Make-up Must Haves on a Budget

Makeup has always been a part of our lives, whether it be when we are children playing with our mother’s or when we reach our first real school dance and we get to get ‘made up.’ The makeup industry is a multibillion dollar a year industry that profits heavily off of our desire to play around and look different.

We would all love to be able to own all of the name brand makeup without breaking the bank but that is not realistic for everyone. Drug store makeup gets a bad rep, saying it’s bad for your skin or that it doesn’t possess the same qualities that the name high end make up does. This just isn’t true; there is a lot of non-high end make up that does an amazing just at covering your dark spots or pimples and can keep your lips that deep cherry red just as well as Dior, Kat Von D or MAC.

I am going to give you some dupes of popular high end foundations, highlighters, and eyeshadow palettes so you can get the same results at a much lower cost.

*I have tried and tested all of my recommendations*


Kat Von D Lock It foundation ($35) v. NYX Invincible Foundation ($8) // Kat Von D’s “lock it” line of concealers, foundations, and primers is known for its ability to cover any imperfection you can see. She even shows it covering tattoos effortlessly. The dupe for this high end foundation is NYX’s Invincible Foundation which is just as full coverage as Von D’s at ¼ the cost. All of her products are also cruelty free!

Make Up Forever HD Foundation ($43) v Revlon PhotoReady Foundation ($12) // Full disclosure: Make Up Forever HD Foundation is the foundation I personally use every day. It feels practically weightless and is known for its water-like consistency. It is not a full coverage foundation but more of a medium. Revlon’s Photo Ready Foundation is also a medium coverage but is a bit thicker than the Make Up Forever brand.


Iconic London Illuminator ($40) v. Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter ($9) // 2018 was a big year for Iconic London with the creation of their liquid illuminator. It is widely used for its ability to be built upon. You can mix it into your BB cream or foundation easily, then added on as a normal highlight and seamlessly blended. Make up Revolution’s Liquid Highlighter is the closest any drug store brand has gotten to competing with Iconic London’s. that being said, it is not a perfect dupe; it is not quite as buildable as the Iconic ones and once it is spread out it becomes more glittery, as opposed to the others which are not at all glittery but more of a glow. Both of these products are cruelty free as well!

Jeffree Star Skin Frost “Peach Goddess” ($29) v. OFRA “You Glow Girl” ($15) // Jeffree Star’s products, no matter what they are, are known for their pigmentation and that is truly the case with his Skin Frosts. This highlighter is intense and can be used wet or dry, depending on how intense you want to glow.

OFRA’s highlighters are a fan favorite with a lot of well known MUA’s and are definitely on par with Star’s Skin Frost. They will make you glow just as much as Star’s and is half of the price.

They are also both vegan and cruelty free!!

Anastasia “Modern Renaissance” ($42) v. Colourpop ($5) // Anastasia’s eyeshadow palettes are extremely pigmented and easily blended which is why they are so popular and widely used with MUA’s. Colourpop has recently come out with single pressed eyeshadows that individually are dupes for each of the colors in the Modern Renaissance palette. They are all sold separately though, so you would need to do a ‘create your own’ palette which Colourpop gives you the option to do. If you are anything like me, this is a great option because I ever use all of the colors they put in a palette and it ends up feeling like a waste of money for not using them all.

Urban Decay Naked Smokey ($54) v. E.L.F. ($10) // The Urban Decay Naked palettes are widely popular, I actually have three of them. They are amazing for building on looks and the Smokey palette is no exception. This palette gives you every color you would need to complete a smokey eye, whether it be a black smokey eye, a brown one or a grey one. E.L.F. created a similar eyeshadow palette with the same colors minus two of the darker shimmer ones. The difference between these palettes is that the E.L.F. one is not as buildable as Urban’s because it is not as easily blended.

I really hope this little crash course in makeup dupes has helped you to see that you do not need to break the bank in order to look your best. There are plenty of other dupes out there of the most popular brands, you just need to be willing to give them a try!