Splurge vs Save: The winners of this half-face makeup challenge (Part 2!)

In this edition of the splurge vs save makeup showdown, I went through my stash to check for dupes and had them battle it out in a half-face FOTD. I haven’t done this before as I didn’t want to admit that I have products that are too similar but you know what, it has helped me realized which ones are actually worth repurchasing! Here are the dupes I discovered in my stash!


Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Natural (~P2,900) vs Pink Sugar BB Cream in Beige (P499)

I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis so I have a somewhat limited collection. My sister lent me her Pink Sugar BB Cream in Beige for this dupe because she loves it and recommended it to me as a lightweight but with coverage kind of base. That sounded exactly like my Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Natural, which makes my skin look like skin but better. With a subtle dewy effect and some form of SPF, the Bobbi Brown is on top of my foundation favorites.

The Pink Sugar BB has a slightly thicker texture than the Bobbi Brown. It didn’t feel heavy on though, and gave me enough coverage to make my skin look smoother and more flawless. I would still go for Bobbi Brown because I personally prefer a sheerer finish overall and it blends like a dream on my skin. If you prefer more coverage though, Pink Sugar is your bet and a lot more affordable option.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (P1,850) vs Nichido Final Powder in Ivory Glow (P150)

I have professed my love for the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder time and again. This is actually my second pot! It just sets my base so well and blends seamlessly with my skin. It is also finely-milled and does not make my under  eye concealer crease. I can last 8 to 10 hours of not needing to blot my face (assuming I do proper skincare prep) if I use the LM. 

The Nichido Final Powder is a nice surprise. It isn’t as fine in texture as the Laura Mercier but it is incredibly good, quality powder for a fraction of LM’s price. I can’t get over how affordable it is especially since it also sets my base quite well; it gives me a glowing matte finish! I do have to blot after 6 hours with the Nichido, which is pretty decent. I would still repurchase the Laura Mercier because I’m loyal to my love like that but I would definitely keep a pot of the Nichido on hand for everyday wear. I’ll reserve the Laura Mercier for special occasions considering its price. 

MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Brown Ebony (P1,000) vs Jordana Fabubrow in Dark Brown (P399)

The MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Brown Ebony successfully passed the makeup you can literally swim in test, and I use it practically every day. It has a thicker texture and a slightly darker shade than Jordana’s. It gives me an instantly polished look because it also fills my brows well enough to wear on its own. 

The Jordana Fabubrow in Dark Brown provides a thinner, more natural finish than the MAC, and I like how it keeps my brow hairs in place. For this round, I’m actually inclined to go with the Jordana Fabubrow because I’m having a major no-makeup, makeup look phase. If I want a quick work meeting face, I’ll probably reach for the MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Epatant (~P1,950) vs Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Hammered (~P250)

The Chanel Illusion D’Ombre and the Colourpop Super Shock Shadow both share a soft and cushiony texture that feels creamy to the touch. The Chanel Illusion D’Ombre has finer, more consistent shimmer though compared to the visible flecks in the Colourpop. Both are adequately pigmented and I find that I can build both up to intensify. 

Using a 6-hour marker test, both still looked good on with no substantial creasing. I will give this round to the Colourpop Super Shock Shadow because of the vast selection of shades and the price. I can already purchase several shades of the Colourpop and create an entire eye look for the price of one Chanel!

NARS Blush in Goulue (P1,650) vs Avon Skin Goodness Minerals Blush in Blushing Mauve (P250)

NARS has one of the best blush formulas in the beauty industry, which is why I tend to hoard their palettes. NARS Goulue (lower, rightmost pan in the palette) is described as a “warm berry with gold shimmer” and I like using it for my “serious moments” look. It blends really well on the skin, looks like a healthy flush of color, and a little goes a long way. 

The Avon Skin Goodness Minerals Blush in Blushing Mauve looks lighter in the swatches (right swatch) but applies very similar to the NARS Goulue. It is also well-pigmented and looks like a warmer version of Goulue once applied on my cheeks. I’d go for the Avon if I’m being practical but for a more natural and seamless blend, NARS still wins.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight-01 (P1,750) vs Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette in Equinox (P875)

I love highlighters because of the glowy effect they give on my normally pale-looking skin. The Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight-01 gives the most subtle highlight and just sinks into the skin. 

The Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette in the shade Equinox provides a slightly chunkier, more in your face kind of highlight. If you want showstopper highlighting drama, go for the Sleek Equinox. It also comes in a palette with three other highlighters so it’s a pretty sweet deal.  

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Rose Matter (~P1,800 depending on local resellers) vs Pink Sugar Sugar Tint in Slay (P349)

Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipstick in Rose Matter is one of my top liquid lipstick formulas plus shade of choice. Upon swatching it side by side with the Pink Sugar Sugar Tint in Slay, I found the colors very similar although with different undertones. Rose Matter is a vibrant color that I reach for when I want to instantly brighten up my face. Slay is more subdued but looks equally lovely. Both liquid lipsticks are scented but I’m okay with scent on my lipsticks.

I’d go with the Pink Sugar Sugar Tint in Slay for this round because it is more accessible, it is a local brand, and it is a lip and cheek tint so you can also easily blend it as a blush. You’ll definitely get more bang for your buck because of this dual-purpose feature!

This is my FOTD wearing all the products mentioned above. Can you guess which is the Splurge side vs which is the Save side? The eyeshadow is a major hint. 

If you guessed it correctly, the splurge products are on the left side of my face (your right when facing the screen). I am amazed at how close they all look like once I put them on, save for the eyebrows and the eyeshadows! It definitely made me realize which products I’d really want to keep in my collection and repurchase once I run out.

Do you have dupes of your favorite high-end products? Are they worth the splurge or do the save options work just as well for you?