There’s a reason why some beauty products get cult-classic status. Maybe it’s because it’s a super flattering color or the product has a quirky skin ingredient that promises big benefits. But most important, they’re effective. But while these holy-grail products are great, there are a bunch of other beauty products out there that are cheaper than your designer favorites but feel just as luxurious (definitely an upgrade from your typical drugstore finds). Sure their names may not be as cheeky as Nars’ “orgasm,” but their color payoff and quality of ingredients are strong enough to rival the bestsellers. Not to mention, they’re so much more wallet-friendly than their pricier counterparts! Next time you’re shopping for makeup, consider one of the high-end dupes below. (Keep scrolling to learn more about each product.)
People can’t get enough of this luminous Tom Ford foundation, and Kevyn Auction’s Illuminating foundation is an excellent alternative. This foundation blends seamlessly onto the skin, giving it a satin-finish without shine. Much like the Tom Ford foundation, it’s made from light-diffusing particles that almost act as a photo filter to your skin, minimizing flaws and imperfections and giving you a radiant complexion.
SPLURGE: Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF 15, $85
SAVE: Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation, $58
Like the Nars bestseller, this blush will give you that same hint of shimmer that makes the cult classic a favorite among celebrities and makeup artists. Try Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush to get the same peachy-pink hue as Orgasm that gives your skin that extra layer of luminosity and radiance. A little goes a long way when you apply this blush to your cheeks. You get that pop of color and shimmer, or you can use it as a blush topper for a multi-dimensional finish.
SPLURGE: Nars Orgasm, $30 (0.16 oz.)
SAVE: Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush, $29 (0.2 oz.)
There’s a reason why Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiance Perfecting Pen earned a loyal following: It revolutionized the world of makeup because it was a multitasking tool, easy to transport and effortless to use. Which was why it spawned a slew of lookalikes, like this concealer pen from Jouer. So what can you expect from this skin illuminator? An ultra-smoothing formula made from antioxidants to help you effortlessly accentuate the high points on your face, promising brightness and youthful radiance.
SPLURGE: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat, $42
SAVE: Jouer Cosmetics Luminizing Liquid Highlighter (0.06 oz.), $24
Long-lasting, rich in color, and universally flattering on everyone? Yeah, that basically describes Chanel’s Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate. The good news? It can be said for Lipstick Queen Sinner Collection Lipstick in Scarlet Red as well! You get that same deep, rich red shade—plus, nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like jojoba and shea butter to keep your lips soft and supple. One swish of this lipstick is all you need to get that gorgeous, enchantress look.
SPLURGE: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate (0.12 oz.), $37
SAVE: Lipstick Queen Sinner Collection Lipstick in Scarlet Red (0.12 oz.), $24
Much like Dior’s bestselling mascara, Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes has a silky-smoothing formula that adds buildable volume to your lashes with each stroke. The brush is specifically designed to not only coat your lashes efficiently, but to add moisture and improve thickness by 330 percent.
SPLURGE: Diorshow Mascara, $28.50
SAVE: Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara – Black, $23
Not only does it provide great buildable coverage, but what makes Jouer Cosmetics’ tinted moisturizer up to par with Laura Mercier is its skin-boosting, free radical–fighting ingredients: green tea extract, ginseng, gingko biloba and vitamin E. It also features chamomile to soothe easily irritated skin.
SPLURGE: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $44
SAVE: Jouer Cosmetics Luminizing Moisture Tint, $36
Though technically not a makeup, moisturizer has always played a huge role in our makeup application—and if there’s one moisturizer that’s been constantly praised by every celebrity out there, that’s Creme de la Mer. But Dermstore’s Digital Merchandising Director Jessica Chung—longtime La Mer user—was surprised to find SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore with almost the same, if not better, results.
“They are both investment skin care products,” says Chung. “The amount of science and active ingredients certainly make both caviar for the face. But Triple Lipid is lighter and airier than all three La Mers that I used to use,” says Chung. “I love the way it smooths over the skin and like La Mer, a tiny bit goes a long way. One jar of Triple Lipid later, I definitely see improvement on my neck wrinkles!”
SPLURGE: La Mer Creme de la Mer, $170 (30 ml)
SAVE: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore, $127 (48 ml)