I had a realization about my finances recently. Taking a look back through my spending history and I realized that it wasn’t big purchases that were having the biggest impact on my budget, it’s those regular purchases for things that you use all the time that take a toll. I mean you plan and save for large purchases, but you’re not thinking about the $10 that you spend on shampoo and conditioner twice a month, every month. I found that one of the biggest perpetrators to this is makeup. It’s so expensive! Finding the perfect product is hard enough, but the price tag that comes with it can have a huge impact, especially if it’s a reoccurring purchase. I made it my mission to find some more budget-friendly alternatives to my favorite makeup products.
Lancôme Pure Focus Daily Lotion ($49) vs. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer ($10.99)
At first glance, it’s obvious that you get more for your buck with the Aveeno because the bottle is larger. Comparing products, I can tell that the Lancôme was giving my skin more moisture than the Aveeno, but the results were similar enough that it doesn’t justify $40 price difference.
Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer ($32) vs. NYX Honey Dew Me Up Primer ($12.79)
I’m new to the primer obsession so I hadn’t been using the Too Faced version very long. Regardless, I LOVE the NYX primer. It’s full of natural ingredients and feels so good on my skin. Price difference or not, I would choose the NYX version every time.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48) vs. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation ($11.99)
This one was tough for me. I’ve been a long time wearer of the NARS foundation and I love it, but the price tag isn’t ideal, so I was looking for a more inexpensive option without sacrificing what I love about NARS (natural-looking, lightweight, and medium to full coverage). I was pleasantly surprised with the L’Oréal duplicate! It’s very lightweight, provides good coverage, and didn’t dry my skin out. It also lasted all day where my NARS favorite had previously come up short in that department.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38) vs. NYX Mineral Matte Finishing Powder ($7.49)
I prefer lightweight, loose powders to set my foundation and this Laura Mercier version is great for that. I tried the NYX version and am very happy with it. If the packaging wasn’t marked I probably wouldn’t be able to tell a difference. The only real difference I’ve found is that the NYX container is considerably smaller so you don’t get as much product, but considering that you could buy almost five for the price of one Laura Mercier, it’s a fair trade.
Pur Cosmetics Cameo Contour Stick ($39.50) vs. Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick ($10.99)
The best part of these contour sticks is that they last a really long time, so there is value in both of them. Comparing the two, I liked that the Pur Cosmetics version had more skin color options than just the traditional light, medium, and dark. The shape of the Maybelline version made it really great for application though. Overall, there wasn’t enough of a difference to encourage me to buy the more expensive version.
Smashbox Blush Rush in Heartbreak ($24.00) vs. Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose ($7.99)
These colors are seriously identical. There might be a little more shimmer in the Smashbox version, but that’s it. I would recommend the Milani version here because I genuinely couldn’t tell a difference, but your wallet will.
Anastasia Brow Definer ($23.00) vs. L’Oréal Brow Stylist Definer ($7.99)
The Anastasia brow definer is awesome and it was difficult to find something that even came close. The real difference being that the shape of the Anastasia version is unique and not super thin like traditional eyebrow pencils. The L’Oréal stylist definer wasn’t as thin as traditional, but I found that I preferred the other version. Is it worth a $15 difference? I’ll leave that up to you.
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette ($49.00) vs. BH Cosmetics Beautiful Brown Eyes Palette ($12.00)
I usually keep it pretty low key when it comes to eyeshadow. I got the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette as a gift and have been really surprised with its versatility. The BH Cosmetics palette has 12 colors and all but a couple are near identical to the Too Faced palette; however, you get 16 shades in the more expensive version. If you’re looking for a palette that’s more than just neutrals at a low price than this is the way to go.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20.00) vs. NYX Slide On Pencil ($8.00)
Not only are the names similar for both of these products, the results are as well. NYX has always been my first choice for budget-friendly makeup and this no different. Both products are great, easy to apply, last all day, and come in a variety of colors. The NYX version just happens to be $12 cheaper so it wins my vote.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($24.00) vs. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara ($8.99)
Quality mascara has always been the one thing that I splurged on and the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara is by far my favorite mascara product that I’ve found. After trying the Maybelline dupe, I’m stumped. I was surprised how much I liked Maybelline’s version. It doesn’t clump, has a great brush, and adds a lot of volume. I would have to say that I felt like it took more coats of the inexpensive version to match the look I achieve with Benefit, otherwise it’s a great alternative.
Bite Beauty Multi-stick in Mascarpone ($24.00) vs. NYX Velvet Matte Lipstick in Soft Femme ($7.00)
Matte lipsticks are great, but they can leave your lips terribly dry so finding one that is still moisturizing can be tricky. I’m a fan of the Bite Multi-Stick because it’s a nice neutral, looks great on all skin-tones, and is moisturizing. The NYX Velvet Matte collection are all on point when it comes to color, but they are lacking in moisture. Choosing the lower price option here should be a great alternative as long as you use lip balm before applying.