Favorite Beauty Dupes

You all know I’m always about a good deal:)  Confession: I went through a 3-year period where I was a total make-up snob.  If it wasn’t a beauty counter product, it wasn’t touching my face!  Thankfully, Pinterest and blog-reading wised me up.  I starting taking chances on some drugstore products and you know what? I liked some of them (not all) as much, if not more, than the beauty counter brands!!!

Tabitha from A Hundred Tiny Wishes and I have teamed up to bring your some of our favorite beauty dupes to help you stretch your beauty budget further.

I say:

The L’Oreal mascara is around $7 (compared to Tarte at $23), and you can usually combing a BOGO promotion with coupons to get this mascara even cheaper!  I think that it makes just as much of an impact as the Tarte mascara, especially if you’re seeking thicker lashes.  Approximate savings: $16.

Again, the price difference is similar to the mascara. The Tarte crayon is $24, and the L’Oreal one is only around $7.  I found the’ L’Oreal version to have great pigment and to be hydrating to my lips. Approximate savings: $17.

The Naked2 Basics palette will run you $29 (unless you snag it with a special member coupon or points at Ulta), while the Maybelline version will run you no more than $10 (but often less–currently BOGO 50% off, plus can use the $3.50 off $10 Ulta coupon).  Now, these aren’t exact dupes, although I’m seen the Maybelline palette compared to the regular Naked2 palette.  The Naked2 Basics is a matte palette, while the Maybelline version is not.  I think, however, that you can achieve very similar looks with both palettes.  I will caution you to use a good eye primer/base with the Maybelline palette, but it works great so long as you do!  Approximate savings: at least $19, but can be as much as $22.50 or more!

EyelinerANY fancy gel eyeliner pencil vs. Ulta Gel Eyeliner Pencil
This eyeliner is where it is at.  I was paying $20 for a gel eyeliner pencil before I found this.  My old pencil was discontinued, and I hate the gel eyeliner in a pot, so I was on the search for something similar but new. I found this, and it’s been true love ever since.  You can get this as cheap as $1 (watch Ulta’s sales papers)!  Right now, it’s priced at $8 and BOGO Free!  And you can always use the Ulta coupon mentioned above to score it even cheaper.  This eyeliner gives a bold, defined look that stays around all day!  Approximate savings: at least $12, but as much as $19 or more!!!

Tabitha says: 

I love using high end products, but sometimes my wallet doesn’t allow me to finance my favorite products from Sephora and Ulta. And that used to be a problem! After getting some recommendations from friends, and the wonderful world of bloggers, I have compiled a list of my tried and loved, favorite beauty dupes (products that are almost the same). 
I’m a primer gal, and I fell for Smashbox’s primer with the first sample I used, but I was not a fan of the price… so when I picked up a bottle of  E.L.F’s primer, I was pleasantly surprised with the almost duplicate, at a sixth of the price. E.L.F. matches Smashbox in almost every way: texture, consistency, and types (regular, tone adjusting, brightening, and radiant glow). Total savings: $30
Garnier Moisture Rescue (dry skin) // $6.97
Occasionally my face dries out. And it sucks. The only thing I had found to combat my dryness was Clinique’s Moisture Surge, a gel moisturizer. Unfortunately, my wallet didn’t like the price and I knew I had to find something different. So I took to Pinterest. It told me to try the Garnier Moisture Rescue for Dry Skin, because it was a duplicate. I did. AND loved it! It’s super moisturizing, and makes my skin feel pretty! Total savings: Approx $31.53-52.03
I have always had sensitive skin and in the winter, my face tends to stay red. So a couple years ago, I decided to grab the Clinique powder (at the time it was a loose powder). It worked like a charm, but I hated that I still had to use foundation and the powder itself was over $30. I was reading a magazine (don’t ask- I don’t remember which one), and they recommended the E.L.F. for facial redness. I used it, and LOVED it. It is very comparable to the Clinique, and good for spot usage. Total savings: $31.50
To be honest- ain’t no one wants to spend more than twenty bucks on a facial cleanser- but since I have a love of Benefit products, I decided to grab a bottle (and it was 20% off with my Ulta coupon). I loved it. When I used it in the shower, I realized that it took off ALL my makeup and didn’t leave me with raccoon eyes. Unfortunately all good thing must come to an end, and I ran out of my beloved face wash. I didn’t want to spend that type of money, so upon the recommendation of a friend, I grabbed the Neutrogena wash. To my amazement- it was nearly the same and was cost friendly. Total savings: $17.01

The lesson of today is that there are some really great drugstore products out there, so don’t be fooled by their cheaper price tag:)

Have you ever tried any of our favorite beauty duplicates?

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 12.30.14

    I love love love the Tarte Mascara, but I do hate how expensive it is! I need to look at the L'oeral one. Thanks!

  2. 12.30.14

    I love the idea of this!!! I have to admit… I shop Clinique. I've found it works best for me but I love seeing some alternatives. Since the price tag is so great, I just might have to give them a try!

  3. 12.31.14

    I love clinique so I may have to try some of the cheaper alternatives 😉

  4. 12.31.14

    I am always hesitant to try drugstore brands because I don't know enough about the product! This post was so helpful and I'm going to try the Garnier moisture rescue and the Ulta gel eye pencil!

    Doused In Pink

  5. 12.31.14

    I love this list. Getting the Maybelline palette is on my list…and I have the day off to esacpe the house of paint fumes, so I may just head to Ulta! Thanks for the great suggestions!

  6. 12.31.14

    I love this so much! I used to be such a beauty label snob, but now I'm all about the dupes! I'm in need of a new moisturizer, so I'll be checking out the Garnier Moisture Rescue immediately, and can't wait to try some of the others. Hope you have a fab New Year!! xoxo

  7. 1.1.15
    Kay R. said:

    Great list!!! Love it and it will be so useful. Im all about saving that money!

  8. 1.2.15
    Caitlin said:

    I love the Loreal Paris lip balm ever since I got it in the Walmart beauty box! Seriously one of my faves now. I still need to try the Madeline nudes palette. I just haven't been wearing eyeshadow lately, but nudes are definitely my go-to when I do.

  9. 1.9.15

    I was definitely just as happy with the cheaper version! And you can usually get the Tarte version on sale at Ulta for $!0 a tube during their 21 Days of Beauty sales.

  10. 1.9.15

    Well, the good thing about Clinique is they do have awesome bonuses. I will say that I picked up the Garnier moisturizer based on Tabitha's recommendation, and I LOVE it!

  11. 1.9.15

    I tried the moisturizer dupe based on Tabitha's recommendation and loved it!

  12. 1.9.15

    I got the Garnier and loved it! Let me know what you think about the pencil. Also, you can usually return the drugstore brands if try them out and hate them if you buy from Ulta or RiteAid:)

  13. 1.9.15

    You're welcome! The palette is such a good deal!

  14. 1.9.15

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well! I just picked up the Garnier and it does a great job!

  15. 1.9.15

    Amen to that!

  16. 1.9.15

    Della got the eye palette and she loves it too!