+ Makeup

Five Fabulous Makeup Dupes

Since last week’s post about skincare dupes was so well received, I thought I would follow it up with my favorite makeup dupes.  Because finding a fantastic product can be a blessing and a curse if you can’t afford to keep it in stock.  Here are five fabulous dupes for some of my favorite makeup products.


Mascara.  Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill is the most phenomenal mascara.  It volumizes like a dream with zero clumps.  And best of all, it doesn’t wear off and cause raccoon eyes.  Wet n Wild’s Lash Renegade Mascara is the closest dupe that I’ve found for my beloved mascara.  The multi-shape brush helps you reach every lash, while the fiber formula lengthens and volumizes.  And most importantly, it’s smudge-proof.

Under-Eye Brightener.  Have under-eye circles?  Peachy concealers help neutralize under-eye darkness.  This Becca Brightening Corrector provides the perfect base for concealer.  Unlike many under-eye primers, it doesn’t crease or look too heavy.  This Pixi Correcting Concentrate is the perfect substitute, but if it’s still a bit too rich for your blood, try this NYX Dark Circle Concealer.  Even if you don’t wear foundation or concealer over it, a bit of brightener perks up your look.

Lip Mask.  Lip makes moisturize your lips and plump them with a bit of collagen.  You’d be surprise the difference they can make; they’re like lash extensions for your lips.  The KNC Beauty lip masks are the obsession of every beauty editor out there.  But if you want to use them regularly, you need something cheaper.

I picked up these Tony Moly Kiss Kiss lip masks and they’re great.  They give your lips a bit of plumping.  They also heal dry lips like a dream.  My only complaint is that they have a bit of an odor to them.  (I think it’s the plastic they use.)  So I’m thinking about trying Rodial’s affordable Dragon’s Blood lip mask next.

Foundation Drops allow you to customize your coverage based on your daily needs.  The more drops you apply, the more coverage.  CoverFX drops are the best, and come in a wide range of shades.  But since I use the drops to tint moisturizer, instead of as a foundation replacement, these NYX Total Control Drops are a better fit for my budget.

Strobing Powder.  Taking makeup from day-to-night requires a strobing powder.  I love the way it lights up the face.  Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder has really fine pearl particles to effortlessly reflect light.  It’s a great product, but as an accent product, it provides the perfect opportunity to save.  This strobe powder from Makeup Revolution is such a good dupe that it’s hard to tell the difference.

Do you have a favorite makeup dupe?  Leave it in the comments.



  1. Maureen Richmomd says:

    I don’t have a favorite dupe, but I’d like your thoughts on eye lash curlers. I have the shu uemera that I need to replace. Is there one that is cheaper that gets the job done well?



    February 7, 2017/Reply
  2. MS says:

    I’m surprised to see fewer comments today, though it’s early. That said, I think I obsess way more over finding holy grail affordable skin care products than makeup. There’s a NYX eyebrow pencil I want to try when my anastasia brow pencil runs out, but otherwise I’d be hardpressed to find a part of my Bobbi Brown/BareMinerals routine I’d be willing to trade.

    February 7, 2017/Reply
  3. abidina says:

    I think Nyx Tinted Brow Mascara ($7) is every bit as good – or better, even, than Benefit’s Gimme Brow ($24). I own both in multiple shades (I dye my hair a lot) and though the Nyx doesn’t have “volumizing microfibers”, I really can’t tell a difference in how they apply or wear.

    February 7, 2017/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      My experience with the Nyx Brow Mascara differs from yours. I tried it for precisely that reason, but found the formula was looser – like more, “wet,” I guess – and therefore a little messier to apply. That may be because of the absence of those fibers.

      My needs also may differ from yours – the tails of my brows are naturally pretty sparse, so I need all the help I can get. If you aren’t someone struggling with sparseness, this may be just fine. The Nyx colors the hairs fine, but just deepening the color of my sparse brow tail serves to make the sparseness more obvious, if anything.

      February 8, 2017/Reply
  4. KLC says:

    I’m not sure if it is a dupe for anything higher end, but the absolute best drug store mascara is the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black. This is the only shade that is worth a crap. It is the blackest black, gives great volume without clumps, and doesn’t smudge. Oh, and did I mention that it’s like $6? You have to give it a try!

    February 7, 2017/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      I use a similar one, L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black. I find that it is a reasonable dupe for bareMinerals Flawless Definition. For $10-12 (or more on sale/with a coupon), it can’t be beat!

