makeup dupe cheap affordable beauty

10 Cheap AF Cult Makeup Dupes That Are Available In Australia

Looking good is expensive so we’ve hunted down some cheap AF alternatives to pricy cult beauty buys. You heard right. A makeup dupe that is almost as good as the real thing.

Between paying rent, and buying coffee and cat food, sometimes I just don’t have the finances to afford all the amazing makeup products I see across my Instagram feed. Cutting corners when buying makeup can be an actual blessing to your bank account.

We chatted with Melbourne makeup artist David Davey about which cult beauty products have their own low-key makeup dupe and how the two compare when applied.

Here are 10 makeup dupes that are an absolute steal:

#1. Charlotte Tilbury, Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘Pillow Talk’, RRP $50

Dupe: Essence, Matt Matt Matt Lipstick in ‘Perfect Match’, RRP $4.70

You’d have to be under a social media ban to not notice this lipstick basically all over Instagram. ‘Pillow Talk’ is this year’s most coveted lipstick shade; it’s the perfect pinky nude and the formula is super creamy and hydrating. But if you can’t afford the $50 price tag then Essence actually has a shade that’s almost identical.

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“‘Pillow Talk’ looks a little bit lighter than Essence but once it’s on your lips you wouldn’t even notice,” Davey told us. “The colours are very similiar but the main difference is that Charlotte’s feels nicer on your lips and wears longer.” But for $4.70 instead of 50 dollarydoos, I wouldn’t be complaining tbh.


#2. Napoleon Perdis, Auto Pilot Pre Foundation Primer, RRP $59

Dupe: Face Of Australia, Face Base Primer, RRP $10.95

Napoleon Perdis’ primer is one of the most beloved formulas out there but it turns out Face of Australia’s is just as good. This makeup dupe is an actual game-changer. Davey explained:

“These two products are probably the closest dupe for one another that I have ever seen! Ingredient for ingredient they are the same, even down to the amounts of each ingredient.”

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“The only difference is the scent. They wear and feel the same, but with the Face of Australia primer being so much cheaper than the Napoleon one, it’s a no brainer which one I’d choose.” Hell yeah!


#3. Too Faced, Better Than Sex Mascara, RRP $37

Dupe: L’Oreal, Lash Paradise Mascara, RRP $24

This dupe is no secret since both mascara tubes look the same. It’s not surprising that L’Oreal has tried to emulate Too Faced, as Better Than Sex is truly spectacular (Full disclosure: It’s my no. 1 go-to for dramatic lashes).

Davey compared the two mascaras, telling me, “The brushes are very similar but the formula’s consistency is not quite the same.”

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I’ll add that I’ve worn both before and yes, the brushes do look similiar but I found L’Oreal’s formula to be inferior, so it could be worth paying the extra money for Too Faced. Although each to their own, some swear by Lash Paradise and actually prefer it.

As you can see, they do look freakishly similar:


 #4. Dior Backstage, Face & Body Foundation, RRP $70

Dupe: Essence, Insta Perfect Foundation, RRP $8.20

Another cult fave with a steep price tag, Dior Backstage’s foundation is a favourite so it comes as a bit of a shock that little old Essence makes a killer makeup dupe.

“Comparing the two, I find the consistency very similar,” Davey said. “They both have waterproof claims and both are full coverage. Even the packaging looks similar!”

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#5. Too Faced, Sweet Peach Palette, RRP $75

Dupe: BYS, Peach Eyeshadow Palette, RRP $14

As you can see, these two palettes appear extremely similiar and if you can’t afford Too Faced, this might be the next best thing. “While the individual shades vary a bit, the overall colour themes are comparable. I was actually surprised at just how pigmented the BYS eyeshadows were. It’s a pretty good dupe,” Davey told us.

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With a price difference of a whopping $60, it’s a no brainer.


#6. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Dipbrow Pomade, RRP $33

Dupe: Chi Chi, Brow Pomade, RRP $15

Another dupe existing in our own backyard, it turns out Aussie brand Chi Chi give cult makeup giant Anastasia Beverley Hills a run for its money. Their eyebrow pomades couldn’t be more alike.

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“Comparing these two I find the colour payoff, application and drying time almost identical! Wear time is very similar too, however the colour selection with the Chi Chi Pomade is vastly more limited.” You win some, you lose some.


#7. Benefit, They’re Real Mascara, RRP $43

Dupe: W7, Absolute Lashes, RRP $5

This probably doesn’t need a lot of explaining. The W7 mascara is an obvious dupe for Benefit’s most popular mascara and while W7 make a lot of makeup dupes this one is incredibly good.

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“The rubber bristled brushes are similar while the formula is a bit different,” said Davey, adding, “but I found it easier to build volume with the W7 mascara as Benefit’s formula started to join the lashes together.” Dang.


#8. MAC, Lipliner, ‘Soar’, RRP $30

Dupe: Essence, Longlasting Lipliner, ‘Lovely Frappuccino’, RRP $2

Another Essence product here to save the day, it turns out a $2 lipliner is an alternative to MAC’s coveted $30 lipliner ‘Soar’. “The colours are similar but MAC’s colour is slightly deeper. They have a similar feel on the lips but MAC has a longer wear time,” Davey told us.

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#9. Anastasia Beverley Hills, Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette, RRP $76

Dupe: W7, Delicious Eye Colour Palette, RRP $10

Another eyeshadow palette that costs the earth, thankfully ABH’s Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow has a doppelgänger in W7, with the brand creating a very obvious dupe.

“The colour palettes are very complimentary,” Davey said, adding, “but the main difference is that when it comes to application, the ABH shadows blend much better than W7 and is also more pigmented.” Saving $66 could ease the pain tho.

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#10. Benefit, POREfessional Face Primer, $55

Dupe: Maybelline, Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, $16

People are truly obsessed with Benefit’s expensive POREfessional primer but it turns out Maybelline make a decent dupe. “The smooth, balm-like texture is very similar in both of these products that acts as a pore filler and eraser,” Davey said.

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“Wear time is similar and the foundation sits the same over either product. Definitely look into this cheaper alternative if you can’t quite afford Benefit’s POREfessional!”

Brb, going to go spend all the money I’ve saved on more makeup.