High End vs. Drugstore Make Up Products


Lux Concannon

High end makeup products and their drugstore version.

Dupe, short for duplicate, is a term coined by Tik Tok users and means a knock-off version of an expensive item that still produces nearly the same quality. With the price of makeup rising every day, people resort to cheaper options such as drugstore products. So which is better, high-end makeup or their drugstore version?

Charlotte Tilbury is a makeup brand that has grown in popularity for its high-end products. One of these products, Hollywood Flawless Filter can be used as a foundation, primer, highlighter, or on its own for a radiant look. Even though the Flawless Filter will make your skin glow, it comes at a price. A 1oz bottle of Flawless Filter costs $49, while a .18 oz bottle costs $19. The full size offers 12 shades, while the mini only offers four. The ingredients in this product are also promising, including porcelain flower extract and glossy oil, which both moisturize and add shine to the skin. I purchased a mini version in the shade 3 Fair, and the results delivered what was promised. This product gave me a radiant finish and looked natural. The famous alternative for the Flawless Filter is the E.l.f Halo Glow Liquid Filter, which comes in one size, 1.06 oz, and eight shades for $14. The Halo Glow has multiple uses, like the Flawless Filter, and includes skin-loving ingredients. E.l.f uses Hyaluronic Acid and Squalene, which moisturize and hydrate the skin. Applying the Halo Glow made dry patches on my skin more noticeable. However, both products delivered the same glowy effect. Ultimately, the E.l.f Halo Glow gave the same results as the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter for over half the price, so the dupe is better than the high-end product.

Charlotte Tilbury is also widely known for their Hollywood Contour Wand, which retails for $42 in Sephoras or online. The contour wand comes in two different shades, including light creamy and dark creamy. There is only one size, 12 ml. This is a warm-toned liquid contour, which is applied through the cushion applicator. Ingredients included are glycerin, a natural moisturizer; mica, which allows the product not to look cakey; and alcohol, which can be drying to the skin. There is controversy around this product, as some people think there isn’t enough product given and it’s hard to blend. I purchased this product in the shade medium-deep, and it blended out flawlessly. The popular drugstore product that serves as an alternative to the Hollywood Contour Wand is the Flower Lowlight liquid contour, which retails between $10 to $16, depending on where it is purchased from. Three shades are offered, including light, medium and deep. There is one size, 14 mL, and it has the same applicator as Charlotte Tilbury. After trying this product, I immediately noticed how difficult it was to blend and the patchiness that was left behind. Most reviews online agree the Flower contour wand was difficult to blend, giving this product 2.9 stars on Ulta’s website. Ultimately, the Charlotte Tilbury contour wand overpowered the Flower liquid contour, despite the price.

Rare Beauty Blush has become a trend worldwide. This blush comes in one size, .25 oz, and costs $23. There are 13 different shades, including nine radiant finish and four matte finish colors. With Rare Beauty blush, a little goes a long way and one dot of blush is all that is needed. This ensures the product will last a while. It is also made with ingredients that calm and nourish the skin. I bought the blush in shade Happy months ago, and still have a lot of product remaining, even after using it nearly every day. This product is pigmented and blends well, leaving a natural blush on the skin. NYX Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheeks Cream tint blush is considered a dupe for the Rare Beauty Blush, only costing $9.50. There are nine shades available, and one size of .40 oz. I bought this blush in the shade Showgirl, which is similar to the Rare Beauty shade, Happy, once blended out. This blush was pigmented and only needed one dot to complete the look. However, it was more difficult to blend. Overall, for a cheaper price and a more noticeable blush, NYX is definitely the better product. Lilly Long, who ran the makeup department during her time in theatre says, “My favorite brand is NYX, I think I lean towards drugstore brands because I know that they are affordable.” However, for a subtle, long-lasting blush, Rare Beauty is worth the price. Jordan Oaten, a makeup lover says, “I prefer high-end products, the quality matters more to me than the price.” In the end, NYX beats the high-end product because, for over half the price, you get nearly the same results.

Certain high-end products seem to be worth their price, but just because they are more expensive doesn’t always mean they have better quality. If someone is looking for quality products on a budget, drugstore makeup is the way to go.