The Ultimate Dupe List (High End vs Drugstore)

I love to read a good Dupes Post and I am forever searching for cheaper alternatives to higher end products. Let’s face it, not everyone has the resources to splurge on high end beauty products every time. I do treat myself once in a while but I still love my drug store products. I have to mention that not all these dupes are 100% similar or even 80%. What I decided to do was include common dupes I had read about before and put them to the test and also dupes that were absolutely amazing. Of course, you can’t expect the same quality from high end and drug store all the time but for the most part, majority of the drug store products are really good. For example, a high end blush may look similar but the lasting power and finish may set it apart from a more affordable dupe. Right let’s get started….

This is an uncanny dupe and I cannot even tell the difference at all if they did not have slightly different fragrances. The Lancome  Galateis Douceur Cleansing Milk is a lovely cleanser that glides on so easily (just like silk) across the face removing both face and eye makeup. It feels super hydrating and moisturising and does not sting my eyes at all. The Vichy Purete Thermal works in exactly the same way and the formulas are so similar. I would say the Vichy version is ever so slightly thicker in formula than the Lancome version but I love both of them. Of course, the Vichy version is cheaper than the Lancome one.

There are quite a few dupes for Lancome products and Vichy products and these companies are both under the L’Oreal umbrella. The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum (review here) is one of the best affordable hydrating serum I have ever tried and I loved it so much that I repurchased it when I was running low. On the other hand, I have always had my eyes on the Lancome Advanced Genifique Serum after trying several samples which were GWP (gifts with purchases). I took the plunge and purchased it and it’s been bliss. The two serums are very similar in terms of texture and feel on the skin. They even smell similar as they are both fragranced but the Vichy has a slightly stronger fragrance. The major difference would be the effects they have on the skin. The Advanced Genifique has anti-ageing properties and bespoke ingredients that seriously makes my skin look and feel incredible while the Vichy is mainly a hydrating serum but an amazing one. If you are looking for a good all rounder, I'd say splurge on the Lancome Advanced Genifique but if you are just after hydration, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is the one for you.

Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion (£45) vs Alpha Liquid Gold (£33.50) vs Pixi Glow Tonic (£18)
Now, the above 3 toners or chemical exfoliators are the best I have in my stash and I cannot even explain how amazing they are. The first time I heard about the Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion (review here), I wanted it instantly but it was absolutely difficult to get my hands on. Then I heard the Pixi Glow Tonic was a dupe and I purchased it immediately. Now that I have tried both of them, I don't think the Pixi Glow Tonic (review here) is a straight dupe per say. I would say the Pixi Glow Tonic is a mild version of the Biologique Recherche P50. They both contain effective AHAs that help exfoliate the skin but the P50 works so much faster than any other toner/chemical exfoliator I have tried. The skincare product I actually think is a close contender for the P50 is the Alpha H Liquid Gold (review here) which is not particularly inexpensive but it is cheaper than the P50. In my opinion, if you want a good chemical exfoliator and you have sensitive skin, try the Pixi Glow Tonic. If you want a powerful chemical exfoliator and you can bear it, then the P50 and Liquid Gold will be my picks. I love all these toners as already mentioned and I am so happy I even have minis of the P50 and the Pixi Glow Tonic.

