Let’s face it: looking your best shouldn’t break the bank, which is why we’re so crazy about the best makeup dupes on the market right now. With so many new and wonderful products emerging almost weekly, you probably want to try them all. And while high-end makeup lines certainly have their place in the sphere of luxury beauty, both longtime and relatively new brands on the cheaper side are giving those luxe brands a (literal) run for their money.
12 of Our Favorite High-End Makeup Products and Affordable Drugstore Dupes
When looking for the best makeup dupe, you no doubt want a product that performs as well as it costs. And contrary to popular belief, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean a lackluster product. Many popular drugstore makeup brands devote what would be large-scale marketing budgets to procuring only the best and cleanest ingredients while others, like Physician’s Formula and Neutrogena, are backed up by their dermatologically developed and highly recommended name recognition.
From bronzing powders to dewy finishing sprays, long-lasting lip glosses to crease-free cream eyeshadows, it’s entirely possible to procure the best of the beauty world has to offer for a much kinder asking price. Here we’ll show you the best of the high-end products, and their even better low-cost counterparts.
1. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
This bestseller from undisputedly good makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury boasts a natural, buildable glow enhancer sans the harmful parabens, sulfates, and phthalates found in many cosmetic lines. Perfect for priming and highlighting, the Hollywood Flawless Filter can also be added to your favorite foundation for an instant glow-up.
2. Milani Soft Focus Glow Complexion Enhancer
You don’t have to shill out a portion of your paycheck to get a star-worthy glow; longtime leader in cheap good makeup Milani has got you covered. This pearl luminizer not only brightens and smooths but provides long-lasting hydration thanks to its hyaluronic acid and rosewater components. Available in 3 base shades, this complexion enhancer is both vegan and cruelty-free, which is a definite plus.
3. La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20
One of the most iconic names in beauty, La Mer has been a mainstay in luxury skincare since 1965. While admittedly on the costlier side, foundations such as the Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation with SPF 20 earn their price tag thanks to unbeatable, buildable coverage and long-wearing protection from the sun, which is the leading cause of photoaging. Free of all harmful, skin-hurting additives, this formula is as pure as it is reputable.
4. Physician’s Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20
So much more than just the best makeup dupe provider, Physician’s Formula is a genuinely good makeup brand with a dermatologist-approved reputation to accompany its budget-friendly pricing. The brand’s Healthy Foundation with SPF 20 protects, brightens, and boosts the complexion with added hyaluronic acid and antioxidants including vitamins A, C, &E.
5. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away
This magic concealer blurs imperfections, minimizing the appearance of blemishes, under-eye circles, and crow’s feet while boosting overall radiance. Persian silk tree bark extract adds an extra lift to tired lids, while the formula’s ayurvedic addition of extract of Wild Indigo keeps the skin looking and feeling luminous all day.
6. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
One of the most enduring brands in the cheap good makeup game, Maybelline has earned its reigning drugstore status thanks to fan favorites like their Instant Age Rewind Eraser. Specially formulated for concealing problematic under-eye circles, this concealer buffs away pesky lines and other imperfections in one sweep. Easy to apply and infused with antioxidant-rich goji berry and Haloxyl, at last, you can say goodbye to puffy eyes without paying a pretty penny.
7. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
Setting powder is a must if you want to keep shine at bay and ensure that your make-up stays where it belongs, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder goes above and beyond. The micro-fine powder technology resists caking while rose wax and almond oil make sure your skin stays fresh and hydrated. Fans of the powder can’t get enough of its dreamy “cashmere veil” finish, rendering it a worthwhile luxury purchase.
8. e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder
A favorite of make-up artists around the world, e.l.f. offers the best in makeup product dupes without scrimping on the quality ingredients you deserve. The line’s Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder sets your make-up to a light and silky finish while mattifying T-zone areas. Perfect for touch-ups as well as all-day wear, this setting powder easily rivals its pricier competitors.
