14 Drugstore Makeup Dupes that Are Way Better than Expensive Makeup

14 Drugstore Makeup Dupes that Are Way Better than Expensive Makeup

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drugstore makeup kit
drugstore makeup kit

I’m starting to feel that there’s a lot more room for the drugstore makeup dupes than I write about.  Usually, I’m swayed by pretty packaging and don’t mind the price if I space out my transactions a lot I don’t notice the rising costs.

However, when I make a trip to the drugstore makeup aisle in Shoppers Drugmart, I started recognizing drugstore makeup brands releasing product that is very similar to the ones I’m seeing with the luxury beauty brands. 

Some of the most coveted brands are often duplicated by drugstore brands, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Hourglass and Urban Decay.  You can often find good if not better products with a lower price point. 

Everyone is familiar with glow lotions, contour kits and liquid matte stay lipstick that it really isn’t a secret to what is trending in makeup be it drugstore or luxury.

Here are some of my favourite drugstore makeup dupes I think are way better than their expensive makeup counterparts.

Drugstore Primers:

E.L.F Cosmetics Hydrating Face Primer

elf hydrating primer
Elf hydrating primer

This drugstore primer doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It is full of Vitamins A, C and E to get moisture to that face of yours! The most similar to the hydrating face primer is the Smashbox Photofinish Primerizer (which is a favourite of mine I have to admit).

Do you know that E.L.F. Cosmetics dupes the higher end makeup and they aren’t shy about it! Sometimes, the E.L.F. drugstore versions are better than the actual dupe they are trying to beat.

E.L.F. Illuminating Primer Mist

Elf primer mist
Elf primer mist

Yes another E.L.F. product but this time it’s in a mist. If you’re a fan of Fix Plus by Mac or any other primer misting sprays then you’ll want to try the Illuminating Primer Mist. These primer mists usually just have some glycerin in them so they really aren’t all that innovative if you think they are just water and glycerin :).

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

Loreal Infallible Matte
Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

The makeup world is obsessed with finding the perfect matte foundation and so am I. Dare to read my review of the Hourglass Seamless Vanish Foundation? At $68 Canadian I think I’ll take a pass.

The L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation has been loved by beauty bloggers everywhere and is not only light on the skin but also oil-free. If you have oily skin, read about my post about the best foundations for oily skin here and you’ll be presented with a whole lot of other matte foundations. I only like to wear matte foundations in the winter but once I’ve found one, I will stick to it. In fact, the whole L’Oreal line is close to perfect so I will leave you with that.

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

NYX drop Foundation
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

The NYX Total Control Drop Foundation is perfect for setting the level that you want. If you want more coverage you simply need to use the dropper to add more drops.

It’s also oil-free so if you suffer from any specific acne such as cystic, you’ll likely want to seek out an oil free foundation like this one. I am told this is a dupe and similar to the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Foundation if you’re wondering!

The NYX Total Control Drop Foundation reviews are pretty good on Makeup Alley. You’ll likely want to use a beauty blender for this application because the product is a bit watery and using a beauty sponge versus a brush will help soak up that extra product so you don’t lose it to the bristles. Also, wait until it fully dries before applying any setting powder so that it doesn’t shift on the skin!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer

maybelline age rewind
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer

You may have seen this packaging everywhere and wondered what the hell this product does. Well it is one of THE BEST concealers I have ever used – way better than my NARS Creamy Concealer. This product clicks up to release product into the applicator so you don’t have to use a brush or a sponge and the product evenly distributes where you want it.

Of course, I seek the under eyes and it’s honestly so smooth and light going on I don’t even realize that I’ve applied anything but I’ve already got full coverage without cake-y lines.

This product is one of the best drugstore products in my opinion because it does exactly what it says it will and there’s absolutely NO mess. Perfect for throwing into your makeup bag!

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Concealer

lorealproglowconcealer
L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Concealer

Remember above when I said L’Oreal products are the best? The L’Oreal Finallible Pro-Glow Concealer is actually closest to my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. What is so great about this product is that the applicator is great for sculpting and contouring. A lot of people have been using their concealers in their contouring routine because it’s easy to place the product exactly where the light would hit your face.

It also has a long wear of up to 16 hours and I love products that last the entire day.

Pro Tip – One thing I would mention is that you should set this product with a loose powder or else it may slide around on your face.

Milani Rose Powder Blush

milani rose powder blush
Milani Rose Powder Blush

Have you ever seen a blush so beautiful in your life? Honestly I am loving the makeup products by Milani. They really have a lot of the neutral colours that you’re loving from more luxury brands. Milani is a drugstore makeup line and I’m so happy they are as affordable as they are. The packaging makes the product look a lot more expensive too so you’ll want to carry around all of these pretty items in your makeup bag.

