Splurge or Save? Best Skincare & Makeup Dupes

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

We all want to look our best without breaking the bank! But when it comes to skincare & makeup dupes, should you splurge or save? It’s a question that can leave you totally confused! While it’s crucial to do your research and read reviews on all products regardless of the price, in the end, the decision to splurge or save on skincare & makeup may ultimately come down to personal preference and priorities.

It’s up to you to decide what works best for your budget, lifestyle, and beauty goals! While there are certainly advantages to saving money with dupes, they may not always be the best choice. Today, we want to educate you, so you can make the best decision when it comes to beauty buys!

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Skincare Dupes

It’s important to remember that, unlike prescription medications, over-the-counter skincare products are not regulated by a government agency like the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Whether they’re high-end or low-end products, there’s no regulatory body confirming whether a product truly contains the ingredients it says it does, in the stated amounts. Does SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid really contain 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C, as it says? While we’d like to have faith in a dermatologist-trusted brand like SkinCeuticals, it’s important to note that there is no way to know that for sure.

Many high-end skincare brands come with a premium price tag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they offer a superior product! Dupes may be just as effective at a fraction of the cost. I use SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid as a part of my morning skincare routine. I do it because my dermatologist recommended it, and I believe in its efficacy. But my assistant, Beth, uses a dupe: Timeless Skin Care Vitamin C and E Ferulic Acid Serum. She swears by it and says she’s had great results! By using the dupe, she’s saving $150!😮 Lemme tell ya, when I finish my current bottle of SkinCeuticals, I’m definitely going to try out the Timeless Skin Care Serum!

Another product I use and have recommended is Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. One of my beauty blogger pals recommended a great dupe on Amazon! I’ve been using it, and I’m here to tell you, I can’t tell a difference! Both feel hydrating and protect my lips from drying out overnight.

Opting for a satin pillowcase over a pricier silk pillowcase is another skincare product that people love to swap. Silk pillowcases are known to be beneficial for skincare as they cause less friction and absorb less of your skincare products while you sleep than cotton pillowcases, so they can help prevent wrinkles and dry skin. But silk pillowcases can be pricey! Check out these satin pillowcases for $8.99! They’re a much cheaper alternative to the $89 Slip Silk Pillowcase that we’ve all heard so much about!

Here’s one more example! I know you know that one of the top ingredients in facial moisturizers is hyaluronic acid (HA). If you’ve been hanging around here for any time at all, I know you know that hyaluronic acid helps your skin maintain flexibility, helping it stretch and flex and reducing skin wrinkles and lines. I’ve used pricey SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating and Hydrator cream for several years now, but recently found CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum. They have very similar ingredients! So in this case, I decided to save, rather than splurge!

Swipe through below to check out our favorite skincare dupes!

Makeup Dupes

Makeup dupes can be a great way to save money without sacrificing the quality of your beauty routine. Unlike, skincare, it’s basically all about personal preference in terms of how you feel about the product. Some people even prefer dupes over original products! This was such a fun project to work on, and I found some amazing dupes to share with you!

If you’re all about getting your glow on, you might want to check out e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter! It provides a radiant glowy complexion. You can wear it alone, over or under makeup, mix it with your foundation, or use it as a highlighter. It’s comparable to the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, which I used to use as a highlighter a year or two ago. I would have saved a lot of money if I’d known about e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter!

My daughter loves Urban Decay’s Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette! I can’t wait to tell her about this eyeshadow palette that had great reviews as a great alternative!

If you’re over 50, I know you probably fill and groom your eyebrows regularly. (Why, oh why, didn’t we appreciate them when they were lush and full?😣) Brows are one of the most important features of your face because they help frame and define the eye. Finding a good eyebrow pencil can be challenging, and this $10.99 dupe for the $25 Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Ultra-Slim Retractable Detail Pencil is a good one!

A few other great dupes we found: Cult favorite Tarte Shape Tape concealer is an amazing product but by all accounts, the e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer is a close contender.

Switching up your lipstick color seasonally is a simple and fun way to add variety and change your makeup routine. I definitely wear shades that are lighter and more nude/natural in tone in the warmer months. Don’t you? This $8.99 Maybelline lipstick is a close match to the $35 Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick.

Makeup dupes can save you a lot of money in the long run, and there’s no need to sacrifice quality for price when there are so many great dupes out there! Whether you’re on a tight budget or just looking for a fun way to experiment with different products, you can find makeup products you love.

When it comes to skincare and makeup dupes, remember, there may be times when you feel like it’s worth it to splurge. That’s okay! But don’t let the price tag be the sole factor in your decision. My advice? Get to know the dupes, read ingredient labels, find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to try one of these dupes!

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  1. Wow!! Love this post and will be trying a few of your suggestions. Thank you for all the time you gave this!

    1. Paula,

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you liked it! It’s my joy to do it for you all!

      I can’t wait to hear what you think!

      Doncha think Skincare Over 50 would be a good topic for the Encore ladies! Maybe a dermatologist or aesthetician? Just a thought!


  2. Great post, Suzy! I am a big fan of CeraVe’ products! I didn’t know about the serum, so I’ll try that, along with a few others you highlighted. The location of the rehearsal brunch looks spectacular!! I know you must be super excited about that event. Hope you find things returning to normal on Sanibel Island next week and your condo coming along well.🙏🏻 I appreciate all you do for the Empty Nest crowd!🤗👏🏻

    1. Angie,

      Thank you so much! I love CeraVe too!

      I so appreciate your kind words about Florida. We still don’t have electricity restored, if you can believe that. It’s awful, and progress is SLOW. I’m so grateful for you and your thoughtfulness!


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