Affordable Makeup Dupes (And Where To Buy Them)

When it comes to makeup, we never know if we should save or splurge. Here are some affordable dupes for cult classics, so you can have the best of both worlds.

1. NARS Blush in Orgasm vs Sleek MakeUP Blush in Rose Gold

NARS-Orgasm-and-Sleek-Blush-Rose-Gold-1

NARS Orgasm is a cult classic that really needs no introduction. The peachy pink blush is flattering on most skin tones, giving your cheeks a natural hint of colour (to mimic that uh, post-coital glow I guess?).

While there are quite a few dupes (or wannabes) for NARS Orgasm, Sleek MakeUP’s Blush in Rose Gold is one of the best options out there. In fact, I actually prefer Sleek to NARS (I know, I know #blasphemy) because it seems to apply better. NARS Orgasm is more finely-milled, so it’s harder to build up colour.

NARS-Orgasm-and-Sleek-Blush-Rose-Gold-3a

Colour-wise, both are pretty similar. NARS Orgasm is a hint less peachy than Sleek’s Rose Gold, but the difference is barely discernible when applied on the cheeks.

Sleek loses out to NARS when it comes to staying power though. Sleek’s blush required some touching up throughout the day, whereas NARS lasted a good 8 hours or so.

NARS-Orgasm-and-Sleek-Blush-Rose-Gold-2

The final verdict: Sleek MakeUP’s Rose Gold provides bolder cheek colour, which is good if you’re going for a heavier, evening look. NARS Orgasm, on the other hand, has a more natural finish that works well for everyday makeup looks.

NARS Orgasm retails for SGD50 from NARS counters in Singapore.

Sleek Blush in Rose Gold retails for SGD15 from Sephora.sg.

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette vs Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette

Naked-3-and-Makeup-Revolution-1Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette and Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 3

OK, I have just one word to summarise this dupe – #MINDBLOWN. Urban Decay’s Naked Eyeshadow Palettes are pretty much on every beauty addict’s wish list, but they don’t come cheap.

Enter the Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette, which has dupes for all three Naked Palettes. And yes, I’m talking exact shade matches. The best part? It’s only 12 SGD a pop, so you can buy all three palettes for less than the price of one Naked Palette (sorry Urban Decay).

I know what you’re thinking – yes, it’s cheap…but is it actually good? Well ladies, I’m pleased to report that Makeup Revolution’s Redemption Palette is as good as Urban Decay’s Naked Palette.

For starters, the eyeshadow colours are pretty much identical (unless you use a magnifying glass to compare, then there might be very subtle differences – but who does that am I right).

Naked-3-and-Makeup-Revolution-2

And now, for the important part – pigmentation. Makeup Revolution’s palette is surprisingly as highly pigmented as the Naked one, and both have about the same amount of staying power.

The only real difference between the two is the packaging – Naked’s packaging is obviously much nicer, and it comes with a eyeshadow brush (as opposed to a dual-ended sponge applicator for the Makeup Revolution palette).

Naked-3-and-Makeup-Revolution-3

The final verdict: Go with Makeup Revolution if you can’t decide which of the Naked palettes to get. Speaking of which…BRB going to buy more Makeup Revolution palettes now.

Urban Decay Naked 3 retails for SGD83 from Sephora.sg.

Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Eyeshadow Palette retails for SGD12 from Philocaly.

3. Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush vs I Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts

Too-Faced-and-I-Heart-Makeup-Blush-1

Too Faced always has the cutest packaging, and the Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush is no exception. Surely I’m not the only girl who’d buy it just for the packaging? Come on, look how pretty it is. No?

If you’re not keen on dropping $42 on blusher (but why), you’ll be pleased to know that I Heart Makeup (which is under Makeup Revolution btw) has an affordable dupe for this Instaworthy heart-shaped blush.

In fact, you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell the two apart when placed side by side. Both blushers have three shimmery pink shades, which give a fresh pop of colour when applied.

Can’t tell the difference in the photos below right?

Too-Faced-Sweethearts-BlushToo Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Something About Berry

I-Heart-Makeup-Blushing-HeartsI Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts

In terms of texture, both blushers are finely-milled and blend easily. The Too Faced one might be a bit more pigmented, but honestly, it was tough to find any differences between the two.

Even in terms of packaging, the I Heart Makeup blush wasn’t too shabby for the price. And hey, if you’re going to buy a blusher that’s almost too pretty to use, it might as well be the cheaper option right?

Too-Faced-and-I-Heart-Makeup-Blush-2I Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts in Original and Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Something About Berry

The final verdict: The quality and packaging of both blushers were almost on par, so just save your money and get the dupe.

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush retails for SGD42 from Sephora stores.

I Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts retails for SGD12.90 from Pucker.

