By Elise Tabin
There’s a lot of talk in the beauty world that pricey products, while sometimes worth the splurge, don’t need to eat up the majority of your beauty budget. Case in point: the world of dupes. They’re similar in ingredients, color, or potency to more expensive options but with a much less expensive price tag. But don’t be fooled and think that cheaper alternatives are less effective—they work just as well, sometimes, even better, so don’t discount their abilities.
Ahead you’ll find 15 expensive (but, amazing) beauty products along with their equally effective dupe counterpart.
The Pricey Pick: Dr. Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Platinum Long Lash Serum $150
The Cheaper Companion: Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum $8
It seems like everyone is after super long, thick, more voluminous lashes these days without being a slave to time-sucking lash extensions. Enter: lash-enhancing growth serums. Although nothing new in the world of beauty, lash serums continue to become more readily available. Both of these options work wonders for coercing limp lashes into wispy flutters.
We always go back to New York plastic surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan’s formula, which employs vitamin B5, peptides, and clover flower to anchor the lash at the follicular level for lashes that grow faster and longer. The fast-drying clear gel from Rimmel can be worn under mascara or as an overnight treatment to encourage stronger, longer lashes. It even works on brows, too, and calls upon panthenol, peptides, biotin, and keratin as the primary lash thickeners for a fuller fringe in one month.
The Pricey Pick: Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic $166
The Cheaper Companion: Versed Auto-Save Advanced Restoring Serum $24.99
Skin-defending antioxidants are necessary for maintaining youthful, plump skin. Some of the most reliable ones include vitamin C and ferulic acid, which safeguard the skin from environmental pollution, UV damage, and skin-destroying free radicals while improving the look of fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Each of these employs rockstar ingredients albeit with different textures—the less expensive alternative is a light lotion, whereas the splurge-worthy SkinCeuticals is a liquid serum. No matter which one best mesh with your bank account, you can’t go wrong with either.
The Pricey Pick: 111 Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Life Gel $190
The Cheaper Companion: H20 + Hydration Age Renew Eye Cream $50
The skin on and around the eyes is perhaps the most delicate area of the entire face, which is why it quickly shows signs of fatigue, dryness, age, and just about every other issue that takes up home in the area. Regularly using a hydrating formula, be it a gel, cream, or balm is step one to putting your path on the eyes to looking refreshed and revived. These lightweight formulas go hard to work to take down the dreaded puff, lighten up dark circles, and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles while infusing the eye area with a serious dose of much-needed moisture, too.
The Pricey Pick: Dr. Barbara Sturm Hydrating Mist $95
The Cheaper Companion: Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Mist $18
When dry skin needs a quick fix—especially if you are on the go or need a mid-day refresh—there’s no better way to do it than with a hydrating mist. Yes, there’s a considerable price difference between these two hyaluronic acid-based options. Still, both the high-end and low-end versions invigorate parched skin for immediate soothing, smoothing, and mega moisture.
The Pricey Pick: Angela Caglia Crystal Goddess Face Mask $500
The Cheaper Companion: Knesko Rose Quartz Antioxidant Collagen Mask $35
Rose has been used for hundreds of years to calm inflammation in the skin, protect it, and create a sensory experience. It’s also the common thread here, but the delivery system in each full-face mask is different—one is made of more than 500 hand-cut and polished rose quartz beads, whereas the other relies on a rose quartz infusion in a disposable face mask.
The Pricey Pick: La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream $350
The Cheaper Companion: Nivea Crème $7.29
For years, there have been whispers—ok, more like full-fledged shouts—about the similarities between La Mer’s original cult-classic Crème de la Mer and Nivea Crème. While La Mer boasts its special miracle broth, whereas Nivea does not, the moisturizing agents in both formulas are pretty much neck and neck. They each use lanolin, mineral oil, panthenol, and a few others. Plus, they even kind of smell alike, their textures are pretty similar as far as the thickness goes, and both make for excellent moisturizers for super dry skin.