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water (£19) vs Garnier Micellar Water (£4.99)
I already did an entire post on my Favourite Micellar Waters so I won't ramble on too much. I also have separate reviews of the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water here and the Garnier Micellar Water here. I was so delighted when I finally tried the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water which was and still is very hyped in the beauty world. I have to say it is the best micellar water I have ever tried. It just does the job so well and I don't have to use a lot of it at all. The Garnier Micellar Water is the closest dupe I have tried from the drug store and it looks very similar to the Bioderma version even down to the pink packaging. The only thing I find is that I need to use more of the Garnier Micellar Water compared to the Bioderma Micellar Water. Other than that, I think they have very similar quality and the Garnier price range makes it more attractive and accessible.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (£15) vs Soap and Glory Brow Filling Pencil (£8)
First off, I just have to say that my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is actually finished so the swatch looks a little dodgy but it was a really good brow pencil. I have a review of it here. Anyway, I eventually fell for the hype of the ABH Brow Wiz and I was quite impressed with how tiny the nib was. However, I felt the £15 price was a little crazy and the fact that I could only buy it online was not one I liked. So, I was on the search for a more accessible and affordable dupe. I have tried quite a few others including the NYX Micro Brow Pencil but the Soap and Glory Brow Filling Pencil (review here)  is the best dupe to the ABH. I dare say it may even be better and the fact that it is £8 (most times you can get it less with Boots offers) and it's more accessible makes it an absolute winner. The only difference will be the colour range, The ABH Brow Wiz has quite about 10 shades while the Soap & Glory version has only 2 shades. However, the shade Hot Chocolate in Soap and Glory and the shade Dark Brown in ABH Brow Wiz are almost identical and they match my complexion so well.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (£15) vs NYX Brow Pomade (£5.50)
Another very hyped up product is the ABH Dipbrow Pomade (review here) and I put off purchasing it for the longest time until I caved in this year. I really actually think it is very much worth the hype although I have heard people complain that theirs have dried up. Mine has remained the same as when I purchased it and I am very impressed with it. However, I did try the NYX Tame and Frame Brow Pomade before I purchased the ABH one. The NYX version is very similar to the ABH version for a fraction of the price and it's a good dupe in my opinion. However, I feel the ABH version is creamier and easier to apply with better lasting power compared to the NYX version (which is a tad drier). To be fair, if you are not looking out for differences in them you may not notice at all. I also think the ABH version is more pigmented so I use way less product than when I use the NYX version. Lastly, he ABH Brow Pomade has more shades than the NYX version. Regardless, you can see from the photos that they are both well loved and I just use whichever I fancy on a daily basis. I have heard good things about the Freedom Makeup Brow Pomade which is always sold out so I guess it must be good. 
I think I may have tried the Benefit Roller Lash sample first and I loved how it transformed my little lashes. When it ran out, I heard that the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara was a good dupe so I had to try it. I do agree that they are very similar and if you don’t want to splurge on Roller Lash, this is one to try. They both have curly or a curvy wands which helps keep your lashes curled for a longer time. The major difference would be the formula for me. The Benefit Roller Lash does not get clumpy and it set and dries quickly which makes the mascara last longer. The Maybelline version has a slight wet look and could go clumpy if you are not careful or if you layer it. Another thing I have to point out is that the Roller Lash does not add volume to my lashes as well as the Maybelline Lash Sensation. They are both amazing and I would repurchase them when they run out.

By Terry Ombre Blackstar (£29) vs Kiko Longwear Eyeshadow Stick (£6.90)
The award for  the most talked about dupes for the By Terry Ombre Blackstars goes to the Kiko Eyeshadow Sticks. I actually purchased the Kiko version first (I have a review here) because I was so keen to try their amazing formula and I can tell you they work so well. The By Terry Ombre Blackstars (mini review here) are absolutely unique and I don’t think I have tried anything like them. There are two very similar shades in the range (Bronze Moon in By Terry and 06 in Kiko) and (Misty Rock in By Terry and 05 in Kiko) which look identical on swatching. They both look incredible on the eyes and you can’t tell the difference immediately. However, the major difference is the packaging, formula, lasting power and cost, of course. The By Terry version is infused with Tahitian Black Pearl which gives it an unrivalled glow while the Kiko version does not have this ingredient. I also feel the By Terry version lasts longer without creasing and it looks beautifully packaged. Nevertheless, I think the Kiko versions are the closest dupe to the By Terry Ombre Blackstars and the price difference makes it more accessible. I also have to mention that one of my Kiko eyeshadow sticks melted or got damaged while my By Terry ones have remained intact even after enduring really hot weather. So, I would definitely choose the By Terry Ombre Blackstars (as a treat) any day although they are super pricey but worth it.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Cruella) //£19  vs Maybelline Velvet Lip Pencil (My Red)//£4.99
I think this has to be one of my favourite dupes because they are very similar. When Maybelline launched their Color Drama Lip Pencils, I made my way to Boots to pick a couple up (review here). They have such a lovely formula, incredible pigmentation and lasting power. The thing is their formula is not consistent across the range. The lighter shades seem to be more difficult to apply than the darker colours which glide on so easily. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils on the other hand are incredibly pigmented, last a long time and glide on so smoothly despite them being matte. However, I have to mention that the only close dupe (that I own) is the shade Cruella in NARS and the shade My Red in Maybelline. Honestly, you cannot tell the difference once they are on the lips but on a swatch you can see that the NARS formula is more matte while the Maybelline appears creamy or satin. The only difference is the lasting power where the NARS Formula stands out. I already have a full post comparing both formulas here.

