Who doesn't love a good dupe? Being the bargain fiend that I am, I'm always on the hunt for drugstore equivalents to high-end pr...

Who doesn't love a good dupe? Being the bargain fiend that I am, I'm always on the hunt for drugstore equivalents to high-end products and I've acquired a fair few dupes over my years of stinginess. However we all know that sometimes dupes can't match up to their pricier counterparts- and sometimes, as good as your dupe may be, you'll still splurge on the real deal come payday! After a good rummage through my makeup stash I thought I'd share some products that boast suspiciously similar results; and I'll advise you if you should blow the money on the real thing or save it and, you know, invest it or something.

I popped W7's Camera Ready Primer into my basket at Fragrance Direct because the packaging and the name was just so similar to Smashbox's cult favourite that I had to try it out (it seems to be sold out at Fragrance Direct currently). Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer is slightly more watery than W7's Camera Ready and feels more velvety and soft- is that the right word?- when worked in. Both products leave a lovely, smooth canvas for foundation and neither break you out, as many silicone primers tend to. I don't generally have a problem with foundations wearing off particularly, but both of these impressed me by keeping my high level of coverage and contouring and whatnot in place all day. The only qualm I have with W7's primer, is the packaging; although I said the packaging was similar its actually quite cheap-looking and tacky, particularly compared to the minimalist look of Smashbox. 

The Verdict: For less than a third of a price I can overlook the crappy packaging- (or CRAPAGING ha ha ) of W7's Camera Ready Primer, which I overall prefer in terms of the formula, which is a bit thicker and not so wet.   SAVE

Last year, MAC's highly coveted lipstick supposedly favoured by Kylie Jenner had so many dupes floating around the blogosphere that I shouldn't really be proud of having found this Maybelline copy. But I am proud, even though the Kylie Jenner lip has phased out recently and everyones all over light coral lip butters as opposed to thick matte lipsticks and Maybelline's Color Drama is a jumbo pencil rather than a tube lipstick; the colour match between these two is just so spot on that I'm doing a lil happy dance.  The swatches below speak for themselves;  on the left is MAC's Velvet Teddy and on the right is Nude Perfection. I tend to apply the Color Drama with a brush for maximum opacity and if the shade isn't quite matte enough for you, its nothing a little translucent powder and blotting paper won't fix. 

The Verdict: Sorry MAC, you've been trumped by Maybelline's Color Drama and props to Maybelline for an equally rich and buttery formula.   SAVE
MAC Velvet Teddy Dupe: Left MAC Velvet Teddy and right Maybelline Color Drama in Nude Perfection
Sally Hensen's take on a lip plumping gloss is a very thick, gloopy formula that isn't entirely comfortable on the lips. However, it does certainly inflate the lips if only for half an hour or so, before it wears off leaving a slightly dry crust.  Dior's version provides about the same amount of fullness but with longer-lasting effects and a more moisturised feel. Both are packaged in square tubes with metallic lids and have doe-foot applicators, and despite the noticeable differences in colour in the photo, they are both clear glosses, best used as a topcoat.
The Verdict: With the effects of Sally Hensen's lipgloss lasting for such a short time, I can't even get by using a trusty tin of Vaseline and reapplying, so I'm going with Dior's Lip Maximiser. SPLURGE

 Radiance is the name of the game here, with both foundations claiming to provide a healthy, illuminated glow. They both offer light, but fairly buildable coverage and a natural, weightless feel. For me, these foundations do exactly what they say on the tin- or glass bottle. They even out the complexion, targeting dark circles and reawaken and brighten the skin; in the words of YSL they both 'enhance your skins natural beauty'.
The Verdict: This is a tricky one- for the gold lid and embossed logo alone, I would pump for Touche Eclat as Rimmels duplicate packaging is quite, y'know- high street- but if you don't really care about the aesthetics of your makeup bag then Wake Me Up gives the same results for a fraction of the price.   SAVE

This type of fake tanning is so low maintenance, you can just slap some of this on in the morning for a really nice healthy flush of colour. Benefit really ticks all the boxes with the brush application and non-orange hue, but for me its too liquidy and doesn't blend as nicely into the skin as Seventeen's Skin Wow does. Skin Wow has a much more serum-like consistency which makes it considerably easier to massage into the whole face. They're both quite shimmery and are best applied before makeup, but I've also used both of them on my arms and collarbones for a sun-kissed boost.

The Verdict: Seventeen is the winner for me.   SAVE

Lancôme's Hypnose mascara is my Holy Grail mascara! I will probably be repurchasing this mascara well into my seventies- but it comes with a hefty price tag compared to the drugstore's offerings. In a moment of desperation (and poorness) I took to the Internet to find a good dupe and found THIS ARTICLE. With such a similar ingredients list, and Buzzfeed's Peggy Wang claiming the same results from both mascaras i decided to give the Falsies a go. Big mistake! Maybellines mascara was clumpy and spidery on the lashes and gave none of the definition, length and curl that Hypnose does. The brushes are quite similar, the main difference being that Maybellines brush is curved, but they have the same long bristles with some littler bristles interspersed, however Lancôme's brush is less flimsy, meaning it can really pull up the lashes as you coat them and hold the curl better. 

The Verdict: Ain't nothing like Lancôme's classic Hypnose mascara for long, fluttery lashes. SPLURGE

I hope you enjoyed reading about my finds! Let me know if you agree/disagree with my potential dupes and tell me if you have any drugstore products that match up to more expensive pieces. You can catch up with me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM or comment below.

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  1. I feel like W7 do so many great dupes! I already own their eyeshaow palettes which are great dupes for Urban Decay's Naked ones, so I'll definitely check their primer out.

    Franzi. I [ ]

  2. I agree! I think everyone first heard of the brand when they released their eyeshadow palettes.

  3. I'm so glad that I stumbled over this post as it saved me a lot of money! I've been meaning to pick up a few of the high end products you talked about but will definitley be trying the cheaper alternatives first (:


  4. Thanks for the recommendations- I will definitely be trying the 17 instant wow as a highlighter! :)

  5. Great post! Definitely have to add the Rimmel Wake me up foundation to my list :)


  6. I totally love your blog and that's such an awesome post! :D I will definitely keep coming back to read your future posts! :) I followed, cause I think you should keep up the great work! I'm a fan!!! ♥♥

    xoxo Ana

  7. I'm quite into that lip pencil. May have to stop by the drugstore on my way home from work....

    Dejhana | Waite a Little


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