At one time or another, we have all gone in search of a makeup dupe. Whether your dream product is too expensive, has been discontinued, or, if you're like me, isn't even available in your home country (can I get an amen for insane customs duties?), there are easier ways of finding a dupe than wandering the aisles of your local drugstores and beauty sellers.
The Internet, I have always maintained, is a beautiful place that should be used for everything--especially in the case of makeup dupes. Here's where I look when I want something I can't have.
This is probably the most popular way to find a product close to the one you covet. You can search according to product, brand, color, and more. Each of your dupe results will include a similarity rating. For example, I searched for a dupe for the Hayley Williams x MAC Sounds Like Noise lipstick, which never reached my country. My results: MAC Tart & Trendy (a 94% match) and Givenchy Corail Signature (an 89% match). The search results also show cost increase/savings.
This website is only for foundation, but it's really handy: it sure beats trying on tons of foundations under terrible mall lighting only to come home with the wrong color. The creators of Match My Makeup worked with a group of professionals to manually test all of their dupe recommendations. Thanks to them, I now have a list of 36 alternatives to my beloved MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation in my shade.
This online community has a dedicated Makeup Dupes & Swatches forum where you can look through past dupe threads or put an ask out to the community for your dream product's best understudies. I like that the recommendations come from real people with real experiences. I think that makes for more accurate matching a lot of the time.
My Beauty Bunny is dedicated to cruelty-free dupes. While it has quite a comprehensive list of MAC dupes, there isn’t a lot of variety. I did, however, manage to find a cruelty-free dupe for Benefit Hoola. Buying Cruelty-Free has a similar selection in its Cruelty Free Dupe List. Hopefully these two resources will become more populated as time goes on.
If you are looking for cheaper alternatives to high-end cosmetics, this app is for you. You can search by category, product name, or brand name, and every item on the app has a splurge vs. save option. The only thing it's lacking is swatches, which would be helpful in seeing whether the "save" really looks like the "splurge."
What websites and apps do you use to find makeup dupes? What about other dupes like skin care, hair, products, fragrance, and candles? And please, share your favorite product dupes!