Getting into makeup is really expensive in the long run because you’ll find yourself craving for more even if you have a hundred lipstick or a hundred foundations already (#storyofmylife). Before, when I was single and being carefree with my money, I had the chance to try high-end products that really worked effectively. However, as I become older and wiser with my money, I discovered that I cannot spend my money on all high-end makeup that I want. So I decided to just go for the dupes. These products that are similar in more ways than one to the high-end products but are much cheaper. These more affordable alternatives are as good (sometimes better) than their counterpart. These are my tried and tested dupes. I have products here that can form your basic kikay kit.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (SR 180) // Nyx Photo Loving Primer (SR 40)
The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is one of the first primers that really captivated the beauty world. It preps and fills the skin making it a perfect canvas for the application of foundation. Because I have pimple scars and huge pores on my face, I love how this iconic primer fills them. It blurs my skin’s imperfections and I love how it leaves my face silky and smooth. However, this is expensive at around SR 180! A good alternative is the Nyx Photo Loving Primer. It feels and looks the same as the Smashbox. It also has a silicone base that comes out thin and clear. It also fills my scars and pores and makes it a flawless base for my foundation. The only difference apart from the price that I can see is that when the Nyx primer comes out of the tube, it has a thin film of water that comes out with the gel. My makeup doesn’t last as long with the Nyx primer but I don’t mind that since I’m not outside ’til the evenings anyway.
Smashbox is available at Sephora. // Nyx is available at Centrepoint.
MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation (SR 100+) // Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation (SR 60)
The Mac Studio Face and Body Foundation is also an iconic makeup product that’s known for its lightweight and natural coverage. It has a nice finish that most beauty bloggers are raving about. I haven’t tried this foundation though because I had the Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation for the longest time and I’m really happy and satisfied with it. Even if you have the Mac foundation with you, you should still give the Maybelline Fit Me! foundation a try because it’s sooo good! It leaves a nice, dewy finish on my skin and when buffed, my face looks so smooth and flawless. So much more affordable too!
Mac is available at Mac branches. // Maybelline is available in Boots, Whites Pharmacy and major supermarkets.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (SR 100+) // Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer (SR 60)
Many swear by the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer because of its thick coverage and high pigmentation. I haven’t tried it but it’s quite easy to realize why these two are dupes for each other: they basically have very similar packaging! Haha! Just by looking at photos of these two, I notice that the Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer which I have is a bit more runny in consistency than that of the Nars. So while Nars covers imperfections (and eye bags!) in one swipe, there is a need for 2-3 wipes from the Maybelline Fit Me! However, they both provide a nice coverage and they both work (just have to use more of the Maybelline).
Nars is available at Sephora. // Maybelline is available in Boots, Whites Pharmacy, and major supermarkets.
Nars Blush in Orgasm (SR 170) // Sleek Blush in Rose Gold (SR 30), Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (SR 60), and Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink (SR 17)
I have always coveted the Nars Blush in Orgasm. I’ve swatched it a couple of times already in various beauty shops that I’ve been in the Philippines but I didn’t have the heart to buy it considering I have a lot of blushes already, including three dupes for it. One of my favorite blushes in the Luminoso Baked Blush of Milani. The color is nice and it gives me a really healthy flush of coral on my cheeks. The same goes for Wet N Wild. I usually use these two together and their combination is phenomenal. The Rose Gold Blush of Sleek is something you should get. It gives a faint coral, pinkish flush with hints of gold (I kid you not). I think it’s the closest dupe to the Nars Orgasm.
Nars is available at Sephora. // Sleek Makeup and Wet N Wild Cosmetics is available in Whites Pharmacy. Milani is available at drugstore.com or Irene’s Closet KSA.
Benefit Gimme Brow // Essence Make Me Brow
Reina is the brow person between us. She is really precise in her brows and if I’m her, I’ll probably get the Benefit Gimme Brow. It has a nice color pay-off and the brush is tapered; like a little Christmas tree, that is recommended for precision. That’s the only difference it has with its newest dupe in the market, the Essence Make Me Brow gel mascara. It has a more regular-looking brush bit it works just as well. It promises to give color, density and shape and even contains tiny fibers to fill brow gaps. I used to use eyebrow pencils before but ever since I got the Make Me Brow, it’s all I ever use on my eyebrows. It’s not only a great alternative to the Benefit Gimme Brow, it’s actually better.
Benefit is available in Sephora. // Essence is available in Whites Pharmacy.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita // Nyx Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken
Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is a long-wearing, full-coverage liquid lipstick that has a smooth, matte finish. It’s available in 28 shades but the most popular shade is Lolita, a chestnut rose that fits most skin types. While I enjoy this liquid lipstick, I can’t help but feel annoyed that it has a cheaper alternative and that I bought it after I bought the Kat Von D liquid lipstick. The difference in their price is almost half! They have almost the same color and formula. The Nyx doesn’t last as long as the Kat Von D but seriously, I don’t really mind. It’s still a good dupe. If I don’t have the Lolita, I’ll be happy with having just Soft Spoken.
Kat Von D Makeup is available in Sephora. // Nyx is available in Centrepoint (but the Liquid Suede I got from Irene’s Closet).
Laura Mercier Transluscent Loose Powder // RCMA No Color Powder
After putting makeup, we need to set it and Laura Mercier’s transluscent setting powder is the go-to setting powder of makeup artists… until Kathleen Lights raved about the RCMA No Color Powder. I haven’t tried the Laura Mercier one but the RCMA is a great setting powder in my books. It doesn’t alter the color of the makeup; it makes the makeup last all-day. It’s a bit messy to apply though with the packaging it comes with. This is the level up of your usual baby powder (the we Filipinos often use to put on our faces to freshen up, haha!).
Laura Mercier and RCMA is not readily available in Riyadh. I got my RCMA No Color Powder from Irene’s Closet.
A good dupe should perform almost as good as the product it is being pitted with and I can say that I’m really happy having these dupe products in my makeup arsenal. I specially love how affordable and easily available they are.