Drugstore dupes for high-end essentials


Graphic by Audrey Delgado

e.l.f. Total Face Brush, COVERGIRL Clean Professional Loose Powder, Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer

Makeup is expensive, often excessively so. Drugstore makeup is cheaper, but it can be difficult to achieve the same professional quality. Below are seven drugstore products that match the quality of higher-end brands.

1. Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer, $5.34

Dupe for Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30.00

This Maybelline concealer does everything Nars does, for less than one-fifth of the cost. It’s buildable, blendable and covers my dark circles (unlike every other concealer I’ve tried, so definitely be impressed.) 


2. NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray, $8.47

Dupe for Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray, $33.00

So I’ll be honest, they aren’t exactly the same. As much as it pains me to say it, All-Nighter is unbeatable. However, you can save your bottle for long events like prom and graduation, when you’ll need the 24-hours of protection. NYX’s spray lasts me a full school-and-work day, which is all I need. It doesn’t prevent makeup from coming off when wiping against something (R.I.P. to all my boyfriend’s white shirts, they’re tan now,) but neither does Urban Decay’s.


3. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Makeup Blender Sponge, $4.88

Dupe for beautyblender, $20.00

I tell anyone who will listen about Real Techniques sponge. It’s better than the original! It is softer, blends better and costs $15.00 less. That’s enough money for 3 Pink Drinks! 


4. COVERGIRL Clean Professional Loose Powder, $5.84

Dupe for Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder,  $39.00

This dupe is almost as good as the original, and way less expensive. I think it works better on medium skin tones than the high-end brand too. It has a beautiful matte finish and keeps my liquid makeup in place for the same amount of time as Laura Mercier’s.


5. e.l.f. Total Face Brush, $3.00

Dupe for MakeUp Forever Large Powder Brush, $55.00

All of e.l.f.’s brushes are amazing, especially considering the price; this dupe is the most money-saving of the whole list. The brush is soft, and blends exceptionally well, especially when paired with the COVERGIRL loose powder.


6. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, $5.46

Dupe for Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer, $32.00

Pores are a big problem for makeup-wearers; foundation can seep in and make them way more noticeable. Pore-improving primers are the most popular type right now, but there is no reason to spend a fortune. Drugstore primers are usually pretty iffy, but this dupe covers pores just as well as the original.


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter, $4.00

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter, $29.00

It’s incredible how this $4 highlighter shines. It adds a beautiful glow that lasts me 12 hours with setting spray. You can add just a little for a natural shine, or layer it for a bold look. Tarte’s is good, but not worth the $25 difference.