Beauty can be expensive. But take it from me that most of the time, you get what you pay for.
Some affordable skin care products can be loaded with filler ingredients that don’t actually do anything for your skin but make it feel OK in that singular moment. This isn’t bad for you, per se, but you probably won’t see any results, you’ll end up buying more, and the cycle will continue.
As for makeup, the product just may not perform well or, worse, could irritate or dry out your skin. All of this just leads to wasted time and money.
All of that being said, I am a product lover who always seeks out and tries new products. Along the way, I’ve found my fair share of affordable things that work just as great as the more expensive ones, which is referred to as a dupe (short for “duplicate”).
Here are some of my favorite dupes of the most beloved prestige beauty products.
Instead of: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream ($39.50)
IT Cosmetics CC cream is a fantastic product, but I was so happy when my BFF Gina alerted me to this (no pun intended) dream dupe. Maybelline’s product delivers the same amazing coverage and flawless, healthy-looking, hydrated finish. However, it’s the sunscreen that gets me. Dream Urban Cover also contains SPF 50, which is very important since we should use sunscreen year-round.
Instead of: Tatcha Camellia Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48)
Try: Fourth Ray Beauty BFD Cleansing Oil ($14)
Tatcha’s cleansing oil is legendary in the skin care community, but it’s definitely not necessary to spend so much on a product that’s literally going down the drain. Camellia oil is the star in Tatcha’s cleanser as well as in this one from Fourth Ray. The sister brand to Colourpop, notoriously known for its direct-to-consumer nature and affordable prices, Fourth Ray offers a cleanser that will dissolve oil, makeup and SPF without stripping the skin, so your skin ends up feeling hydrated, soft and clean.
Instead of: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream ($68)
Try: The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer ($14.99)
Peptides are the building blocks of healthy, bouncy skin texture and the main ingredient in Protini, which makes my skin look and feel amazing. The Inkey List is dedicated to quality products at affordable prices, and the Peptide Moisturizer also supports the firming, hydrating proteins in our skin. Plus, Inkey’s has the same gel-cream texture and delivers the same serious hydration that made Protini famous.
Instead of: Sunday Riley Good Genes ($85)
Good Genes is a skin care cult product, but you can’t always believe the hype. Don’t get me wrong, Good Genes worked fine and looked amazing on a shelf, but after a while, I realized there were other great lactic acids I could use that cost way less and would still feel just as good. Farmacy Honeymoon Glow contains the same ingredients to gently resurface for glowing skin. It also feels luxurious to use, and the packaging is gorgeous.
Instead of: Chanel L’huile Jasmin Body Massage Oil ($230)
Try: Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Body Oil ($44)
There’s nothing I love more than body oil in the wintertime. I stumbled upon this Chanel one in a beauty group I’m in, and though it had glowing reviews, the price truly horrified me. Herbivore is one of my favorite skin care brands, and this body oil is light enough that my skin drinks it in while leaving it super hydrated and soft. The jasmine scent is absolutely intoxicating, and I’ll be honest: using this product makes me feel like a rich lady.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT