TBN: Luxury Dupes Edition- Ten Legendary Products and Their Affordable Equivalents
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Last week's articles were about affordable dupes of luxury products I recently discovered. Right after publishing, I received requests for more, so I decided to compile my list of favourite-ever dupes. These are products that I actually buy again and again, the surest sign of good quality and performance.
1. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder: this is the favourite of makeup artists for brides: it's impreceptible, it 'fixes' your final makeup look in a natural way by mattifying and brightening and it lasts. I adore it but have not repurchased since I discovered the following dupe.
Switch to: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder, this has a considerably lower price but honestly does the same, exact, job. Very effective, very light. It is available to buy here. If you need a cheaper still alternative, you might consider Elf (excellent) and Maybelline's Fit Me Matte + Poreless, a good, reliable powder. It's not as good as the previous two, but still brilliant for its price.
2. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks: These are a permanent love-affair for me, they are sumptious to wear and look at. After extensive searching, I've only been able to find one noteworthy dupe, that's just as comfortable to wear, just not quite as lip-plumping.
Switch to: Catrice Ultimate Matt, these are cheap, chic and pretty. Not a combination you frequently come across. The quality is worth much, much more than the price; I find the nudes of this line work best.
3. Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks: these are a lazy girl's dream in the morning. Just swipe across the lid, add mascara and out the door you go.
Switch to: H&M Shadow Pencils I honestly like these more than Mercier's offering. They last longer and look better on my lids. They have a secret sharpener in the back lid. The colour selection is beautiful, I love Plummy Accent to line my eyes instead of a typical pencil. This is your fastest way to a sexy, fuss-free smoky look.
4. Armani Power Fabric Foundation: this makes my skin look photoshopped. But, then, so does the following product at one fourth of the price.
Switch to: L'Oréal True Match. People should sing songs around fires about this. My definition of affordable luxury, the quality this delivers is top notch. It gives me a satin finish, good coverage and lasts all day.
5. Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment: I hate repeating myself but I dislike liquid lipsticks. This line is amazing, however, with a colour selection that was designed to complement complexions, not match your outfit, as is, sadly, often the case. It is not drying, it lasts, it fades out evenly.
Switch to: L'Oréal Rouge Signature is a good alternative line that is widely available everywhere but try to get your hands on KIKO Milano Unlimited Double Touch instead. This is not a dupe, it's actually better than any expensive counterpart. It's moisturising! Yes, really. Super-stable, yet does not dry your lips. It's the unicorn of liquid lipsticks. The nudes are superb, the reds are good but not as genius as Nars. You win some, you lose some.
6. I have found no affordable dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's brilliant blushes. It's not a matter of performance (and they do last all day); it's a matter of colours, the area where Tilbury is second to none. Her colours bring out the complexion in an unparalleled way.
(Maybe) switch to:
The most high-performing, affordable blushes I've found are by H&M. Good, albeit one-dimensional, colours that last.
7. Charlotte Tilbury bronzer, part of the, now legendary, Bronze and Glow palette, this is as user-friendly as they come.
Switch to: Max Factor Creme Bronzer, this is honestly an excellent atlernative that will leave you just as satisfied. When Tilbury's bronzer came out, it was indeed the best in class. Now, bronzers come in very sophisticate hues for all budgets. This baked bronzer hits the right balance between contour and bronzer and can be used for both purposes, just like Tilbury's product.
8. Monsieur Big Mascara by Lancôme: Walking through an airport recently, I saw this being sold in a display of just one humungous bin. It obviously sells like hot cakes. I like it but don't love it- I find an expensive mascara should last more than a month (my tube dried up at this exact point). The following mascara is a great dupe.
Switch to: Essence Volume Stylist Curl & Hold, what a rare beauty find. It gives me literally the same effect as Monsieur Big. At 3 euros, it's a steal. For an even more impactful look, I use it combined with L'Oréal's Unlimited mascara, which is too much for me on its own.
9. I'm sure handmade japanese brushes are stellar but I'm also sure I'll never know. I don't intend to spend upward of a thousand euros for a full face set. For my standards, an expensive, beautiful brush is from MAC. They are truly outstanding. How to spend less without compromising on the results?
Switch to: Real Techniques. These are a legend for good reason. Affordable, professional-grade and very durable, these are almost too good to be true. The eyeshadow brushes have replaced almost all of my MAC ones, which goes to show they're not just a dupe; in some instances they are they superior choice. They are available to buy here
10. Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheats are best-sellers not because of hype, but because they are deliver bigger, smoother lips and help preserve your lipstick for many hours. I have looked for an alternative high and low, tried every brand under the sun including Rimmel, which influencers quote as a dupe. Not for me. The only, truly noteworthy, opponent is L'Oréal 's Infallible lip liner. These are slightly less sumptious that the Lip Cheats, however, they are superbly creamy, come in great colours, do not dry your lips and stay put until lunch and beyond.
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