The Milani Rose Powder Blush is a matte finish blush and goes on so softly. I find this to be the perfect blush shade because you can contour with it and it has a bit of a bronzer feel if you don’t build it up.

The Milani baked blushes are also top notch dupes for NARS blushes.  Read all about my article on the best NARS blush dupes for less here

Honestly, the Milani product are of top quality and I encourage you to try them out!

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

butterbronzer
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Hopefully you read my review of the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. I felt that I had to put the Butter Bronzer back into this drugstore makeup products that are way better than expensive makeup because this truly is the case for this bronzer.

Every luxury bronzer I’ve owned always has an orangey tint or doesn’t really blow me away. The Butter Bronzer smells like coconut and it’s honestly so smooth going on the skin. I apply it with a tapered contour brush and make sure to get all of the areas of my face that I want to contour.

Since it comes in a compact, it does have a little brush in the bottom so you can take this compact with you in your makeup bag and not have to worry about a specific contour brush.

Maybelline The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette

maybelline eyeshadow palette
Maybelline Eyeshadow Palette – The City Mini

The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette is one of my favourite colour stories. Maybelline makes quality eyeshadow and I love the types of palettes they put together. This eyeshadow palette is very similar to the Smashbox mini palettes because the concept is the same, throw it in your purse but you still get a variety of colours in a mini size. Let’s face it: Who actually uses all of the eyeshadows in one palette anyway?

The City Mini Palette has a mix of bronzes and golds for a shimmery and natural look. If you’re going to pick up any nude palette, I would consider this one over another luxury eyeshadow palette.

Revlon Photoready Primer, Shadow + Sparkle

revlon eyeshadow
Revlon Photoready Primer, Shadow and Sparkle

This eyeshadow concept is really everything you need in a mini eyeshadow kit. It even includes the primer, highlight and darker shadow you need to create a full eye look. This product is really great if you’re sure that you love a particular colour and wear it all the time. The Revlon Photoready Primer, Shadow + Sparkle can be compared to the Smashbox Trio Shadows but I would say that the Revlon one is even better because it includes the primer.

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink

superstaymatteinkl
Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink

Ok. Hold the phone here. This is one of my all time favourite liquid lipsticks. I wore it on Valentine’s Day and no joke, my lips did not budge for the entire day and I ate way more than three times that day! The colours of the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink are very bold and bright which is great in my opinion because if you’re going to go bright, I’d rather my lipstick not budge.

Maybelline also just teamed up with Puma to release some new shades and something tells me that this lippy isn’t going away. I’ll do a full review of the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink shortly and you can read about all of the colours I am currently crushing on. However, my favourite one is called “Dreamer” which is number 015. Definitely pick it up from your local drugstore – you will not regret it!

Also, the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink is the perfect drugstore makeup dupes of brands like Stila, Kylie and Rihanna’s Fenty Liquid Lipsticks. Liquid lipsticks have been around for quite some time but with the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink you’re not getting that dried out lip look. It appears almost like a coating that allows your lips to move in any direction (and I mean ANY) and not crack because of the lipstick.

Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper

milani lip gloss
Milani Nourishing Lip Plumper

The best drugstore makeup dupes of the Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper have to be the lip glosses from Buxom Beauty. They are known for the nourishing and lip plumping effect and Milani just seems to do it better.

With the Buxom Beauty lip glosses, I found that they wore off within 30 minutes of wear. With the Milani Nourishing Lip Plumper, I found that my lips actually stayed moist and it didn’t wear off nor did the lip plumper feel horrible.

Pixi Mattelast Liquid Lip

pixi petra
Pixi Mattelast Liquid Lip

I know I just talked about a liquid lipstick but the Pixi Mattelast Liquid Lip has received some top notch reviews. I would compare this Liquid Lipstick to the smashbox formula. Still not as drying on the lips as other liquid lipsticks but gives a really nice pop of colour without budging.

Wet ‘N Wild Silk Finish Lipstick

wet wild lipstick
Wet ‘N Wilk Silk Finish Lipstick

How could I end a whole drugstore makeup dupes post without talking about a bullet lipstick and a brand that is known for it’s drugstore makeup: Wet ‘N Wild. The Silk Finish Lipstick formula is creamy on the lips and surprised me for a drugstore lipstick. Sometimes, I find drugstore lipsticks waxy and don’t go on as pigmented but I didn’t get the same feeling with the Silk Finish Lipstick by Wet ‘N Wild.

When I talk about drugstore makeup dupes I am aware not to say that I will never shop luxury makeup again but rather I am more cautious as to where I spend my money if there is something better for cheaper.

Hope you enjoyed this makeup roundup post! Let me know if you have any other drugstore makeup dupes that I’ve missed in the comments below.