February 26th, 2014
We all know the feeling – finding a gorgeous advert or magazine spread with a wild shade of colour on the eye or lip. Creativity sparks, and suddenly all you can think of is how badly you need to fill that orange lipstick-shaped hole in your kit. Or perhaps you are a newly starting artist with limited funds to hinder your unlimited creativity. There may be products you desperately want but have to sacrifice for the time being.
Either way, sometimes we are left hesitant to splash out on a pricey new piece. Whether it’s a passing trend which you would love to try – but not invest heavily in – or you’re combing the internet for purse-friendly version of your wishlist products, Warpaint rounded up a selection of dupes to help. While these may vary slightly in longevity or quality, they can often give you the flavour of the real deal – a test before you invest or a cheaper alternative to achieve the same look.
Taking a cue from the aforementioned orange lipstick, MAC Morange is a cult favourite for the ultimate bold, zingy lip colour. But at £15 for 3g of product, it’s not a cheap experiment. A good alternative might be Maybelline Electric Orange from the Color Sensational Vivids collection. This glossy formula is similar to the Amplified Creme of the MAC shade, and you could also be saving more than half the price of Morange, as you can pick Electric Orange up for just £6.99 from Superdrug currently.
Matte lips are also having a bit of a moment and Hourglass has created a fantastic liquid lipstick in its Opaque Rouge range (£23). Bold colour which lasts beautifully, these lipsticks are quickly becoming a brand staple. If you would like to try the matte lip trend for a substantially lower price, high street favourite Sleek has created a range of long-lasting liquid lipsticks in either a gloss or matte formula. The Matte Me lip colours are a great way to experiment with a matte lip texture, with the colour Rioja Red being a particular stand-out shade (£4.99).
NARS Orgasm blush is another cult shade for its seemingly universal flattering effect on all shades of skin. The perfect peachy hue with golden shimmer, the colour has won multiple awards and multitudes of fans. But again, a cult shade such as this has price tag to match, and you can expect to pay £21.50 for this beautiful blush. If you’re willing to look elsewhere and put a little extra legwork in, you can actual achieve an almost identical look from Milani cosmetics. As an American brand it cannot yet be found in stores in the UK, so head to Amazon and eBay. As scary as it may seem to be purchasing cosmetics from these sources, as long as you do your research in terms of shades, you can end up with some great bargains. In this case, Milani’s Baked Blush in Dolce Pink will give you the same golden-peachy look for half the price. Including P&P you can pick up this blush for just under £10. The baked compact also means the product lasts extremely well, saving you even more money.
Another online-only vendor, e.l.f. has consistently good reviews for its purse-friendly products, and plenty of online coverage to help you check shades before you buy. Mineral Lipstick in the shade Natural Nymph (£5) mimics the perfect nude shade of MAC’s Creme d’Nude (£15.50), which we featured in our Nude Lips round-up. The lipstick is also packed with all sorts of excellent ingredients, including jojoba oil, coconut oil and shea butter to create a smooth, nourishing texture and assuage any concerns you may have of quality or colour pay-off. Also from e.l.f is the Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal (£1.95) is a great dupe for Benefit’s iconic High Beam (£19.50), to add some subtle radiance. The e.l.f Whip also comes in multiple shades, all at a fraction of the price of the Benefit bottles.
If you prefer to avoid the potential pitfalls of the internet and the high street, there are still ways to save money with professional-quality products. MAC’s magnetised pro palette system is a great way to create a self-chosen selection of colours which are easy to move around and switch out. However, both the palette construction and inserts can put a serious dent in your wallet if you are looking to create your first personalised creation – you would be looking to pay around £6.50 for a four-pan eyeshadow palette (although the larger and more flexible versions are much more), and £40 for four 1.5g eyeshadow fillers. In comparison, Inglot’s Freedom System is pocket friendly, while assuring the same level of quality in terms of product. Again using a magnetic board system (although the pans are slightly more difficult to pop out and rearrange than the MAC version), a four-square eyeshadow pan costs £6, while the refills are only £4.50 for between 2.3g and 3.2g of product, depending on the shadow. Inglot can be bought online or in-store, although there are currently only two stores in the UK. The shade range is vast and the product quality certainly should satisfy any pro.
Gel eyeliners are the go-to for many artists who need their work to last, or perhaps who prefer the texture and precision of a brush to a traditional pencil. Bobbi Brown’s Longwear Gel Eyeliner (£17.50) is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, with a creamy texture and a lasting power which needs to be seen to be believed. If you’re looking to try out a gel texture or practice your skills, a good alternative could be the Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner, which has excellent lasting power and a great texture for the price. Only available in black (unlike Bobbi’s 14 available shades), and the rounded-tip brush that comes with it makes it difficult to achieve the truly precise look of a proper angled liner brush, but at just £7.99 it’s excellent value for money. It could be worth ignoring the brush it comes with and using another one entirely!