Beauty Dupes & Affordable Alternatives

I think putting together dupe posts is one of my favourite things to do for this blog, plus based on the feedback they usually get - I think they're amongst your favourite things to read! I've been wanting to do another bunch of dupe for a while, however I's always felt a as though they had to be pretty much identical to original to be included, so I've decided to make this about affordable alternatives too that are similar but cost way less money. I've swatched and compared all of these products (the first swatch will always be the expensive one and the swatch next to it the cheaper alternative), so I hope it helps you save some money!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit* | £41 | vs. L'Oreal La Vie en Glow Highlighting Palette in Warm Glow | £12.99 | These actually don't look that similar in the pan, otherwise I probably wouldn't have picked up the L'Oreal! However at least it makes a good dupe, because these are near-enough-identical once swatched and when applied to the skin. The Anastasia palette is one of my favourites; it has this soft, smooth formula that gives an intense, dewy appearance on the skin. The L'Oreal palette is probably the best I've tried from the drugstore; the powders have such a soft texture with zero glitter and give an intense look on the skin. The shades are pretty spot-on in terms of duping Sun Dipped; there's a light frosty gold, a similar but slightly warmer shade, a unique cool bronze and a very warm golden-bronze. As much as I love Anastasia's formula, I think for the price difference I'd recommend checking out the L'Oreal if you wanted a selection of shades like this and don't want to break the bank.

Nars Orgasm Blush | £24 | vs. Milani Baked Blush in Bella Bellini* | £10 | Nars is pretty much the authority on blusher and Orgasm is their most (in)famous shade. It's honestly not a product I reach for that much any more, though it definitely had its time and place in my beauty history, I've just found products I prefer now. I actually find the formula a little chunky, though it doesn't translate hugely to the cheeks and you get a nice, natural flush of warm peach with a golden sheen running through it. This is actually one of those occasions where I prefer the dupe! Whilst I like the slightly warmer tone of Orgasm (Bella Bellini pulls slightly more pink), the soft, silky, sheeny formula of the Milani blusher is just smoother to apply and more pigmented on the skin. They both wear pretty well too, so I'm going to say that the cheaper product beats the more expensive one.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Sienna | £12 | vs. Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Cocoa Bear | £4.95 | I really love Anastasia's eyeshadow formula; whether it's pre-made palettes or these single, I think it's one of the best. However I also think it's amazing that you can build your own eyeshadow palette for a fraction of the cost with indie brands like Makeup Geek! Every eyeshadow palette needs a medium-dark warm reddish-brown matte to deepen the crease and these shades both perform that function. Sienna has a smoother formula, however the longevity and the colour payoff is very similar between these two eyeshadows. Sienna blends out that bit more easily and evenly, however for the price difference, I do think Cocoa Bear is worth checking out.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Dreamsicle | £32 | vs. Elf Baked Highlighter in Apricot Glow | £5 | I actually did a post on three peachy highlighters for three budgets that you can check out here, however I thought I'd still mention the cheapest and the most expensive here, as I haven't heard anyone mention these two as similar before. I'd actually say the formulas are quite different, so this is more of an affordable alternative than an exact dupe because you can get a very similar look with them once applied. The Becca is more a a smooth, dewy-look formula, whereas the Elf is baked, so gives a much softer, more natural sheen (side note: you kind of have to scrape off the first layer of the Elf highlighter to get to the actual product!) However they're both easy to apply, sit beautifully on the skin and give that warm peachy vibe. The Becca is a little more tangerine-toned and the Elf is more golden, but once applied, they give a very similar look. Dreamsicle actually hasn't launched in the UK, and Sephora no longer ships here, so if you had your eye on that shade but can't get hold of it, I'd recommend checking out the Elf instead.

Lorac Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette | $42 (~£32) | vs. ColourPop I Think I Love You Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette | $16 (~£12) | I feel like a lot of people are going to be a bit annoyed that several of these dupes are from ColourPop, which doesn't have a UK stockist so just to preempt that: it you want something like one eyeshadow palette, you can order that, pay $9.99 for shipping (it comes pretty fast) and not get any customs because it's under £15, or you can go all out and spend $50 to get free shipping and when you're haul arrives you'll have to pay a total of around £15 in customs and to Royal Mail for processing the fees. It's really not the end of the world! Plus: YOU'RE STILL GETTING A GREAT PRODUCT AND PAYING WAAAAY LESS THAN FOR THE HIGH-END VERSIONS! That being said, the Lorac Unzipped palette is not available in the UK but Amazon US is an official stockist and that's where I got mine from - you can get all of the ordering details here. However I know a lot of people who read this blog are also American, so this is a great one for you in particular! I've done a full review on the Unzipped in the post I linked but it's a product I always go back to. The shadows definitely kick up some fallout (the mattes in particular) but the pigmentation is soooo good! The mattes blend nicely (even the darker shades) and the shimmers are like a foiled eyeshadow. I've always thought of it as giving a very 'romantic' eye look so it's fitting that ColourPop's similar palette is all love-themed! It's not an exact dupe and, as I'm sure you can see (the ColourPop version is definitely more warm-toned), the Lorac pans are HUGE whereas the ColourPop ones are small, but that doesn't bother me too much because I rarely hit eyeshadow pan anyway. I've swatched some of the corresponding shades below and you can get a very similar look with the ColourPop palette, plus a few extra shades are in there for versatility. I'd say the shimmers are a little softer and have less impact in the ColourPop palette but they do still look beautiful once applied. The ColourPop palettes are definitely up there as some of the best when it comes to affordable eyeshadows and this is no exception; there's not a single dud in here! The main difference is the longevity - I find the ColourPop to be average in terms of wear time and you get a few extra hours with Lorac's formula.

