Steal vs. Splurge: Makeup Dupes for Moms


Should you splurge, or will the drugstore brand look just as good? 

Often times we feel the need to buy EVERY.SINGLE.THING that’s thrown at us when it comes to makeup. I’m guilty of it too, but I’m here to tell you… NO!!!

Look, I’m a makeup hoarder. Yes, it’s true. I have a backup for my backups. It’s part of my job, though. So I have am excuse, what’s yours? There shouldn’t be one. Let’s clean out those makeup drawers and make space for the new shiny and sparkly makeup for the Fall.

Store Perks

I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re at least mildly into makeup. So have you signed up for the makeup perks you can get from some department stores? Next time you’re in Sephora or Ulta, make sure you sign up for their programs. They both have great perks! Walgreens and CVS have their own programs as well and you do get points when you buy certain items. It all adds up and you can SAVE SAVE SAVE!

When you shop at Nordstrom, if you use your Nordstrom debit or credit card, you also get points. Some days they have triple points for card holders, which is great as well. I love accumulating whatever I can get!

When I’m looking for makeup for my daily use, I like to bargain shop! I compiled a list of some of my beauty favorites and did some research on these products to show that you don’t need to splurge every time you replenish your makeup bag. On the other hand, there are also items that I don’t mind splurging on. Remember being more expensive tends to mean they do have more luxury ingredients in them and some honestly are just better or wear longer.

*TIP* :: Most companies have a great return policy on purchases (even drugstores). They’ve smartened up and realized customers want to be happy with the products they buy, so don’t be afraid to return something if you don’t like it or it doesn’t wear well on you.  

Steal vs Splurge 

So let’s get started. First with some of my drugstore dupes for the high end makeup. 

Did you know that some products made in the same country are essentially made in the SAME factory? This is not true with EVERY product, but is for some. This is true for NYX Micro Brow pencil. It’s made in the same factory in Korea as the ever popular Anastasia brow whiz. Both look identical and go on just as smooth. For almost half the price, grab one.  

*TIP* :: Ulta frequently has NYX at Buy 1, get 1 50% off, so make sure you stock up when you can.  

I’m always looking for a great alternative for foundation. I LOVE the Armani Luminous Silk foundation, but at the $62 price, I only stock up when I NEED to. This is one of those must have splurge foundations. The coverage is spot on. You only need a little bit to provide a medium to full coverage. It’s like butter on the skin. Ugh…I can’t say enough good things about it!  

A great dupe is the Maybelline Fit Me foundation in the Dewy and Smooth formula. It covers well and leaves a nice, hydrated look to the face. The wearability of the foundation definitely isn’t as long as the Armani, but it’s a great dupe for only $8!

Lipgloss! I NEVER leave the house without it! I have a love affair with lipgloss. Every kind, every color, I have them. My drawer runneth over… FOR REAL. My absolute FAVORITE lipgloss that I recently discovered is the Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in the color LOVE. It’s a non tacky gloss, never makes your lips feel dry or leaves that gunky stuff that some glosses tend to do. Fun fact, it’s Angelina Jolie’s favorite gloss too! This is definitely a splurge in my eyes at $33 a pop, but worth it!

Even though I love that gloss, I’ve done research on glosses that are great price points. I tend to buy these in bulk because, honestly, if I lose one, I won’t be too upset. The NYC Liquid Lip shine is a great dupe. It doesn’t last as long, but for $1.87, I think we can forgive it, right? The only place I’ve found it so far at that price has been Walmart.  












Eyeshadows. When I wear eyeshadow, I want my eyes to be banging. Have you seen the Electric cool eyeshadow from MAC?  They’re GORGEOUS. It’s a cream to powder formula, so you know they’re going to stay in place, even with our heat in FL.  Two of my favorite colors are Coil and Photosphere. But, in my quest to find dupes for, well, EVERYTHING, lucky for y’all, I found one. They aren’t the same texture, but the same color payoff. The NYX prismatic eyeshadows are TO.DIE.FOR. And again, at Buy 1, Get 1 50%, time to stock up! The color dupes are Bedroom Eyes and Girl Talk. I cannot get enough of these shadows.  

One of my must haves before I leave the house is concealer. Can I get an AMEN?!!? My absolute favorite concealer is the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer. It’s long wearing and full coverage. And we all know this mama needs that! This is another splurge that I definitely think is a necessity. If you still want to save money, I’ve found one that’s a great dupe. Maybelline Fit Me concealer is a wonderful alternative. I will be honest and say I think the formula is thinner and lighter than the NARS one and doesn’t hold up as long, but it looks great once applied on the skin. Just know, you may have to reapply it throughout the day.  

I’m constantly in the water with my kids, so a good waterproof or water resistant mascara is essential for me. NARS came out with a new mascara earlier this month. The Audacious mascara leaves your lashes full, soft and with beautiful length. A great dupe for this mascara is the L’Oreal Voluminous mascara.

You can watch my segment from the Channel 4 Morning Show this past week. I used the drugstore items on one of my models and the department store items on the other model. Can you guess which one was the STEAL and which one was the SPLURGE? We even fooled Nikki on the show.   

                                                 Morning Show Steal vs. Splurge


If you have any questions about makeup products, or need a good steal item for a splurge item you’ve been eyeing, leave me a comment and I’ll find one for you.

Patricia Kozack
Patricia Kozack is a professional makeup artist, wife and mom to two kids. Her days are spent wrangling the kids, being a mom taxi, and getting a workout in on the tennis courts. Her weekends are spent beautifying clients for their weddings and events.  She is obsessed with all things beauty related and cannot wait to share her niche of the world with Jacksonville Mom.


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