Do You Prefer Dupes Or The Real Thing?

Do You Prefer Dupes Or The Real Thing?

Β© Casther

If you Google “dupe for MAC“, you’ll get approximately 3,610,000 results. In fact, if you Google “dupe for [insert random makeup]”, chances are there will be a dupe for it.

I don’t know who it was who first coined the term “dupe” for makeup very similar to another (ideas, anyone?) but brands have been creating cheaper alternatives to cult makeup for years and it helps those who would rather not splurge a lot of money on just one item of makeup and yet still be able to try something similar.

When I first got interested in makeup, I didn’t have the means to purchase from high-end brands. I relied on a lot of dupes, a lot I could get very cheaply from indie mineral makeup brands. I had at least 5 blushes that were dupes of the famous NARS Orgasm. Funny thing was, I’ve never tried the actual thing and the total amount I spent on those 5 blushes would have gotten me 1.5 NARs blushes. Heck, 2 NARS blushes even!

As the years went on, I reduced my purchase of dupes and got the actual thing instead. Often after I’ve used the dupes for a few weeks, my mind starts to bug me with thoughts of “I want the real thing.” I should be contented using the dupe and then it comes again. “I want the real thing“. So I try to squash that thought by getting another item of makeup.

I want the real thing.

In the end, I get the real thing. It’s ridiculous because I spent money on the dupes AND I still ended up getting the item I bought the dupes for! Prior to a major makeup collection culling I did last month, I realised how many dupes I had for the YSL Touche Eclat, NARS Orgasm, Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner, Guerlain Meteorites and many more. Guess what? I bought all of those too.


Will I stop purchasing dupes? I won’t say I’ll never buy another dupe but I’ll be watching those desires like a hawk. I’d rather save the money, buy less items and get the real deal instead. That way, I’ll also squash that nagging thought because hello brain? I got the real thing! πŸ˜›

Just before I go, I had a random thought. If you buy a dupe and it looks very similar to the actual makeup you bought the dupe for, do you tell people it’s the real deal or the dupe? Would they even know if I’m not actually wearing the real thing? Ahhh … something to think about. Hmm …

What about you? Do you prefer dupes to the real thing?

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26 comments… add one
  1. Kelly B

    I actually love dupes but I’m a little different-if I buy a dupe, I stop there πŸ˜€ I try not to keep buying dupes to see if I get closer because than at that point, I would be like just buy the real thing already! So my philosophy is that I research a little on dupes to find what would work the best for me, buy it, and leave it at that! I kind of think once you put it on it will be pretty hard to distinguish what you’re actually wearing anyway so there’s really no point to me in buying something out of my budget if I can get something 90% like it for under $5. But that’s just me (:
    Kelly B recently posted..GLOBAL GODDESS Eye Trio Review & Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha that’s good! I try to stop there but that stupid niggling thought in my head won’t go away. “BUY THE REAL ONE!” The flesh is so weak in this one, I tell ya. πŸ˜›

  2. Emy

    I’ve done the same thing: buying dupes then proceeding to buy the original. Most of the times, I end up liking the original better. I’m trying to either just buy the original or nothing at all in the future.

    1. Tine

      Yeah me too. I’ve given up on most dupes. Having said that, there are some dupes I prefer to the real thing so … err … what’s my point again? πŸ˜›

  3. Shuu

    Throughout my makeup-hoarding life I have never bought the real thing once I have the dupe. Somehow the thought’s gone once I have something very similar in my hand lol. I can deal with dupes for blushes, eyeshadows or lippies, but when it comes to base makeup, powders and guerlain meteorites, i’ll get the real thing, no dupes, thanks πŸ˜›
    Shuu recently posted..[Just Sampling] The Face Shop FACE it Aura CC CreamMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I tried getting dupes for those base things, especially the Guerlain meteorites but everything fell short. Those, I’ll stick to the real things, thank you very much!

  4. Paris B

    Learned it the hard way. No more dupes. If I want the real deal, I get the real deal. If it’s a product that’s a star in itself that just happens to be a dupe for something else, then so be it but I no longer actively seek it out because really, that’s just kidding yourself. I think it better to just buy a product because you like it not because it’s a dupe for another. Ditto bags and shoes, but I’m less fussy about clothes πŸ˜€
    Paris B recently posted..Wondering if the Lancôme Lip Lover will make me fall in love with this hybrid lip productMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh my goodness, the number of dupes I have for bags is crazy. I might as well have saved all that money and buy just the one thing, the real thing, than just the crappy replicas. Sigh.

  5. Carina

    I very rarely go for dupes anymore unless they are CF alternatives AND unless I already know that they perform well. I find a lot of dupe lists to be inaccurate, too, so I don’t really bother with dupes much.

    1. Tine

      Temptalia has an extensive list of dupes and while I obviously don’t have that much makeup to double-check ’em all, the ones I do have don’t really match up. I didn’t think some of her dupes were all that accurate, to be honest. Nowadays, I’m happier sticking to the real thing.