9. It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer
Full, healthy lashes begin at the roots, and It Cosmetics’ Full Lash Length Mascara Primer achieves the desired “tightline” effect with a volume-boosting formula that nourishes while it lengthens. Boasting a conditioning serum consisting of collagen, peptides, biotin, nettle extract, green tea, jojoba, and various vitamins and proteins, this is the ultimate high-end buy for achieving lashes for miles.
10. Wet n Wild MegaSlim Skinny Mascara
Another tried-and-true cheap good makeup line, Wet n Wild has been serving high-end looks at drugstore prices for over four decades. Their MegaSlim Skinny Mascara magnifies each and every lash, lengthening and strengthening your lashes while proudly maintaining a 100% cruelty-free formula.
11. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow
While many cream eyeshadows cake, crease, and melt within hours of application, Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes To Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow wears long and freshens up tired eyes. Featuring four rose gold shades and enriched with vitamin E, this lush cream shadow brings a romantic, summery youthfulness, with fans especially favoring the formula’s effectiveness for visibly aging eyes.
12. Revlon Colorstay Crème Eyeshadow
The best make-up dupe in the eyeshadow department, Revlon’s famed Colorstay line features a cream shadow favored by cosmetic pros and budget-minded influencers. Available in 18 eye-popping shades, this highly pigmented, ophthalmologist-tested eyeshadow wears for up to 24 hours without creasing or irritating the eyes. With reviews praising its bold but subtle effect, this is an easy day-to-night choice for beauty buy aficionados.
13. Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
Say goodbye to streaky, uneven bronzing with Milk Makeup’s mattifying bronzer. Buildable as well as blendable, this mango butter and apricot oil-enriched formula provides a warm, sun-kissed glow for the face and body without the excessive shimmer or greasiness. 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, Milk’s Matte Bronzer may be in the more precious price range but is nonetheless a fool-proof summer bet.
14. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer
The best makeup dupe for those with sensitive skin, Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer keeps your glow going strong with healthy organic jojoba oil, cactus flower extract, Indian Senna seed, and aloe vera. This hypoallergenic bronzer stays put all day at a fraction of the high-end cost, proving that sometimes the drugstore is better than the department store.
15. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo
If you’re looking for a pressed powder, bronzer, and highlighter in one convenient compact then look no further than Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo. Created by the celebrated celebrity make-up artist herself to define, highlight, and contour, this red carpet bronzer has been dubbed by enamored users the new go-to for everyday glam.
16. Flower Beauty Heatwave Luminous Bronzer
Founded by actress and entrepreneur Drew Barrymore, the Flower Beauty line delivers cheap good makeup with top-shelf ingredients. Get that lit-from-within radiance with Flower’s compact Luminous Bronzer, which keeps the shine away without dulling your golden glow. Gorgeously hued to enhance your natural complexion, this is the softer side of bronzing that only Hollywood’s own flower child could perfect.
17. NARS Blush
NARS’ award-winning compact blush lends an ultra-sheer pop of color that lasts as long as it looks fabulous. A #1 buy for luxury beauty enthusiasts, this iconic blush features shades that range from coral to retro pink, with just enough shimmer to keep you glowing all day long.
18. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blush
Recommended by dermatologists for decades, Neutrogena is a good makeup brand for those who believe that healthy skin means beautiful skin. Enriched with vitamin C and luscious botanical conditioners, Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Blush lets you blend with ease while keeping the blemishes at bay. Longtime users praise the clean, non-comedogenic formula for providing the prettiest of pinks without hurting one’s purse.
19. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
This O.G. (original glow) highlighter illuminates your best features with a soft, natural glow, minus the excessive grease or glitter usually found in highlighters. RMS’s Beauty Living Luminizer packs an additional hydrating punch with added coconut oil, vitamin E, and castor seed oil to nourish, protect, and enhance your one-of-a-kind luminosity.
20. Flower Day Glow Highlighting Glaze
Once again Flower Beauty has produced the best makeup dupe by way of this inexpensive but downright dazzling glow enhancer. The Day Glow Highlighting Glaze is infused with an ultra-fine pearl luminescence for a dewy finish that won’t feel too heavy, making it ideal for oiler skin types. Happy buyers have praised the Flower formula for its smooth application and subtle color palette, noting that the glaze didn’t cause makeup to separate, but helped seal the look for hours.
