Staff Picks: Our best dupe discoveries

Not to brag but working at Project Vanity sure has it perks. We get to try A LOT of different skincare and makeup products, including some very fancy high-end stuff! It's an awesome opportunity but it also has a downside: it sucks to fall in love with a luxury product that is beyond my financial means to purchase. This has set many of us on a quest to find dupes for those life-changing products, at more budget-friendly prices. It's not easy to look for the same quality at a much lower price tag but we're lucky enough to have discovered a few!

Liz: I do love my pricey beauty products, but I always keep an eye out for dupes! I recently purchased the Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Backtalk. It's supposed to be waterproof, and omg, it does stay on all day! It actually reminded me of a local liquid lipstick, the one from Ellana Minerals. They have the same texture and crazy staying power. Even so, they don't feel too thick on the lips so they're not too uncomfortable even for hours on end.

I also love using the Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick in Naked and Essence Pure Nude Highlighter interchangeably. They both offer a subtle, skin-like glow to my skin. I like to dust some of these powders all over my face to get brighter-looking skin without looking oily.


Den: Like the rest of the PV girls, I'm pretty obsessed about attaining brow perfection but I can't really afford to take 15 minutes to shape and define them when I need to rush out the door. I fell in love with Benefit's Gimme Brow because applying it with an angled brush was enough to cover up the small gaps in my arches while giving it a lush, defined appearance. It's out of my budget though so I experimented with a few cheaper brow mascaras before finally finding a dupe in Jordana's Fabubrow. It's not quite as pigmented so I need to build up the color a bit but I love that the shade Dark Brown matches my hair and application looks so natural. I already have a backup for this ready!


Katsy: When I did the Makeup Dupes story recently, I discovered how similar the formula of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre was to Colourpop's Super Shock Shadows. I was amazed because as much as I love the Chanel one, I can't exactly collect them especially since I don't really wear eyeshadow on a daily basis. But with Colourpop's price point, I'm game to get a few more colors, even in more adventurous shades. I've honestly been going back and forth with a huge Colourpop haul in my shopping cart since finding out about this dupe. So far my willpower has prevailed though I don't know for how much longer!

Karla: The Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder is the closest dupe I've found for the Make Up For Ever HD Powder (loose version)! It has the same finely-milled texture with absolutely no color. It sets my makeup perfectly without making it look cakey and it lasts all day, I don't even need any touch ups. But if I had to, it's perfect for travel because it's so small and easy to bring around.

Marielle: I went through all the trouble of buying Lipstick Queen Frog Prince online and shipping it to Manila. No regrets because I love it to bits but LipIce Sheer Color has the same super-flattering, rose-tinted, color-changing effect for a tiny fraction of the cost. It's also readily available in Watsons!

Tellie: One of my absolute favorite skincare items is Hada Labo Gokujyun Moisturizing Milk. I love how watery it is while actually holding that water to your skin, considering that most watery moisturizers kind of just dissipate after application. It does get a little pricey, though. Thankfully, I discovered the Labiotte Freniq Smart Lotion while I was in Korea! It has the same consistency and moisturizing effect, albeit not as long as Hada Labo's. However, it's 60ml more product at about the same price point, plus Labiotte is usable for both face and body. I'm so happy I found this dupe!

Have you found dupes for your favorite products? Did you make the switch? Check out our splurge versus save and dupes tag for more ideas!