10 Affordable Makeup Substitutes for Pricey Cult Favorites
If you’ve ever equated the price of your favorite mascara to groceries or metro rides, we feel you. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE quality makeup, especially discovering new products. But when your go-to products are breaking the bank, we think some affordable alternatives are in order. That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 cult classics of the beauty counter and then found their bargain counterparts. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and is half the price, buy it immediately! (That’s how that saying goes, right?) Now we just need somewhere to store it all…
1. NARS Blush, Orgasm ($30) vs. Milani Baked Powder Blush, Dolce Pink ($7): NARS blush is nothing short of iconic. As its namesake suggests, orgasm (the blush) gives cheeks a flush with a little shimmer for extra glow. Milani’s blush is nearly the same color and pigmentation but with a little more sparkle, and it’s just under a third of the cost.
2. Yves Saint Laurent “Touche Éclat” Radiant Touch ($41) vs. Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer ($7): YSL’s concealer pen is more like a magic wand for a bright, refreshed glow. Wake up tired eyes with instant lift and use as a brilliant highlighter when contouring. However, not only does Maybelline’s option give you a similar brightening effect and application, but it’s a perfectly priced option for trying your hand at the nude makeup trend this spring.
3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62) vs. L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup ($11): Armani’s foundation is famous for its all-over coverage, wide range of shades and steep price tag. For seriously comparable color matching power and performance, L’Oreal’s option is one of the best drugstore foundations out there.
4. Dior Diorshow Mascara ($25) vs. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara ($6): One of the most famous mascaras of all time, Diorshow’s formula is lengthening and thickening, and we can’t stop smelling it. Seriously, it smells amazing. Lucky for us, L’Oreal’s option is not only a great value, but also provides comparable lengthening and volume.
5. Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ, Nude Beige ($35) vs. e.l.f. Studio Mineral Lipstick, Runway Pink ($5): YSL’s luxury lipstick is lauded for its buttery texture, beautiful color and fabulous packaging. Believe it or not, you can snag the same pink pout for a fraction of the cost. Nude lipstick can be tough to find in just the right color, so we like the light price tag on this option for trying it out.
6. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Black Ink ($25) vs. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, Blackest Black ($10): A cat-eye enthusiast’s dream, Bobbi Brown’s liner is creamy, heavily pigmented and stays on all day. For less than half the price, Maybelline’s affordable alternative stands up to the test by gliding on smoothly, packing some serious color and lasting well past happy hour. Not only is it easy to apply, it also comes with its own brush!
7. Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($28) vs. N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder ($3): Hoola is Benefit’s best-selling pressed bronzer thanks to its matte and natural color that works on a wide range of skin tones. N.Y.C.’s bronzing powder is a close match in pigment and lack of shimmer or sparkle, and its miniscule price makes it a no-brainer for bronzing babes on a budget.
8. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($34) vs. e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder ($6): MUFE’s translucent finishing powder is a fan favorite for eliminating shine and smoothing imperfections. Think: your favorite Instagram filter, IRL. Get the same mattifying and blurring effect with e.l.f.’s powder for a fabulous price. Plus, it comes in three colors.
9. MAC Lipstick, Ruby Woo ($16) vs. Wet ‘N Wild MegaLast Lip Color, Stoplight Red ($2): Easily one of the most beloved MAC lipsticks ever, this matte red is perfectly pigmented and looks beautiful on every skin tone. Wet ‘N Wild delivers the same color in a creamier, but still matte, lipstick for a small portion of the original cost. This is a perfect option for red lip newbies!
10. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Finishing Mist ($22) vs. e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set ($3): Fix + is a makeup bag staple for those of us who like our makeup to stick around. Spritz over the top of makeup and even before application and it won’t budge all day. With comparable stay-put power, you can set it and forget it for a whole lot less with e.l.f’s alternative.
Do you know any great bargain dupes for your favorite products? Share with us in the comments below!