I can see people raising their eyebrows already at this dupe duo. Honestly, they don’t look at all similar and you would never guess but the taste of the pudding is in the eating. First off, they both provide a demi matte velvet finish which is more flattering than a flat matte finish. They look absolutely the same on my skin and I dare say the L’Oreal Pro Matte (review here) is easier to blend into my skin than NARS ADLWF (review here )which requires mostly fingers or a beauty blender to look flawless. Their formulas are very different as the NARS is more watery while the L’Oreal is creamier. However, their finish and lasting power is very comparable but the NARS definitely takes the win when it comes to lasting power.

MAC Velvet Teddy (£15.50) vs  Rimmel Kate 03 vs Collection Deluxe in Charleston vs W7 Lady Luck (all the dupes are £5 and under)
I remember a little while ago when it was almost impossible to get your hands on MAC Velvet Teddy, I had to get my friend buy me one when she went to America. Yes, a very desperate measure and they were even cheaper over there. Before my friend got back, I tried quite a few dupes that I had read about. I actually have three other products which I think are really close to MAC Velvet Teddy. I do have to say that when swatched they may not look like exact dupes but when they are on my lips, they look very similar. I think it may also have to do with the colour of my lips. I actually have a full post on MAC Velvet Teddy dupes over here if you fancy a read.  I also have a review of the MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick here. The closest dupe for my complexion is the W7 Lady Luck (from their Ebony range). It looks very similar to Velvet Teddy on my lips. The other two Rimmel Kate 03 and the Collection Lipstick in Charleston are pretty close contenders to and I guess may be better dupes on other complexions.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (£38.50) vs Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Palette (£4)
I remember when Makeup Revolution (MUR) recently launched, everyone knew them for the amazing dupes they make. Of course, I had to check them out and one of the first products I tried was the MUR Iconic 3 Palette. I was really impressed with the palette and I used it for a good while. I purchased the Naked 3 Palette during Boxing Day Sales and I needed to finally see if the MUR Iconic 3 Palettes was really a dupe. Well, the thing is Urban Decay Eyeshadows have one of the best buttery textures and pigmentation out there that it is almost impossible to dupe them. I find that the texture of the MUR Iconic 3 eyeshadows are not consistent across the palette. Some of them feel really nice and buttery and the rest are a bit chalky and patchy. However, if you are after a palette that has a similar colour scheme to the Naked 3, the MUR is a good place to start.  For the price of £4, I think they did pretty good and if you use a good primer, you can get a longer wear time. However, if you are after good quality long lasting eyeshadows, then the UD Naked 3 is the way to go.

MAC Eyeshadows (£10) vs Makeup Geek Eyeshadows (£4.95)
I feel like I could do a whole post on eyeshadow dupes because there are many dupes out there. It's no secret that Makeup Geek eyeshadows are incredible and they are also very good dupes for a good number of MAC eyeshadows. I only own a few  that are very similar to other MAC eyeshadows. The first is MAC Amber Lights which is one of my favourite eyeshadows (I have even hit pan) and the Makeup Geek Glamorous. I still prefer MAC Amber Light and there is something about its luminous finish that keeps me reaching for it over others. The Makeup Geek Glamorous is a close dupe in terms of shade and pigmentation but it lacks the beautiful luminous finish that Amber Light has. The other close dupe is Makeup Geek Burlesque and MAC Swiss Chocolate. They both are rich dark brownish red shades which I adore but I think the Makeup Geek Burlesque is more pigmented than the MAC shade (shocking right). Still, I prefer to use the Swiss Chocolate because it is easier to build and blend.

NARS Orgasm Blush (full size £23) vs Sleek Rose Gold Blush (£4.50)
I have turned into a little blush freak and I think I may need to share my blush collection pretty soon. Anyway, I have always liked Sleek Blushes because they have very flattering shades for all skin tones. I also heard a lot about NARS blushes and I was delighted to see the very popular NARS Orgasm Blush (mini) included in my Glossy Box. The first time I tried it I was like I definitely have a blush like this in my collection. I did a little search in my Muji storage and I found my good old Sleek Rose Gold Blush. They are very similar both as a swatch and on my face. I honestly think they are almost identical although I think the NARS version lasts ever so slightly longer than the Sleek one.

