Posted on: November 23, 2023 Posted by: Comments: 0

I’m incredibly lucky that I get sent some of the most premium beauty products on the market to try out as part of my job. From £205 moisturisers to £109 facial steamers, I’ve had the chance to test some of the most luxurious formulations and beauty tools in the UK to find out what’s worth the hype. But does expensive always equal best? In a word, no. Despite having access to extravagant products and high-end beauty brands, I’ve found that there are tons of affordable options that rival their more expensive counterparts. In fact, there are plenty even the most experienced beauty editors would struggle to differentiate between once applied to the skin.

So whether you’re trying to stick to a budget or you just don’t want to spend excessively on a pricier counterpart when you don’t have to, here are the 19 best high-street beauty dupes to buy now that rival their expensive counterparts.

This launch from E.l.f. went viral on TikTok, and we can see why. You can use it in the same ways as Charlotte Tilbury’s iconic base, but I would say it has slightly more coverage and the glow is a little less finely milled, so it tends to work better as a light foundation. 

Price shown is member price. SkinCeutical’s iconic C E Ferulic serum is one of the brand’s most-loved products. But, with a big price tag, it’s not in reach of most people’s budget. If you want the results at just a snip of the price, then Beauty Pie’s formula looks very similar and reviewers say that it’s just as good as some of the more expensive vitamin C serums out there.

Here at Who What Wear, we don’t necessarily support brands “ripping off” other successful products. And honestly, we think the branding on this Revolution Plex Bond Restore Treatment 3 is a little on the nose, don’t you agree? If you have bleached or damaged hair, there’s a high chance Olaplex’s No.3 Hair Perfector is already on your radar. As a pre-shampooing treatment, it works to restore broken bonds in the hair, leaving it healthier and stronger. It’s expensive, but it works. If you want to see what all of the fuss is about, this affordable dupe from Revolution does a pretty good job at mimicking the results. Is it equally as good? Not quite, but it’s the closest competitor I’ve ever tried.

This foundation dupe has been a long-held beauty-insider secret. Both products come in around 30 shades and deliver velvety coverage to skin with a subtle radiance. With celebrities like Meghan Markle reportedly obsessed with the Giorgio Armani foundation, it certainly holds its own beauty gravitas. But for me, you just can’t argue with the price point and results of the L’Oréal foundation.

To me, there is no better makeup sponge than the Beautyblender, particularly when it comes to creating a dewy base with your everyday foundation. However, I know that dropping almost £20 on a small sponge can seem excessive. If I were forced to pick a backup, then you can’t go wrong with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. In fact, I know plenty of people who prefer this to the Beautyblender. I must admit that the flat edge is handy for slapping on foundation quickly when you’re in a rush.

Every nail tech I speaks to swears by Dior’s Huille Apricot nail treatment. However, if you want something similar that won’t break the bank then you’ll love Templespa’s From Strength To Strength formula, which helps nails grow long and strong, while hydrating dry cuticles and healing flaking nails. 

YSL’s iconic Touche Éclat is described by the brand as ”eight hours of beauty sleep in a click.” For years, I wasn’t entirely sure how to use it (was it a concealer or a highlighter?), but now I love applying it under my eyes and onto my cheekbones for a subtle luminosity. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar this brightening formula from Revolution Pro is to the beauty icon. 

You’ve probably spotted Sand & Sky’s iconic pink packaging in your Instagram feed over the past couple of years. Its pink-clay skincare products launched to huge waiting lists and rave reviews, and its mask happens to be one of my favourites for treating acne. This mask from Revolution also contains detoxifying pink clay to absorb excess oils and offer up similar mattifying benefits.

Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer has amassed a loyal following for its hydrating primer which both hydrates and ensures your makeup stays put all day long. If you want something similar, E.l.f.’s Power Grip Primer has a very similar texture, helping makeup to go on flawlessly and last throughout the day while hydrating the skin.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk lipstick is probably the most iconic makeup product of the past decade. Considered to be one of the best nudes ever created, it’s no wonder it’s one of the best-selling lipsticks out there. Sure, Charlotte Tilbury products have a certain level of luxury that can’t really be beaten, but if you’re keeping an eye on your spending, this L’Oreal lipstick is strikingly similar.

I’m a big fan of both of these water-based foundations for their lightweight coverage and dewy finish. In fact, the Nyx formula has to be one of my favourite drugstore foundations ever. If you’re looking for a brightening base that looks like your skin but better, then both make energising options. Oh, and the more affordable Nyx option wins on diversity in shade offering, too.

I love a red lipstick, and MAC’s Ruby Woo is about as iconic as they come. I have to say, though, that this £5 dupe from Barry M certainly rivals it. It’s matte, pillar-box red and lasts through a Pret sandwich. What more could you want?

Ask anyone who is obsessed with eyeliner, and chances are they will have tried KVD Beauty’s cult Tattoo Liner before. It’s inky black, ultra-precise and smudge-resistant. This one from Maybelline provides a similarly long-lasting formula and an easy-to-use nib that even eyeliner novices (like myself) should be able to get on board with.

One of my favourite concealers has to be this one from Nars. It’s super creamy, covers everything from under-eye circles to blemishes and feels like you’re wearing nothing on your skin. However, for a quarter of the price, this Maybelline concealer provides a similarly radiant finish for a fresh-faced complexion. 

Another eye shadow palette with a sizeable price difference comes in the form of this 18-pan collection containing a mix of mattes, glitters and shimmer shades inspired by shades of nude. Although you really can’t rival the Huda Beauty shadows in terms of pigment, wear and colour payoff, I think that the W7 dupe is a great alternative if you won’t use every colour in the £56 palette.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s now iconic Baccarat Rouge 540 scent set TikTok into a frenzy last year for its expensive-smelling, seductive notes of jasmine, amberwood and ambergris. However, TikTok soon caught on to Zara’s take on the scent, which smells very inspired by the original fragrance at £23.

Both of these curl gels give incredible definition sans flakiness and can be cocktailed with other products like creams and oils without creating build-up. Bouclème does just have the upper hand with the lovely scent, but other than that, there isn’t much between these curly-girl-method-approved gels. 

I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t adore this blusher from Rare Beauty. It’s pigmented, blends like a dream and comes in several incredible shades to suit every skin tone and preference. However, if you are looking for something a little more affordable, Made By Mitchell’s Blursh Liquid Blushes are just as great.

You’ll find the iconic Laura Mercier powder in the kit of many top makeup artist’s––it’s very finely milled and sets bases perfectly without looking cakey or creasing. However, this one is just as successful at creating a soft focus on the face while minimising pores and taking down oil and shine. 

Up Next: I Always Get Compliments on Zara Perfumes—9 That Could Easily Pass for Designer

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Leave a Comment