Best cheap dupes for high-end makeup

A quick guide to affordable makeup on a high school wage.


Bailey Polkinghorn

Blending, blending, blending, done! Makeup takes some work but the results are worth it!

Bailey Polkinghorn, Section Editor

Most people have probably walked into Ulta or Sephora looking for some sort of makeup product, whether that be a new eyeshadow palette or the best mascara on the market and come to find out that either one is around $25-$45. 

Many people have said when you walk into Sephora or Ulta, expect to walk out paying an arm and a leg because the price of makeup is so high, but it doesn’t need to be. 

All pricing below is according to Sephora and Ulta.

Primer: One of the most widely loved primers is the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer($52), which is pretty expensive, but there are two cheaper dupes to the flawless finish it gives off: one being the E.L.F. Poreless Putty Primer($15); or the L’Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer($11). Both will give you the same flawless finish as the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer but at about a quarter of the price. 

Foundation: A good foundation doesn’t have to be pricey, but of course, there are expensive options. First off let’s look at the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Long-wear Foundation($35). The best dupe for this is the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-matte Foundation($13). The next loved foundation is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation($40),  and the best dupe to this is the Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation($7). 

Concealer: This leads us into concealer, the time to brighten everything that needs to be brighter (P.S. you can also get away with using a dark-colored concealer as contour if you don’t want to buy a whole contour palette). One of the best-known concealers is Tartes Tape Shape Concealer($27), but the best cheaper dupe to this is the Colour Pop No Filter Concealer($7). 

Contour: Next up is contour, one of the best is Lorac Pro conceal/contour palette($45), the best dupe to this is the NYX Professional Highlight and contour pro palette at $26, while this is still a pretty hefty price, for many it will last you a good while.

Powder: Now for powder, the most notorious of all being the Laura Mercier loose setting powder at a whopping $40, but the best dupes to this are the E.L.F. HD Definition Powder($6) or the Covergirl Clean Professional Loose Powder($8).

Blush: Coming up next will be blush, now it’s known that not everyone uses blush, but it’s still gotta be on here. One of the most widely used blushes in the makeup community is the Nars Orgasm Blush($40), and the best cheap alternative to this is the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso and Dolce pink($7).

Brows: Now we can’t forget about the brows! First, let’s start off with brow pomades, the best and most loved in the beauty community being Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade($18), a good runner up dupe is the NYX Tame and Frame Brow Pomade($8), a great thing to use to get that perfectly defined Insta brow!

Next, we will take a look at powders because some people prefer the more natural powder filled in look, one pretty loved one is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo($23), a good dupe would be the Rimmel London brow this way eyebrow sculpting kit($5).

Last but definitely not least to top off those perfect brows we will take a look at brow mascaras, the rated best one being the Benefit Cosmetics Gimmie Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel($24), a good dupe to this being Maybelline Brow Drama($8).

Mascara: So we’ve all probably heard of Benefits Roller Lash Mascara($25) or Too Faced Better Than s*x mascara($25), they both make your lashes look amazing, though there’s a cheaper dupe of it out there that makes your lashes look just as amazing, for a lower price, the Lash Paradise Mascara by L’Oreal($11).