Beauty with Mi

Cheap Alternatives To Pricy Makeup Buys — That Actually Work

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Beauty with Mi, hosted by Refinery29's beauty writer Mi-Anne Chan, explores the coolest new trends, treatments, products, and subcultures in the beauty world. Follow along on her wild beauty adventures here.
Finding comparable, low-cost alternatives to pricy makeup, skin, and hair buys has become something of a sport online. I certainly revel in the discovery of a good "dupe" — that is, a beauty product that so closely resembles another item that it could be considered a duplicate — but it's no easy feat.
A quick Google search for alternatives to the £22 blue eyeshadow you've been eyeing will serve up a handful of drugstore options vying for your attention instead. And while side-by-side swatches on hands and forearms can tell you a lot, there's nothing like seeing the product on the face to tell if it's worth your money.
So I put ten high-end products and their drugstore dupes to the test. But I didn't just swipe them on and call it a day; I wore them for twelve hours to really determine how they wear. An added bonus, every single item — from my brushes to my lipstick to my eyeshadow — is 100% cruelty-free.
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High-End Makeup:
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, £30, available at Charlotte Tilbury; Wander Beauty Concealer in Light £23, available at Net-A-Porter, Cover FX Matte Setting Powder in Light, £28, available at Cult Beauty; Marc Jacobs Bronzer O!Mega Bronze £35, available at John Lewis; Hourglass Radiant Blush in Dim Infusion £32, available at Space NK; RMS Beauty Champagne Rose Luminizer £28.94, available at RMS Beauty; Natasha Denona Sunset Palette $129, available at Sephora (Editor's note: Sorry, this isn't available in the UK yet!); Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper £16, available at Debenhams; Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara £19, available at Marks & Spencer; Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Dusty Rose £20, available at Feel Unique.
High Street Makeup:
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Soft Foundation in Soft Beige, £5.32, available at Amazon; Wet n Wild Concealer Photo Focus Concealer in Light Ivory and Medium Beige, £3.54, available at Amazon; Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder, $13, available at Walmart (Editor's note: Sorry, this isn't available in the UK yet! Our pick would be MaxFatcor Creme Puff Powder Compact, £6.99, available at Boots.); Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Bronzer, £10.42, available at iHerb; Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso £9.99, available at Milani; Highlighter: E.L.F. Highlighting Pearl Paint in Moonbeam £5, availalble at E.L.F.; ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Shadow Palette £26.90, available at House Of Beauty; Jordana FabuLiner Liquid Liner £2.60, available at Amazon; Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Mascara £10.42, available at iHerb; Milani Amore Matte Lip Cream in Precious £8.43, available at Amazon.
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About Beauty with Mi

Beauty with Mi explores the craziest trends, most unique treatments, newest products, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world. Hosted by Refinery29's very own beauty writer, Mi Anne Chan, we dare to find and try the fringes of beauty, for better or worse.

Best Cruelty Free Makeup Drugstore, High End BrandsReleased on 8 January 2018