Urban Decay Comfort Matte Lipstick in Carnal | £16.50 | vs. ColourPop Matte Lippie Stick in Brink | $5.50 (~£4) | I really love a 'matte but not too matte' lipstick - I like getting that opacity and longevity without a super-drying formula that you need to exfoliate your lips for. Urban Decay's Comfort Mattes are perfect for my preferences and I really like this pinky-terracotta nude shade. However ColourPop's Matte Lippie Stix are really similar, though a little more creamy and sheeny. Both are comfortable to wear and really last on me. Brink has a slightly cooler tone to it but these shades look pretty similar once on the lips. 

Tarte Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette | £36 | vs. ColourPop Double Entendre Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette | $16 (~£12) | This is another one that's more of an alternative than something that has a dupe for every single shade, however as you can see in my swatches there's a lot of crossover. I think what throws things off (and maybe means people don't see these as dupes) is the fact that 3/4 of the shades are similar and swatched below, however the other 1/4 of the shades in each palette are very different. Whilst the Tarte leans towards reds and oranges and golds, the Double Entendre has a more coppery, glitzy vibe to it. I really love them both and I reach for them regularly when I want a warm smoky eye. As I've mentioned before, the ColourPop formula isn't the most long-wearing, whereas the Tarte formula probably has the best longevity of any of my palettes. If wear time is a big issue or you prefer the more red, orange and gold tones then go for the Tarte, however if you want to save a bit of money and like the slightly more plummy and coppery colours in the Double Entendre, then I think it's not a deal-breaker. Both palettes blend well and are easy to work with. Though the Tarte pigmentation is next-level, the ColourPop is still really good.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Medium) | £22 | vs. Gosh High Coverage Concealer* (Natural) | £7.99 | I feel like everyone finds the Makeup Revolution concealer to be a Shape Tape dupe, however I just didn't get along with it! The entire world from fellow bloggers to my mum seem to love that product, but for me it just looked dry and cracked under my eye after a few hours and didn't wear well. This is a much better alternative for me personally. At the time of writing this post, the Gosh concealer is very new to the market, so I'm not exactly sure how many shades there are, though this one I have is labelled as 004 making me think that they have a range of colours but probably lack the gradient, so if you fall in between shades then the Tarte is a better bet. Shape Tape is obviously my favourite concealer - I got it for Christmas and immediately bought two backups and I've only just cracked open the first one over 6 months later. It's full coverage without looking or feeling heavy. It blends easily but doesn't crease or vanish during the day. It also has an amazing brightening effect under my eyes. The Gosh applies very similarly and also wears super well, though (as I think you can kind of see in my swatch) it doesn't *quite* have as much coverage. The shades are near-enough identical, though Natural is a little warmer (I personally prefer that). So if you're a long-time fan of Shape Tape but want to save some money then I recommend this concealer as a pretty great alternative.

OPV Oshun Eyeshadow Palette | £29 | vs. Zoeva Caramel Melange Voyager Palette* | £10 | I reviewed the entire mini Voyager collection here and compared these palettes to their full-sized counterparts. I'd actually never made the connection that Oshun and Caramel Melange were similar until I saw this mini version of the Zoeva palette. This is definitely more of an alternative if you like the Oshun colours than I direct dupe, however I thought it was still worth mentioning. Obviously the Oshun's more unique shades and finishes aren't reflected in the Caramel Melange Voyager (I reviewed the OPV palette here) but there are definitely some similarities. If you want something smaller than the bulky OPV palette and you're attracted primarily to the traditional warm tones, then definitely go for the Zoeva palette. The formulas are both lovely and the mattes are very similar; creamy, opaque, pigmented and easy to blend out, though the OPV shimmers are more foiled. I'd say they have similar wear-time, which is slightly above average. If you want the pressed glitters and the orange, cranberry and yellow then I'd still recommend the Oshun palette, but if you just want to be able to create a coppery warm-toned eye look (and save a bit of drawer space!) then go for Zoeva's version.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light | £45 | vs. Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Bronzer in Golden Days | £4 | This obviously isn't a colour dupe or anything like that but I actually think you can recreate a similar look with the Makeup Revolution bronzer as you get with the Hourglass. This definitely isn't a deliberate dupe, as Makeup Revolution's came out first, but if you're looking for a natural, sheeny bronzer it's definitely worth looking into. I do think the Hourglass formula is inimitable, so the more affordable product doesn't look as luminous on the skin (and doesn't blend quite as effortlessly to get that perfect even finish), however if you think £45 for a bronzer is ridiculous (which I can't blame you for!) I think this is a great alternative. Obviously Radiant Bronze Light is a much warmer tone and Golden Days is a more wintery shade on me, but both products come in various colours. 

Huda Beauty Coral Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette | £25 | vs. ColourPop Yes Please Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette | $16 (~£12) | I really wasn't planning on picking up the Huda palette! However the more I saw it on social media, the more I just wanted to play with some of these more vibrant pinks that I don't really have in my collection. At the same time, I realise that there are quite a few shades similar to the ColourPop palette. If you really want these pink corals then the Huda is more suitable for you but if you'd like a bit of that mixed in with more traditional warm tones like oranges, golds and reds then the ColourPop will be for you. This is actually one of ColourPop's earliest eyeshadow palettes and I do think their formula has improved over time, however I still find the quality really nice. I'd say Huda wins in terms of the yellow in her palette, but otherwise the mattes are similarly creamy and easy to blend. The shimmers are also quite sheeny and pretty in both palettes but very opaque. One thing I would say is that I get more wear time out of the Huda palette! 

Have you found any great alternatives to expensive products?

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Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own.

Read more posts from this series here!

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