  6. Angie

    Hmmm real thing, I figure I may as well put the money I would have spent on buying 3 dupes towards the real deal even if I have to wait a little longer to get it πŸ™‚

    1. Tine

      I know right? I used to be those 3 dupes AND the real thing! That was one heck of a waste of money, I tell ya. πŸ˜›

  7. Wendy@BlushandBarbells

    I like dupes, too. I prefer loose mineral makeup to pressed, anyway, so I’d probably not buy The Real Thing (like Nars O) anyway.
    Wendy@BlushandBarbells recently posted..Summer Book Challenge – Check-in #1My Profile

    1. Tine

      Ahh in that case, you’ll be able to get a lot of good indie loose pigments that are very beautiful and a lot more affordable too! About two months ago I met a reader who had the most beautiful green eyeshadow on and she said it was from Fyrinnae. Haven’t tried anything from them before but by golly, I still remember that gorgeous green eyeshadow.

  8. gio

    Mmm, I guess it would depend on which one works best for me. If the original and dupe are identical, then I go for the cheaper version. But usually one of the two has a better texture, or lasts a bit longer, or something. In that case, I do my research beforehand and get the one that’s more suitable to my needs.
    gio recently posted..New Collection: Lancome Bridal Summer 2014My Profile

    1. Tine

      Good one, Gio. Always research first if possible. You never know, the dupe may end up better than the real thing!

  9. MonicaP

    Sometimes the products are quite close in color, but then the packaging steps in and I’m going for the lovely, pretty packaging over a cheaper dupe.

    MonicaP recently posted..Zella work out pants for the pear shaped galMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh I’m a sucker for packaging! It wins me almost every time regardless of whether it’s a dupe or not. πŸ˜›

  10. Allison

    I have never sought out a dupe. If I see a shade I like, I’ll get it if I know the formula is decent regardless of the brand. Or if I see high end packaging that I love or inexpensive packaging that I love (e.g. Etude House), I will buy it because I’ve gotta have that packaging. So I guess I’m not sure what I’m saying…I’m fickle??
    Allison recently posted..Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick & Giveaway WinnerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      You and me both, sister. You and me both. πŸ˜‰

  11. Beth and Beauty

    It is just according to what kind of makeup it is. Lipsticks- yes, Eyeshadows- yes Foundation- no. Blushes- not anymore since I tried the Nars blushes. Don’t get me wrong, I buy both drugstore makeup and high-end and will continue to purchase from both, but I have found that drugstore prices has gone up so much now days, for just a few more bucks you can get a high-end product. On the other hand I have bought drugstore makeup that is better than an high-end one. So I am just trying to shop for what I really want whether it be drugstore or high-end.
    Beth and Beauty recently posted..Day by Day Beauty Vitamin C SerumMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Good point Beth. Best to figure out what you really want rather than just thinking if you’re getting the dupe for the real thing, etc. And I totally agree with you on how expensive drugstore products are. It’s absolutely ridiculous in Australia. Revlon isn’t just a drugstore brand anymore; they even have counters at departmental stores. For their full prices (including L’Oreal), add $10 and you can buy at least a Clinique.

  12. BebeTaian

    Hnn I guess it depends. I’m not really that brand-loyal as I come off; it’s just that my skin hates almost everything, so if it works on me, it’ll probably work safely on anyone. But then if there’s a couple brands I like with identical colours, I’ll probably go with the cheaper one. It’s really rare that I buy something for the packaging.
    BebeTaian recently posted..Flower Earrings Bronze Chain + German Milk Glass Flower Daisy – Delicate + Durable – Orange Blue Pink Purple by BebeTaianMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Man, I’ve lost count of the number of items I have that I purchased because I fell in love with the packaging. I’m such a sucker for them. I tell myself “I’m also paying for packaging”. Geez, who am I kidding? πŸ˜›

  13. Liv

    I know this is an old post but it really resonates with me as due to budget constraints I’ve spent most of my adult life looking for cheap dupes for pretty much everything. Only recently have I started to branch out to more expensive cosmetics and even then I research the hell out of anything before buying it! I agree often you want the real deal even if you have a cheap dupe that is pretty close… I’m completely in love with Tom Ford makeup (hell pretty much anything TF actually) but it’s soooooooo expensive here that even if I can afford it, it’s difficult to JUSTIFY spending that price. So even though I have plenty of dupes for them, a small inner voice still wants that glamourous gilt packaging… :-/

    1. Tine

      Haha thanks for commenting nonetheless!

      Oh dear, dangerous to fall in love with Tom Ford makeup. πŸ˜› I agree; you’ll want everything. Personally, I’m not a fan of their eyeshadows but their blushes and lipsticks? GOD YES. Yeah I know what you mean. Beauty bloggers and YouTubers can talk about cheaper dupes to death but that little voice inside of us will not stop thinking if it would be better to have the “real” thing. πŸ™‚

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