I’ve been wearing makeup for a long time. I love that you can create so many different looks with it and play up whatever feature you’re feeling that day. With makeup, however, comes a lot of money down the drain. Somewhere along the way I developed the idea that drugstore makeup was not good enough, and thus began the many, many trips I’ve made to Sephora over the years.
Well, I’m glad to say I’ve ended that phase of my life and am now constantly searching for new drugstore bargains to try out. Now that I’ve accumulated a number of options, I thought it would be fun to put my drugstore items to the test and see how they compare to my higher-end products. If you want to find out which ones are worth it and which ones you need to steer clear of, keep reading below!
When looking at the pictures of my face, the left side is high-end products and the right side is dupes.
Urban Decay Naked Basics ($29) vs. Covergirl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99)
These palettes are relatively the same with their matte shades, but CoverGirl’s palette actually offers three extra shimmery shadows. I wanted to see how they compared in consistency and color pay off to see if this could truly be considered a dupe. I used only matte shades to ensure I was getting as close to the other as possible.
Findings: There were a couple different things I noticed with this trial. First, the color of these two palettes are so similar I could barely tell a difference. I liked that I could get the same look for way less with the CoverGirl palette, and even had more options to choose from. However, there was a clear difference in the consistency of each formula. The Naked Basics shadows were smooth, blendable and extremely pigmented, whereas the CoverGirl Nudes shadows were tougher to blend, had a lot of fall out and were not nearly as vibrant. It took more time to blend and get the same color payoff with the Covergirl palette than it did with the Urban Decay palette.
Overall, I would definitely say the CoverGirl palette is a dupe. The quality is not as good as the Urban Decay, but it’s a third of the price and the completed look is spot on.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($8.29) vs. Nars Blush in Orgasm ($30)
Nars Orgasm (top left of blush palette) is pretty much the celebrity of all other blushes. When you hear someone talking about this blush, it’s never to criticize it. Both shades are credited for giving a luminous peachy sheen and are said to pair well with every skin tone. I just got this Nars blush palette and was SO excited to finally try the raved about shade.
Findings: As you can see in the top picture, the Nars blush offers more of a pink sheen than a peach. If I’m going to be completely honest, I liked the Milani blush a million times better. That may be biased because I automatically gravitate toward peach glows, but Luminoso really is the full package. Not only does it give a glow, but it truly is a color that would look good on every skin tone. As for Nars Orgasm, I’m not so sure I liked the color on my skin.
I would say this is NOT a dupe. Though the colors are sort of similar, Orgasm gave a pink sheen with specs of gold glitter, whereas Luminoso was a smoother-in-consistency peachy glow.
MAC Satin Lipstick in Captive ($17) vs. Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Frick’n Frack ($6)
Having maybe the most popular line of lipsticks, I thought MAC would be hard to beat. Both of these lipsticks are said to give a satin finish and be long-wearing. Looking at them, the MAC looks to be more of a pinkish plum, whereas the Coulourpop liquid lipstick is a rosy shade. When I swatched them both on the back of my hand they looked really close in color, so I thought these would be the perfect dupe to test out.
Findings: As far as color, the two shades were extremely close. Frick’n Frack was a little darker and less pink than Captive. Once Frick’n Frack set, the texture of the two looked exactly the same. I almost think I liked the consistency of Colourpop’s better than MAC’s because it felt less drying on my lips, but still gave the same satin finish.
I would call this a dupe. The colors are the smallest bit different, but the longevity of the lipstick is relatively the same.
This goes to show that not all high-end makeup is the best option. Don’t get lost in the labels and you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run. What’s your favorite drugstore product?