21. Jouer Sheer Pigment Lip Gloss
Jouer has been serving editorial looks since 2008, with a fresh-from-nature line designed for those who favor a more fuss-free regimen. Jouer’s Sheer Pigment Lip Gloss is a heavenly blend of nourishing oils, sheer color, and all-day wearability. Lightweight, non-sticky, and free of harmful parabens and additives, this pretty powerhouse feels more like a balm than gloss.
22. Wet n Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit High-Shine Lipstick
The best makeup dupe delivers high-end quality at a fraction of the price tag, and Wet n Wild’s MegaLast Liquid Catsuit High-Shine Lipstick, inspired by their best-selling
Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick, doesn’t disappoint. Highly pigmented and enriched with an intoxicating blend of natural lip-nourishing oils, this long-wearing, high performing gloss has proven to be among the best makeup product dupes on the market.
23. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Formulated with more than 20% botanical oils and humectants and additionally infused with Okinawa red algae, hyaluronic acid, and Japanese superfoods such as rice and green tea, Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist is a must for luxury-loving skin pamperers. Perfect under makeup or as a finishing veil, this mist resists caking and won’t irritate the skin thanks to its prestigious ingredient roster.
24. L’Oréal True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist
Quite possibly the gold standard in cheap good makeup, L’Oréal has been creating some of the best makeup product dupes for over a century. Their famed True Match line’s Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist primes and perks the skin up with brightening Vitamin C and thirsty skin-quenching coconut water, providing an all-day glow in a convenient to-go bottle. A perfect finishing spray to lock in your flawless makeup look, fans can’t get enough of this lightweight, non-greasy formula that’s as good to the skin as it is to your wallet.
According to a report published on beauty trends in 2017, makeup is the beauty industry’s most profitable branch, with over $8 billion annually in makeup sales. With new and exciting lines emerging all the time, you may feel a little (ok, a lot) overwhelmed by so many choices and price points.
FAQ About Drugstore Dupes
Are high-end makeup brands worth it?
There is no doubt that we all want luxury and high-end makeup on our countertops and vanities. High-end makeup is created using the finest ingredients, which is why they are so pricey. Although there are many drugstore dupes that work just as well, high-end makeup is worth the price.
What makeup should you buy high-end?
If a high-end brand makes your skin feel amazing and you can afford it, go for it. However, if your money is sometimes funny but a particular drugstore item, the foundation, for instance, ruins your look, you should get the higher-end product if you find that it works perfectly on your skin.
Why is high-end makeup so expensive?
Although superior ingredients account for part of the reason high-end makeup is so expensive, consumers are paying for the pretty packaging, marketing, and brand prestige. The price for high-end products includes the enticing displays, lights, and the cost to lure customers to their counters in big department stores.
Is drugstore makeup as good as high-end?
While the application is one of the most critical factors in terms of "as good as," it is essential that you feel beautiful and confident after you've created your look. Applying drugstore makeup can make you feel as good as any high-end makeup if properly used.
Is expensive makeup better than a drugstore?
The ingredients and quality of expensive makeup can make a difference in how it applies, looks, and lasts on your skin. However, all makeup is great if it works for your skin and creates the look that you desire.
12 of the Best High-End Makeup Products and Drugstore Dupes that You Can’t Go Wrong With
It’s important to remember that while most high-end brands have earned their top-shelf prestige, a great deal of what you’re paying for is advertising and product design. Less expensive makeup brands often choose to forgo costly marketing in favor of formula optimization. This means only getting the best ingredients and transforming them into products that are more accessible, rather than exclusive.
Beauty, like all things in life, is a highly personal matter. Ultimately only you get to decide what works best for you and what ultimately belongs on the shelf. Next time you’re considering the best makeup dupe for that high-end product you’ve been eyeing, trust your gut and go with what makes you look and feel your best.
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