NARS Taj Mahal Blush (£23) vs Sleek Blush in Lantern (£9.99 for 3 Blushes)
One of the blushes I have had my eyes on was the NARS Taj Mahal which was rumoured to be discontinued (it is still here, thank God). I quickly purchased it the next time I was at Duty Free and I could not have been more delighted. It is everything I hoped for and more and I think it is super flattering on deeper skin tones. The Sleek Blush in Lantern is part of the Blush 3-in-1 in Pumpkin set which I adore as the blushes in there are absolutely gorgeous. They are very pigmented and flattering on my complexion and I usually have to use a very light hand. The shade Lantern is really similar to NARS Taj Mahal and both are beautifu. The major difference is that Taj Mahal has more glitter (a beautiful glow on the skin and not patchy glitter at all) while Lantern has more of a matte finish. Also, Taj Mahal is more of a brighter shade on the skin (maybe the glow helps) compared to Lantern.

MAC Highlighter in Peach Lustre (£19) vs L.A. Girl Orange Corrector (£4.99)
I have always been on the hunt for a good orange corrector because they work so well on my complexion and they correct my hyper pigmentation. I tried quite a few orange correctors and none worked as well as my MAC Peach Lustre. It has the right balance of peach and orange that works so well with my skin tone and that's why I repurchased it. Before then, I tried the L.A. Girl Orange Corrector after reading how amazing it was but I found it way too orange for my liking. I have been told I could mix it with the Yellow Corrector but to be honest, it's too much of a faff. I think the L.A. Girl Corrector may be suitable for much darker complexions than mine so I am not completely writing it off. Apart from the difference in colour, the MAC Peach Lustre has a lighter texture which is easier to blend compared to the L.A. Girl Orange Corrector. I would definitely choose the MAC Peach Lustre over the L.A. Girl Orange Corrector.

The Original Beauty Blender (£16) vs Precision Beauty Blender (£3.99)
Now this was quite a surprising one because I had tried quite a few Beauty Blenders including the Real Techniques version. I have written a comparison post over here so you can check it out if you fancy. The truth is the Original Beauty Blender is the best I have ever tried. The closest I have ever come across is the Precision Beauty Blender which I stumbled upon in TK Maxx. I am not sure where else it is sold but it is pretty good. It definitely does not have the same bounce as the Original Beauty Blender however when it comes to blending, it does a very decent job. I also find that it is way easier to wash than the Original Beauty Blender. So, it's a winner for me and I do prefer it to the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge. The only sad thing is it's not easy to find as I have only found it in TK Maxx.

Overall Thoughts
I know this was a super long post (you all know what I am like) but I do hope you enjoyed this post. I am keen to know if you have tried any of these dupes or the high end products. If you have other dupes, do leave them in the comments section so I can check them out. See you in my next post...xx
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  1. This is really great post, love finding dupes👌

    1. I am glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by...xx

  2. The Maybelline mascara vs Benefit's and Makeup Geek shadows vs. MAC's are two cases where I actually prefer the dupe to the original ;) great round-up!

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. I totally feel you!! I do prefer a good number of the Makeup Geek Eyeshadows compared to the MAC ones. Thanks for stopping over...xx

  3. Love this post! I can definitely see how much thought and effort has gone into it, and I'm definitely going to save it and refer back to it in the future!

    Maya |

    1. Awww that's so kind of you!! Thank you ever so much for appreciating my efforts and I am glad you enjoyed this post...xx

  4. Wow SO many dupes - bookmarking this post!! I never knew the L'Oreal foundation was a dupe for the Nars one! Heard that the new Freedom brow pomade is also a dupe for the ABH brow pomade! There are a few MUG dupes for MAC shadows and they're gorgeous! Such an informative and in depth post, thanks for sharing! Once again, beautiful photos xxx

    Jasmine ||

    1. Thanks a lot Jas!! I absolutely agree that there are quite a few MUG shadows that are really good dupes for MAC eyeshadows. I really do want to try the Freedom Brow Pomade but it is always sold out. Thanks for stopping over lovely...xx


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