The Best Beauty Dupes Of 2023, Recommended By A Makeup Artist

By Ashleigh Cometti
From a perfectly pigmented blush to affordable mascara. Collage / Julia Gessler

Luxury beauty products are coveted for a reason — with the finish, colour pay-off, lasting power and often limited quantities driving their desirability.

But in most cases, designer beauty products come with designer price tags. While many of them are worthy of the splurge, restocking your entire makeup kit solely

This begs the question: in beauty land, does expensive always equal “best”? The answer is quite complex, says freelance makeup artist Kath Gould, adding that while high-end beauty products are often produced by big beauty conglomerates which have the budgets to invest in research, development and safety, such companies also create more affordable products, too.

“There’s a lot of research and development that goes into luxury products, but that also has a trickle-down effect on other brands,” she says. “There are less expensive products on the market that are backed by big companies such as L’Oreal Paris, for example. It’s in their best interest to produce products that are safe and are great to use – that’s why they’ve become such a popular brand.”

Enter beauty dupes — the products which do a comparable job to their luxe counterparts but at a fraction of the price. Kath shares four of her favourite high-end makeup products and the best dupes that achieve a similar result — from a poppy blush to dewy skin perfector.

What is a beauty dupe?

“A dupe is literally translated as a duplicate — but it’s more than that. It’s either a duplicate of something high-end (meaning it’s less expensive) or it can be a dupe of a product that’s been discontinued,” Kath says.

Selecting makeup dupes from affordable beauty brands that promise similar results to the pricier original is likely to save you a small fortune, no doubt something we’re all keen to do given our current economic climate.

“We are in a recession at the moment, things aren’t always as affordable. There’s a big market for makeup in New Zealand — and people are always looking for less expensive options,” Kath says.

What makes a product worth ‘duping’?

Traditionally, a makeup dupe is a product that’s more affordable than the original, but a product doesn’t always need to be high-end or expensive to be worth duping, Kath says. Often, it’s the products that go viral on social media platforms like TikTok, making them more difficult to find.

“Products which go viral on TikTok become unavailable, which means people start looking for alternatives,” she says.

Do dupes generally perform as well as the original?

With dupe culture on the rise, affordable options for cult beauty buys are cropping up all over. But while dupes are similar, they’re not always the exact same.

“Dupes are as similar as possible; while the ingredients might not be the same, the overall visual effects of the product should be as close as possible,” Kath says.

Affordability doesn’t always equate to poor quality, and many affordable beauty brands aim to create high-quality products to rival those of a luxury brand.

The best beauty dupes of 2023


Kath says: “This is a great dupe for the Dior Rosy Glow Blush, which became really popular online. The Makeup Revolution Blush comes in super-pigmented colours, which suit all skin tones. If you get a blush that’s too washed out it can start to look quite grey or flat on darker skin tones, but this one has enough pigment to deliver.”


The original: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Moonstone, $62 (discontinued).

Kath says: “This Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter is a dupe for one of my discontinued favourites — the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. While it’s not necessarily a cheaper alternative, it’s one of the best highlighters I’ve ever used. I absolutely adored the Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Moonstone and I used it in almost every makeup that I did. I was very upset when it was discontinued, and it’s taken me years to try and find something that’s even remotely close. [Charlotte Tilbury] is more expensive than the original but it’s something I’ve been looking for a long time so it’s worth it to me.”

Makeup remover

Kath says: “I’ve mentioned this cleansing balm in numerous podcasts and interviews and it’s one of the best makeup removers I’ve ever used. I wouldn’t say it’s like a side-by-side dupe in terms of feel and texture, but it’s definitely the most effective that I’ve used. I don’t see the point in spending a ridiculous amount of money on a cleanser that you’re washing straight off your face. It’s great for all skin types.”


Kath says: “Mascara is another thing you don’t need to spend ridiculous money on. The Flower Beauty Lash Warrior Mascara is one of the longest-lasting, non-flaking mascaras. I find a lot of mascara formulas are really similar, the main difference is the brush. With this one, the brush is quite large and curved, which is helpful to lengthen lashes. It’s particularly good for people with straight lashes. I use it in my kit and if I know I’m going to be working with someone regularly, I’ll buy them one and label it with their name.”

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