The Pricey Pick: 3Lab WW Day Cream $425
The Cheaper Companion: Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum $42
As we know it today, sunscreen has evolved—new formulations infuse an assembly of skin-beneficial ingredients that allow the formulations to protect the skin while simultaneously hydrating and priming it. These melt into the skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth with nary a hint of potential sun damage insight.
The Pricey Pick: Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara $59
The Cheaper Companion: CoverGirl Lash Boost Clean Volume Mascara $8
From Gucci Westman, the queen of clean, luxurious makeup that performs, comes this lash lacquer that works to amp up even the limpest of lashes. With its plush, dense nylon wand, which deposits the clean formula deep at the base of the lashes, lashes emerge full of definition, curl, and volume with an inky black finish that never flakes or fails. Its rival is this vegan, under $10 option, which boasts a unique applicator that defines and separates each lash to infuse them with more volume than naked lashes sans any of the clumping that so many mascaras leave behind.
The Pricey Pick: Sisley Paris Blur Expert $100
The Cheaper Companion: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish $45
The last step in applying makeup is setting it with a lightweight powder, which gives a flawless finish and blurs any apparent imperfections. These superfine powders do just and then some. Like a filter for your face, both melt into the skin, instead of sitting on it, for a soft, lit-from-within finish that makes makeup look impeccable.
The Pricey Pick: Tom Ford Balm Frost $56
Cheaper Companion: Hard Candy Glitteratzi Crystal Lip Duo In Shimmering Champagne $7
There’s nothing sexier than shimmery lips with a pearlescent finish, which is the reason why Tom Ford’s Balm Frost sold out after going viral on Tik Tok. The soothing balm offers a straight-off-the-slopes look with a pale pink undertone. Its more reasonable counterpart provides a bit more pigment, yet a similar finish and offers a gloss topper to kick things up a notch.
The Pricey Pick: By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow $38
The Cheaper Companion: Glossier Lidstar $18
Cream shadow sticks are a must-have for every makeup kit: they go on in a flash and don’t necessitate the use of brushes or tools. Plus, they’re a savior for those days when doing makeup on the go is the norm. Both versions offer pretty stay-put color, and both contain reflective pearl extract for mega-watt shimmer and glamour that quickly swipes onto the lids. From there, you can buff out the color with your finger or wear it as is. The formula never creases or shifts, so once you apply it, it stays put.
The Pricey Pick: Hermes Rouge Hermes Matte Lipstick in Rouge Casaque $67
The Cheaper Companion: Zara Ultimate Matte Lipstick in Hero $15
Both lipstick bullets scream chic to the nth degree, just that Hermes works in pops of color, whereas Zara keeps it simple and white. Inside the similar-looking cases are pretty similar formulas, too. Each iteration (both come with refillable bullets) of dense cherry red matte lipstick lasts for hours with just a single application.
The Pricey Pick: Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette $65
The Cheaper Companion: Focallure Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette $18
When not just one texture or finish will do, and a plethora of beautiful and coveted colors are necessary, these are the palettes to use. Each shade puts a new twist on the classic nude series—a must for making the eyes pop.
The Pricey Pick: Balmain Paris Hair Couture Universal Cordless Straightener $385
The Cheaper Companion: Revlon Cordless + Rechargeable 3/4″ Ceramic Flat Iron $43
Cords are annoying, which is why cordless flat irons are making a pretty bold name for themselves. These irons make achieving smooth, straight hair super simple and quick. Heat it up and run the tool through hair for a beachy wave or a sleek look with less damage, thanks to a multitude of different heat settings.
The Pricey Pick: TriPollar STOP Vx Gold $850
The Cheaper Companion: MLay RF Skin-Tightening Machine $332
Dermatologists love to use radiofrequency-based treatments in the office to stimulate collagen and reinstate a youthful lift to the skin. But professional treatments are expensive and time-consuming, which is why an at-home counterpart is always beneficial—and it allows you to maintain whatever is garnered at the doctor’s office, too. These radiofrequency-powered devices both deliver the energy to the skin to incite collagen production for smoother skin, less sagging and a snatched jawline. Now, who doesn’t want that?