      February 8, 2017/Reply
      • Jenna says:

        This is my all time favorite mascara, and I’ve tried a lot. Including all the pricey ones that are supposed to be amazing, but are not as good as this one. I’ll put my hand on 10 different mascaras in the morning, but I’ll still be hunting around in my make-up box for the gold top.

        I haven’t tried the dupe for the Hourglass stuff, but Hourglass highlighter / strobing powder is on my list of “worth it” products. This trio is worth every single penny to me! https://www.sephora.com/strobe-lighting-blush-palette-P41124789?skuId=1845296&icid2=products%20grid:p41124789

        February 8, 2017/Reply
      • Alison says:

        Yes to this! I’ve been using this for years and have strayed with higher end mascaras but always end up coming back. It’s very, very similar to DiorShow, so if anyone is looking for a dupe of that they should definitely check out L’Oreal Voluminous. And yes, can’t beat the price. I always buy extras and keep them in my purse, at my desk, in my gym bag, etc.

        February 8, 2017/Reply
  5. JD says:

    Best dupe for MAC gel eyeliner (MAC fluidline) or Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, is the new loreal infallible lacquer liner gel eyeliner. Seriously wears 24 hrs without fading or smudging on my top lids. I discovered it while running out of my MAC gel eyeliner pot recently and being desperate for more eyeliner while in the grocery store…and I couldn’t wait to place an online order to I had to find something to tide me over….all I can say is wow! It compares to high-end gel eyeliners and doesn’t dry out in the pot… Other gel eyeliner pots I’ve tried over the years haven’t been able to compare to fluidline, but now, considering it’s half the price, I’ll never go back. Belle, if you use Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner which is pretty similar to the MAC product then you HAVE GOT to try this one from LOreal!

    February 7, 2017/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      I haven’t tried MAC Fluidline or Bobbi Brown’s – but I agree wholeheartedly on the L’Oreal Lacquer Liner. It’s REALLY good. The only downside is that it has more of a glossy finish (which one could infer from, “lacquer,” being in the name I guess). Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner is also fantastic and about $1 cheaper.

      It lasts longer (literally more than 24hrs which I found out be accident – oops) and is matte. Trade off is that the formula is a little stiffer, so consider how you like to apply that stuff.

      February 8, 2017/Reply
  6. LHW says:

    Ugh the Becca undereye brightner was such a waste! I should have returned it.

    February 7, 2017/Reply
    • JF says:

      Last year I tried the mabelline gel, I agree it’s good, but for me I find the stiffer formula a bit too dry to get the ease of application/coverage that I preferred, so I went back to MAC fluidline.

      I’ve found the glossier finish of the loreal lacquer liner isn’t that noticeable after the dry down on my top lash line, and it glides on more smoothly, the way my fluidline does –so I’m sold on that one. But agree these could be preference issues; either product should wean folks off of the priced prestige gel pot eyeliners!

      February 8, 2017/Reply
  7. Lauren says:

    I’ve got allergies and I like to rub my eyes making mascara a big challenge for me. I used to use Blinc which was one of the only options that stayed put and didn’t flake out. My new dupe is only $3 from ELF and it’s wonderful! Generally feel like their products are solid quality. I also use the eye shadow smudge pot as a creme shadow base that stays put all day.

    Waterproof Mascara: https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/waterproof-lengthening-and-volumizing-mascara?dept=eye-eyemascara-eyelashes
    Eyeshadow base: https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/smudge-pot?dept=eye-eyeshadow

    February 7, 2017/Reply
  8. Valerie says:

    I fell in love with the Anastasia clear brow gel when I got a sample (because my brows are Khaleesi-unruly) , but $22 was too much to spend when I already shell out for nice mascara. I got a $6 dupe that works well- Maybelline eyestudio brow drama sculpting gel in transparent/clear. It doesn’t wear quite as long during the day but I reapply.

    February 8, 2017/Reply
  9. Jess says:

    I’ve got one and a question – Costco offers a product called RapidLash which is similar to Latisse and other lash serums – 2 tubes for $50 – and let me tell you, it works. Even after just a month, I had people asking if I was doing something with my eyelashes. Two thumbs up.

    Have you tried the silicone makeup sponges yet?

    February 13, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Yes, they’re stupid. Skip it.

      February 13, 2017/Reply