This look came about when I was buying some budget lipsticks and thought, hey, this one looks a lot like this other high end one. I wasn’t sure how many actual dupes I had on my hands , but I still set out to create the same look, using both high-end and budget products. Which one is the best?
For my high-end foundation I decided to go with Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in shade Light. I bought it a while ago and had mixed feelings about it when applied, but does photograph great! I applied this one with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
For my budget foundation, I used the classic Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. I’ve heard a blogger calling it a dupe for the Aqua Luminous foundation (although it should be the other way around since the Bourjois one has been on the market for longer). I also used a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply.
The Foundation Winner?
The Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation for sure! The Becca foundation I feel is best when my skin is at it’s best, but this time it was not so. The Bourjois foundation did not emphasize the blocked pores as much as the other one and it matched my skin tone better. To sweeten the deal, the Bourjois one is a lot cheaper!
High-End Eyebrow Pencil
For my high-end eyebrow pencil I decided to go with my MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Brows. This product is next in line to the Anastasia as one of my favorites. With the spooley I brushed the hairs up, then filled them in with the product.
Budget Eyebrow Pencil
For my budget eyebrow pencil I used this Maybelline Brow Drama Pomade Crayon, which right off the bat I know, it’s not comparable to the high end one I used. But, this is the only real “pencil” I have (even though it looks more like a crayon). I applied the same as the high end one, first brushed, then fill in.
The Eyebrow Pencil Winner?
Well, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I have to give this to the Maybelline Brow Drama Pomade Crayon.Don’t get me wrong, I still love my MAKE UP FOR EVER one, but this chunky guy delivered a great amount of color in one gentle sweep and it was relatively easy to apply.
My high-end eyeshadow selection had a lot to do with what I had already picked as my budget one. The shade Matt Singh from theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude Eyeshadow Palette is the closest I have to the color I wanted, although not the same texture. I applied it all over the lid and crease using a MAC 217 Blending Brush.
I just LOVE this eyeshadow. Part of the Where the Light Is palette, the ColourPop Supershock Eyeshadow in shade Cornelius is just the perfect color for a subtle bronze look. I applied all over the lid and crease with a Real Techniques Deluxe Creased Brush.
The Eyeshadow Winner?
Obvious one here, the ColourPop Supershock Eyeshadow in shade Cornelius. Not only the shade is perfection, it blends like a dream!
It should be no surprise that I went with my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil for my high-end eyeliner. I chose the shade Demolition applied to the top lashline (nothing extravagant) and top waterline.
The budget eyeliner I chose is also from ColourPop. The ColourPop Crème Gel Liner in shade Brew-Haha has a very similar texture to the Urban Decay one. I also applied it on both top lash and waterline.
The Eyeliner Winner?
It’s a tie! Both are great products with lots of good things about them and a couple of not so good. The Urban Decay has the obvious downside of the price, while the ColourPop has the problem that you cannot sharpen it and that gets in the way a nice, clean line sometimes.
I’m still using my Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara so that’s what I went with for the high end product. I applied several coats of the product on my top lashes, especially since the budget mascara provide more volume.
I applied the Rimmel ScandalEyes Lycra Flex Mascara on the top lashes, although I only needed a couple of coats of product. The brush of this one is significantly larger than the Benefit one, so it’s a lot easier to add more volume with it.
The Mascara Winner?
Another tie, but this time is more because it’s tough to compare these since they have different goals. The Benefit Roller Lash will provid extension a a great curl, while the Rimmel ScandalEyes is meant for more drama and volume.
Here’s another one of my staple products, the Smashbox High Definition Concealer which I’ve chosing as my high-end product.I applied a few dots under the eyes and bridge of the nose and blended with my fingers.
Here’s one I’ve read great things about, the Maybelline Eye Eraser concealer. I used the applicator to apply the product under my eyes and bridge of the nose, and same as the high end concealer, I blended with my fingers.
The Concealer Winner?
The Smashbox High Definition Concealer continues to be my favorite, although that is not to say the Maybelline one is not good. The product itself is pretty great, but I’m not sure about that applicator just yet.
High-End Bronzer (Cream)
For my high end bronzer, I chose Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer. These days I try to use this product for every opportunity! I applied on the hollows of my cheeks and forehead and blended with the same Real Techniques Expert Face Brush from earlier.
Budget Bronzer (Cream)
One thing my budget bronzer has in common with the high-end one is the fact it has a fab scent. The texture of this Bourjois Sun Illusion Blur Skin Perfector is different though, this is more of a whipped cream. Same as the high-en one, I applied on my forehead and hollows of my cheeks and blended with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.
The Bronzer (Cream) Winner?
The Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer is the winner, but only by a small margin. I thought the whipped cream texture of the Bourjois one was going to be a tough one, but it was easier than expected. I still find the liquid texture of the other much easier to deal with.
High-End Setting Powder
To set the foundation and concealer, I’ve chosen another one of my staple products, yet again! Using an EcoTools Bamboo Large Powder Brush I applied Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation on the center of my face and under the eyes using a buffing motion.
Budget Setting Powder
For my budget setting powder I chose Catrice Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder; this one is a translucent powder as opposed to the high end one which has color. I also used the same EcoTools brush using a buffing motion on the center of my face and under the eyes.
The Setting Powder Winner?
It’s a tie once more. Like with the mascaras, these two are not super comparable because they were meant for different purposes (Benefit is a powder foundation so it has color, Catrice is a mattifying powder and it’s translucent), although both provide the result I want in terms of setting the concealer and foundation.
High-End Bronzer (Powder)
It’s not necessary to add a powder bronzer here, but being a bit warmer outside, I like using a powder to set my cream products in place. I used the NARS Bronzing Powder in shade Laguna, applied with the same EcoTools Bamboo Large Powder Brush from earlier.
Budget Bronzer (Powder)
Interestingly, my budget cream bronzer has a powder companion from the same brand, the Bourjois Contouring Illusion Bronzer & Highlighter. I also applied this product using the same EcoTools brush from earlier.
The Bronzer (Powder) Winner?
Both are very good products, in fact, the Bourjois one is more pigmented which would earn it lots of plus points, but I am going to call NARS Laguna the winner. The shade is not as warm and provides a lovely subtle glow that is totally buildable!
For my high-end blush I chose the NARS Blush in shade Orgasm, which comes in the same pack as the Laguna bronzer. I applied this on my cheeks using the same EcoTools Bamboo Large Powder Brush I’ve used for every other powder product!
I decided to use this Physicians Formula Happy Booster Mood & Glow Blush in the shade Natural, knowing the colors on the pan do not match at all, I was very surprised to see that when applied, the difference is virtually imperceptible. I also applied with the same EcoTools brush. I clearly did not want to wash too many brushes at the end of all of this!
The Blush Winner?
The Physicians Formula is a beautiful and impressive product, but, I’m going to give this to the NARS Blush in shade Orgasm. I think I’ve gotten so used to that formula, it’ll always be hard to beat (and the Happy Booster came quite close!)
It’s been a while since I’ve reached for this product, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. I used the shade Incandescent Light for my high-end highlighter, applier with a Real Techniques Bold Metals 203 Tapered Shadow Brush. That was the only possible brush available, so I took it.
If you paid attention to all the budget products I’ve used so far, you’ll quickly realize you already had a peek of the highlighter I’m using. That’s right, I’m going with the Bourjois Contouring Illusion Bronzer & Highlighter, also applied with the same Real Techniques 203 Brush.
The Highlighter Winner?
the Bourjois one didn’t even come close! Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Incandescent Light is the winner.
High-End Brow Gel
I left brow gel for almost last because I always rough up my brow hairs when I do setting powder. For my high-end brow gel I chose Benefit Gimme Brow. I have long ran out of my original tube; this one was a sample I got at the counter after I got my eyebrows done.
Budget Brow Gel
One I’ve used in other tutorials, the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara is a great brow gel to set your brows and add a little bit of tint. I applied this the same way as the high-end one, lightly brushing the hairs upward with the wand.
The Brow Gel Winner?
The Benefit Gimme Brow should be the winner in theory, but there are a few things that make the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara take the prize. First of all it doesn’t smell like death and second, it’s quite affordable while doing the exact same thing as the Gimme Brow.
This pretty little thing, the MAC Lip Liner in shade Spice is almost a mythical creature thanks to Ms Kylie Jenner. Ever since she overdrew that pout of hers and plastered it all over social media, that pencil is ALWAYS sold out. Makes sense though. It is a very, very beautiful color!
On the back of my hand, this Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lipliner Pencil in the shade Tiramisu is a very close match to the MAC Spice pencil. Applied, well, not so much. I have since discovered you can get a very close match by mixing this shade and Spice (funny), if for whatever reason you cannot afford the MAC one.
The Lipstick Winner?
Ahhh, MAC Spice always wins. It’s soooo pretty!
And here you have them! The finished looks!
The High-End Products Look
The Budget Products Look
Let’s take a look at the finished product, side by side:
The Winning Look?
Who cares! The main conclusion I can draw is that my perfect finished look will always be a mix and match of great quality products, regardless of whether they are high-end or budget!
P.S. On my Facebook page most people prefered the budget look, so that might tell something else!
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