4. NARS The Multiple in Orgasm vs Makeup Revolution The One Stick in Rush

NARS-The-Multiple-and-Makeup-Revolution-The-One-2NARS The Multiple in Orgasm and Makeup Revolution The One in Rush

As expensive as NARS may be, you have to admit that they always have the coolest products (and packaging). The Multiple from NARS is a multi-purpose cream-to-powder makeup stick, which can be used for cheek colour, highlighting or contouring.

The Orgasm shade, in particular, is a pretty peachy pink shade which can be used on your cheeks. The unique thing about these sticks is that they can be blended with or without a brush, which is especially handy when you need to travel light. Cream formulas also tend to have better staying power than their powder counterparts.

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If you’re not fussed about colours, Makeup Revolution’s The One makeup stick is a worthy dupe of the NARS Multiple. Although Makeup Revolution only has four main colours, the Rush shade is actually quite similar to NARS Orgasm. Makeup Revolution’s The One range also has a darker contouring shade, as well as a champagne pink shade for highlighting.

Texture-wise, the Makeup Revolution was a clear winner for me. The formula is creamier than the NARS one, so it was actually easier to apply and blend out. Plus $15 vs $60? Come on, that’s a no brainer.

NARS-The-Multiple-and-Makeup-Revolution-The-One-1

The final verdict: Makeup Revolution’s The One in Rush wins hands down, but go for the NARS Multiple if you want other colours.

NARS The Multiple retails for SGD60 at NARS counters in Singapore.

Makeup Revolution The One Stick retails at SGD15 at Philocaly.

5. Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Role Play vs NYX Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float

Marc-Jacobs-Lip-Gel-and-NYX-Butter-Lipstick-1a

Marc Jacobs Beauty has had quite a few cult favourites (Twinkle Pop eyeshadows anyone?) and the Sheer Lip Gel is one of them. The Lip Gel is sort of like a cross between a lipstick and lip balm, as it is gives good colour payoff without compromising on moisture. It also smells like vanilla and butter, which is always nice.

The colour Role Play, in particular, is a versatile everyday shade that is great for both office days and casual weekends. The only catch? It’s almost always sold out at Sephora stores here. Oh, and it’s $42 a pop.

If you can’t find Role Play at Sephora, try the NYX Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float. While the NYX lippie is slightly creamier than the Marc Jacobs Beauty one, both Role Play and Root Beer Float are versatile MLBB (My Lips But Better) shades that are flattering on most skin tones.

NYX-Butter-Lipstick-Root-Beer-FloatNYX Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float

Marc-Jacobs-Beauty-Sheer-Lip-Gel-Role-PlayMarc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Role Play

The main difference between the two is that the NYX Butter Lipstick is more moisturising on the lips, while the Marc Jacobs Beauty Sheer Lip Gel gives better colour payoff. Root Beer Float is also a hint more pink than Role Play, which is more of a dusty pink.

The final verdict: Both products have their strengths, so it depends on what you’re looking for in a lipstick. NYX is obviously much cheaper than Marc Jacobs Beauty though, so get the Butter Lipstick if you want an easy, everyday lipstick you can throw in your bag.

Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel retails at SGD42 from Sephora.sg.

NYX Butter Lipstick retails at SGD12 from Sephora.

6. Beauty Blender vs Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Beauty-Blender-and-Real-Techniques-Miracle-Complexion-Sponge

Paying $32 for a makeup sponge sounds pretty insane, but the BeautyBlender is popular for a reason. Whether you’re a beauty guru or makeup noob, the BeautyBlender is an easy and effective tool for applying base makeup. It also gives a flawless finish, which most makeup brushes can’t quite achieve.

Real-Techniques-Miracle-Complexion-SpongeReal Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

However, the BeautyBlender is admittedly quite pricey – especially for something that will ultimately be thrown away in a few months (because bacteria build-up, gross).

If you’re on a tight budget, try the Miracle Complexion Sponge from Real Techniques. It’s not an exact dupe of the BeautyBlender, but it does give the same barely-there flawless finish.

Beauty-BlenderBeautyBlender

The main difference between the two sponges is obvious – the shape. While the BeautyBlender’s tear-drop shape makes it easier to reach the inner corners of your eyes and nose, the Real Techniques flat-angled side is better for covering larger areas like your cheeks and forehead. The BeautyBlender also has more bounce to it, while the Real Techniques sponge is a bit denser.

The final verdict: If you’re new to makeup sponges, try the Real Techniques one before investing in a BeautyBlender.

BeautyBlender Original retails for SGD32 from Sephora.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge retails for SGD16 from Sephora.sg.

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

How To Pick The Perfect Foundation (For Your Skin)

Cheap Beauty Products That Actually Work

Hyped Beauty Products Review

Best Beauty Products For Lazy People

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