being said, would you believe me if I told you that NYX cosmetics produces blushes that are precisely the same shade as MAC?

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Just one example is NYX Terracotta and MAC Powder Blush in Peaches. You can get the same shade for a mere $5.99 compared to MAC’s $24.

Dupe #6: NYX Liquid Illuminator

Having a glowing complexion is all the rage right now. People achieve this with highlighters or mixing in illuminators with their foundations. A fan favorite is the Benefit High Beam Liquid Illuminator, which retails at $26. This dupe was the most surprising for me because I could not find a difference between these two products. The NYX Liquid Illuminator has the same glow and consistency as the High Beam and it is only $7.49.

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Dupe #7: Milani Eyeshadow in Bronze Doll

This is another MAC product dupe. MAC eyeshadows are well known for their pigment and simple blending. For those of you not willing to spend $16 on an single eyeshadow (me), Milani has a dupe. Milani Eyeshadow in Bronze Doll, which retails at $7.29, is very similar to MAC’s eyeshadow in the color Wood Winked. When you swatch them, the difference is practically unrecognizable.

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Dupe #8: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation

Foundations can be so expensive nowadays. I have sensitive skin, so I tend to avoid drug store foundations out of fear that they will cause me to break out. Milani has changed the game.

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Milani’s Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation is an exact dupe for Too Faced’s Born this Way Foundation. Milani’s foundation is only $10, while Too Faced foundation is $39. By using this dupe, you will save $29 for the same full coverage and smooth look.

Dupe #9: NYX Concealer Wand

Concealers are becoming the latest craze with the increasing popularity of contouring. It is hard to find a drug store concealer that not only provides full coverage but also doesn’t crease under your eyes.

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A popular choice for concealer is Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. It burns a pretty hole in your pocket by costing $28. If you love this concealer, but if you don’t love the price, check out the NYX Concealer Wand! It’s only $4.99! It is creaseless and creates a flawless complexion.

Dupe #10: ColourPop Cosmetics Liquid Matte Lipstick

Lastly, the most popular makeup dupe. ColourPop Cosmetics Liquid Matte Lipsticks are a perfect dupe for Kylie Jenner’s Liquid Matte Lipsticks. Multiple shades of each lipstick have been swathed and proven to be an exact match.

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Some examples are ColourPop Magic Wand for Kylie’s Exposed, ColourPop’s Instigator for Kylie’s Dirty Peach and ColourPop’s Midi for Kylie’s Candy K. Kylie’s lipkits ring in at $29, while ColourPop’s lipstick is a mere $6.


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