Updated March 18, 2018
Recently, my Splurge / Steal Beauty post has been getting a lot of attention. It’s been pinned over 30,000 times! A post I wrote two years ago, no less. Anyway, I figured it was high time to write another post talking about more of my favorite makeup dupes.
Makeup dupes are some of my favorite things to discover. I’m kind of addicted to finding them. Heck, I even have a Pinterest Board dedicated to dupes. So, let’s just get this make dupe party started. I have used both the high and low end version of each of these products, so I have a pretty good opinion on how they compare.
Nars Orgasm Blush // Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
I’ve owned the iconic Nars blush off and on for years, and it’s one of my favorites. I was on the search for a drugstore dupe, and this Milani blush is my favorite one. It’s not a dead on match for color (the Milani one is more coral, while the Nars is a little more pink), but the Milani blush has my favorite formula and application that is so similar to Nars. For that reason, I highly recommend the Milani blushes. For more of a color match, I definitely recommend NYX Blush in Pinched.
Benefit High Beam // E.L.F. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal
Benefit High Beam is my favorite liquid highlighter. It looks gorgeous on the tops of cheeks! I picked up the E.L.F. Shimmering Facial whip to give it a try to see how it would compare. While I wouldn’t say the consistency of the product is as easy to apply as the Benefit, it’s only ONE DOLLAR and a great alternative!
MAC Studio Fix Powder // NYX Stay Matte but not Flat Powder Foundation
I was an avid Mac Studio Fix Powder user for years. It’s a gorgeous powder foundation, and it even works great as a setting powder. I think the NYX Stay Matte but not Flat is one of the best makeup dupes out there. It goes on and feels almost identical, in my opinion. I love it!
Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten // L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Iced Latte
Stila’s kitten is one of the most popular eyeshadows around, and I can see why – it’s absolutely gorgeous and universally flattering! However, there is a dead on dupe at the drugstore. It’s the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Iced Latte. It’s beautiful! I feel the consistency is more like a pressed pigment, and performs best when applied with a finger. I think it is the perfect eyeshadow for those days you only have the time to throw on one color all over.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara // Maybelline The Rocket Mascara
When the Benefit They’re Real mascara came out, I bought it and thought it was a pretty decent mascara (even though I hated how it sort of hurt when I applied it… I know, weird), but I just couldn’t justify spending that much money on mascara. I go through mascara so fast (it’s far more hygienic to do so, as well), so I always use drugstore. I feel like the Maybelline Rocket mascara is a pretty darn good alternative to the Benefit – even the rubbery wand is super similar.
MAC Fix + // E.L.F. Makeup Mist & Set
MAC Fix + spray is a really great multi-tasking spray. It can be used to set makeup, take the powdery look down and to wet eyeshadows with to make them look more intense. I find that the E.L.F. Makeup Mist and Set can do these same things for only $3!! I love this stuff and I go through bottles and bottles of it, especially during the summer. I wouldn’t compare it to the likes of the Urban Decay All Nighter, as that stuff seriously keeps your makeup from budging. I feel like the MAC/E.L.F. spray is great for keeping you from looking too powdery without making you look too dewy. It’s very refreshing.
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So, tell me. Got any fantastic makeup dupes to share? I must know!!
I bought Luminoso based on your rec, and I really like it, especially for summer and to go with warm fall colors. I think I need a little more pink, though, and I’ve been meaning to try NYX pinched.
Meg O. says
Pinched is great! I don’t think the quality is as great as the Milani for some reason, but the color is lovely. I’ve also been meaning to try the Wet n Wild Pearlescent Pink blush, which is supposedly another good Nars Orgasm dupe. And super cheap.
I already use the ELF setting spray, but I’m definitely going to get the highlighter! I just need you to show me how to do it 🙂
Meg O. says
Of course, pal! Just call me your personal makeup tutor 🙂
Meg Scholz says
I love the ELF setting spray! I didnt think about using it to wet shadows! I often use contact solution to wet the color but te setting spray is such a better idea!!!
Brilliant as usual ma lady!
Meg O. says
Yes! Setting spray is great to wet shadows with! I just spray my brush and then dip it into the shadow. Works like a dream!! Thanks, lady! 🙂
I love the Rocket mascara, I think it works great. I’ve never been a fan of They’re Real, something just seems off about it.
Because Shanna Said So says
Thank you for this!! I am all about spending a few extra dollars on certain things, but LOVE so many steals more than the higher priced items…like e.l.f. I swear by so many of their products including their high def powder and lip crayon sticks. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for always being my makeup guru!! Sadly, everything is a splurge here in Australia 🙁 $20 Maybelline mascara? No thank you. (but I do it anyway, obviously. And my heart hurts!)
Ohhh!! give me more dupes!!! love all of this post!! Sure I´ll gice a try to the milani blush.
Love the dupes. …must try the mac studio fix compared to Nyx powder. Thank you
Luminoso is not a NARS Orgasm dupe. Turns out everyone has been confusing an old discontinued Milani mineral blush which was called Luminous I believe, with the Milani baked blush in Luminoso. Turns out the discontinued Luminous was the Orgasm dupe, not the current baked blush 🙂
Meg O. says
Oh I agree that it’s not a spot on dupe. The finish and luminosity reminds me a lot of the Nars Orgasm. I think NYX blush in Pinched is closer, although not dead on. And I just found a newer blush a few months ago called Brush with Destiny by Wet n Wild (Fergie collection) and I think it’s even better!
I used They’re Real for a while and then I realized I really couldn’t afford it, as I too go through mascara pretty quickly. I went through a couple of drug store ones before finally coming across Maybelline The Rocket and it quickly became my new favourite. I never thought to compare the two until I saw that you did – and you are totally right! It’s amazing what trying different products can show you
makeup geek romance is a great dupe for nars orgasim and is only $9.99 !!!! also NYX micro brow pencil is a great dupe for the anastasia brow wiz and the morphe mb23 is a dupe for the sigma e40 … Try them out:) I am just like you I love finding dupes almost addicted to it lol… Thanks for sharing!!!! I need to try the NYX stay matte powder now…I have everything else and I agree their all great dupes & products 🙂
I love your blog! It has been super helpful! Thanks for taking the time and effort!
Is the nyx matte settingspray working the same as the elf one?? 🙂 because ive got the nyx one but if the elf one gives another finish ill def. Buy the elf one.
C . Livingston says
I found the Milani line at Poundland and absolutely love the powder blush compacts . They carry a large selection of cosmetics and I have filled my boots many times over with high end and little known brands from there . It is always a good bet that you will find a complete bargain on the shelves and the wall racks , but you need to take a few minutes and have a really good rummage . Happy hunting 🙂